CAN I HAVE A rhinoplasty before the age of 18?

Rhinoplasty (nose aesthetic surgery) is one of the most frequently performed plastic surgery operations in young individuals under the age of 18. But just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it the right choice for you, just like your mom said. So what factors affect whether a young person under the age of 18 is a good candidate for nose surgery?

growth factors

The most important reason why plastic surgeries are rarely performed in pre-adult age groups is that the body is still developing physically in these years. Planning plastic surgery too early may mean poor long-term results. For example, we never put a breast prosthesis on a young girl whose breast development has not yet been completed.

However, the situation is slightly different in rhinoplasty because the nose reaches full maturity years before the rest of the body. Typically around the age of 15 or 16, the nose reaches a significant percentage of its adult size. The exact age will vary depending on many factors, but an experienced rhinoplasty specialist should be able to give you a definitive answer during the consultation.

When rhinoplasty surgery is performed during the growth phase, it can stop the growth of the nose. Growth arrest is an important problem especially in male patients. Because the development of facial bones in men continues actively until the age of 24-25 with the effect of testosterone hormone. While the nose obtained at the age of 15 is normal in size for the face as of that age, the nose of the male patient may be smaller than the face in the picture that occurs when the other bones of the face grow and the nose does not grow at the age of 25. Small noses create a feminine expression and are not preferred by men. Therefore, only in male patients under the age of 18; If the nose is too large in terms of volume, even for an average adult male face, surgery may be in question. The common feature of all young male patients aged 15-16 whom we operated with the consent of their families was that they already had very large noses.

The situation is a little different for girls under the age of 18, because even if the nose development due to surgery stops and they have a small nose in the future, a “small nose” is a feature that many women dream of and desire. We want the growth of the nose to reach a certain stage in young girls, but the limits are a little more flexible than in boys.

Permanence of surgical results

Although it is accepted that the growth of the nose generally stops after nose surgery, this pause does not occur in every individual and in every surgical technique in a similar and symmetrical way. For example, nasal bones may continue to grow in surgeries that only interfere with nasal cartilage. A 15-year-old patient whose nasal tip cartilage was thinned with tip rhinoplasty (nasal tip aesthetics) technique may come back at the age of 20 and say, “After the operation, I had a belt in my nose, I did not have such a problem before the operation”. What happens here is simply that the parts of the nose that are not tampered with in surgery continue to grow in their natural phase. Sometimes after the surgery, one of the nasal bones may grow a little more than the other, and this may lead to irregularities in the nasal dorsum and curvature of the nose. In summary, the nose may not “remain as it was made” after surgery performed at an early age. In order to prevent the occurrence of this situation, I prefer total roof dissections in which all growth centers are treated equally, rather than limited dissections in the surgeries of adolescent patients. By the way, “dissection” means the separation of tissues from each other in surgery.

Affecting the success of sports / course

Respiratory problems due to a trauma to the nose can affect individuals engaged in sports/activities that require high performance at a young age. In cases where functional problems in the nose affect sleep quality, school success, concentration during the day, sports performance, and trigger septum-induced headaches or recurrent sinusitis attacks, nasal surgery may cease to be an arbitrary aesthetic procedure and become a medical necessity, in which cases surgery at earlier ages may occur. it is possible to do.

Traumatic deformities

Deformations caused by a serious accident and trauma may need to be treated at an early age. Some nasal curvatures will not improve as age progresses, and on the contrary, it will make the patient’s life increasingly difficult. In these cases, as there is no benefit to waiting, the necessary medical intervention can be done at an earlier age.

emotional maturity

Besides physical maturity, there is also the emotional maturity question to consider. Rhinoplasty is a permanent change in the physical appearance of a young individual. I’m bored with this model, I’ll switch to another model. After the operation, it is out of question. An emotionally mature adolescent who knows what he is doing can accept permanent changes in his body in an adult-like manner.

My advice for parents is to make sure their child has realistic expectations about rhinoplasty and is otherwise physically and emotionally stable. Although nose surgery can have a positive effect on the adolescent’s body image, the new nose will not improve, for example, a bad emotional relationship.

Especially in the high school environment, young individuals can be exposed to the cruel criticism and cynical attitudes of their friends. Young individuals who will have rhinoplasty should be able to meet the negative or positive feedback from the social environment maturely, and have reached the maturity to construct their self-perceptions independently from the opinions of other individuals.

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