Many teenagers consider getting rhinoplasty if they’re self-conscious about their noses, especially if schoolmates tease them. But the decision to undergo rhinoplasty as a teen is rarely straightforward. Before I agree to perform a nose job at my Boston practice for a teen patient, I thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of getting rhinoplasty at a younger age.
When considering the timing of rhinoplasty for teenagers, the primary concern is whether their noses are fully developed. This typically occurs around age 16 for girls and 17 or 18 for boys. But physical concerns are not the only factors I’m interested in when consulting with teenagers and their parents about cosmetic surgery. Equally important are the teen’s emotional maturity and his or her motivation for wanting to change the shape or size of their nose.
With that in mind, let’s look at the pros and cons of rhinoplasty for teenagers:
Improves patients’ confidence in their appearance: Even though parents often counsel children that “looks aren’t everything,” teens who are self-conscious about their noses often have greater overall self-esteem after rhinoplasty surgery.
Healing and recovery are generally quicker for younger patients: Teenagers tend to bounce back from any physical trauma more quickly than most adults.
Creates enhanced facial harmony: An over-sized nose, or one with a distinct hump, can distract from an otherwise attractive appearance.
Often easier for teens to take time off to recover: Older patients may find it more difficult to take time off work. Teens in high school or college can schedule surgery during the summer.
Can also help improve breathing: A cosmetic nose job is often combined with techniques that can clear obstructed nasal airways.
Teens tend to be much more critical of their appearance: Adolescence is a time when boys and girls are often trying to “fit in,” and a unique facial feature can cause distress—even if no one else notices.
Making a significant decision because of peer pressure often leads to regrets: Comments from friends or classmates, even if it’s friendly teasing, can lead some teens to want to change their looks.
Altering appearance to look “better” on social media: More recently, social media has put pressure on teenagers (and others) to change their appearance to look “better” in selfies.
Changes may not meet expectations: Rhinoplasty can make dramatic changes, but the results might not match the image a patient has in their mind.
If you, or your son or daughter, is considering rhinoplasty in the Boston area, you can contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call us at (781) 740-7840 to schedule an appointment. It’s also helpful to browse our gallery of before-and-after photos showing actual patients and the kind of results you can expect.