Summary: It’s never a great feeling when your child needs a medical procedure performed. Sometimes that medical procedure is something like plastic surgery. What if your child needs plastic surgery and needs that surgery soon? There are some strategies you can use to handle that turn of events.
Parents Might Winder, What if Your Child Needs Plastic Surgery?
If you’re a parent, you know what an anxious experience it can be when your child isn’t feeling well. Indeed, whenever there is anything wrong with your children, you might feel a wide range of unpleasant emotions. No one likes to be in that situation. Any type of surgery, I’d imagine, increases that feeling of anxiety.
So why would anyone sign their child up for an elective plastic surgery procedure? Indeed, what if your child needs plastic surgery, how are you supposed to respond? What’s the right thing to do as a parent? These are tricky questions, and there isn’t really one single right answer.
There are some procedures in which children will undoubtedly want plastic surgery (the repair of a cleft lip, for example), and there are other times when it’s more of a judgment call. What if your child needs plastic surgery?
No Age Minimum for Some Plastic Surgery
There’s not really an official “minimum” age for any type of plastic surgery procedure. Undoubtedly, there are some ages that surgeons prefer (for example, many surgeons prefer that patients for a breast augmentation procedure be over 18).
And that’s because every patient is different. When a problem is congenital, sometimes it’s best to treat that problem as quickly as possible. For example, treating a cleft lip early is better than waiting several years.
Of course, any questions about a timeline on treating issues should be answered by your surgeon. Every issue and every patient is going to be different. That’s why finding a surgeon who really knows you and your family is a great place to start.
Therapeutic, Cosmetic, or Both?
There are basically two types of plastic surgery available these days: therapeutic and cosmetic. Neither type of surgery is better or more “legitimate” than the other (although your insurance company might not necessarily agree). Essentially, therapeutic plastic surgery is designed to address a necessity, where as cosmetic is designed to address the way something looks.
But the way things look can have a big impact on one’s practical life. Some common plastic surgery procedures for children that fall under both of these categories include the following:
- Repair of cleft lip or cleft palate: This is, perhaps, one of the most common plastic surgery procedures for young children. A cleft lip or cleft palate is usually caused by a congenital issue, and it’s a relatively simple procedure to correct the problem.
- Otoplasty: This procedure, known as otoplasty (or surgery of the ear) is used to either shrink the ears or orient them closer to the skull. This is done to keep the ears from “popping out” too much—a condition which can cause emotional distress on the part of the child.
- Rhinoplasty: While “nose job” procedures are also quite popular in plastic surgery broadly speaking, it’s not uncommon for children to receive them too. The nose can be another big source of discomfort, both physically and emotionally, so it’s not uncommon that it’s also a site of plastic surgery.
It’s between your child, your surgeon, and you whether any of these procedures—therapeutic or cosmetic—is the best fit for your child.
Getting Permission From Both Parents and Other Challenges
There are always protocols and procedures to follow in the world of plastic surgery, and that’s especially true for children. After all, children cannot decide for themselves to get plastic surgery—they must consent but so too must their parents (in some cases this is obvious, while in others not so much).
And in cases where families are a bit more non traditional or a bit more spread out, this is still true. For example, in cases where two divorced parents still have joint child custody, permission from both parents is still required.
Luckily, there are few parental situations that experienced plastic surgeons haven’t dealt with. And if a surgeon has dealt with the situation, it’s likely they have a form you can fill out for it.
Doing What’s Right for Your Child
Any parent wants to do what’s right for his or her child. What if your child needs plastic surgery? Doesn’t change anything. Parents will be thinking about what’s best for the child, the best way to achieve that, and the best way to proceed. In other words, in these cases, it’s almost always about what’s best for the child—and that’s the way it should be.