17 Years Old (Almost 18) and Getting Rhinoplasty

Hi I'm 17 years old and I'm getting rhinoplasty this summer! I'm nervous about one thing: people noticing. If people at my high school find out, well lets just say it won't be a very fun year for me. I'm going to dye my hair a different color so people will hopefully think thats whats different about me. Do you think they'll find out? Also I'm taking 4 weeks off sports, is that ok? I can't really take off any more time then that :/

Doctor Answers 13

Will people notice I had a rhinoplasty?

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Avery, this is a common concern, but you really have to understand that you have placed yourself into the classic Catch-22 situation (look it up if you don't "get" this reference, or if you haven't read Heller's 1961 novel): you want your nose to look different than it does now (and this should be because YOU want the change, not because OTHERS have teased you, etc.), but you don't want anyone to notice because "it won't be a very fun year for you." So let's see if I got this right . . . you want your nose to be different but you don't want anybody to see the difference so they can tease you about it? Is THAT what you mean?

Easy solution so nobody will torment you about having had rhinoplasty--Don't have rhinoplasty!

But of course, you don't want to keep the nose you have now, and you perhaps are hoping rhinoplasty will magically transform your senior year into, well, something better than it otherwise would have been with your "old" nose!

And do you really think dyeing your hair another color will do anything but tip people off to look for what you're trying to distract them from? It will just make them look harder, and BTW, the difference is right there on your face!

(One other point, if you were my daughter (one of whom who actually now teaches high school English), I'd NOT pay for rhinoplasty if you REALLY think the purpose of your senior year in high school is to "have fun." You know what I mean!)

But back to your concern. It's real, and I DO understand where you're coming from, better than you think from reading my joshingly sarcastic answer so far! My oldest (other) daughter complained about her nose from about the age 12 on, and her dad (me) had the surgical ability to give her the nose of her dreams (or at least get rid of the big schnoz she inherited from me)! She also worried about what others would think, and I really thought she wouldn't go through with it when the time came to go ahead. Or, if she did, I thought she would "hide out" until the last bruise was gone, and not even be seen in public or by any of her friends until everything had COMPLETELY settled. Boy, was I wrong! When the time came she jumped at the opportunity to fill an open slot in my surgical schedule, and she went out in public the next day, splint, tape, bruises, and all! She has never regretted going ahead, and has a lovely new nose that no longer looks like her dad's!

So, Avery, you have a simple choice. If you want a new nose, you shouldn't try to hide it by coloring your hair, and if you "tell" even one friend, everyone will know anyway! I'd start by owning up to your new reality and telling all your friends. Now. So when the time comes, it's Ho-Hum OLD news.

Otherwise, wait until you graduate, and have your rhinoplasty before you start college. And concentrate on getting good grades this year so you get into the college you want! Trust me, at your 10th high school reunion nobody will give a rat's hiney or even remember you had a rhinoplasty or a "fun" year. It will be about where you are in your career, life, relationships, and perhaps children of your own. The "nerds" who got good grades, good jobs, and the great spouses will rule, and the jocks and mean girls will be fat and balding and working at the local dive!

So although this started out as a question about rhinoplasty, it's an answer about priorities. Get that right, and the rest falls nicely into place! Best wishes on an awesome future (with a new nose--whenever you get it)!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Ready for Rhinoplasty?

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Sounds like you may not be ready to have a Rhinoplasty during your high school years. Dyeing your hair may be a good distraction, but it’s not the answer. These years can be difficult for teenagers who are self conscious about a particular aspect of their appearance. You may be surprised that some people may have a positive reaction. Rhinoplasty is a common and popular procedure during the teenage years. One goal with Rhinoplasty is to achieve natural looking refinements. Many teenagers welcome this change. Whether your goal is dramatic or subtle, find a surgeon who has your goal in mind. Four weeks off sports is acceptable, however, the bone is usually fully fused in approximately six weeks so just be careful.

