As we all know, high school is an extremely important time in a teenager’s life. Feeling insecure about something as noticeable as your nose during these confusing years can lead to many negative consequences, such as low self-esteem and not making friends with others.

For reasons such as these, we understand why many teens are choosing to turn to rhinoplasty early on to correct issues with their noses. After rhinoplasty surgery, teens with a healthy perspective and realistic expectations are typically extremely happy with their new look and go on to lead successful lives.

Key Issues in Teen Rhinoplasty

When a teenager is considering rhinoplasty, there are a few things that separate their situation from that of older adults considering the same surgery. This post looks to discuss these issues in an open and honest way to assure that you make the right decision regarding your rhinoplasty.

Physical readiness for teen rhinoplasty

Of course, before contemplating teenage rhinoplasty, a teen’s nose must be fully-grown. Girls often achieve full growth at 14 to 16, while boys may take longer. If nasal reshaping is attempted earlier, before full growth is attained, the remaining growth will essentially distort the new look.

Psychological readiness for teen plastic surgery

This is one of the biggest factors that a surgeon considers before allowing a teen to go through with a rhinoplasty procedure. Although a healthy mental attitude is critical for anyone, of any age, who is seeking any type of plastic surgery—for teenage rhinoplasty, it’s especially crucial.

Your rhinoplasty surgeon must be certain that the teen considering getting nasal work done has a realistic expectation of what his/her nose is going to look like post-surgery and understands the effects it will have on his/her life.

Motivation for teenage rhinoplasty

For a successful rhinoplasty result, the teen must want the change due to a personal, internal motivation, and not because of outside factors. Responsible plastic surgeons will not go forward with the procedure if they determine that a teen’s motivation for undergoing rhinoplasty surgery is worrisome.

Teenage Rhinoplasty: The Plastic Surgeon’s Role

For a stellar rhinoplasty outcome, teens and their parents must be certain to choose not only the most highly qualified rhinoplasty specialist but also the surgeon who is right for this teen in particular. Teens should take care to select a plastic surgeon who listens carefully to their desires for their “new nose” and takes a genuine interest in the young person as a unique individual.

The best rhinoplasty surgeons will take the teen’s desires seriously and make a plan to achieve the goal. Responsible surgeons will also be concerned with the teen’s emotional maturity and realistic expectations for what the surgery will accomplish in his/her life.

What to Look for In a Teen Rhinoplasty Surgeon

  • Board Certification in Plastic Surgery.
  • Surgical practice that is focused on rhinoplasty, and teenage rhinoplasty in particular.
  • At least 10 years’ experience.
  • High-level skills such as reconstructive experience.
  • Surgical privileges at a nearby well-regarded hospital or medical center (although the teen’s surgery will typically take place in an outpatient surgery center, privileges indicate a successful track record of patient safety and successful surgery).
  • Before and after photos that show good aesthetic judgment and an understanding of the harmony of facial features.
  • Interest in the teen as an individual (taking time with the teen, asking questions to determine the teen’s motivations, needs and desires).
  • A thorough examination of the teen’s nose to ensure growth is completed.
  • Clearly explaining the rhinoplasty procedure and risks, as well as the recovery process that the teen can expect.
  • Assessing whether the teen has the maturity level to understand recovery instructions and follow through (for instance, the teen can’t rest glasses on the nose immediately after the splint is removed, the nose must be protected during healing to avoid injury, the teen must attend all scheduled follow up visits, etc.)
  • Treating the teen with respect, being honest and straightforward, taking time to assure understanding.
  • Commitment to achieving the best possible outcome, which may occasionally entail not performing surgery at this time.

