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When Cosmetic Surgery Becomes a Lifesaver

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Teenage years are some of the most image-sensitive years of a person’s life. It is also a period wherein one’s flaws attract a lot of attention and, sometimes, bullies.

This was the reality that a Las Vegas 16-year-old girl had to live with every day. The reason? Her nose was too big. Her mother decided to seek a nose job (Rhinoplasty) for her daughter in order to put an end to the bullying. The mother has decided to withhold her daughter’s identity for this story.

Getting a Surgeon to Work on a Young Teen Can Be Complicated

Getting a surgeon to perform the procedure was a tough call for the mother and daughter. While there is no age restriction for Rhinoplasty surgery, the procedure can result in complications, particularly in young people, and most doctors do not like taking the risk. According to Dr. Norman Rowe, a board-certified plastic surgeon, the reason for caution among plastic surgeons when performing Rhinoplasty on teenagers is that their facial skeletal development is still ongoing, and adjusting their nasal shape could cause developmental problems.

But the mother was resilient, having seen what her daughter had to go through every day to conceal her nose contours. In January 2021, the mother’s wishes to help her daughter came true when Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, a Harvard-trained plastic surgeon, agreed to perform the surgery on the young girl, the youngest patient he had ever had to perform the procedure on.

The Patient Must Know What They Really Want

According to Azizzadeh, the decision to have a nose job is a serious one, especially if it involves a minor. Before working with a minor, he had to talk with the patient and her parents. Also, the minor must be mature enough to research the procedure and know that it is what they want. When speaking about this particular girl, Azizzadeh said she fit all those traits and had no problem working with her.

The mother, who had also had a nose job previously, said it was heartbreaking to see her daughter teased because of her appearance. The girl would stay up late and wake up early during sleepovers just to ensure that none of her friends saw her without concealing make-up on. After the surgery was performed in June 2021, the mother and daughter knew they had made the right decision after seeing the surgery results.

A Nose Job Can Be a Lifesaver

When done for the right reasons, a nose job can be a lifesaver and help a person feel more confident. Also, for teens who are subjects of teasing based on their facial features, it can help reduce the bullying, restore the affected teen’s self-esteem, and eliminate other mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression.

According to Rowe, surgeons that agree to take on younger patients must always determine the motivation for the surgery and make sure the patient understands that the procedure is permanent.

Under normal circumstances, Rowe says it is best to wait until a patient is 15 years old (for girls) and 17 years old (for boys) before performing the surgery. At this stage, in addition to being almost fully grown, the patient knows what they really want and can better manage their expectations.

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