Question: I saw on T.V. that a 13 year old girl had a nose job and I was completely shocked. I thought that this age was way too young. Am I correct?
Answer: In general, there are 2 components which determine when to perform a rhinoplasty on a younger age group. One is the physical characteristics of the nose and the second is the psychological aspects of the patient. Performing rhinoplasty in very young patients can be difficult. It can be difficult because from a physical standpoint the nose is smaller in size and technically more difficult. There are also growth centers in the nose which may be adversely affected if the operation is performed on a young child. The other aspect of a rhinoplasty is the psychological aspect. The patient may have difficulty handling a change of the nose if they’re too young to handle the psychological consequences of the procedure. It is also important in a very young child who is desiring a rhinoplasty to see what the motivations are to ensure that the patient’s mental health and psychology are stable enough for the procedure. Having said all this, occasionally the patients have severe cleft lip and palette that they may require a nasal procedure at an earlier age just to bring the nose into balance and this will help in their feeling of wellbeing and their own psychological development. So there are no firm ages on when rhinoplasty can be performed. However the 2 aspects, the physical aspect of the nose and psychological, must be considered before doing any such procedure.