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Life can be stressful and difficult for teenagers. Not only do they have to cope with rapid physical and emotional changes, but many also face bullying or teasing because of some aspect of their appearance.
That’s why it’s not surprising that rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, is one of the most requested surgical procedures among adolescents and young adults. As the focal point of the face, the nose has the greatest influence on a person’s overall facial appearance. Whether smoothing a bump, reshaping the tip of the nose, or bringing an overly large nose into balance with the rest of the face, rhinoplasty can make a huge difference in a teenager’s appearance — and self-confidence.
Rhinoplasty can be performed once the face and nose is fully developed, usually around the age of 16 for girls, and a year or two later for boys. If the procedure is performed on a patient who is too young, the chances of revision increase dramatically because the nose continues to grow and can hamper with the surgical work that was already done.
Common teen rhinoplasty procedures address the following:
- Removing a hump
- Straightening a bridge
- Reshaping the tip
- Increasing or decreasing the size of the nostrils
- Correcting the nose after an injury
- Opening up breathing passages
- Increasing or decreasing the size of the nose
A consultation with Dr. Moradzadeh is a good first step in determining whether a teenager is a viable candidate for rhinoplasty.
Understanding the Procedure
Incisions are made under and within the nose to lift it from its frame. Depending on the necessary alterations, areas of the nose are raised, smoothed, narrowed, and redefined — in order to achieve the enhanced look that has been determined before the surgery. Specially constructed grafts can be used to alter the nose bridge and add additional definition to the tip. Excess fatty tissue from bulbous areas may also be removed. Dr. Moradzadeh uses 3-D high definition cameras to view the nose anatomy before and during procedures for the most precise alterations.
What to Expect Afterwards
In general a teenager can expect that his or her nose will be splinted for a week, and ice compresses will be needed for the first few days to help minimize swelling. Most patients experience only mild discomfort, which is easily controlled with oral pain medication. While bruising and swelling under the eyes usually resolves within the first week, and nasal swelling decreases rapidly during the first few weeks, it’s important to realize that the final shape of the nose may not be seen for several months, when all the swelling is gone.
Most teenage patients can generally return to school with a week of the operation. They are usually up and about within the first few days, and can resume light exercise after two weeks. Strenuous physical activities should be avoided while the nose is healing.