Across the country, school is back in session. For some teenagers, that can also mean bullying or being taunted about their appearance. If your teenager is constantly made fun of about her or his nose, she or he might be begging you for rhinoplasty. Whether your teen is really ready for the surgery or not depends not on how merciless the teasing is, but on his or her growth and emotional maturity.
The Teenage Nose
Generally, it’s best to wait for an area to reach its full size before surgery is performed on it to change its size or shape. In some areas, such as the ears, growth is nearly completed when a child is young. In the case of the nose, it doesn’t reach full size until a person is nearly full grown. In many cases, a teen’s nose stops growing around the age of 14 or 15. If a male teen is thinking about rhinoplasty, he may have to wait until at least age 16, as the male nose keeps growing longer than the female nose.
Performing rhinoplasty before the nose has fully grown is possible. But, there are a number of drawbacks and your surgeon will most likely recommend waiting. Changes in the size or structure of the cartilage after surgery can diminish or undo the results of surgery.
Is Your Teen Ready?
You may be well aware of the fact that your teenager hates his or her nose. But, a general dissatisfaction with the way a nose looks isn’t necessarily a sign that your teen is ready to handle the impact of surgery.
Ideally, your teenager will have some realistic expectations about what the surgery can and can’t do for him or her. You might want to ask your teenager what he or she hopes to get out of the procedure, before you schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon. If your teen tells you that he or she hopes the new nose will improve all areas of life, it might be best to wait a bit for the surgery, as the expectations might not be in line with reality.
There’s also the issue of recovering and general healing from the procedure to think about. Usually, initial recovery from rhinoplasty takes about one or two weeks. Your teen will be mostly off of his or her feet for a few more weeks after that. That can be all well and good for a teenager who enjoys sitting quietly, reading or playing video games. But for a teen who’s the captain of various sports teams, a dancer, or involved in other physically active extracurriculars, having to take a month or longer off can be a challenge.
If you and your teenager decide to move forward with rhinoplasty, some times of year might be more ideal than others for the procedure. Scheduling surgery for a time when your teen already has off from school means that he or she won’t have to miss class. The summer before college is often an ideal time, as a teen will most likely be finished growing and be moving into a time of transition. When your teen heads off to college in the fall, he or she most likely won’t encounter former high school classmates who might comment on the new nose.
Meeting Your Surgeon
Finding the right surgeon for your teen’s rhinoplasty is a must. You want a surgeon who specializes not only in facial plastic surgery, but also in rhinoplasty. A surgeon who spends most days performing plastic surgery on the body might not have the expertise or skill required to perform rhinoplasty on your teenager’s nose.
The consultation is the ideal time for your teen and the doctor to get to know each other. During the consultation, the surgeon will not only review your teen’s medical history to make sure he or she is physically healthy enough for the surgery. He or she will also usually evaluate whether or not your teen is emotionally ready for the procedure. A surgeon will do so by evaluating your teen’s expectations and by measuring whether they are in line with what can or can’t be done.
If your teen is seriously considering rhinoplasty and you believe he or she is ready to take the next step, contact Ivy League-educated Dr. Ross Clevens, a national recognized facial plastic surgeon who’s been voted "Best of Brevard." To schedule an appointment with Dr. Clevens and learn more about nasal surgery, call (321) 727-3223 today.