There are probably very few teenagers out there who haven’t at one point or other lamented some part of their face. Often, it’s the nose. In some cases, the shape of a teen’s nose can create a number of physical problems for him or her, such as trouble breathing. Sports or automobile accident-related injuries can also cause problems with a teen’s nose’s function or form.
If your teenager is constantly complaining about his or her nose, it might seem that the easiest thing to do is to give in and let him or her have rhinoplasty. While the surgery can solve a number of problems with the nose, it’s important to understand that it’s not a panacea and won’t solve deeper-seated issues with your teen. It’s not the right solution for everyone.
Not every teenager is physically ready for rhinoplasty. While some plastic surgeries are appropriate for younger people, such as otoplasty, rhinoplasty isn’t. The nose continues to grow throughout a person’s childhood and sometimes into the late teen years. If a teen has the surgery before his or her nose has finished growing, any additional growth can undo the results or otherwise complicate matters. Generally, the nose is full size around the age of 15, but might continue to grow until a person is about 18.
A teenager’s age shouldn’t be confused with his or her emotional or psychological maturity level. Your teenager might be 17, but not be psychologically fit for rhinoplasty. A few ways to gauge whether or not your teen is emotionally mature enough to handle the process of rhinoplasty is to look at how he or she acts when sick or after a minor injury. If there’s a lot of whining and complaining about pain and discomfort when he or she has a cold, imagine what it will be like when there is swelling, bruising and discomfort after a major surgery.
Another part of being mature enough for rhinoplasty is understanding the scope of the surgery and what it can and can’t do. If your teen wants to look like a celebrity, it’s not the right time.
Now more than ever, teenagers are busy people. Yours might have an after-school job, play on a sports team or two, take dance lessons or act in the school play. While summer is often recommended as a time for scheduling surgery, some teens keep on going right through June, July and August, taking extra classes to get ahead in school or participating in summer sports or clubs.
If you and your teenager decide that rhinoplasty is the right decision, he or she may need to take a break from a busy social life. At the very least, he or she will need to take a week or two off from school, if the surgery is scheduled during the academic year, or some time off from work if he or she has a part-time or summer job.
While your teenager can start to enjoy some activities again after a week or two, such as a painting club or a book club, sports will be off limits for a month or longer. Your teen might have to sit the season out, especially if it’s a sport that involves projectiles, such as soccer or baseball, or an aquatic sport, such as the swim team.
Often, a time of transition is ideal for scheduling rhinoplasty, like the summer after high school graduation and before a teen heads off to college. Once college starts in the fall, the teen will usually be fully healed from the procedure and will be among a new group of people, who won’t necessarily ask why his or her nose looks different.
Speaking with a facial plastic surgeon can help you and your teen decide if rhinoplasty is the right choice at this point in time. Dr. Kyle Choe has been practicing in the Virginia Beach area for more than a decade. A double board certified facial plastic surgeon, he can discuss the pros and cons of rhinoplasty for teens and offer guidance to you and your teenager. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Choe, call (757) 389-5850 today.