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rhinoplasty for youth

Rhinoplasty: How Young Is Too Young?

Over the past decade or so, rhinoplasty has exploded in popularity amongst teenagers and young adults. This can be chalked up to cell phone selfies, social media accounts, and peer pressure. Teenagers tend to place an overwhelming amount of importance on the way they look – even more so than previous generations.

While certain things like clothing and hairstyles can be changed with relative ease, it’s impossible to cover up something like a crooked nose with makeup or foundation. This can negatively and irrationally affect the self-esteem of a teenager, which could lead to psychological conditions or worse.

Surgeons often like to wait until the patient is both physically and emotionally mature enough if the procedure is done only for cosmetic reasons. The actual age various from teenager to teenager and the surgeon can only determine if they are a viable candidate by sitting down with them in a consultation.

We’re going to look at rhinoplasty for teenagers and explore what is and isn’t appropriate for someone of that age to go under the knife.

Types of rhinoplasty

There are around 14 different types of rhinoplasty that can achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Refine bulbous nasal tip size
  • Narrow the nose
  • Reduce the size of a nose
  • Reduce the length of a nose
  • Smooth a bump in the bridge of the nose
  • Straighten a crooked nose
  • Correct breathing problems
  • Restore symmetry to the nose after injury

When it comes to rhinoplasty and teenagers, cosmetic surgeons will carefully evaluate the patient to ensure that their nose is fully developed, they are able to demonstrate emotional maturity, as well as the understanding of the consequences of a cosmetic surgery procedure.

If rhinoplasty is performed for a teenager whose nose is still developing, the natural changes that will occur after surgery can create major aesthetic or functional issues that would require even more surgery to fix.

Cosmetic reasons

In the age of selfies, Instagram, and high definition cell phone cameras, more and more teenagers are seeking out plastic surgeons for a rhinoplasty procedure. As they share their photos online and amongst their peers, contests of beauty will inevitably crop up. A girl might be bullied or made fun of because she has a bulbous or differently shaped nose than her peers.

Teenagers and young adults also tend to have unrealistic expectations that are further complicated by their usage of technology. They might use digital photo editing software to manipulate a photo of themselves. The reality is that there are some expectations that plastic surgery cannot meet. For example, it’s sometimes impossible to give a patient the nose of a celebrity due to aesthetics or being logistically impossible.

They are also more prone to impulsive decisions that are made from an emotional appeal instead of a logical one. Some teens might not be ready emotionally to deal with permanent changes to their appearance, especially if they have unreasonable expectations. There is also the parent factor – if there is a lack of parenting the teen will often look to other perceived authority figures for guidance and that could very well be a friend who’s the same age (and emotional maturity level) as they are.

Health reasons

There are also valid health reasons why a teenager would want to get rhinoplasty. They could have difficulty breathing due to a deviated septum. These procedures are usually not performed until the patient is 18 years of age unless in the case of a medical emergency. This is because the septum will continue to grow until they are around that age.

The teenager could also have issues with recurring sinus infections that would necessitate surgery to correct the problem. In rarer cases, they may suffer from major snoring problems which could negatively affect how well they sleep.

Injury reasons

Sometimes injuries received while playing sports, or being involved in a car accident will necessitate an immediate rhinoplasty procedure. The surgeon will determine the severity of the issue and make his recommendation on whether the procedure should occur now or wait until the patient is older.

Complications could also arise from a broken nose that would make rhinoplasty a viable option. However, unless the situation is life-threatening, there is always a chance that rhinoplasty performed on a young teenager whose nose is still growing could cause more problems than it was intended to solve.

Rhinoplasty for Teens in Baltimore

There are many valid instances for teenagers to get a rhinoplasty procedure performed. From medical reasons to injuries sustained in an accident, rhinoplasty could help improve the quality of life for a teenager – provided that they are physically and emotionally ready for the procedure.

If you are the parent of a teen and would like to learn more about rhinoplasty for cosmetic or medical reasons, give the Baltimore Center a call at (410) 828-4123. Dr. Capone will sit down for a consultation with both you and your teenager and recommend a course forward.

Founded and directed by Johns Hopkins faculty Dr. Randolph Capone, the Baltimore Center is a premier plastic surgery practice dedicated exclusively to providing state of the art care for individuals desiring body enhancement, rejuvenation, or repair. The Baltimore Center for Plastic Surgery was founded for one purpose: to combat the signs of aging and deformity.

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