Facial Cosmetic Surgery and the Young

Recent discussions and publicity on the benefits of facial cosmetic surgery have not gone unnoticed by the young and their parents. The many surgical techniques and the growing acceptance has an increasing number of teen-agers considering facial cosmetic surgery.
The procedures performed for teen-agers tend to mirror those performed for adults – nose jobs, chin implants, ear and eye jobs, laser resurfacing and dyspot treatments.

Working with young patients presents some unique challenges. The emotional perspective of the young patient and their parents are often decidedly different. For instance, protruding ears, a malformed nose or acne scarring, if unattended, can have a profound negative impact on a young person that can emotionally affect them throughout life. Yet, parents often see these problems as less pressing or severe.

Perhaps the most important factor with teen-agers is to help them express why they want a procedure performed. Support and understanding to the teen-ager’s needs by the parents is of vital importance. When the patient is a young child, it is a challenge for the parent to make the right decision and feel comfortable with it.
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Just as with some adults, teen-agers occasionally have unrealistic expectations. Their motivation for wanting surgery might be to look differently or like someone else. In reality, they probably have an emotional problem they are projecting to a facial feature.
Suggestions for parents with children who want a facial cosmetic procedure performed – or – for parents who may be considering the procedure for their child:
• Discuss facial cosmetic surgery seriously with your child. If the child has taken the initiative to discuss it, they will probably have been thinking about it for some time and believe it will be beneficial.
• Remember, if your child believes they have a feature that needs surgery, they will eventually have it done. It is to the parents advantage to be understanding and supportive
• Be aware that siblings might decide they need the same procedure performed. The impact on that brother or sister may be different both physically and emotionally.
• Have broken noses set within 24 hours, If not set properly and immediately, the child have to wait until the nose is fully developed for corrected surgery.
• Whether the patient be a child or a young adult, parents play an important role in making surgery a success. Parents must be supportive and prepared to participate significantly in the post-operative care.

Procedure Comments
 Nose Jobs (Rhinoplasty) Girls I5 – l / 2+, Boys 16+. Performed under IV sedation (twilight sleep) or general anesthesia. Performed as a same day surgery. Cast removed within 7days. Important to wait until the teenager is fully developed. If reshaped before growth is completed, growth after the operation might stop and the nose will appear small for the fully developed face.
Ear Jobs (otoplasty) Girls and Boys 4+.Either general or IV sedation. Same day surgery. It is best to correct protruding ears before entering school or within the first two years after. The embarrassment and ridicule a child can experience from his peers can be traumatic. Bandages and sutures removed in 7 days.
Eyelid Surgery (blepharoplasty) Patients as young as 16 years have this surgery. General or IV sedation administered. Same day surgery. A hereditary protrusion of fat pouches form around the eyeball, particularly the lower lids. These manifest themselves by a big bulge under the eyelid skin. Sutures removed in 3 to 4 days.
Dermabrasion or Laser Resurfacing From adolescence to adult. Local anesthetic. Can be performed in surgeon’s office. Especially beneficial when acne causes permanent scarring. As soon as acne clears up, dermabrasion can be performed. Also beneficial for small wrinkles around face. Not indicated for those with olive skin, blotching might occur afterwards. The newer method used today is laser resurfacing. The laser paints away wrinkling and acne scars with “light” rather than burning them off. Laser helps repair the skin’s own collagen and stimulates regrowth of new collagen, which rejuvenates, restores and smooth the skin.
Restylane Treatments Early teens +.Locally administered in surgeon’s office. Non-Surgical option for teens with acne scarring, post-surgical or traumatic scarring and viral pox marks (such as chicken pox scarring). Treatments not permanent, however, considered an effective, economical, “filler” material.

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