BACKGROUND: Individuals younger than 18 years represent an increasing number of cosmetic surgery patients. The goals of this article are to address the unique psychological aspects of teens and cosmetic surgery; to understand literature related to adolescents and cosmetic surgery; and to consider methods for evaluating adolescents who present for cosmetic surgery, specifically focusing on nasal and breast procedures. METHODS: A PubMed search was performed using combinations of the keywords "cosmetic surgery," "adolescent," "psychology," "rhinoplasty," "breast augmentation/reduction," and "gynecomastia." In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and American Society of Plastic Surgeons Web sites were reviewed for related material. RESULTS: Thirty-three applicable articles were identified. Psychological aspects of surgery; nasal development; rhinoplasty; secondary cleft deformities; breast development, augmentation, and reduction; gynecomastia; and patient selection criteria are addressed. CONCLUSIONS: Because the number of adolescents seeking cosmetic surgery continues to grow, plastic surgeons must form a plan for addressing the concerns of these individuals and evaluating whether they are appropriate candidates for surgery. Further research is needed to understand the unique psychological and developmental considerations of adolescent cosmetic surgery patients.
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