Effects of teenage plastic surgery

Dr. Ed Buchanan, a pediatric plastic surgeon, talks about plastic surgery for teens and the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery
Parenting Advice for the Teen Years | Plastic surgery for teens
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Effects of teenage plastic surgery

So as a pediatric plastic surgeon, I get a lot of questions about cosmetic surgery and teenagers. And what I try to talk to families about is reconstructive surgery versus fully cosmetic surgery. A reconstructive surgery is taking something that does not look normal and trying to make it look normal. Whereas a cosmetic surgery is taking something that looks normal and you’re trying to enhance it to make it look better. When it comes to a teenager, if they don’t like what their nose looks like and they want a rhinoplasty, it’s a difficult issue to address with families. And I normally tell them that if their son or daughter doesn’t like the appearance of their nose, it’s a strictly functional issue, they’re not having airway problems, they’re not having trouble breathing through their nose, then the best thing to do is normally wait until we know the nose has fully grown. Most children in America can consent for themselves by 18, but most noses are fully grown by about 14-15. And so I think that’s a safe age. Once again it comes back to information. As long as the family and the child knows the full extent of the picture and has all the information regarding surgery, then I think it’s a safe thing to do.

Dr. Ed Buchanan, a pediatric plastic surgeon, talks about plastic surgery for teens and the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery


Expert Bio

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Edward Buchanan

Pediatric Plastic Surgeon & Author

Dr. Edward P. Buchanan is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.  He is the Chief of Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital. Before coming to Houston, he trained in Plastic Surgery at Stanford University and did further training in Pediatric Plastic Surgery and Craniofacial Surgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington.  Although he performs all kinds of Plastic and Pediatric Plastic Surgery, his main focus of practice is Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery as well as Craniofacial Surgery.When he is not in Houston, Dr. Buchanan enjoys traveling to countries across the globe to teach and learn from other surgeons.  His most recent trip was to Lilongwe, Malawi, where he was a member of the Texas Children’s Hospital Global Surgical Initiative to help perform and teach Cleft and Pediatric Plastic Surgery.He recently wrote a children’s book entitled, “The Adventures of the Prickly Pear and the Happy Hoglet: Beginning the Journey of the Mental Ninja.” The book is intended to help children begin to develop a healthy self-image so that they can begin their Journey to becoming Mental Ninja’s (mentalninja.org).  The story was inspired by the children and family’s Dr. Buchanan has cared for over the years. 

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