Q) How old do I have to be to have a rhinoplasty?
A) Two things come into consideration in determining the age of the rhinoplasty patient. The first is the character of the nose. If the patient is very, very young, the nose maybe small and the actual surgery may be very difficult to do. Also, in younger patients who are growing, the growth of the nose may be changing and surgery and the final appearance of the nose may be adversely affected by the growth. The second aspect of the rhinoplasty surgery is the psychological aspect. Changing the shape of your nose changes the appearance of your face and it may change your body image and your perception of self. The patient has to be able to handle this in a mature and intelligent fashion. The patient also may view themselves differently and people around them may view them differently after rhinoplasty, so they must be able to handle these psychological aspects. The patient also must be able to handle the postoperative period with the bandages and the potential swelling of the nasal region. In general, the time when rhinoplasty can be performed successfully taking these two major factors into account is usually in the teenage years. However, for patients with cleft lip or other special circumstances, rhinoplasty may be performed sooner.