Too Old for Rhinoplasty?

Older husband and wife dancing and discussing rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is one of the few cosmetic procedures that people typically get when they’re younger. Some of our older patients who come to us for a rhinoplasty consultation at our Chicago practice worry that they’re too old for the procedure. It’s possible to undergo cosmetic nose surgery at virtually any age as long you’re in good overall health. Men and women who are self-conscious about the appearance of their noses, but who have postponed undergoing rhinoplasty, can still benefit from the procedure.

Rhinoplasty for Older Patients

Our noses continue to grow as we age, thanks to changes in soft tissue, muscles, skin elasticity, and the cartilage that makes up the underlying nasal structure. I recently answered a question on the RealSelf website from a 47-year-old woman who felt her nose was getting thicker, which was true. I said she could benefit from rhinoplasty because a surgeon could reduce the amount of cartilage in her nose and slightly thin the subcutaneous fat.

Even though the results may not be as dramatic as rhinoplasty for a younger patient, the procedure still offers benefits for older adults. Many people who are self-conscious about their noses live for years without considering rhinoplasty. Sometimes, this is because they think they can’t afford the procedure, or they’re worried about the stigma attached to getting a “nose job.”  At my Chicago practice, I specialize in rhinoplasty, and I’ve performed more than 2,000 procedures. I can confidently say that a large majority of my patients of all ages are happy they made the decision to get plastic surgery.

Rhinoplasty May Turn Back the Clock

For older patients, looking younger is an underappreciated benefit of rhinoplasty. A study published in JAMA® Facial Plastic Surgery, a leading medical journal, concluded that rhinoplasty led to older patients appearing significantly younger. According to the study,  “The decrease in apparent age is an extra positive benefit of rhinoplasty, in addition to an increase in the harmony of facial features and the improvement of overall facial aesthetics.”

Are You Ready for Change?

The answer to whether you’re too old for rhinoplasty comes with a qualifier that isn’t as relevant for younger patients. Even if you’ve always been self-conscious about a nose hump or thought your nose wasn’t in harmony with the rest of your face, you may have grown accustomed to your nose’s appearance. Changing the look of your nose when you’re in your 40s or 50s can come as an unexpected shock. This should be part of the discussion when you consult with a plastic surgeon about rhinoplasty.

If you’ve been thinking about surgically changing the size or shape of your nose, but you’re worried that you’re too old, contact us to request a personal rhinoplasty consultation at our Chicago office. I recommend looking at our before-and-after photos to see the quality of cosmetic nose surgery results produced by a plastic surgeon who specializes in the procedure.

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