Everything You Need To Know About Teenage Rhinoplasty

Every age has a magical highlight. At sixteen, you can drive and at eighteen, you can vote. But did you know you can also consider rhinoplasty in your teenage years? While no doctor recommends rhinoplasty to any teen that thinks it is the be-all-end-all to "fixing" their appearance, it can be considered in cases where the doctor feels the teen's concerns are valid. Haute Beauty spoke with renowned nose expert Dr. Deepak Dugar about everything you need to know about teenage rhinoplasty.

Haute Beauty: At what age can a teenager safely receive a rhinoplasty?

Dr. Deepak Dugar: We recommend patients undergo thorough consultation to identify who has both anatomical maturity and emotional/psychological maturity regarding their nose.   Anatomically most noses are mature by age 15-16 and the bones and cartilage have reached maturity so that is generally the lower end of the physical age limit.  But beyond anatomy, emotional maturity is so important and cannot be stressed enough.  I will even turn down 25-year-old patients if they aren’t emotionally/psychologically mature enough with their decision-making process.

HB: What precautions do you take before accepting him or her as a patient?

DD: I always talk to them directly to understand their motivations.  I want to make sure it’s coming from a sound emotional standpoint and not being pushed upon them. Sometimes parents will push the idea upon the children, but even if it's with good intentions, if the teenager doesn’t have the same desires, that’s a red flag for me. I also make sure they know this won’t make them a different person, but will simply remove a small insecurity they may have with their nose, and hopefully infuse more confidence by removing those moments of insecurity.

HB: Are there any possible complications/side effects due to their age?

DD: If chosen once the nose has matured (after age 15-16) and once a level of emotional/psychological maturity has been confirmed, the risks are low and about the same as the normal population.  In general noses and breasts are a younger surgery because it’s not an “anti-aging” procedure but rather an enhancement procedure - so most people want to enjoy this as long as they can.  Noses are generally a one-time surgery so the younger you can do it, is usually most ideal for long term identity and confidence.  Rhinoplasty is the number 1 cosmetic surgical procedure in the USA for ages 13-19 and the number 2 cosmetic surgical procedure for ages 20-29 (after breast implants which become number 1 in this age range).

HB: When do you have to decline a patient?

DD: We routinely turn down patients who don’t have emotional maturity regarding the process or don’t truly want it done (after probing deep enough). I also will turn down any patient, regardless of age, who has unrealistic expectations and/or truly doesn’t need it done. I believe honesty in consultation is a lost art as most surgeons think like businessmen, as we all run small medical businesses technically. But during the consultation process with all patients (and especially with a young impressionable teenager) is when the business mentality has to turn off and being an honest considerate doctor has to become a priority. Honest in consultation always.

HB: How long is the recovery before they can get back to their normal routine?

DD: With closed scarless rhinoplasty recovery is rapid with only 7 days of downtime! Almost all of my teenager patients return to school, parties, and activities after 7 days with my Scarless Nose technique.  Our summer, winter and spring breaks are always jam-packed with teenagers from around the world taking advantage of their time off from school!