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August 2, 2021

How To Consult Young Plastic Surgery Patients


How To Consult Young Plastic Surgery Patients By Barbies Beauty Bits And Bella Ritz Media

With social media pressures, selfies, HD cameras on cell phones, and reality TV shows, I wondered how many teenagers actually seek plastic surgery for the right reasons. More importantly, how do plastic surgeons consult young plastic surgery patients to make sure they are good candidates? 

This is why I was excited to have plastic surgeon Dr. Ashley Steinberg located at The Clinic for Plastic Surgery in Houston, weigh in on the topic "How to Consult Young Plastic Surgery Patients."

How To Consult Young Plastic Surgery Patients From Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Ashley Steinberg

Teenagers seek plastic surgery for various reasons ranging from addressing a health need to fixing a feature that has made them susceptible to bullying. Add that to the social media pressures, selfies, HD cameras on cell phones, and reality TV shows, it’s not unusual for young adults to want to look their best with cosmetic procedures.

For a long time, plastic surgery was only for people in their 40s, 50s, and beyond. But now, I often see patients come to our practice in their teens, 20s, and early 30s. It’s estimated that teenagers account for about 4% of all cosmetic procedures. 

What Is The Age Of Consent For A Plastic Surgery Consultation

The first thing to remember when you do a plastic surgery consultation with a young adult is the age of consent. All patients must be 18 years old to undergo plastic surgery. If they are younger than that, their parents must provide legal consent for the procedure.

When consulting with a minor patient, it’s essential to also talk to the parents to understand why the young person wants surgery. There are situations, such as rhinoplasty, where having the procedure can make sense because of a cosmetic problem with the nose being too large or having a significant hump, etc.

But some young people are swayed by images from social media, and they want surgery to look like one of their favorite celebrities. Or, the patient may have an overly critical view of their body based on low self-esteem that is frequent in the teen years.

You should talk to the young person’s parents to understand why their son or daughter wants surgery and if they have a healthy frame of mind about the possible outcomes. If they want a perfect body or face, it’s your job to tell the patient that they have unrealistic expectations.

Find Out What Their Goal Is Regarding Plastic Surgery
The young patient should be able to say why they want cosmetic surgery. As I stated earlier, it’s essential to ask questions and find out if they have realistic goals met with plastic surgery.

For example, if a young female has a big bump on her nose bridge and wants it removed, this is a reasonable request, and she will probably be happy with the result. Likewise, if the goal is to have a smaller straighter nose, so she looks like others in their social circle, this is reasonable.

But if the teenager thinks having a smaller and straighter nose will help her get on the cheerleading team, this isn’t a realistic goal, and she isn’t a good candidate for the procedure.

Look For Maturity In A Plastic Surgery Candidate
A good, young plastic surgery candidate should demonstrate maturity and understand the procedure and potential risks and complications. They also should understand what the recovery will be like.

For example, if a young male wants a tummy tuck after significant weight loss, he needs to understand that he will have a four to six-week recovery that will limit most of his activities. In addition, if he is still in high school, he may need to take his classes remotely, and physical activity will be off-limits during that time.

Or, a teenager who wants their nose reshaped but cannot postpone soccer obligations for the six-week recovery isn’t ready for plastic surgery. A mature young candidate should also understand things could go wrong and need revision surgery in a rare case.

Pay Attention To Who Is Asking For The Plastic Surgery
When you meet with the young person and the parents, watch who talks the most. Who is requesting the surgery - the teen or the parent? Be cautious of situations where the parents seem to be suggesting the surgery, not the patient.

It’s possible a parent could project their own experiences and want to safeguard their child from emotional harm. If the patient has ears that stick out, but he doesn’t care about them, you shouldn’t do an otoplasty even if you are confident they'll have a good outcome.

If the patient isn’t requesting that his ears be changed surgically, there is no consent from the patient, even if the parents give theirs.

Remember That Teens Are Self-Conscious About Their Bodies
Most of us are self-conscious about our bodies, but even more so in our teens and early 20s. Some young candidates for plastic surgery procedures may have negative feelings about their bodies, and that is driving them to go under the knife.

But we should remember that their bodies are still developing, and what they think they want now could be different in a few years. For example, a teen female may be self-conscious about her small breasts.

However, the female body can continue to develop well into the mid-20s, so it’s wise to wait on breast augmentation in many cases.

Dealing with young candidates is a different part of a practice surgery practice. Therefore, you will need to use particular caution and consideration when performing a consultation with someone in this age group.

More About Houston's Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ashley Steinberg And Her Practice
Dr. Ashley Steinberg is from New York City and completed her undergraduate studies in London and Windsor, Ontario, and St. George’s Grenada. After graduation, she completed her general surgical residency in Brooklyn, New York, where she worked with highly skilled and renowned plastic surgeons.

Next, she attended the University of Nevada, School of Medicine, where she worked with the highly-regarded Dr. William Zamboni. After medical school, she did three more years of plastic surgery residency at Houston Medical Center. There, she had the opportunity to work with expert surgeons in microsurgery, aesthetics, craniofacial, and hand surgery.

For more information about Dr. Steinberg, visit her practice online at Dr. Ashley Steinberg Plastic Surgery in Houston.


ASPS Weighs In On Growing Popularity Of Teen Plastic Surgery. (2019). Accessed at

Plastic Surgery Consultation Tips. (n.d.). Accessed at



  1. Luckily my teens don't seem to want any plastic surgery. If they were self conscious about something though I would look into it!

  2. taking plastic surgery is really life changing. Make sure to consult to professional.


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