Teenagers can be bullying and cruel — both to others and to themselves. Adolescence is a time when many children develop anxiety about their looks as well as an intense desire to change them so that they can “fit in” and be accepted by their peers.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 229,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on teenagers aged 13 to 19 years in 2016. Of this number, 66,000 were surgeries (up 3% from the year before), and 163,000 were minimally invasive procedures, such as laser hair removal and skin resurfacing (up 1% from 2015).
Any kind of invasive procedure has risks. If your teen expresses unhappiness with her face or body, it’s important that both of you meet with an expert plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Julio Garcia in Las Vegas, to discuss the ins and outs of changing her appearance. He helps you and your teen decide if the desire for change is genuine or simply a result of outside pressure.
Dr. Garcia also explains each procedure in depth to you and your teen so that you can make an informed decision together. Because he always has his patient’s best interests in mind, Dr. Garcia may recommend against surgery and steer your teen toward a less invasive solution.
Following are some of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in teenagers, as well as the effective, minimally invasive alternatives that Dr. Garcia may be able to offer you.
The nose is a highly visible feature on our face. A difference in length of just a few millimeters can determine whether your nose looks in harmony with your face, or if it attracts excessive attention.
Rhinoplasty is by far the most common surgical procedure requested by teens. Approximately 31,000 nose jobs are performed in that age group each year. If your child has breathing issues, a deviated septum, or enlarged adenoids, Dr. Garcia can correct these problems during a rhinoplasty, too.
When your teen wants a nose job, Dr. Garcia creates digital images of the kinds of aesthetic improvements he can make. Knowing ahead of time that the discomfort and long-recovery time associated with surgery will result in a more harmonious and balanced face makes the decision easier for you and your teen.
If your teen has a crooked nose and is worried about surgery, top-notch Las Vegas plastic surgeon Dr. Garcia can create a nonsurgical nose job using injections of hyaluronic-acid based dermal fillers, such as Juvederm. Straightening the nose with fillers makes it look less obtrusive and can even create the illusion of reduced length. Fillers need to be touched up every six to 18 months.
Breast Augmentation or Lift
More than 8,000 girls between the ages of 13 and 19 underwent breast-augmentation surgery with implants in 2016. Girls may feel particularly self-conscious about their breasts because they’re anxious about growing into full womanhood.
Dr. Garcia never recommends breast augmentation in a child under the age of 18 years, unless she has a verified medical condition that prevents the development of normal breasts. Even in such cases, he advises that you wait until your child has reached full physical maturity.
If your teenager has lopsided breasts or breasts that are differently sized, Dr. Garcia may recommend mastopexy, otherwise known as a breast lift, with or without breast reduction surgery. Breast lifts reposition one or more breasts to make them look more symmetrical.
Gynecomastia is a hormonal condition in which a boy or man has excessive breast tissue in his chest, creating a feminized look. Gynecomastia often affects teenaged boys, owing to the fluctuations of hormones they experience during puberty. Usually, pubertal gynecomastia resolves on its own within a couple of years.
If your son’s gynecomastia has not resolved,Dr. Garcia performs breast-reduction surgery to remove the excess breast tissue. Breast-reduction surgery is also appropriate for teenaged girls who have extremely large breasts that cause her pain, discomfort, and embarrassment. If her breasts are differently sized, a reduction of the larger breast can improve her appearance and self-esteem.
Overly large ears, like overly large noses, can detract from an otherwise attractive face. Almost 7,000 teenagers benefitted from otoplasty (ear reduction) in 2016. Dr. Garcia can reduce large ears, place obtruding ears closer to the head, and improve ear shape, position, and proportion.
The teen years are plagued by acne and its subsequent scars. Almost 29,000 teens underwent skin resurfacing with lasers in 2016. Lasers not only smooth out scars and surface imperfections, they even out the skin tone and even make the skin healthier. The heat from the lasers actually stimulates your teen’s skin to produce more collagen, which makes the skin plumper and more vital.
A recessed chin can exaggerate the size of a nose and also give your teen a weak-looking profile. Dr. Garcia sometimes recommends a chin augmentation to supplement or replace rhinoplasty. Chin augmentations can be performed surgically with silicone implants that are inserted on top of the chin bone, or non-surgically with dermal fillers such as Sculptra and Voluma.
If your child is distressed about his nose, but is nervous about a nose job, or if you’re not sure you want surgery for your teen, a minimally invasive chin augmentation lets you try out a new look for a few months. Dr. Garcia can even use a hyaluronic-acid based filler, such as Voluma, which can be dissolved if your teen later decides he doesn’t like it.
Birthmarks can be unsightly and some of them raise your child’s risk for skin cancer. If your child has a large birthmark or giant nevi, Dr. Garcia evaluates it during a consultation. Precancerous or cancerous lesions are immediately removed.
If your child’s mole is malignant, Dr. Garcia refers you to an oncologist for further treatment. If the mole was removed for cosmetic reasons and leaves a scar, Dr. Garcia can improve the look of the skin with lasers and platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) treatments.
Liposuction on teens is controversial. Except in rare cases, Dr. Garcia recommends you help your teen improve his shape through a healthy diet and exercise.
Like it or not, these days injectable dermal fillers are just another form of makeup. If your teen is pestering you for lips like a Kardashian or cheekbones like Angelina Jolie, come talk to Dr. Garcia. Using digital images, he’ll show you and your teen what kinds of cosmetic improvements his aestheticians can make using dermal fillers such as Juvederm, Voluma, Restylane, and Sculptra.
Botox is another treatment that’s appealing more and more to the teen set. Botox’s benefits extend far beyond wrinkle control. If your child has a gummy smile, a little Botox keeps her lip in a more attractive and natural position so she can smile without self-consciousness for her yearbook photo. Botox can also slim down a jaw that’s too bulky or wide, and prevent your child from grinding his teeth at night.
Are you still wondering, “why choose lv plastic surgery for my teen?” The best way to get a satisfying answer to that question is to bring your teen to Dr. Garcia’s for a consultation. He’ll spend time discussing your options, making recommendations, and answering your questions. He brings an artist’s eye, a surgeon’s skill, and a father’s care to every procedure he performs on teenagers, whether surgical or nonsurgical.