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521 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065 | Tel 212-223-8300
Steven J. Pearlman, MD, FACS Dual Board Certified in Facial Plastic Surgery

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Teenage Rhinoplasty

What Is a Teenage Rhinoplasty?

More than almost any other age group, teenagers are subjected to the pressure of their peers. Physical appearance plays a key role in how confident teenagers may feel in the social world at large. For many teens, a nose that is too large or misshapen can be the source of teasing, embarrassment, and discomfort. Teenage rhinoplasty helps correct the appearance of the nose while maintaining the proportional balance of a younger face, providing emotional support to an extremely sensitive age group.

The Benefits of Teenage Rhinoplasty

  • Corrects a large nasal hump
  • Slims a wide nasal bridge
  • Corrects a drooping tip
  • Improves wide nostrils
  • Restores nasal symmetry
  • Boosts confidence and self-esteem
  • Can also be used to improve breathing at the same time (septoplasty)
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Teenage Rhinoplasty Concerns

Some parents may feel conflicted about allowing their child to undergo plastic surgery, wondering if it sends them the wrong message. Deciding to undergo rhinoplasty is an extremely personal decision that ultimately comes down to whether or not you will be saving your child more emotional scarring by allowing him or her undergo the procedure. Confidence during adolescence is essential for emotional and social development.

Teenage rhinoplasty should typically be performed on girls 15 years or older and boys 16 years or older. Waiting until this age ensures that their nose and other facial features have finished growing.What’s more important is that the teenager is making a mature decision to consider rhinoplasty and has thought carefully about the motivations and consequences.

There is a one-and-a-half to two-week healing period after rhinoplasty, which may require your child to miss time in school. Your teen will also have to avoid certain activities like sports and P.E. classes for two months. If this is a concern, you may wish to schedule your teen’s rhinoplasty during the summer to ensure she/he receives adequate healing time.

The emotional and mental maturity of your teen plays an important role in deciding if she/he should undergo rhinoplasty. Teens should understand why they are choosing rhinoplasty and should have reasonable motivations for undergoing surgery. Teens who are not emotionally prepared for surgery will be advised to wait.


A: As a dual board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Pearlman takes great care to graft noses that enhance the appearance, not alter it. He prides himself in achieving extremely natural results that will leave people wondering, “what’s different?” The best compliment we get following rhinoplasty is when patients are told they “look great” but the observer cannot tell why.

Dr. Pearlman utilizes Mirror® computer imaging and VECTRA 3D imaging technology during his consultations for all primary rhinoplasty patients, including teens. Mirror® and VECTRA 3D imaging allow Dr. Pearlman to manipulate a “before” photo of your face to visually demonstrate the effects of the rhinoplasty procedure. This technology allows you to preview a very close approximation of what your nose will look like after surgery so you and Dr. Pearlman can decide what techniques will best suit your needs.

A: If Dr. Pearlman uses a closed technique, there won’t be any visible scarring. If he uses an open technique, there will be a scar at the base of the nose between the nostrils, but this incision will likely fade over time and is small to start with. During your consultation, Dr. Pearlman will discuss which technique is most appropriate for your unique nose.

A: You will have some bruising and swelling around the eyes during your first week of recovery. Some patients need time to adjust to breathing through their mouth; it’s akin to having a mild cold. Fatigue from the anesthesia is common for the first day or two. Patients should rest the first few days in an upright position to minimize swelling for better healing.

A: Talking to your teen and understanding his or her motivations for the surgery is an important step in understanding if s/he is ready. Your teen should understand this is a surgical procedure and, while rare, may pose risks and complications. Good candidates for teenage rhinoplasty understand that surgery won’t change their lives; it is merely a tool to help enhance their natural beauty and improve their confidence. Yet we often find that the change in one’s self-image and self-esteem far outstrips the physical changes from rhinoplasty.

A: A septoplasty may be performed in conjunction with a rhinoplasty to correct breathing problems caused by a deviated septum. Septoplasties are commonly performed on teens with breathing impairments. For breathing issues alone, a septoplasty can be performed without any external changes to the nose whatsoever.

Actual Patients of Dr. Pearlman

Before & After Photos )