Rhinoplasty – or a nose job, as it’s more commonly referred to – has grown in popularity in Australia. Today, men and women, and in some cases, even teenagers are electing to have this elective surgery performed for health and/or cosmetic reasons.
Yet, one of the most common questions people have is what is the optimal age for a nose job? Generally speaking, a rhinoplasty should be forestalled until the facial bones are no longer growing. For girls, this ranges between about 16 to 18 years old. And for boys, it is typically a few years later, from about 18 to 20 years old. Therefore, right around 18 years old is the average minimum age for both males and females.
At the upper end of the age spectrum, rhinoplasty can become more challenging later in life. The skin on the face begins to lose elasticity, and as such, it can be difficult to properly smooth the skin after a nose surgery. In general, the surgery becomes more challenging for patients above 55 years old.
Ultimately, beyond age, the biggest factor to consider is maturity. Rhinoplasty is an elective surgery that has permanent results and a long recovery. Patients should be responsible enough to handle this seriousness, and they should have realistic expectations. If you’d like to know if you’re prepared for rhinoplasty surgery, you might want to ask yourself these questions:
Do I Have Realistic Expectations?
Some patients seeking a nose job expect to pick an actor or actress’s nose fitted to their face. This isn’t very realistic. Indeed, no two surgeries are alike. Your doctor will carefully design a nasal structure that addresses your cosmetic or breathing concerns, but that is also proportionally designed to match your facial features. To get the best idea of what you can expect, ask to see before and after surgery photos.
Are You Positively Motivated?
Rhinoplasty surgery is not the answer to all your problems, but it may help you feel happier and more confident. During the initial consultation, your doctor will assess your attitude. If you want to feel better about yourself, and believe that a nose job will help you feel happier and more confident in life, you’re electing for the surgery for the right reasons.
Have You Stopped Growing?
Teenagers are still growing, and as such, they’re not always the best candidates for rhinoplasty. If you’re under 20 years old, your surgeon will help you determine if your facial bones have stopped growing. If not, the best option is to wait. Having a rhinoplasty performed too early can result in complications as the bones continue to grow.
Are You Prepared for Post-Surgery Recovery and Possible Complications?
Rhinoplasty recovery typically takes weeks, and it can be painful. Patients must adjust their activity levels, typically staying away from strenuous exercise during the initial recovery. Plus, complications may arise including the need for a revision rhinoplasty. Patients should seriously consider if they’re prepared for the recovery and the possibility of a complication arising, before electing to undergo surgery.
Dr Michael Zacharia is a Sydney-based surgeon specialising in Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT). Having performed more than 4,000 nose job surgeries in his career, Dr Zacharia offers expertise, natural-looking results, and personalised care to patients in Sydney and the region.
PSF would like to thank Dr Michael Zacharia, ENT and Facial Plastic Surgeon for his input into this blog post. View Dr.Zacharia's Profile