Being a teenager is rough. While adults have usually matured enough and don’t point out imperfections or blemishes in other people’s appearances, teens are likely not only to point out problems but also to make fun of a person for having them. Teenage teasing and bullying can have lasting effects on a person’s self esteem.
Teens who are constantly teased about an area of their body might consider ways in which they can make changes. For some this may mean a new exercise routine to address weight concerns, for others this may mean surgery to improve protruding ears or a large nose.
And many times, it is the teenager him/herself who is most critical, unable to see beyond a particular less-than-perfect facial feature and focusing an inordinate amount on that feature.
Rhinoplasty is the cosmetic procedure requested most often by teenagers under the age of 18, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. However, teenagers and parents need to consider a few things before deciding to go ahead with rhinoplasty procedure. The surgery isn’t something to take lightly.
Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty, requires the patient to be sufficiently mature- both physically and emotionally. Physically most girls stop growing by age 16, sometimes a bit earlier, and for boys this may be several years later although at 16 to 17 years old this is likely not an issue anymore.
Emotional maturity is best demonstrated by the teenager having realistic expectations and desires for wanting the surgery, and is making this decision by him/herself, not being made by a parent. When thinking about a nose job, parents and teenagers should consider not only the physical maturity of the teen, but also whether the teenager is emotionally able to handle the surgery, the recovery and the changes that result.
Growth and Development
The goal of plastic surgery is to alter the appearance of a particular feature. During rhinoplasty, Dr. Epstein can straighten a crooked nose, remove a bump, refine the tip, or make a number of other changes. If a plastic surgeon performs a nose job before a teenager’s nose has finished growing, however, the results of the surgery might not be long lasting. Continued growth of the nose can alter the results or eliminate them completely.
Typically, a person is physically ready for plastic surgeon when his or her nose is 90 percent of the way finished growing. The exact age that a teen’s nose is physically ready for surgery varies from person to person. It can be around 15 or 16 for girls, but as late as age 18 for boys.
A teen’s physical maturity isn’t the only thing parents and surgeons need to consider before agreeing rhinoplasty. Surgery isn’t an instant fix, nor is it a magical fix. Teenagers need to understand that the procedure will bring with it some discomfort and that it will take time for their nose to heal after the surgery. Also the teenager him/herself must be the one who wants the surgery, not the parent who is pushing the patient to undergo it.
Any type of plastic surgery isn’t recommended for teenagers who have mood disorders or who suffer from any type of mental illness, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Before the surgery, parents and teen should discuss the procedure thoroughly with the surgeon. It’s important that a teenager clearly understand the expected results from the surgery as well as the average healing time and recovery time.
Dr. Epstein provides his patients with computer imaging, which gives them an idea of the type of results that can be achieved from the procedure.
This also allows the patient to provide feedback to the doctor with regards to what is desired.
Teenager Needs to Want the Surgery
Unfortunately, there are cases when it’s the parent who wants a teen to get a nose job more than the teen does. While parents are expected to want what they think is best for their children, when it comes to plastic surgery, it is the teenager who should be the driving force behind getting the procedure. A surgeon should be hesitant to perform surgery on a teenager who clearly has no or little desire for it.
A teenager might need to be the one to want the surgery, but he or she also needs to obtain permission from his or her parents. A parent needs to grant consent for the procedure if the teen is under age 18.
Meeting With a Surgeon
It’s essential that the teenager and parent(s) meet with the surgeon before deciding to undergo nose reshaping surgery. Dr. Epstein will fully explain the procedure to parent and teen, including the timeline for the surgery and recovery and follow-up afterwards.
The surgeon might ask the teen why he or she wants the surgery, how long he or she has wanted it for, and make sure he or she understands the risks and expectations for the surgery. If a surgeon doesn’t think a teen is quite ready for the surgery, it is important that this be conveyed.
Benefits of Rhinoplasty for Teens
As long as a teen has reached the emotional and physical maturity needed for a nose reshaping procedure, the benefits can outweigh the risks. Many teens who undergo rhinoplasty experience an increase in self esteem and self confidence after the surgery. They feel happy and satisfied with their new nose. In addition, when breathing problems are present, these can be relieved, allowing teens to potentially sleep and breathe better.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Epstein specializes in rhinoplasty procedures in Miami as well as in New York. If you are a teenager or the parent of a teen who is considering a nose job, contact Dr. Epstein for a consultation about the surgery today at (305) 666-5884 in Florida or (212) 759-3483 in New York.