In 2013, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery released the results of their 2012 AAFPRS surgeons’ survey. Participating surgeons reported that three out of four teens coming in for facial plastic surgeries were undergoing procedures to stop bullying. The remaining 24 percent of those teens were undergoing procedures like otoplasty (ear surgery) and rhinoplasty (nose surgery) to prevent bullying.
Rhinoplasty and otoplasty are the most popular facial plastic surgeries for children and teens. If your teen announces he or she wants to undergo plastic surgery, there are things you must consider.
Start by Really Discussing Your Teen’s Goals in Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach
Make sure your teen wants plastic surgery for the right reasons. If his or her goal is to undergo a surgery in order to attract the attention of a high school crush, you may want to talk your teen into reconsidering. If your teen is truly unhappy with ears that stick out or a nose that has a large hump, it’s a good reason to start researching otoplasty and rhinoplasty.
Research the Surgery with Your Teen
Dr. Robert Kessler, a Newport Beach, CA, plastic surgeon insists on education before any plastic surgery. While he is happy to answer your questions, it helps to do some research with your teen and see what questions come to mind. Take notes of any questions you or your teen has and bring them with you to the consultation with your facial plastic surgeon.
There are two websites that prove useful in researching cosmetic surgeries. Start with AAFPRS.org and click on the page for patients. You’ll find pages of information on the surgical procedures as well as videos and before and after photos. The second site to visit is PlasticSurgery.org. There you’ll find articles, informative guides to the different surgeries, and photo galleries.
Consider the Risks vs. the Benefits
Every surgery has risks. There is the chance the patient will have an adverse reaction to the anesthesia. Infection may set in, especially if the teen doesn’t follow the surgeon’s post-operative orders. However, there are also clear benefits to otoplasty and rhinoplasty. If your teen is level-headed, understands the procedure and risks, and is suffering from poor self-esteem because of a facial flaw, cosmetic surgeries have been proven to boost self-confidence. Researchers from Ruhr Universitat and the University of Basel found that patients who underwent cosmetic surgeries felt happier, healthier, more attractive, and experienced higher levels of confidence than before.
Make Sure Your Teen is Willing to Follow Pre- and Post-Operative Orders
Dr. Kessler performs otoplasty on young children once they have reached the age of six. At this stage, cartilage is still very flexible and easy to manipulate. After otoplasty, your child or teen must be willing to avoid all sports or activities that could injure the ear for at least a month. Bandages remain in place for a few days and cannot be removed, even if the ear is starting to itch. It’s better for patients to sleep on their back while they heal, especially in the first week of healing. Your child’s facial plastic surgeon may also advise the use of a headband for approximately two weeks.
For rhinoplasty, a teen is only a good candidate if the facial growth is complete. Boys develop more slowly than girls so while a girl might qualify for the surgery at 16, a boy’s facial structure may not stop developing until he is 18. Your teen’s facial plastic surgeon will tell you if your teen is a good candidate. After rhinoplasty, a splint is worn to help hold the shape of the new nose. After seven days, the stitches are removed. Bruising is visible for approximately five days, most swelling decreases in a few weeks, but minor swelling may be present for one or two years.
Watch Dr. Kessler’s video to learn more about his background and credentials. These are important criteria when it comes to surgical skill. The next step is to schedule an otoplasty or rhinoplasty consultation. Your teen will be the focal point during this appointment, but you likely have your own list of questions, so schedule it for a time that is convenient for you both. Dr. Kessler’s office is conveniently located on East Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach, and you can call 949.644.6544 to get directions and set up the consultation.