Although a facial plastic and cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Bustillo dedicates half of his practice strictly to nasal surgery. And over the years, he has formed the opinion that, “there is no ideal age for rhinoplasty,” as he performs rhinoplasty in patients “ranging from age 15 and on.”
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every prospective patient walking through his door is a good fit for rhinoplasty. No two bodies develop or mature at the same rate.
Added to the physical considerations, there are emotional and psychological components to consider, as the change to one’s appearance can have a profound psychological impact — whether or not the surgery is considered to be a “success.”
The decision is also governed by factors such as whether the surgery is required to improve form or function.
For example, surgery to increase air flow through the nose, or to correct a birth defect or physical damage sustained in a sporting accident, such as a deviated septum, may be carried out on younger, less mature patients.
Those surgical procedures that are purely cosmetic in nature may not be appropriate for children whose emotional maturity is lacking. Even if the result is good, the impact on the child may prove to be negative over time. Close evaluation is necessary to ensure that the physician, any physician, is confident that he or she can make the right decision.
Factors Influencing What the Proper Age Is
So, there are three main factors influencing the decision to perform surgery on a younger person:
- emotional maturity
- psychological stability / maturity
- physical maturity
These aren’t specific to younger patients; a responsible and experienced surgeon such as Dr. Bustillo will tell you that he applies these checks against anyone looking to improve their appearance through cosmetic surgery.
What is important is that the parents or guardians, patient, and surgeon all work together to make sure that the whole surgery is a success — catering to the whole person so that they won’t feel the need for secondary surgery a few years down the line.
Choosing the best time for surgery can be more complex for younger patients than for adults. One phenomenon has been dubbed the “Christmas nose” — high school students who have had surgery over the Christmas vacation returning and looking happier, more vibrant, self-confident, and better looking.
Dr. Bustillo prides himself on creating natural looking results. Although nobody can guarantee it, the ideal result would be for a teen to return from his or her vacation merely looking better, with nobody able to precisely pinpoint what has changed.
Looking better makes people more confident, which feeds into making them appear to be better looking than they actually are. So, achieving a completely natural, minimal result can have a bigger impact than the physical change alone; it can take a small change to make a big difference. This is better explained visually, in the rhinoplasty before and after photo gallery on Dr. Bustillo’s website.
Miami-based Dr. Bustillo can be contacted at 305-663-3380, or via the website. Initial consultations will determine if you are a good fit for surgery, help set your expectations, and enable Dr. Bustillo to demonstrate what your final results might look like.