I am a 55-year old mother who has undergone multiple plastic surgery procedures including a tummy tuck, breast enlargement and facelift. Since I am very open with my daughters about plastic surgery, my eldest who is seventeen has asked my permission to undergo a rhinoplasty. While my views of cosmetic surgery have been fairly positive, is my daughter too young for cosmetic surgery? When do you think is the right time for me to bring her to her first consultation? Stella, KL

Cosmetic Surgery & Beauty Magazine - November 16, 11:00 AM

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr. Yap Lok Huei.
Provided that patients are within the legal age of consent, and of sufficient mental maturity to be able to weigh the risks and benefits of each operation, there aren’t any fixed rules regarding the right age for consultation. The legal age for surgical consent in Malaysia is 18 years of age so they will need parental support if they want a procedure done. Other considerations could also include the extent and severity of the procedure and desired physical alterations. For someone who has a very marked deviation of the nose, the impetus for undergoing surgery – in terms of the aforementioned risk to benefit ratio – may actually be more skewed to having the surgery as opposed to not. On the other hand, if a very small change is required, it may be less of an indication to carry out the surgery. Consideration needs to be given to the patient’s age of mental maturity, awareness of her own facial balance and developmental level of the face and whether she may experience future physical growth. There have been many cases of young girls undergoing procedures such as blepharoplasty and breast augmentations. By and large, they do quite well. At the same time, there are patients in their twenties who are psychologically immature and therefore, not the best candidates for surgery. A thorough, detailed and balanced discussion with your plastic surgeon can help determine the best approach or alternatives for the desired changes while maintaining good safety parameters.

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