Teenage Rhinoplasty Pros and Cons

While the teen years are a time of expectation and happy anticipation for the rest of life and its opportunities, they also are a time of impulsive decisions, peer pressure or teasing/bullying and self-criticism—and a common time when many turn to rhinoplasty. Let’s look at some of the pluses and minuses of having a nose job as a teenager:

PROS of Teen Rhinoplasty – Why You Should Go For It Now

  • Having rhinoplasty at a young age, when your health is at its peak, may mean you heal faster.
  • If your nose is a detriment to the full enjoyment of your life, the sooner you fix it the better and the longer you have to enjoy it.
  • If you’re having breathing problems, you should correct them as soon as possible. (This may be done without changing the shape of your nose or it could be a convenient time to change your look.)
  • Looking the way you want means more in your teens than it ever will, arguably. So now could be the ideal time.
  • You may come out of your shell, participate in life more and be more self-confident with a “new” nose. (Remember, however, that your basic personality won’t typically change too much based on your nose. You will still be you on the inside!)
  • Rhinoplasty with an expert surgeon brings balance to the facial features. Your eyes, smile, cheeks, etc., will gain more prominence as well.
  • If this is what you really want, if you are sure and if you’re being true to who you are on the inside, then you should go ahead and have rhinoplasty as a teen.

CONS of Teenage Rhinoplasty – Why You Should Wait

  • Teens may be overly self-critical at this stage of life. Brain development and hormones make teens prone to make impulsive decisions, compare themselves to others, want to “fit in” and feel that they’re lacking in some way. Waiting before making a big change to your face may mean that surgery is not necessary—because you may soon like yourself just the way you are.
  • You may be changing a feature now that you might be proud of later if you had kept the original look. What seems undesirable now may be unique, notable, image defining or identified with a proud ethnic heritage later in life. Perspectives change as you age.
  • If you want to change your nose due to teasing, it may not cause other people to behave any differently. If you want a nose job because others in your class are doing so, you may regret your decision. Have rhinoplasty surgery only if it’s what you want. Do it for you.
  • You may cause conflict with your parents if they disagree with your choice. For some individuals, this might cause you more discomfort than a nose that you’re not thrilled with. Parental permission is necessary for those under 18.
  • You may have surgical complications. This is rare, but make sure you understand all risks before agreeing to surgery. (Your surgeon will explain, but make sure you ask questions, too, so that you clearly understand.) Surgery always carries risk and must be taken seriously.
  • You may want to have another rhinoplasty surgery later. (That’s especially true if you’re going for a nose that’s trendy—it may go out of fashion later, like today’s exaggerated lips.) Why not wait, so you only go through it once?
  • If you’re not careful about choosing a top teen rhinoplasty surgeon, you could end up with a result you’re not happy with. Ideally, choose a teenage rhinoplasty specialist who sees surgery as a calling to help people, rather than a business. You will get a sense of this after meeting with the surgeon.)

Recognizing and Managing Unrealistic Expectations for Teenage Rhinoplasty

Physical expectations

If a teen seeking rhinoplasty wants a look that is not physically possible, given their current anatomy, the best surgeons will explain this. (For instance, if the patient wants a nose that is so thin or small that it would interfere with breathing—or it a teen wants a nose that looks “exactly” like a particular celebrity.)

The best surgeons realize that if a teen goes into surgery with unrealistic expectations about the outcome, the teen will be disappointed or even devastated by their result. No expert rhinoplasty surgeon wants a patient to be unhappy with their surgical results.

Expectations for life improvement

If the teen sees rhinoplasty as a way to make their life “perfect” or “solve all of their problems,” they will likely be disappointed. The reality is, of course, that rhinoplasty cannot make life perfect for anyone—there will still be problems in everyone’s life, even if they improve the shape of their nose.

When unrealistic expectations present themselves, your rhinoplasty surgeon will offer viable options and surgery may go ahead if the teen is happy with an option presented. If there are no possible options that will achieve what the teen desires or expects, a responsible plastic surgeon will not go forward, because the teen is not a good surgical candidate at that point.

Your surgeon will likely suggest the teen wait and reconsider or redefine their goal for nose reshaping. The fact is that most teens that I meet with, but not all, are excellent candidates for rhinoplasty and emerge with terrific results from their teen rhinoplasty experience.

When you’re ready to learn more about the options for teenage rhinoplasty, see an expert at Cohen/Winters Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery in Bergen County. We specialize in providing teenagers with the information they need about rhinoplasty. We are happy to offer you a free consultation, so contact us today.

revision rhinoplasty NJ

Dr. Winters

About Dr. Winters

Dr. Winters specializes in primary, revision, reconstructive, functional and teenage rhinoplasty surgeries. Dr. Winters is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and maintains active memberships in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery and others.