Teenagers: Guidelines for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

New York, NY (January 3, 2000) — Statistics gathered over the last several years indicate a rise in the overall number of aesthetic (cosmetic) surgeries; however, the rate of teens having cosmetic surgery has stayed constant. Additionally, most experts agree that for appropriately selected teenage patients, cosmetic surgery can have a positive impact on physical and emotional development

  • Assess physical maturity: Operating on a feature that has not yet fully developed could interfere with growth or negate the benefits of surgery in later years.
  • Explore emotional maturity and expectations: The young person should appreciate the benefits and limitations of proposed surgery, and have realistic expectations.
  • Check credentials: State laws permit any licensed physician to be called a "plastic" or "cosmetic" surgeon, even if not trained as a surgeon. Look for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. If the doctor operates in an ambulatory or office-based facility, the facility should be accredited. Additionally, the surgeon should have operating privileges in an accredited hospital for the same procedure being considered.
  • Explore risks and expected recovery times: Teens and their parents should understand the risks of surgery, postoperative restrictions on activity, and typical recovery times.


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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