How old is “old enough” for someone to get nose-reshaping surgery? When it comes to teens and rhinoplasty, the answer depends on the patient’s mental as well as physical maturity.
Physically, there is certainly a minimum age for rhinoplasty. From her New York City/ Manhattan office, Dr. Yagoda recommends that all patients wait until after they have gone through puberty. For female patients this may be at least age 14 or 15 years old, and for males, perhaps at least 16. Only after puberty does the nose reach its full adult size. Except in some cases of gross deformity, injury, or when a rhinoplasty is sought because of functional issues that interfere with free breathing, Dr. Yagoda prefers to wait until a patient’s nose is done growing.
Dr. Yagoda works closely with young patients to understand their motivations for having the procedure and to determine if their expectations of the surgery are realistic. Does he or she understand that these changes are permanent? Are they capable of following post-operative instructions? Is the desire for rhinoplasty theirs or their parents? Do they expect that having this procedure will make them more closely resemble a favorite celebrity or model? Just like adults, teenagers often imagine that plastic surgery has the power to transform not only their appearances, but also their lives. And while rhinoplasty might help someone feel less self-conscious about his nose, it won’t make bullies disappear or cause girls to like him.
Although the surgery itself is the same for adults and teens, younger patients tend to heal more quickly than their older counterparts. They also have more elastic skin that more quickly conforms to its new dimensions. Many of Dr. Yagoda’s New York/ Manhattan teen rhinoplasty patients choose to undergo surgery during the summer, on school breaks, or after high school and before the start of the college.
Read about Dr. Yagoda’s Integrative Post Operative Care Program
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