Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to improve the look and/or function of the nose through meticulous removal and reshaping of the nasal bones, cartilage, and skin. A patient might seek a rhinoplasty, or “nose job,” as a way to enhance his or her appearance. A nose that is large, wide, long, crooked, humped, deformed, or otherwise out of proportion with other features can detract from facial harmony. In addition, deformities inside the nose can obstruct or impair breathing. Such internal flaws can sometimes be improved through a nasal procedure called septoplasty, or corrected contemporaneously with a rhinoplasty as a surgeon reshapes the external structure of the nose.
Can a Patient be too Young or too Old for a Rhinoplasty?
Patients who are interested in having rhinoplasty surgery often wonder about the optimal time to do so. As with any cosmetic procedure, there is no ideal age for a nose job. Rather, the surgery should be performed when a patient is fully informed and adequately prepared.
For younger patients, it’s advisable to avoid manipulating the bony and soft tissue structure of the face until it has fully developed. Because the rate of maturity can vary widely among teenagers, the best time for rhinoplasty is largely dependent on the individual patient’s growth, maturation, and specific concerns to be addressed by the procedure. It is also essential for a prospective patient to fully understand the risks and consequences of an elective change to his or her body, and to be able to participate in post-operative care. In most cases, girls are mature enough for rhinoplasty at age fifteen, and boys are sufficiently ready by age eighteen. Of course, surgery might be indicated at an earlier age if a patient has congenital nasal birth defects or post-traumatic nasal deformities. A supportive parent or other responsible adult should accompany a young patient during his or her consultation appointment.
On the other hand, if a prospective patient is in good health, it is never too late for nasal surgery. A nose can sometimes become progressively disfigured over time, and a nose job can result in a more youthful appearance. In fact, rhinoplasty is often performed in conjunction with a facelift as part of a patient’s overall treatment plan.
A surgeon will advise a patient on how far in advance he or she needs to schedule an appointment for surgery. The patient should choose a time that is convenient, keeping in mind that the procedure will be followed by a recovery period during which he or she will likely need help as he or she recuperates. Many patients feel comfortable enough to return to work and otherwise go out in public within a week to 10 days after surgery. Any residual swelling, bruising, and scarring will slowly fade as the nose continues to heal.
Consult with an Experienced Surgeon
For patients who are considering this type of surgery, it is very important to consult with an experienced cosmetic surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. During a personal consultation, a prospective patient should always feel free to ask the surgeon to see before and after photographs of other patients for whom the surgeon has performed the procedure. While viewing and discussing photographs with a surgeon, a patient will often find it easier to articulate his or her aesthetic goals, and this will enhance the overall communication process between the patient and surgeon. The surgeon can then gain a full understanding of the patient’s objectives, ensure that his or her expectations are reasonable, and determine whether nose surgery is an appropriate solution.
Katie Perry is an online content editor in the Tampa Bay area. She posts articles about plastic surgery topics and procedures, including nose jobs
, facelifts, and others.