When you should – and should not – get a nose job
Young people love their nose jobs.
In fact, rhinoplasty is far and away the No. 1 cosmetic-surgical procedure performed for patients who are ages 13 to 19, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Teenagers aren’t the only ones intrigued by the idea of changing the way their noses look, though. It’s also in the top five procedures for people of all ages.
But that said, is a nose job right for everyone who wants one? Not necessarily, says Dr. Deepak Raj Dugar, a world-renowned Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who specializes in the Scarless Nose™, or closed rhinoplasty, procedure that leaves no sign of an incision.
“Sometimes I tell patients, ‘Your nose looks great with your face. Don’t touch it,” Dugar says.
Other than the “everything looks fine, why mess with it” message, he says a few considerations to take into account before deciding on a nose job include:
- Nasal maturity. Although young patients might want rhinoplasty, Dugar says it’s important to wait until the nose is ready. “You don’t want to have surgery and then the nose continues to grow later,” he says. Generally, when someone reaches about age 15, the nose cartilage and bones are mature.
- Emotional maturity. It’s important that the patient understands the implications of the surgery and understands the risk and purpose as well, Dugar says. “If they do understand those things, then they are ready to move ahead with the surgery,” he says. “But if they don’t have a good understanding, perhaps they should wait.”
- Realistic expectations. Patients need to realize what can and can’t be done with a nose job, and what they should expect to see in the mirror when the surgery and the recovery time are over. “When the patient thinks you are delivering one thing and the surgeon thinks he or she is delivering another, that’s when most problems happen,” Dugar says.
- Body dysmorphia. About one in 50 people suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, a psychiatric condition that causes them to agonize constantly over real or perceived flaws with their bodies, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Dugar says nearly everyone has such concerns at some time, but people with body dysmorphia can’t shake their negative feelings, and plastic surgeons need to counsel them. If someone’s problem with their appearance is strictly psychological, cosmetic surgery isn’t going to solve things and they sometimes end up getting repeat surgeries. “When I see people who keep getting surgery after surgery,” he says, “I feel bad for them because they are being abused by these unethical surgeons who are money hungry and just operating for cash.”
Dugar has one additional piece of advice. He says plastic surgeons often concentrate on specific procedures, so anyone considering cosmetic surgery should seek a surgeon whose experience lies in the procedure they desire.
“Don’t let the surgeon who specializes in breasts or liposuction do your nose,” he says. “And don’t let the nose guy do your breasts.”