The teenage years can be a very difficult time. The body is changing rapidly during this time, and the face develops and matures as well. Over the course of the teenage years the nose changes shape and enlarges along with the face. Because of these physical changes, many rhinoplasty patients are teenagers who express displeasure with the appearance of their noses. Teens who are unhappy with their nose often look in the mirror and notice only that feature, making them extremely self-conscious and embarrassed in social settings. They also may even be teased or bullied about this facial feature that deviates from what other kids consider to be normal.
Because unhappiness with the appearance of the nose is a common complaint for teenagers, rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that can modify or change the existing look of the nose to a more aesthetically pleasing one and is a common procedure for teens to undergo. We find this to be true especially during the summer months after school adjourns.
At what age is rhinoplasty a viable option? This is a common question asked by teens and their parents. The nose, specifically the septum and nasal bones, need to mature prior to any surgical procedure. Prematurely disturbing this growth center of the septum where it lies in the midface could lead to abnormal development of the face. Therefore, it is essential that a teens facial growth is properly evaluated before undergoing the surgery to assure that it is an appropriate time to perform a rhinoplasty. Most teenage girls and boys can undergo the surgery successfully by age 15 or 16. When preparing for surgery, not only are patients evaluated from a physical perspective, but also from a psychological one. Rhinoplasty patients must be mature in their understanding of the benefits and limitations of the procedure and have reasonable expectations; parents must also be understanding and consent to the surgical procedure on behalf of their teen as well.
Rhinoplasty is one of the most challenging and complex plastic surgery procedures. It requires that the surgeon has a keen sense of artistic proportions, advanced surgical skills, and extensive experience with the way various nasal structures and tissues respond to surgical intervention, both immediately and with the passage of time. Dr. Aston has written textbook chapters and lectured on rhinoplasty to plastic surgeons, so for more information on rhinoplasty in this Manhattan practice, please click here.