William H. Sabbagh, MD
Detroit Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

People only notice rhinplaslty results if they are also self-conscious about their noses

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You will find that most people will not notice anything as long as your result is natural.  People only "see" features that they themselves worry about.

I predict that you will find it an easy transition.  It is more important to choose your surgeon wisely.   If anyone gives you a hard time, it's all about them, not you.


Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty fine if necessary for teens

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Great question.  Your nose is likely fully developed by that age and it is perfectly acceptable to have your nose corrected at your age.  The nose sits right in the front of your face and it is very difficult to camoflage.  Make certain that you see a doctor with experience with both the cosmetic correction and breathing/septoplasty experience.  You don't want to adversely affect your breathing through your nose just to make it look better.  Usually an ENT or Facial Plastic Surgery has this background.

Good Luck

Robert F. Gray, MD, FACS

Robert F. Gray, MD, FACS
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon

People don't pay much attention to noses after rhinoplasty.

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People don't pay much attention to noses after rhinoplasty if it is natural looking! You would be surprised especially if you change you hair color. You should be ok 4 weeks later. Choose an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon for the best results.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Will people know I had a Rhinoplasty

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 I can understand your concern.  The issue of whether people will notice the change in your nose after a Rhinoplasty really has everything to do with the shape and size, of your nose now.  IMHO, if you have a large nose, large hump, wide nasal tip...then yes, if your nose shows up much smaller, people will most likely notice.  If this will ruin your senior year in high school, I would advise you to wait until your graduate high school and have your Rhinoplasty then before you start college or working.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Will others recognize that I underwent rhinioplasty?

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Hi Avery. You question raises a common preoperative concern among rhinoplasty patients. There is a chance that people will 'find out.' However, in my experience, unless the change in your nasal appearance is dramatic, usually your peers will not recognize that you underwent rhinoplasty. They may recognize that something is different about you, but won't be able to pinpoint what that difference is. However, your close friends - those very familiar with your facial features - will be more likely to recognize the change. Changing your hair color can be an effective distraction, in that others will more likely attribute your changed appearance to your hair. As for sports, it depends on what type of sports you engage in. Usually, you will be able to resume most activities by 4 weeks, but I would not recommend resuming any contact sports for 6 weeks at a minimum. Even then, your nose remains at elevated risk for deformity after injury. Remember, your rhinoplasty result is intended to last you for many years. I would advise caution. An additional couple of weeks away from at-risk sports is a relatively small price to pay for that. Good luck.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Rhinoplasty - nose job - for teenagers

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Rhinoplasty, aka nose job, is a delicate procedure that can be performed successfully on teenagers.  It's essential that the patient's midface growth is complete and that they are psychologically mature enough to handle this body image change.  A good rhinoplasty is not seen in the nose, but in the eyes.  The nose SHOULD blend in with the face after surgery and poeple should NOT be commenting on your nose, but on your eyes, lips, and hair.  I think it's a great idea to dye your hair as a "distraction" so that people might not be able to put a finger on just what is different.  Good luck!

Etai Funk, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

17 Years Old (Almost 18) and Getting Rhinoplasty

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Best to fully discuss these issues with your chosen surgeon. Ask ALL your questions before the operation. Get fully informed! 

Best Teen Age Rhinoplasty

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Hi Avery,

Your concerns about having classmates find out about your rhinoplasty are shared by many young patients.  Many patients decide to have the surgery between high school and college for that very reason.  You should discuss your concerns with your rhinoplasty surgeon.  If a natural, subtle rhinoplasty is performed then it is possible that your classmates will only notice your change in hair color.

Many teens and young adults have minor complaints about their nose (a little dorsal hump, or a little too wide tip, etc.) that they never end up fixing because they are afraid that they will look totally different.  Rhinoplasty surgeons should be able to correct these concerns with subtle, natural results.  (See reference below) 

I tell my patients that one of the best compliments that will receive following their rhinoplasty is "You look great, did you change your hair style?" or "Did you lose weight"?  Be sure that your surgeon understands your expectations and can deliver the results for you.  Good luck and be well.  Hope that you love your new nose.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 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.