Teens can feel better about their appearance with facial plastic surgery
"I eat a healthy diet and wash my face twice a day, but I just can't get this acne under control. Can anything stop the breakouts!"
--Anthony, age 17
"People have been teasing me about my ears since I was little. I don't mind the hassling, but I do wish my ears didn't stick out so much"
--Jason, age 19
"My nose is th first thing people notice about me. It's just so big and humped that it doesn't seem to fit my face."
--Heather, age 15
"A bike accident last year left me with a big scar on my left cheek. The doctor said it would fade with time, but it's still really noticeable and implossible to hide with makeup"
--Kim, age 14
Fortunately facial plastic surgery can provide solutions to these very real problems--and many others. A number of facial plastic surgery procedures are appropriate for teens with facial problems. For these young people, facial plastic surgery treatment can boost self-esteem and help them face the future with confidence.
Skin resurfacing procedures
Skin resurfacing procedures are sometimes recommended for teens like Anthony with severe acne breakouts. Dermabrasion (facial sanding) may be used to treat severe cases of cystic acne that have failed to respond to other medical treatments. In some cases, a series of glycolic acid peels may be done to help clean the pores and prevent the production of new acne lesions. Dermabrasion, chemical peeling, or laser therapy may be recommended for teens who want to smooth out deep scars left by acne.
Ear surgery may be a realistic alternative for Jason and other teens whose ears are too large, misshapen or overly prominent. Ear procedures can reduce the size of the ears, refine their shape, or position them closer to the head. Although the surgery is sometimes done on children as young as five, it may be done at any time, including during the teen years. Advanced reconstructive techniques also can help correct deformities caused by birth defects, accidental trauma, or complications of ear piercing.
Nasal surgery could help refine the appearance of Heather's nose as well as its internal function. This surgery is best done after a young person has finished growing. This usually means age 1 to 15 for girls and after age 15 for boys, although treatment may be recommended at an earlier age if internal defects are present.
Scar revision techniques
Scar revision techniques may be appropriate for Kim or any young person who has experienced an accident or surgery that has left noticeable scar. Because most scars diminish considerably during the first year, treatment may be delayed until after the scar has matured. Although no scar can be eliminated entirely, facial plastic surgeons have a number of techniques for making them less obvious and more easily camouflaged.
Facial implants may be used to add definition to a teenager's receding chin line. In cases where the cheekbones are underdeveloped, a small mid-face implant may be recommended. Facial implants are sometimes inserted as part of a nasal surgery procedure, in order to achieve a more harmonious result. They generally are used after the patient has finished growing.
Orthognothic surgery is sometimes recomnended for young people with serious functional defects, such as a severe overbite or an inability to close the mouth entirely. This type of surgery is used to correct structural abnornalities of the jaw that impede normal function. The surgery typically involves the combined efforts of an orthodontist, a maxillofacial surgeon, and a facial plastic surgeon. It generally is done after puberty.