A home-schooled teenager who recently received a free nose job in New York has raised questions about the appropriateness of cosmetic surgery procedures for adolescents. After enduring years of bullying because of a deformity in her nose, 15-year-old Renate sought help from Little Baby Face, a non-profit organization that provides free plastic surgery for teens in NY.
The organization focuses on repairing facial deformities in low-income children for the purpose of raising a child’s self-esteem and confidence level.
Renate was born with hemi-facial microsomia, a common facial birth defect that left her underdeveloped nose leaning to the left. As a result of her defect, Renate had been taunted and teased mercilessly at school, which had led her to homeschooling for the past three years. Renate learned about Little Baby Face after reading the story of Nadia Ilse, a teenager who changed her looks thanks to free plastic surgery from the organization.
Renate decided to apply to Little Baby Face to see if she qualified for a free procedure. In her application letter, Renate wrote, “I tried convincing myself that I am fine the way I am, but I just don’t believe it anymore.” Renate was selected for the free procedure after Little Baby Face director Dr. Thomas Romo diagnosed her facial deformity.
In addition to rhinoplasty to correct her defect, Renate also received a chin implant to provide balance to her facial proportions. Although the teen and her mother had never considered a chin procedure before, they agreed to the implant after Dr. Romo explained the procedure and its benefits. Prior to the procedure, Renate also received professional counseling to ensure she was mature enough for the procedure and had realistic expectations about the outcome.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, cosmetic procedures are performed on thousands of children and teenagers every year. The most common procedures for younger patients include:
There may be a number of reasons why patients seek out plastic surgery for teens in NY today. Many may have experienced bullying and teasing as a result of their physical deformity. Others might want to improve their appearance to increase their self-confidence and raise their self-esteem. When contemplating cosmetic procedures for teenagers, there are some important factors to carefully consider.
First, it is important the teen has the physical and emotional maturity to handle the surgical procedure. There should also be plenty of family support to make it through both the surgery and the recovery process. Realistic expectations about the results of the procedure are also essential, and may require professional counseling as well as counseling from the surgeon prior to the procedure.
When choosing a surgeon for a teen patient, it is important to look for a physician with ample experience in performing cosmetic procedures on adolescents. That doctor should spend plenty of time with the patient prior to the procedure, to explain the pros and cons of the surgery and to ensure the patient has realistic expectations about the outcome. It is a good idea to peruse before and after pictures of teens the plastic surgeon has worked on, to get an accurate image of what the results of the surgery might look like.
NYC plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Loeb brings years of experience working with patients of all ages in his NYC plastic surgery practice. He takes time with each patient, and delivers natural and beautiful results. For more information about plastic surgery procedures with Dr. Loeb, contact his Fifth Avenue office at 212-327-3700.