While most plastic surgery is performed on middle aged or older patients, there are a few procedures that defy this norm. Otoplasty, or ear reshaping surgery, is often performed on pre-kindergarten children with prominent ears to spare them from bullying. Rhinoplasty is another procedure that is commonly performed on young people; however the minimum age for the surgery is about 14-16 for girls and 16-17 for boys, in order to give the cartilage time to mature. Young people aren’t the only ones who can have a rhinoplasty performed, however. Some people over the age of 40 are also interested in the procedure, but aren’t sure if they can even undergo the surgery after a certain age. Here’s what you need to know about rhinoplasty later in life.
Why Do Older Patients Seek Rhinoplasty?
While most rhinoplasty patients seek nose reshaping surgery early in life (in their 20s or 30s) to correct a breathing problem or an undesirable aesthetic feature that causes confidence issues, there are a few reasons patients might wait until later on to seek surgery. Common reasons for middle aged or older rhinoplasty include:
- Signs of aging in the nose, including a bulbous and/or drooping tip
- Breathing problems
- New opportunity to fix aesthetic issues
What Can Rhinoplasty Accomplish?
Rhinoplasty can accomplish a number of goals for older patients. Nasal tip rhinoplasty can be used alone or in conjunction with other anti-aging procedures to rejuvenate the face and correct a drooping or bulbous tip that sometimes accompanies aging.
As for people of any age, rhinoplasty can also correct or improve functional and structural aesthetic problems, such as deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, a hump on the nose, poorly defined tip, a nose that is too big or too small, and many more. Dramatic changes are difficult in older patients, so sticking to subtle improvements is recommended for a good outcome.
The versatility of rhinoplasty is a huge benefit to patients, but it does make the surgery highly complex, and rhinoplasty should not be performed by anyone but an experienced plastic surgeon.
Is Rhinoplasty Safe for Older Patients?
Rhinoplasty is a very safe surgery in general, but it does carry slight risks, which tend to increase with the patient’s age. Especially for patients over 50, plastic surgeons may require rigorous health assessments and will discuss the risks and benefits of rhinoplasty before agreeing to carry out the procedure. Safety is paramount in cosmetic surgery, and ethical plastic surgeons will not operate on someone they do not think is healthy enough for a safe and successful procedure.
Rhinoplasty risks can include:
- Anesthesia complications
- Poor Wound Healing
Following your doctor’s instructions for pre and post-operative care is crucial for a safe and successful surgery. Be completely honest with your surgeon about your medical history as well. He or she wants you to be safe and healthy.
What Are the Drawbacks of Middle or Old Age Rhinoplasty?
As with other areas of the face, the nose does change with age. Some of these changes present a challenge to rhinoplasty surgeons, such as the thickening of the nasal skin over time. Thicker skin is more difficult to drape properly, and may scar more easily. In noses affected by the natural changes of age, outcomes can be more difficult to predict as well. Skilled prospective surgeons will do a thorough evaluation of the nose to assess whether or not the patient is likely to get a favorable result from surgery. Fortunately, skilled rhinoplasty surgeons are able to help most healthy patients improve their appearance through rhinoplasty to some degree.
Are You a Candidate?
Regardless of age, if you are seriously considering rhinoplasty, then you should begin the important process of choosing your surgeon. The outcome of your procedure will largely be determined by the surgeon’s skill, so you should only speak with board certified facial plastic surgeons. When you’re ready to start scheduling consultations, consider meeting with acclaimed facial plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Buckingham. Buckingham Center is conveniently located in Austin, TX, and Dr. Buckingham makes it his goal to help each patient get beautiful, natural-looking results. Call Buckingham Center today at 512-401-2500 to schedule your consultation.