When is it okay to reset my son's nose since it will now have to be an open reduction due to timing?

Son broke his nose 3 yrs ago but didn't reset it in time, and altered his appearance. Broke it again recently, and dr said he could only reset to the way it looked after the other break- which was not good. So, we decided to not reset, and have him undergo an open reduction in the future. Dr said wait 6 mo but mentioned best to wait until 16 when bone structure more developed. He just wants it to look like it originally did, and not to have to wait 2+ yrs though. Your thoughts on this? thx

Doctor Answers 8

14 y/o male rhinoplasty

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Applerobin,

I am sorry to hear of your son's injuries. I am assuming he is 14 years old, which is a bit young for a rhinoplasty. I would recommend waiting until he is at least 16 so the bones can set and a proper surgery can be done with results your son is pleased with.

Hope this helps!
Dr. Ali Sajjadian


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Broken nose at 14yo?

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Hello Mom-
I assume that your son is about 14 yo. If the nose is not too 'out of whack', then it might be good to ultimately get it back to normal after he has stopped growing...which may be around 18yo. If his nose is significantly 'deformed' from his two previous fractures and his nose is big enough for his face, one can consider altering it sooner. Part of the reason to wait on fixing a growing child's nose is to minimally interfere with the growth centers of the nose. 
One can ultimately fix his nose through a 'closed' or 'open' approach. Consult your plastic surgeon regarding these issues. 
Good luck. 

Mark Anton, MD, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

How long to wait for a teenage with a broken Nose

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I agree with what others have said thus far. At this point, he needs a closed, surgical reduction of his nose. The important things to consider here are (1) Cosmetics and (2) Breathing/airflow. 

At this point, it is controversial as to what age teenagers and young adults should wait to have it fixed, but 18 years old seems like a common and safe age. 

As long as you see a qualified surgeon, the odds are you should get good results. Its never perfect but it certainly should be a lot better. 

Dr JP Bonaparte

James Bonaparte, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Ottawa Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Broken nose repair

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Open reduction of a nasal fracture can be accomplished with a closed rhinoplasty techniques, whereby all the incisions are placed inside the nose. Medial and lateral osteotomies are required to re-set the nasal bones, and sometimes a spreader graft is also placed underneath the concave side in the mid vault area. Unless there is a severe nasal obstruction, it is probably best to wait to age 17-18 years of age before undergoing the repair. For many examples of  open reduction nasal fracture in our practice, please see the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

If you are within 2 weeks you can set the nose. If not you should wait.

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If you break your nose you have 2 weeks to pop it back into shape. If you miss this window you need to wait at least a couple of months. Boys should wait until at least 17 for any type of rhinoplasty unless they are having severe trouble breathing or a severe nasal deformity. You really want to wait at this point until his nose is fully developed at age 17 or 18.

Garrett H. Bennett, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

When is it okay to reset my son's nose since it will now have to be an open reduction due to timing?

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It is generally recommended that definitive nasal surgery to improve the cosmetic appearance be delayed until after 16-17 for a female and after 16-18 for a male. Waiting until then usually allows the nose to reach its adult size.

Excellent cosmetic results can be achieved with both open and closed techniques. There is not a best way to perform the procedure. Individual surgeons have their own preferences of how to produce the best results in their hands. What is more important than whether a closed or open approach is utilized is the experience and artistry of the plastic surgeon and your comfort level and confidence in that individual.

Keep in mind, that following the advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you what to do without examining your son, physically feeling the tissue, assessing the desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of the proposed operative procedure with you and your son may not be in his best interest. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You and your son should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

When is it okay to reset my son's nose since it will now have to be an open reduction due to timing?

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Based on the information given, your son needs nasal surgery.  If he wants to do this, consider taking him to a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is highly trained in Rhinoplasty surgery for a second opinion to discuss his options.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Best Age to Fix Broke Nose

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I am sorry to hear about your son's injuries. Depending on whether the injuries were isolated to the nasal bones or whether the septum and cartilage portions of the nose were also injured, he may require a procedure called a septorhinoplasty to restore the form and function of his nose to its pre injury state.

From your post, I am assuming he is 15 years old or younger. The decision when to perform nasal surgery on an adolescent requires an in office consultation including a detailed physical exam. If his growth has decelerated or stopped, it may be possible to perform surgery before the age of 16. Again, this discussion and decision making must take place in the office after a thorough history and exam are performed by a surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty. 

Steven M. Daines, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 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.