How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Plastic Surgery?

Nov 13, 2023

Plastic surgery may profoundly impact an individual’s appearance and self-confidence. That said, it is essential to understand the age restrictions regarding cosmetic surgery that ensure the safety and well-being of the potential patient. So, how old do you have to be to get plastic surgery? 

In this post, we will explore the age requirements for various procedures, which can help you make informed decisions about your cosmetic surgery journey. 

Age and Consent 

Plastic surgery is a medical specialty that encompasses a variety of procedures intended to enhance appearance or improve the body’s function. These include elective cosmetic surgeries chosen for aesthetic reasons and reconstructive procedures for medical conditions and after accidents. 

Before we get into the specific age requirements, it is crucial to emphasize the significance of informed consent. In most regions, individuals under a certain age must have consent from a parent or guardian before undergoing any form of cosmetic surgery. 

That is an essential consideration if you are looking for plastic surgery Lexington, KY services. It ensures every potential patient has decided with the support and guidance of responsible adults. So, how old do you have to be to get plastic surgery? Can you get plastic surgery under 18? Let’s get into the details.

How Old Do You Have to be to Get Plastic Surgery

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Legal Age for Plastic Surgery

Navigating the world of plastic surgery involves understanding the legal and ethical considerations of age. In general, there are no defined age limits for plastic surgery, but there are a couple of considerations before getting one.

While there are exceptions for reconstructive surgery and medical necessity, elective procedures for young individuals typically require parental consent. In most countries, the legal age for getting elective plastic surgery without parental consent is 18. This requirement is in place to ensure that individuals have the maturity and understanding of the procedure to make the decision themselves.

By the age of 18, a person is considered an adult, meaning they can independently make decisions about their own body. Also, most plastic surgeons recommend plastic surgery once the body has grown to its full adult size. It usually occurs between the ages of 18 and 21.

Can you get plastic surgery at 16?

Similarly to the 14-year-old, a 16-year-old individual seeking elective plastic surgery would generally require parental consent. Reconstructive surgery for medical reasons may be considered for individuals at this age, provided medical professionals deem it. 

So, consulting with qualified healthcare professionals and seeking legal advice can help prioritize the interests and well-being throughout the process. 

Common Surgical Procedures Young Individuals Require

The most common plastic surgery procedures among teenagers and adolescents include:

Non-surgical procedures

Individuals in their late teens or early 20s can get non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as dermal and lip fillers. However, there needs to be a legitimate medical need or a well-founded desire for enhancement. These decisions are often made case-by-case, with the surgeon assessing the unique situation of each patient.

Non-surgical procedures

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Exceptions for Reconstructive Surgery

While there are age requirements for surgery procedures for young individuals, some exceptions exist. This is especially the case for reconstructive surgery. Surgeons perform these procedures to correct deformities or injuries resulting from accidents, medical conditions, and congenital abnormalities. 

Emotional and psychological considerations

Even if the legal requirements are met, it is essential to consider the emotional and psychological aspects of plastic surgery procedures, especially for adolescents. This is because a significant physical transformation might profoundly impact a person’s self-esteem, body image, and overall well-being. 

Therefore, we recommend that everyone seeking plastic surgery consult with qualified healthcare professionals regardless of age. If you are planning to get surgery, you must ensure you are mentally and emotionally prepared for it.

External pressures such as societal beauty standards and influence from peers can play a significant role in a minor’s decision to pursue plastic surgery. With this in mind, it is vital to ensure the decision is based on genuine desire or medical need. 

Risks of Plastic Surgery Under 18

Plastic surgery for young individuals might carry specific risks and considerations due to the ongoing physical and emotional development. Here are some potential risks associated with plastic surgery:

Physical development

Adolescents and teenagers are in the process of physical growth and development. As a result, surgery on a body that has not completely developed may result in asymmetry or other complications. There also may be a high likelihood of revision surgeries in the future as the bodies are still developing.

Psychological impact

Young individuals may not fully grasp the long-term implications and potential risks of undergoing a plastic surgery procedure. They may have unrealistic expectations about the outcome, leading to dissatisfaction and distress. They may find the healing process challenging and have a hard time adapting to their look after surgery.

Psychological impact

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Emotional well-being 

Undergoing plastic surgery may have a profound impact on a person’s body image and self-esteem. Therefore, parents and medical professionals should assess the emotional readiness of the young individual and provide appropriate psychological support throughout the process.

Anesthesia risks

Anesthesia always comes with some level of risk. Minors may have different psychological responses to anesthesia and medications than adults. Hence, if the young individual is in underground surgery, it is crucial to have experienced aestheticians familiar with pediatric cases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can minors get plastic surgery?

A common question among young individuals commonly occurs – How old do you have to be to get plastic surgery? Generally, minors can undergo plastic surgery, but with significant considerations and caveats. The surgery must be in the best interest of the minor’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.

Parents or legal guardians, together with medical professionals, should also consider the implications and potential risks associated with any plastic surgery procedure for a minor.

Can you get plastic surgery at 14?

Getting plastic surgery at 14 is not permitted for elective procedures without consent from a parent. However, there are exceptions in cases of medical necessity or reconstructive surgery.

For instance, a teenager who has suffered a severe injury may require reconstructive surgery to restore a body’s function or appearance. However, in these cases, the decision is based on medical needs rather than the patient’s age.