Is 11 Years Old Too Young for Septoplasty Surgery?

My son is almost 11 years old and he has total nasal obstruction. He also has severe allergies from dust and pollen and his nose is constantly blocked causing breathing problems. He has to always breathe from his mouth. His ENT suggests a Septoplasty surgery. I'm concerned that he's too young and he's nose structure is still growing. The ENT says that by not doing a surgery now, he's facial maxillary will not develop properly. Is 11 years too young for this surgery?

Doctor Answers 2

Youngest age for septorhinoplasty is...

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


Your concern is valid.  11 is typically too young for a septoplasty and definitely too young for a rhinoplasty BUT there are some exceptions.  If his blockage is anatomic to the point he cannot breath or function then something may need to be done at a younger age.  You need to make sure an excellent rhinoplasty surgeon does his surgery because typically you get one good shot at a good repair and if the surgery is done in a poor fashion it makes subsequent correction much more difficult.  Occasionally a more minimal surgery like a turbinate reduction or a very limited localized septoplasty may be possible deferring the bigger surgery till later but if a surgeon does a big dissection but doesnt get it corrected then future septorhinoplasty will be difficult.  

And yet, maxillofacial development may be influenced by this type of surgery at a young age and that is why you have to weigh the pros and cons but being unable to breath is miserable. 

Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Septoplast at 11 years of age

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your concerns about having a septoplasty at a relatively young age are very reasonable. It is a complicated situation if the deviation is as severe as you describe. One must balance the issues of affecting nasal growth with the effects on maxillo-facial growth of having such a chronically obstructed nose.

You won't be able to get a very specific advice via this venue as we can't examine your son to get a proper overall picture of his situation. If you have doubts I'd recommend seeking a second opinion from another surgeon to find out more.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.