How Young is Too Young for Rhinoplasty?

There is a growing trend to “gift” young people with a new nose on a critical birthday – perhaps fifteen or sixteen. There is some debate about cosmetic surgery during the young and mid teenage years, and parents often wonder if there is an age that makes cosmetic surgery appropriate. There is, in fact, a recommended age for the various plastic surgery procedures, including rhinoplasty.

Teenagers and Nose Jobs

The teenage body is still growing throughout adolescence. Interestingly, the nose continues to grow throughout a person’s entire life as the cartilage expands over time. The same is true of the ears, actually. But the bones in the nose are the most important elements when it comes to determining cosmetic surgery time frames.

When the bones in the face are done growing, the nose can be operated on in an adult like manner. Usually for girls this is around the age of sixteen and for boys around eighteen. This is by no means the precise age teens should have surgery as there are many other factors. In more severe cases, surgeons may be willing to operate on teens as young as thirteen (girls) or fifteen (boys), but those would be incidents of disfigurement more than pure vanity.

Recovering from a Nose Job

Perhaps the most critical element of the surgery is not the actual procedure, but the recovery period. Recovering from rhinoplasty can take up to a year for all swelling to recede. In the life of a teenager, a year is a very long time. During the first few months, teens are not allowed to play sports or work out in any great intensity, although restrictions lift in spurts over the course of the weeks.

Teenagers may not be ready to sign on for weeks of bruising and months of swelling, although the benefit is certainly one they will enjoy for a lifetime. Ultimately only parents can truly say if a child is ready for this level of surgery.