Rhinoplasty or nose surgery has always been one of the most common cosmetic procedures. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in plastic surgery of the nose within the teenage population.
The nose is often a source of insecurity for people, but that is especially true for teenagers. Self-esteem is delicate during this critical phase of development. One comment from a peer can leave lasting scars. Some teens think that their lack of popularity is the result of a physical feature, such as the shape of their nose, even if that has nothing to do with it. And still, others feel frustrated with their noses even without the influence of social media or peer pressure. So what exactly is the difference between teenage rhinoplasty and adult nasal surgery?
What is Teenage Rhinoplasty?
Teenage rhinoplasty is the same as adult rhinoplasty except that it is performed on adolescents who may still be growing physically and are definitely still growing emotionally. The primary reason for plastic surgery on the nose in this age group is to improve the appearance (and the self-esteem) of the patients and in some cases to improve breathing at the same time.
Noses come in all shapes and sizes but the most common complaints are an unattractive profile view with a convex nasal bridge (hump) and a plunging nasal tip (beak appearance), often in a nose that is just too large for the face. Other common complaints are a crooked nose or a wide or bulbous tip. The septum, which is a partition between the right and left side of the nose, cannot be seen from the outside of the nose but can cause blockage of nasal breathing. The deviated septum can also be repaired at the time of the rhinoplasty and the septal part of the procedure may be covered by insurance.
Rhinoplasty is a complex procedure that has a permanent effect on appearance. Since choosing to undergo this procedure is a life-changing decision, it is important that the patient is mature enough to understand the implications of the procedure, and be confident this is the correct decision for him/her. This is what makes teenage rhinoplasty different. Adults are more likely to be sure of what they want in a nose (and in life!) whereas teenagers may not be. In addition, if the patient is under 18 years old then not only do the patient and the surgeon have to be on the same page but the parents also – especially since they are usually the ones paying for it.
One common question is, “What age is too young for a rhinoplasty.” There is no definite answer for the reasons mentioned above. People are different. In addition, girls stop growing earlier than boys. In girls, height and nasal size/shape usually don’t change after approximately age 15. In boys, growth can occur even until college. That does not mean that surgery should never be performed on the growing nose but it is another factor to take into consideration.
Things to Consider
Have you or has your teenage child thought about rhinoplasty? Remember that it is important not to dismiss his/her concerns from the get-go. Here are the things that you and your child should consider before choosing to undergo Rhinoplasty
How old should you be for you to be eligible? As mentioned before, it is best to wait a year or two after the girl’s first menstrual period until approximately age 15. In boys, who keep growing a little longer, it is best to wait until growth is near complete at about age 17-18 years.
It is important to consider the recovery period for yourself or your teenage child. It takes 7-10 days before the patient looks normal to others in the outside world. While the swelling will last months, patients are usually presentable and surgery is not obvious after that period of time. Participation in sports should be delayed for approximately 3 weeks unless major contact sports are anticipated.
The cost of teenage rhinoplasty varies per surgeon. which is why it is important to ask the right questions during your consultation.
Teenagers are much more vulnerable to how others perceive them in this stage of their life. If your teen has considered getting rhinoplasty done, research about it, and don’t hesitate to ask your surgeon about your or your child’s concerns.
So, if you or your teen would like to know more about teenage rhinoplasty, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Charles Thorne here. He is a rhinoplasty specialist in New York City that has more than three decades of experience.