Many questions can come up before and during a rhinoplasty consultation. One question we commonly see when patients are first considering nose surgery is whether they are too young for rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty surgery can be performed on patients of various ages, but there are important factors to take into account.
How Does the Nose Develop?
Before consulting with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon for rhinoplasty surgery, it is important to know a little bit about the nose and how it develops. The nose is fully formed at birth but continues to grow slowly during childhood. Each patient is different, but most noses reach adult size during adolescent/teenage years.
Typically, female noses reach adult size sooner, sometimes around 14 to 15 years of age. Male noses may take longer, and typically reach maturity around 15 to 16 years of age. After this, the nose continues to change in shape as a person ages but typically doesn’t get too much bigger. It is important not to operate on a nose too early to avoid halting growth or prematurely making changes that may become distorted as the nose grows.
Can Teens Get Nose Jobs?
Sometimes, patients and their parents ask us if they can get a nose job at 14. Or, “can I get a nose job at 16?” The answer is: maybe.
It depends on whether the surgeon, patient, and family believe, with relative certainty, that the nose has stopped growing. Sometimes, a good way to estimate this is to ask whether or not their shoe size has changed over the past year. If the feet have not grown in some time, and the patient has reached a size similar to other members of the family, then proceeding with rhinoplasty may be possible.
Another factor to take into consideration is whether the patient is emotionally mature enough for the surgery and recovery process associated with rhinoplasty. Although rhinoplasty surgery is not very painful, there will be bruising and swelling that is normal during the recovery period. Emotional maturity is critical before embarking on the rhinoplasty journey as teens must be prepared to set realistic goals and cope with the physical and emotional aspects of the process.
Why Do Teens Get Rhinoplasty?
Lastly, it is important to consider the purpose of rhinoplasty surgery in any given situation. Often, children and teenagers are bullied and teased for having large noses or ears. Middle school and high school can be particularly troublesome for some young people.
In a world dominated by social media, cosmetic nose surgery is an elective procedure that can help improve self-esteem and prevent further bullying if done at the right age. Ideally, performing a rhinoplasty before the patient experiences peer pressure or bullying is the best, although that usually isn’t possible due to the way the nose develops.
Evaluating Individual Candidacy
Overall, cosmetic rhinoplasty should only be performed on an emotionally mature individual who would benefit from conservative and long-term changes to the nose to better fit the face. Consultation with an experienced and dedicated board-certified facial plastic surgeon is the best first step to see whether you are a candidate for rhinoplasty surgery.
Starting with a consultation can help you answer all your questions and allow you to find a surgeon who can help you improve your self-esteem as you develop into your 20s and 30s. During the consultation, you will be able to review the purpose of the procedure, goals, the recovery process, rhinoplasty before and after photos, cost, and any pressing questions you may have.
To schedule a consultation with our surgeons, call Premier Image Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Atlanta at 770-457-6303, or visit the practice’s website and fill out the consultation form. Our plastic surgeons are patient-focused, experienced, and offer incredible, natural-looking results.