Is it appropriate to perform plastic surgery in adolescence?

There are many doubts about plastic surgeries in adolescents, because many people consider that it is not appropriate to perform this type of surgeries in this population group.

Difference between reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery

Within Plastic Surgery there are different types of surgeries possible in different parts of the body and for different reasons. We can divide plastic surgery into reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery.

On the one hand, reparative surgery is aimed at improving or recovering the form and function of a part of the body that is abnormal. This type of anomaly can be congenital or the result of an illness, burn, accident, tumor, etc.

And, on the other hand, cosmetic surgery seeks to improve the appearance of a body part for aesthetic reasons only.

It is important to know the difference between one type of surgery and another, because in the case of needing reconstructive surgery no one would question whether or not it is appropriate for adolescents. On the other hand, in the case of cosmetic surgeries there are more contradictory opinions.

Reasons for undergoing cosmetic surgery in adolescence

For an adolescent, feeling accepted by boys and girls his or her age can become a driving force in life. In addition, their perception of their body is highly variable during this stage.

During adolescence, feeling attractive can become very important, so if the adolescent perceives himself differently, he may end up with psychological problems such as low self-esteem, depression, isolation, social problems, decreased performance, etc.

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On the other hand, this is a time when many teenagers take advantage of the insecurities of others to remind them that there are certain body parts they do not like, and this may lead the teenager concerned to consider cosmetic surgery.

When is cosmetic surgery justified in an adolescent?

In Spain there is no regulation for this type of surgery in minors, but, in any case, it should be a carefully considered decision, involving the parents, the adolescent and the professional.

In this sense, it is important:

  • To go to a good professional to inform and assess the minor.
  • Analyze the reasons why the minor wants the surgery. Plastic surgery can help the adolescent feel more confident, but if the child imagines the defect or exaggerates it, psychological support may be necessary.
  • Explain the procedure in detail, including the risks and scope.
  • In the event of deciding to go ahead with the surgical process, it is important to go to a prestigious professional and to have it performed in a hospital for the patient’s safety.

In short, a plastic surgery operation can have a really positive effect on the adolescent, improving his level of self-esteem and security in his social relations, but in any case it should be done by his own decision and not to please the expectations of others.