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How Should Parents Explain Their Cosmetic Surgery to Their Children?

Cosmetic surgery has always been a very personal choice and many are private about it.  Over the past decade, there has been much more openness from patients and even VIP celebrities about having cosmetic surgery.  Some people own up to in and some people deny it, despite looking obviously different.  Do you really think that Madonna has not had any cosmetic facial surgery?

Recently there has been a lot of media attention about telling ones children that their mom or dad had cosmetic surgery.  For body procedures, it may be easy as the patient can hide scars, bruising, etc.  For my patients (my practice is limited to cosmetic facial surgery) there is nowhere to hide!  It is pretty tough to disguise numerous cosmetic facial procedures such as facelift, eyelid surgery and laser resurfacing.

The real answer to the question “should you tell your children about your cosmetic surgery” remains a personal choice and of course depends upon the age of the children.  I have many patients that simply tell their kids that they want to look and feel better and they are having some work done.  I have others that tell white lies.  “Mommy had some skin removed from her eyes so she could see better”, “Mommy had some oral surgery, sinus surgery, gum surgery, etc” or “Daddy had some sun spots that could turn into cancer removed from his whole face”.  Actually patients can get really creative. 

I have had parents with grown children try to hide it from them and I have had others that were very candid.  Believe it or not, I have actually performed facelift and eyelid surgery on several patients that did not tell their husbands and their husbands never noticed!  Not sure about those relationships!

I can tell you from a professional standpoint, the more adult care givers involved, the better the support system.  This is especially true with spouses.  Occasionally I see a husband that really does not want his wife to have cosmetic facial surgery.  Maybe because he has to pay for it or maybe he (and it works the other way around as well) is a bit insecure and worries that she will look better or younger than him or that it will invite unwanted attention or competition.  This makes it tough to recover in that environment because the non supportive spouse is full of “I told you so’s”.  Especially if the patient is having a difficult recovery.  It is no fun to be bruised and swollen and have to hear that “you never should have done this”.  On the other hand, I relish it when a supportive spouse presents at the consultation and pre op appointments and is a willing participant.  True love is taking care of your swollen, bruised, stitched up and bandaged husband or wife.

In any event, I don’t think there is an exact answer to the question of “should you tell your children you had cosmetic surgery” and it boils down to many dynamics and each patient must handle it differently.  This is a good thing to discuss with you family and friends that may have had surgery in the past.

To learn more about cosmetic facial surgery visit


Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Richmond, Virginia

Office Address

Joe Niamtu III, DMD
11319 Polo Place
Midlothian, VA 23113

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

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