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Teen rhinoplasty controversy

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Posted April 12, 2014 in Surgical procedures, Rhinoplasty

Teenagers can benefit from rhinoplasty

Many of us are born with noses that we are self conscious about.  People are often reluctant to take pictures and bothered by it from a young age.  So, the question will arise, “What is the youngest age that someone can have rhinoplasty?”.

This is actually an interesting question not only from a patient perspective, but from a scientific one, as well.  The way a person sees themselves can dramatically impact their self-esteem, self-image and their confidence in every aspect of their lives.  I see how people will “come out of their shell” everyday, when they are no longer self conscious about their appearance and let their true inner beauty shine through.  That is honestly the best part of my job.  Therefore, doing the surgery earlier may give the person more confidence in some important years of their life.

However, we know that there are growth centers in the face that influence the size and shape of our face.  When children have a significant facial injury at a young age, we see that the face does not grow in length in the same way that their siblings or other kids their age does.  So, performing surgery on children could effect these centers in a similar fashion.  Therefore, you want to wait until the nose and face is finished growing.

So, each person is different and finishes growing at a different time.  When you notice that your foot size has stabilized and you don’t have to buy bigger shoes for about a year, that can be a good indication.  In guys, it’s usually about age 17-18.  With women, another guideline is a year after starting her periods, as we know can vary widely in age, roughly 13-18.  Also, you as a patient and your surgeon should consider your specific situation.  If you have had significant trauma to your nose or nasal obstruction is dramatically impacting your life, the decision may be made to proceed earlier.  So, there are guidelines, but the plan is tailored for each patient.

Posted in: Surgical procedures