As a parent, there probably isn’t anything you’d change about your child. Parents want the best for their children, even through the challenging teenage years. That includes a healthy self-esteem and the confidence to help them become successful in life. Messages from the outside world, however, can be very damaging. Children can become very focused on their appearance. They are often teased for little physical differences and imperfections, which can have a huge psychological impact.
Many teens are so unhappy with their appearance that they decide the only way to feel better about themselves is with plastic surgery, such as rhinoplasty (often known as a “nose job”). This can be a distressing revelation as a parent, but it’s important to approach the situation calmly. It’s not unusual for young people to undergo rhinoplasty, but it’s not right for every teenager. So what do you do if your teen comes to you expressing a desire for rhinoplasty? Here are some tips for handling the request.
Don’t Dismiss Them
Stop for a moment and consider your teen’s request before refusing and insisting your teen looks great the way she is. She obviously doesn’t feel she looks great as is, and she’s coming to you for help. Don’t dismiss her. Instead, talk about the reasons why she thinks this is the next logical step for her. Talk to her about different options and emphasize the seriousness of choosing surgery to change her appearance. This step is important because you will get to see what she is struggling with and perhaps understand just why this is important to her and maybe even come up with alternate solution. Remember, rhinoplasty can be healthy for some teens, and not for others. It’s crucial to evaluate the situation from all angles before saying yes or no.
Know the Facts
The first thing to know about teen rhinoplasty is that the nose is not always fully mature during the teen years. Girls’ noses are typically fully developed around age 15-16, while boys typically change a little up to age 16-17. Every child is different, but it’s absolutely essential that the nose is done growing before the procedure is performed as the results could become distorted if growth continues after the surgery. Make sure that you know what is involved with rhinoplasty before you make any decisions. The surgery, while quite safe generally, can be quite invasive, and the nose will not fully heal for 6-12 months. It is also a very complex surgery, and it is extremely important that the surgeon performing the procedure is highly skilled and reputable. Learn as much as you can about the risks and benefits and discuss these with your teen.
Understand Your Teen
Emotional maturity is extremely important when considering whether or not a teenager is ready for rhinoplasty. You know your own teen better than any surgeon. You need to make a judgement about whether or not your child is mature enough to handle the procedure, which can have an emotional impact. A teen under 18 will need your permission to undergo the procedure, and you are responsible for ensuring that it is a good option for your family before moving forward.
Another factor is cost. Are they willing to get a job and put some of their earnings toward the procedure? Some teens understand the procedure much better once they realize the costs and shoulder some of the responsibility. If they do not feel they should contribute, consider your own feelings. Are you willing to pay the surgical fees, or do you feel that this should be something that your teen should pay for in full or in part?
Emphasize the Enormity of the Decision
Young people often have trouble understanding the long-term consequences of their decisions. Rhinoplasty can cause regret if it’s not done for the right reasons. If your teen is set on rhinoplasty, it’s important to emphasize just how serious this decision is. The results of the procedure are permanent. While the surgery can have many incredible benefits, it’s important to be absolutely certain of the decision before moving forward. Moving too fast and neglecting to really consider the implications can easily lead to regret later on—regret that is not easily reversed.
Consult with an Expert Facial Plastic Surgeon
If your family is interested in moving forward or simply wants more information from an expert, the first step is to discuss your teen’s case with an ethical and knowledgeable plastic surgeon. A reputable surgeon will be able to advise you and your teen, giving you the information you need to help you make the right decision for your family. A skilled facial plastic surgeon should be able to assess the overall facial growth and tell you whether or not more growth and development is expected before the nose reaches full maturity. You will also be able to ask any questions you may have about the procedure.
If you’re wondering who to turn to in the Austin, Texas area, come to Buckingham Center and consult with Dr. Edward Buckingham, a renowned facial plastic surgeon. Dr. Buckingham is board certified and dedicated to providing patients with natural, balanced results. To schedule your consultation, call 512.401.2500 today!