There is no correct answer for this question as cosmetic surgery is totally elective and no one “needs it” unless it is to correct an obvious physical, psychological or debilitating problem. For some patients, heredity and genetics produce situations that may be corrected early. Protruding ears on children are usually recommended corrected before they are 7 years old. Women present for vaginal surgery after they have completed child bearing and are positively sure they do not want any more children. Lower eyelid fat bags or an isolated fatty double chin may be corrected after the second decade or whenever it is time to look better. Breast Augmentation or Reduction is usually addressed after the 18th birthday. Occasionally, Liposuction of the breasts may be performed before 18 years of age for the excessively large breasts.
There are no hard and fast rules except that the patient is realistic about the deformity and the anticipated result. The truth of the matter is that most patients presenting for cosmetic surgery evaluation are between 35 and 70. One thing that has changed is that patients are having conservative surgical procedures at an earlier age and may repeat them in their lifetime; thereby avoiding the overhaul or “total make over” later in life. In the past, patients often times waited until they really looked quite old to have cosmetic facial surgery. They waited after years of futile attempts to flatten the belly that was often mutilated by pregnancy. In addition, the changes were so drastic that the patients often time looked unnatural. The available technology has also changed the way patients look at aging and many patients do not want to wait to look old. They want to stay looking young and more attractive in all areas of the body.