Plastic surgery for teenagers can be a sensitive topic, but rhinoplasty is actually quite appropriate for adolescent patients if performed at the right time and in the right way. The nose is one of the earliest facial structures to develop and greatly influences the appearance of the entire face. For many people, the nose they have at 16 or 17 is the nose they are likely to have forever. I perform rhinoplasty, or “nose job” procedures at my Chicago practice to enhance a teen’s appearance without changing the character of his or her face.
Unfortunately, I understand the harsh reality that most adolescent patients consider this surgery because they’ve been made fun of for their noses. In fact, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) estimates that 76% of plastic surgery procedures performed on teens are requested because of bullying. This is a sobering statistic. Bullying can have far-reaching, long-term effects, and the feelings created by put-downs can stay with victims long into adulthood. Thus, if a child is regularly bullied for the appearance of his or her nose, he or she is likely to still feel self-conscious about it even as the years go by.
Perhaps more than any other procedure, rhinoplasty demands a subtle, natural-looking result, especially in self-conscious adolescent patients. The surgery can be a huge boost to a patient’s self-image, and yet, when done well, it simply enhances the overall appearance of the face without obvious signs of surgery. A pretty nose doesn’t “make” a face. But a large or misshapen nose is impossible to ignore, as teenagers know all too well.
This brings us to the issue of timing. If you and your teen have decided that rhinoplasty is appropriate, it’s important to undergo surgery once facial development is complete. This can reduce the need for revisionary surgery later on. Maturity typically occurs between ages 15 and 16 for girls. Boys are a bit slower to mature, and their noses are usually fully developed by age 17 or 18. If a patient is suffering from a severe deformity that causes trouble with breathing or significant psychological distress, surgery may be considered at an earlier age.
Adolescent rhinoplasty is relatively popular in the summer months because young patients won’t need to take any time away from school. Additionally, they don’t need to worry about drawing attention to themselves with a visible bandage or other signs of the healing process.
Regardless of your age, one of the most important considerations when pursuing rhinoplasty should be the qualifications of the surgeon. Both myself and my associate, Dr. Sammy Sinno, have demonstrated a deep understanding of the nuances of plastic surgery. I’ve personally performed more than 2,000 individual rhinoplasty procedures throughout my career–a quantity that’s offered me invaluable practical experience. I’ve worked with patients of all ages and backgrounds to help them sculpt their noses and feel more confident about themselves, typically with lifelong results.
If you’re ready to move forward with rhinoplasty, whether for yourself or your child, I invite you to learn more about my practice on our about us page. You may also browse my before-and-after gallery of patients to get a sense of the results I’ve been able to create throughout the years.