Rhinoplasty has long been one of the more popular plastic surgery procedures, and it continues to be popular. There was a 10 percent increase in the number of rhinoplasties performed by rhinoplasty plastic surgeon between 2012 and 2013, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The surgery is popular with both men and women and with people in a wide range of ages, from teenagers to older adults.
Teenagers might be thinking about rhinoplasty for a number of reasons, from a general unhappiness with the way their nose looks to trouble with the functioning of their nose. If your teenager is asking you to let him or her have the surgery performed, there are a few things you'll want to consider first. Rhinoplasty has its advantages, but it is a major surgery and should be carefully thought over.
Age Is Important
People might say that age is just a number, but when a person is a teenager, age is more than just that. Rhinoplasty plastic surgeons usually recommend waiting until a teen's nose has fully grown before having any type of nasal surgery. If a teenager has rhinoplasty, and the nose continues to grow, the results of the surgery can be negatively affected. Luckily, most teens don't have to wait long to reach the appropriate age for the surgery.
Many teenagers are finished growing by around age 16, although boys might continue to grow until they are 17 or 18. It is possible for the nose to have finished growing earlier, in some cases. A surgeon can evaluate your teen and let you know if it's best to wait or if he or she is physically ready for surgery now.
Emotional Maturity Is Also Important
Your teenager's physical maturity is just part of the equation when it comes to deciding if he or she is ready for rhinoplasty. Emotional maturity also plays a big role. Talk to your teenager about his or her reasons for wanting the surgery and find out what he or she hopes to get out of it. You can also discuss your teen's reasons and expectations with a facial plastic surgeon. The surgeon can assess your teenager, explain what will happen during the surgery and what changes can or can't be made to the nose.
It's also a good idea to make sure your teenager understands what will happen during the rhinoplasty recovery period. While the idea of taking a week off from school and of being relatively inactive for several weeks after that might be appealing to many teens, if yours is an athlete or can't sit still for long, the recovery period can be a challenge.
Assessing your teen's reasons for wanting nasal surgery can be a bit difficult. Your teenager might have unrealistic expectations and believe that getting the surgery will make him or her popular or completely change his or her appearance. A heartfelt chat can really help you and your teen get on the same page.
Scheduling the Surgery
Once you've both decided to go forward with the rhinoplasty, the next step is figuring out an ideal time to schedule it. Often, it's a good idea to schedule the surgery during a period of transition in your teen's life. For example, that summer between high school and college can be perfect, since your teen is off from school and is about to start a new life at a place where few, if any, people know him or her.
If college is still a long way off, the summer can still be a great time for rhinoplasty, provided your teen isn't the outdoors type. A number of summertime activities, including swimming, lying out on the beach and playing sports, will be off-limits after the surgery. For that reason, winter break can also be an ideal time for the surgery. Your teen will have a chance to recover somewhat before he or she goes back to school. He or she will most likely need to sit out gym class for some time, though.
Understanding the Benefits
Rhinoplasty can provide a number of benefits for teens that go beyond the aesthetic. According to the AAFPRS, the majority of young people who have rhinoplasty or another plastic surgery do so because they have been picked on or bullied about their appearance. Additionally, rhinoplasty can be combined with sinus surgery or with septoplasty to correct physical problems in the nose that make it difficult to breathe.
Whatever your teen's reasons for wanting the surgery, being supportive is important. Discussing the surgery with your teenager and with a board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in nasal surgery, such as our providers Dr. Nathan Nachlas or Dr. Gregory Dibelius, can help you better understand the procedure and why your teen wants it.
For more information or to request a consult with Dr. Nachlas or Dr. Dibelius, contact Sandy Friedman, Director of Patient Relations at 561-939-0909.