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How Young is Too Young for a Rhinoplasty?

As plastic surgery techniques become more sophisticated and efficient, more and more Americans are turning to plastic surgeons for all sorts of enhancements. Rhinoplasty is one of the procedures that has become insanely popular over the last few years. In 2020, it was the most common cosmetic surgery in the US with more than 352,000 procedures completed. One question that is constantly coming up in forums and medical discussion boards is ‘how young is too young to have a rhinoplasty’. In this blog post, we help you answer this question so you can make a better-informed decision for your children or teenager. 

What is rhinoplasty all about?

Rhinoplasty, also referred to as nose reshaping surgery, is a procedure that focuses on altering the shape or structure of the nose. Rhinoplasty may be performed for aesthetic reasons such as reshaping the nasal tip or reducing the size of wider nostrils. Many patients also choose to have rhinoplasty for functional reasons such as correcting a deviated septum or nasal fracture in order to breathe freely. Modern surgical techniques allow plastic surgeons to complete the procedure with only internal incisions that result in less scarring and swelling.   

When does the nose stop growing?

Bones typically stop growing soon after puberty. For girls, that’s about 1-2 years after menstruation has started. It is important to appreciate that the exact time will vary from one person to the other. Some girls, for instance, start menstruating at 10 while others do so at 15 years of age. Many plastic surgeons consider the minimum age for performing nose reshaping surgery to be about 16 years for girls and around 17 years for boys. In some cases, plastic surgeons may be able to operate on patients who are younger than this. 

Allowing your teen to decide

Teenagers should be allowed to decide whether or not they want to have cosmetic surgery. Parents shouldn’t encourage them. In fact, you should let the teen ask you about the procedure, initially. Suggesting the treatment for them might be a challenge because they may not share your concerns regarding the appearance of their nose. Once your teen has brought the topic up, it’s time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chaowen Wu. The surgeon has worked with numerous parents in The Woodlands, Houston, Conroe, Humble, and surrounding Texas areas. She understands your position as a parent and knows how to talk to teenagers to understand their precise concerns and expectations. During your initial consultation with Dr. Wu, she’ll have a pleasant chat about the specific aesthetic concern your teen has and discuss and explore available treatment options. The surgeon emphasizes that parents should learn as much as possible about the procedure and support them throughout the process. 

Financing options for teenage rhinoplasty

Health insurers typically do not pay for procedures that are cosmetic in nature. If your teenage rhinoplasty is required for functional reasons, then your insurer may accept to pay for it depending on the terms of your policy. If your teenage rhinoplasty is not covered by insurance, some plastic surgeons offer financing through third-party providers so you can spread out the cost of the treatment. During your initial consultation with Dr. Wu, the surgeon’s office will discuss insurance coverage and provide an individualized cost estimate so you can make arrangements for financing. 

Choosing the right teenage rhinoplasty surgeon in The Woodlands

If everything checks out and you have decided to move forward with your teenage rhinoplasty procedure, the next step is to plan the surgery. One of the most important aspects of this planning is to find a seasoned plastic surgeon who has done it right before. Start by researching online to find rhinoplasty specialists who have a presence in The Woodlands or surrounding Texas areas. Once this is done, head over to their website to request before and after photos as well as learn more about their approach. This should provide the information you need to make an informed decision. Reading reviews from other patients can also help find the right practitioner for the job. 


Determining whether nose reshaping surgery is appropriate for a younger person is a weighty decision that should not be taken lightly. The parent, patient, and plastic surgeons should all be involved to make sure that the procedure is being performed for the best of reasons. If you and your teen have already discussed the topic or are exploring the matter, scheduling a consultation with a seasoned plastic surgeon like Dr. Wu is the next logical step.