Can I Have A Rhinoplasty At Age 17?

Q: I am 17 years old and want to get my nose fixed. I can’t breathe real well through the left side of my nose. I also don’t like the bump on it and the tip of my nose is too fat. Is it safe to get a rhinoplasty and septoplasty at the same time and does the bone grow after the thinoplasty?

A:  The usual recommendation is to wait until the nose have completed its growth before having it surgically manipulated. On a practical basis this is going to be  in the mid- to late teens. A female’s nose mature earlier than a male’s so for a teenage girl the nose is usually done growing by 15 to 16 years of age while a teenage boy’s is closer to 17 or 18 years of age. Depending upon the magnitude of the breathing difficulty, surgery may be done at any earlier age than these ‘minimums’. At 17 years of age, your decision about a septorhinoplasty is not a growth issue but one of parental consent.

Much of the makeup of the nose is not bone but cartilage. Regardless of bone or cartilage, there is no growth of the nose after skeletal maturity is reached.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana