How Young is Too Young for Rhinoplasty?

by Dr. James Chan on November 30, 2012

As attention has focused heavily on bullying among young children in this country, there is a growing desire to have plastic surgery procedures at a young age.  Specifically, children can face an enormous amount of ridicule surrounding the appearance of their nose, and this can lead to a desire for Portland Rhinoplasty.  Portland Parents and self-conscious young patients often want to change their appearance to curb bullying at a young age, but are often concerned about the safety and efficacy of having a rhinoplasty done at such a young age.  The pressure from peers can be overwhelming for children, and parents may want to have cosmetic surgical procedures done immediately to alleviate the pressure their children may feel to fit in.  All options should be weighed carefully and a rhinoplasty should only be done for the right reasons.

Mental Maturity vs. Physical Age

As with any plastic surgery procedure, it is important to weigh all options carefully with a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon.  Often times more important than the physical age is the mental maturity of a young patient.  Plastic surgery is something that should never be taken lightly.  As with any surgical procedure, rhinoplasty comes with risks, and patients should be able to weigh the risks against potential benefits.  A young patient’s frame of mind and reason for choosing plastic surgery should also be considered.  If a young patient decides to have plastic surgery for all the wrong reasons, it could lead to being dissatisfied with the final results.

The physical age shouldn’t be seen as a number, as much as a level of physical maturation.  That is to say, since children tend to develop physically at different rates, there is not a gold standard for age and plastic surgery.  Generally, patients should wait until their bony and soft facial tissue has fully developed.  This will decrease the chance of growth and aging affecting the final results of a successful rhinoplasty.  Generally, patients that are 14-16 years old have physically matured enough to have a rhinoplasty, but most of time waiting until growth is complete at the age of 18-21 is better.  Other variables are also considered including whether the patient has nasal obstruction or difficulty breathing through the nose.  This might prompt an intervention sooner, even if it is a very limited surgery.  The age at which one considers a rhinoplasty is an estimate since development can differ from patient to patient.

How do you know if you’re ready for rhinoplasty?

It’s always a good idea to start with a consultation.  Portland Plastic Surgeon, Dr. James Chan meets with each patient individually to determine if they are good candidates for rhinoplasty.  As long as a patient is physically and mentally mature, a rhinoplasty can be a reasonable option to change the shape or size of the nose.  If you have any questions or concerns about the effect of age on a rhinoplasty surgery, Schedule a Free Consultation with Dr. James Chan today.

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