Cosmetic Surgery for Teens: Information for Parents

By Dr. Christopher Cote and Dr. Nicolette Picerno on September 22, 2021 under Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic Surgery for Teens: Information for Parents

If your child has noticed parts of their face that they dislike or get teased about, they may come to you asking for a way to change it. In many cases, minimally invasive plastic surgery procedures can help adjust the shape of the nose and ears, giving kids renewed confidence in their appearance.

If you’re a parent of a teenager asking for cosmetic surgery, you’re responsible for the final decision of allowing a minor to undergo a procedure. We know you likely have dozens of questions and concerns, here are the basics of what you need to know about cosmetic surgery for teens.

What Procedures Can Teens Undergo?

Technically there’s no limitation on which plastic surgery procedures a young person can undergo, although the most common procedure is rhinoplasty. We also see many otoplasty patients of varying ages and motivations.


Rhinoplasty is the medical term for a nose job. Nasal surgery is performed commonly on people of all ages, whether to address breathing problems such as a deviated septum or for cosmetic concerns. Common nose concerns are a humped or hooked shape, a bulbous tip, or a drooping tip.


Otoplasty, or ear pinning, can be a great way to achieve a more balanced, harmonious appearance by reducing the size of the ears and adjusting how far away from the head they project. The primary concern most people deal with when it comes to the appearance of their ears is that they’re too big or project too far away from their head. In children, this can commonly lead to self-esteem issues or crushing teasing, which has a host of negative side effects.

How Old Should My Teen Be for These Surgeries?

  • Rhinoplasty – at least age 16
  • Otoplasty – as soon as age 5 or any age after
  • Being teased is the main reason children undergo Otoplasty

Who’s Eligible for Plastic Surgery?

For anyone over the age of 18 (or 22, Really? I did not know this…..depending on the type of cosmetic surgery), cosmetic surgery is usually readily available to help fix or enhance the face or body. For minors under the age of 18, parental consent is required for our doctors to perform a procedure. We also ask for a few additional criteria to be met in most cases.

People seeking facial surgery must be at a certain stage of development – that is, we need to be sure the facial structure in the treatment area is fully grown and won’t change after we perform the procedure. In addition, we may not recommend certain procedures if the patient’s lifestyle, such as participation in contact sports, may put them at risk for altering the results of the procedure.

Finally, perhaps our most important criteria for people seeking plastic facial surgery is that they are doing it for the right reasons. We educate people that procedures like rhinoplasty are long-lasting procedures that can quite literally change a person’s life. We will assess both the child’s and the parents’ motivation for seeking surgery in making our decision of what the right way to move forward will be.

Surgeon’s Qualifications

When you’re looking for a plastic surgeon to perform a procedure, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind as you schedule consultations and make a decision on who to use. First, any surgeon should be board-certified to ensure the highest standards of ethics and experience. Second, you may want to consider a surgeon who specializes in facial procedures if looking into nose or other facial feature surgery. Finally, asking whether the procedure can be performed in-office vs. an accredited surgery center can determine whether you can avoid the extra cost of the facility fee.

Facial Cosmetic Surgery in Denver, CO

Walking with your child as they ask for cosmetic surgery can be an uncomfortable and confusing time for anyone. At FacesFirst, we’re here to help explain the process, risks, and outcomes of any type of facial correction. Dr. Picerno and Dr. Cote serve well-qualified minors in our offices in Lone Tree and Denver year-round. Take the first step toward helping your loved one get the enhanced appearance they want by calling us or contacting us online today.