By MARY ANN LITTELL
"Two years ago, I decided I wanted to do something about my nose," says teenager Lauren T. of Montclair, NJ. "Nobody ever teased me about it, but I thought it was too big. I felt I would look much better if it was more in proportion with the rest of my face."
nce certain growth milestones are met, plastic surgery can be an option for teens who want to reduce the size of large ears, reshape a nose or erase the scars of acne. Each year, thousands of teens have cosmetic surgery, either to improve their appearance or correct a physical abnormality. Lauren is one of them. She underwent rhinoplasty at UMDNJ-University Hospital on July 9, 1998. HealthState followed Lauren before and after the procedure to tell her story and photograph the results.
At 13, Lauren was too young for cosmetic surgery - but not too young to discuss the subject with her parents. "My husband and I were not enthusiastic about it," says her mother Peggy. "But Lauren was very persistent. Over time, she persuaded us."
During the next year, the family discussed cosmetic surgery options with Lauren's pediatrician, who referred them to Paul LoVerme, MD, associate professor of surgery at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School (NJMS). A cosmetic surgeon with a private practice in Bloomfield, he agreed with Lauren that the time was right. "At fourteen, growth is almost finished, so it is a good age for this type of procedure," he says. "Equally important was Lauren's level of maturity. Not all 14 year olds are surgery candidates."