What You Should Know Before Pursuing Rhinoplasty in Adolescence

Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures pursued by patients of all ages. Rhinoplasty can be a reconstructive procedure by nature to restore function or a cosmetic procedure to enhance the appearance. In fact, Dr. Fernando Burstein often employs both cosmetic and reconstructive techniques during rhinoplasty to ensure function remains with aesthetically pleasing results. With experience performing rhinoplasty since 1989, Dr. Burstein recognizes the complexities of this type of procedure and strives to educate patients to help them make the best decisions about surgery.

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Now that school is starting back, we will begin to hear stories about bullying. While kids bully each other for a number of reasons, appearance is one of them. We often hear news stories about adolescents pursuing plastic surgery to combat bullying. Some children are born with congenital disorders that require reconstructive surgery, but plastic surgery on minors for cosmetic concerns is a little different. Although there are times when a surgeon will perform cosmetic surgery on minors, it is very important that they are emotionally and physically mature, maintain realistic expectations, and understand surgical risk.

Rhinoplasty and otoplasty (ear surgery) are two of the most commonly pursued facial plastic surgery procedures among adolescents. No matter what age a patient is, it is important to be mentally healthy and emotionally mature before seeking cosmetic surgery in order to maintain realistic expectations. Additionally, it’s important for patients to be physically mature before facial plastic surgery. Although some patients have otoplasty at a young age (as early as 5-10 years of age) to pin their ears back, nose surgery should be performed on patients who have reached at least 90% of their physical maturity. In some patients, rhinoplasty can be performed as early as 12 years of age as long as the physical and mental maturity is there.

In patients of any age, it is important to find a board certified plastic surgeon with experience performing your desired procedure. If you are looking for a plastic surgeon for your child, be sure to find a board certified plastic surgeon with pediatric experience. In addition to performing adolescent plastic surgery, Dr. Burstein has even authored book chapters on the subjects of adolescent otoplasty and teenage rhinoplasty among many other topics related to facial plastic surgery.  It’s also very important to talk to your child and discuss the procedure with them to ensure they are mentally and physically prepared.

During a rhinoplasty consultation, Dr. Burstein asks patients for a thorough medical history, discusses both functional and aesthetic goals, and he takes photos of the nose that may be used with computer imaging software to show potential rhinoplasty results if appropriate. Pre-operative imaging is beneficial to both the patient and the surgeon because it helps patients maintain appropriate expectations and Dr. Burstein can use the images during surgery to help him achieve the patient’s goals.

Cosmetic nose surgery may be appropriate for some teenagers, but motives should be considered to avoid emotional or even physical distress. If you’re interested in learning more about rhinoplasty or other procedures Dr. Burstein offers, visit his website or schedule your consultation today. For the latest plastic surgery news and updates, join him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.