Hi Dr. N, My daughter is 13 and was born with a cleft lip and palate. She had her surgeries at 3 and 6 months. She now wants her final rhinoplasty and lip revision. I have consulted with 3 doctors who say wait until 15-16, however, if she must have it now 2 would do it but there is a possibility due to further growth there would be a need to make a revision later. I want my daughter to look her best and I understand how cruel young adults can be, therefore, I think she should have the surgery now. It appears that it all depends on how much she grows and how that would impact the growth of her nose. What if she had just broken her nose and needed it fixed, how would that be any different. I want to do the right thing and help her to feel her best. She is an A student and very smart but she is still 13. At the same time how much is this impacting her psyche? I don’t know if waiting is the best thing to do.
Thanks for your time.
I agree with the other plastic surgeons. Waiting till she has completed the majority of her facial and physical growth is important. Exceptions may be made in cases where the teenage patient is the same size as his or her parents, demostrating the possible near completion of any teenage growth spurts. But 13 is too young for a definitive rhinoplasty. If she does it now, she may end up needing another surgery again. However, I do not do many cleft lip rhinoplasties so I will defer to the expertise of the reconstructive facial plastic surgeons like Dr. Jonathan Sykes and other plastic surgeons that perform this type of rhinoplasty routinely.