Plastic surgery on minors is a recurring topic in the media. Social media, the Internet and the use of smartphones are shaping the lives of young people today. Body image influences self-esteem and quality of life. Bullying and teasing are not uncommon in our digital age.
Adolescents at this age are particularly easily “vulnerable” mentally. According to official data (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery), 0.9% of all aesthetic surgeries were performed on minors in 2017. Sixty-nine percent of these surgeries were breast reductions, ear corrections, and gynecomastia (male breast) correction. According to the study, breast augmentation in minors was performed in 0.036 percent of all aesthetic surgeries.
It is hardly controversial that the treatment of acne scars in minors may well lead to an improvement in the quality of life. Because comorbidities such as diabetes, tobacco smoking, and obesity are lower in adolescents, complication rates for plastic surgery are also lower in adolescents.
The most common complications after plastic surgery in minors are postoperative bleeding (0.34 percent), followed by inflammation (0.28 percent) (Yeslev M et al. Safety of Cosmetic Surgery in Adolescent Patients. Aesthet Surg J. 2017 Oct 1;37(9):1051-1059). Correction of breast deformities, protruding ears, gynecomastia or breast reduction in adolescents can improve the level of suffering.
The child’s own desire for change is an important prerequisite for corrective surgery. Adolescents’ decision-making authority about the consequences of their actions is less than that of adults. Nevertheless, every adolescent with his or her problem should be taken seriously and counseled according to his or her maturity.
An examination and consultation with an experienced plastic and cosmetic surgery specialist will help to more clearly illuminate the expectations of treatment, as well as the risks and benefits.