Everyone has the right to be happy, and sometimes that joy comes from being able to have the look you desire. In recent weeks, there has been some media attention on a nonprofit that provides free plastic surgery for teens who have been bullied for their looks. While it’s noble of this organization to want to help these adolescents, is cosmetic surgery really the best solution at this age, or even safe?

The American Society of Plastics Surgeons (ASPS) has taken no formal position regarding plastic surgery performed on individuals under 18, but notes that not every teenager is a good candidate for cosmetic procedures. The organization advises parents and plastic surgeons to evaluate the teen for the following:

  • Desire for the procedure – An adolescent’s desire for a cosmetic enhancement should be their’s alone. They should express the desire for the procedure over a long period of time and demonstrate that they are not following the wishes of peers, friends or even their own parents.
  • Has realistic expectations – A teen must be able to understand that plastic surgery has limitations, and can only enhance what they already have. They must also be aware that the results can change as they get older.
  • Maturity – Plastic surgery is not appropriate for teens who regularly have mood swings or engage in erratic behavior. They should also be able to understand that there will be a temporary recovery period in which they may not like the way that they look.

It’s important to remember that cosmetic enhancements are also serious medical procedures. For more information about who would be a good candidate for plastic surgery, contact The Lett Center today.