Your teenager has made it very clear they’re unhappy with their nose. Perhaps he or she has even gone so far as to ask you for rhinoplasty. While the majority of facial plastic surgery procedures are reserved for those of an older age, nasal surgery can also be performed on younger people. This is because the surgery isn’t done to combat the signs of aging, but to adjust the size, shape, and in some cases, function of the nose.
Usually a facial plastic surgeon won’t perform rhinoplasty on a young person until he or she is finished growing. Girls are typically finished growing by age 16, while boys might need until the age of 18. Performing surgery on a nose that’s still growing means that the changes made by the rhinoplasty can be undone as the nose continues growing.
There are a number of other things parents and teens should think about before deciding that nose-reshaping surgery is the right call. A surgeon will evaluate a teenager and might recommend waiting if he or she thinks the teen isn’t quite ready.
Supportive Parents Are Important
One of the most important things a teenager who’s thinking about rhinoplasty needs is parents who support the decision to have surgery. If the teenager is under 18, parental consent is needed before the surgeon can perform the procedure. If a parent won’t give consent, the teenager will need to wait.
But even if a parent gives consent, it’s possible that they still won’t fully support their teenager’s decision. Backing up a teen’s decision is vital. As the teenager will most likely need someone to be there for them in the first few days after surgery and to provide emotional support and advice.
If a parent doesn’t agree with the teen’s decision to have surgery, it can be helpful to say why. Perhaps the parent thinks the teen should wait until he or she is older. Or the parent might believe that the nose is fine the way it is. Some parents might not agree with the teenager’s decision, but are still able to be supportive and to provide the care and assistance a teenager needs.
The Emotional Maturity of Your Teenager
Along with emotional support from parents, a teenager should be emotionally mature enough to handle the surgery and to understand what the surgery can and can’t do. Some teenagers struggle with confidence about their looks and believe that rhinoplasty will help them not only look better, but also be a better person. While rhinoplasty can help improve self-esteem in a patient who has realistic expectations, if the teenager is expecting the surgery to make them into a new and better person, there could be some issues when that doesn’t quite happen as planned.
A surgeon will also want to know if a teenage patient will be able to follow the instructions given before and after the surgery. Before surgery, it’s important that a teen not smoke or take certain supplements or medications. It is essential that a teen follows instructions to reduce risk and complication.
After the surgery, a teen should do what the surgeon advises and prescribes. For example, avoiding certain activities for several weeks will help the nose heal without causing any damage to the results.
Nose Surgery Explained
A teenager should also understand what the surgery will require of them and what the potential risks or complications are. Usually the procedure takes a few hours, after which the patient can go home. A parent or other responsible party will have to be there to drive the teenager home. While most patients aren’t in pain after the surgery, it is likely that the teen will have some discomfort.
Usually a teen will need to rest up for at least a week, if not two, after the surgery. That can interfere with his or her school schedule, unless the surgery is over a vacation or summer break. Even after a teen can go back to school, he or she will most likely have to sit out of certain activities, such as gym class and school sports. A teen should discuss his or her extracurricular activities with the surgeon before the surgery to find out if they will be affected by the procedure.
Contact Dr. Bustillo Today
Dr. Andres Bustillo, M.D., F.A.C.S. has performed rhinoplasty on younger patients after the nose has finished growing. He’s available to discuss the surgery with parents and teens and to help a teenager decide if it’s the right option for him or her. He is one of a select few double board certified facial plastic surgeons. He is board certified by both the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery.
Because he is a facial specialist, he does not perform surgery on any area of the body other than the face. This specialization and experience has allowed him to get results for patients ranging in facial shapes, features, and skin types. By continuing to build his experience and keep up on the latest advancements Dr. Bustillo has built his reputation as someone who produces natural, long-lasting results.
Over 50 percent of his practice is dedicated to rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. The rest is devoted to other types of facial rejuvenation surgery. He performs over 300 nasal surgeries a year. Twenty-five percent of his patients come from outside the United States. Twenty percent of his patients are other doctors and their families.
He and his team can be contacted by phone at 305-663-3380 or by email through the contact form. The office of Dr. Bustillo is here to answer your questions, and help you to plan your initial consultation. You can also directly contact our patient care coordinator, Jessica, by email. Dr. Bustillo is committed to total patient care and support through his practice based just south of Miami, in beautiful and historic Coral Gables, Florida.