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Common Plastic Surgery Procedures for Teens

Posted May 15, 2012 in Otoplasty, Plastic Surgery, Rhinoplasty

blonde woman smiling at cameraThe physical and emotional changes that the teenage body goes through can be quite difficult to endure. Ears that stick out and a nose that is too prominent are just two of the physical flaws that affect many teens. Physical flaws, especially for teens, can be incredibly upsetting. It seems that today, more than ever before, insecurity and feelings of self-consciousness are common among teens. Fortunately, our San Francisco plastic surgery practice offers many procedures that can effectively enhance teens’ appearance, resulting in improved self-confidence and self-esteem.


Unfortunately, many teens with disproportionately large or protruding ears have been subjected to bullying and taunting. While the taunting and bullying may end, the emotional scars left behind can take a lifetime to heal. Ear surgery, clinically known as otoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure used to improve the shape, position, and proportion of the ears. Otoplasty is a relatively simple outpatient procedure. Incisions are made in the back of the ear in order to “pin” it closer to the head. During the otoplasty procedure, the size and shape of the ear can be adjusted through the removal of cartilage. Sutures are used to ensure that the new shape and position of the ear are maintained. After 10 to 20 days, the sutures are removed. At this point, the patient’s newly shaped ears should look completely natural.


The nose is the most prominent feature of the face; because of this, it can also be the feature that causes the most insecurity and feelings of self-consciousness in our teen patients. Nose reshaping, clinically known as rhinoplasty, can be performed to make the nose smaller or larger, remove bumps, change the shape of the tip or the bridge, and to alter the angle between the nose and the upper lip. With the dramatic changes that rhinoplasty can provide, the facial features can be brought into harmony. The development of the nose in teens must be completed before rhinoplasty surgery is possible. For males, this usually occurs at the age of 15 or 16, while for females, this usually occurs at the age of 13 or 14. The recovery phase can be difficult for our San Francisco rhinoplasty patients, with swelling, discomfort, bruising, and bleeding being quite common during the first couple of days after the surgery. Teens who are considering rhinoplasty should be mature enough to handle the recovery phase which can last up to six weeks in some patients.


Gynecomastia, or the presence of enlarged breasts in males, may be present in one or both breasts. For male teens, this condition can be quite embarrassing. Not feeling comfortable when taking their shirts off during sport activities, in the locker room, or even when swimming can be quite distressing. The over-development of breast tissue in male teens is most commonly the result of the hormone changes that occur during puberty. Signs of gynecomastia are excessive localized fat, the excessive development of glandular tissue, or the combination of excessive localized fat and the excessive development of glandular tissue. While most teens with gynecomastia will grow out of it after one to two years, for some male teens, gynecomastia will not go away on its own. For these patients, surgical treatment may be required.

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To learn more about common plastic surgery procedures for teens, please contact Dr. Kimberly Henry today.

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