Your teenager often complains about the size of his or her nose or has been teased by other kids about the way the nose looks. For years, your teenager has asked you to let him or her have a nose job. But should you?
The answer depends on a number of factors, from the age of your teenager to the reasons why he or she wants the surgery. Some teenagers might be physically ready for rhinoplasty but might not understand the full process of recovery or what the changes made to the nose will mean. One of your best options is to sit down with a plastic surgeon and discuss your teenager’s options, so that you can determine what the best step to take is.
When the Nose Is Ready
The nose usually continues to grow until a person is about 16. It’s different for every person, but many surgeons won’t perform rhinoplasty until a person is 16. If the nose continues to grow after the surgery, the additional growth can undo the results or change the nose considerably. In some cases, a teenager may simply need to wait to grow into his or her nose and may find that once there’s full growth, the size and shape of the nose works on their face.
Is Your Teen Ready?
The growth of the nose isn’t the only factor that determines whether or not your teenager is ready for rhinoplasty. Ideally, your teen will understand what the surgery involves and what it can and can’t do for his or her nose. For example, if your teenager wants rhinoplasty to give him or her a nose like the popular celebrity of the day, he or she may not have enough emotional maturity to handle what happens when the surgeon is unable to produce exactly what is wanted.
During the consultation, the surgeon will typically discuss the options available to your teen and let him or her see photos of past surgeries said surgeon has performed. The pictures can give you teenager an idea of the type of changes the surgery can provide and an idea of the typical results.
It’s also important that your teenager have an understanding of the recovery involved after rhinoplasty. Usually, the face and nose look worse before they look better. There will be bruising and swelling right after surgery, which can persist for some time. Your teenager might feel some discomfort in the first few days after the procedure, too.
Another way to determine if your teen is ready for rhinoplasty is to ask why he or she wants the surgery. You shouldn’t pressure your teenager into getting the surgery, and he or she shouldn’t feel pressure from peers or from a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Timing the Surgery
One benefit of having rhinoplasty performed during the later teenage years is that there is usually ample opportunity when it comes to scheduling the procedure. The teen years are often full of change and transition, which can be an opportune time to schedule surgery.
For example, your teenager might decide to have the surgery over the summer between senior year and the start of college or during a long winter break. The long breaks that seem to be part of life in the teen years are ideal for recovery. Your teenager’s nose can recover from the procedure before he or she has to commit to being anywhere or doing anything. Scheduling the surgery during a time of transition also cuts down on the number of people who might comment on it, as your teen is likely to meet a whole new group of people who weren’t aware of his or her “old” nose.
You want to make recovery as comfortable as possible for your teenager. Ice packs can help with the swelling right after the surgery. The surgeon will usually prescribe some type of pain reliever to help with any discomfort. It might be a good idea to have your teenager avoid mirrors for the first few days following the surgery.
Set up the teen’s bedroom so that he or she can rest in an elevated position after the rhinoplasty. You may need to bring extra pillows into the room or put a recliner in there during recovery, so that he or she doesn’t lie flat.
Sunscreen is a must for your teen after the surgery, as are shirts that open in the front. Pull-over tops and T-shirts can knock the nose, damaging the results.
Your surgeon is a trusted resource who can answer any questions you and your teenager have, both before the surgery and after. In West Palm Beach, Florida, Dr. Michael Schwartz is available to consult with you and your teenager, to make sure rhinoplasty is the best choice at the moment. If you and your teen both feel surgery is the right option, contact Dr. Schwartz’s practice to schedule a consultation. Call 561-228-5888 today!