Rhinoplasty (nose surgery) is the number one requested surgical procedure by teenagers. Embarrassment, awkwardness, and unworthiness may be attributed to their most distinct facial feature—their nose. Rhinoplasty may be a solution; but your first steps should be to get educated about why your teen wants the procedure, what is involved, and who can perform it.
Rhinoplasty can be a physically and emotionally satisfying operation for teenagers when their motivations and expectations are realistic. If your teenager is contemplating rhinoplasty, make sure you discuss why he or she is interested. The teen should be self-motivated to improve his or her appearance to feel better about himself or herself. It should not be about pleasing his or her parents or looking like a Hollywood star.
What does your teen expect after the procedure? Rhinoplasty will not be the panacea to the angst of teenage life. It will, however, improve the nose aesthetically, creating better harmony with other facial features. This often helps self-confidence. Doctor Jacono has seen many patients blossom in school, become more socially connected with peers, work harder in school and get better grades, and mature because their new appearance gives them the confidence to excel. This is why Doctor Jacono thinks parents should consider the surgery if the issues are brought up by their child. It can be a life changing event in the right child.
Teen Rhinoplasty Patient 1: This young teenage girl underwent a closed rhinoplasty to help refine the nasal tip and reduce her dorsal hump.
Teen Rhinoplasty Patient 2: This teenager desired a cute and more feminine nose so she had a closed rhinoplasty procedure with Dr. Jacono. During the procedure Dr. Jacono refined and softened the tip while removing the bump from the middle of her bridge.
Teen Rhinoplasty Patient 3: This teenager had an oversized nasal bump and a hanging columella. This patient also requested to have tip refinement done during the procedure.
Teen Rhinoplasty Patient 4: This teen patient had a closed rhinoplasty to fix the bump on her bridge. Her after results show a natural and attractive female nose.
One of the most important factors to consider is who you will trust to perform your teen's procedure. Review a facial plastic surgeon's credentials, training, experience, and practice to ensure that your teenager is receiving the highest quality of surgery and care. Doctor Jacono is board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and primarily performs rhinoplasty surgery over all other procedures. Doctor Jacono uses digital morphing sessions to show what the nose will look like after the surgery, this avoids getting the “cookie cutter” nose job.
Some teenagers may not realize the practical implications of having surgery. Depending on the extent of the surgery, the teen may miss one to two weeks of school; you may want to schedule the surgery around an extended vacation time. While a teen will heal quicker than an adult and their elastic skin may show results sooner, the final results may take one year. Activities will be limited initially; Doctor Jacono does not let his patients exercise for three weeks and avoid sporting activity for four weeks (with protective headgear for the next month).
Doctor Jacono performs a thorough medical exam and discuss your teen's medical history. Skin type, ethnic background, and age will also be discussed. Before the nose is altered, a young patient must reach full growth—usually age 16 for girls and 17 for boys. The reason for this is that if the nose grows after surgery the result may change requiring some touch up surgery. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis, especially if the surgery is to improve breathing. If a child matures early, and goes through their puberty at an early age, Doctor Jacono will perform rhinoplasty earlier at 14 or 15. Also there are times where the appearance is so distressing to the child’s emotional and social growth that it can be performed earlier.
Rhinoplasty Procedure for Teens
The definition of rhinoplasty is, literally, shaping the nose. First, incisions are made and the bone and cartilage support system of the nose is accessed. The majority of incisions are made inside the nose, where they are invisible. In some cases, an incision is made in the area of skin separating the nostrils. Next, certain amounts of underlying bone and cartilage are removed, added to, or rearranged to provide a newly shaped structure. For example, when the tip of the nose is too large, Doctor Jacono can sculpt the cartilage in this area to reduce it in size. The angle of the nose in relation to the upper lip can also be altered to correct a distortion. Doctor Jacono usually does not break the nose. He feels this can be avoided in most cases and reduces the length of recovery.
The tissues are then redraped over the new frame and the incisions are closed. A splint is applied to the outside of the nose to help retain the new shape while the nose heals. Soft, absorbent material may be used inside the nose to maintain stability along the dividing wall of the air passages called the septum. Alternatively, soft nasal supports that permit nasal breathing post-operatively can be placed.
Immediately after surgery, a small splint will be placed on the nose to protect it and to keep the structure stable for at least five to eight days. Doctor Jacono does not place packing in the nose after surgery so that it is much more comfortable to recover after surgery. Doctor Jacono will advise your teen to avoid blowing the nose for seven days after surgery. In the immediate days following surgery, there may be bruising and minor swelling in the eye area. Cold compresses often reduce the bruising and discomfort. Nasal dressing and splints are usually removed six or seven days after.
Rhinoplasty, performed for the right reasons, may have many positive physical and emotional outcomes that will last a lifetime.