Pediatric plastic surgery at St. Louis Children’s Hospital offers rhinoplasty (commonly known as a nose job) and other types of reconstructive nose surgery.
Our plastic surgeons can perform nose surgery to restore your child’s nasal form and function — including their ability to breathe through both nostrils. We also offer surgery to improve the appearance of your child’s nose.
Reasons for Nose Surgery in Kids
Our surgeons perform nose surgery in children and teens for a variety of reasons, including:
- Traumatic face or nose injury, such as a broken nose or animal bite
- Nose malformations related to cleft lip and palate or other craniofacial anomalies
- Deviated septum (typically repaired with a procedure called septoplasty, which can be combined with rhinoplasty)
- Breathing issues
- Nosebleeds due to reduced airflow through the nose
- Quality of life and self-esteem
What is the Best Age to Get a Nose Job?
The best age to get a nose job depends on the goals of the procedure:
- For surgery to improve appearance, we prefer your child’s face to be fully grown. Most people’s noses are fully grown by their mid-teens (if they’re female) or their late teens (if they’re male).
- For surgery to improve nasal function or repair injury, we may need to operate sooner. For example, we may recommend earlier surgery to correct malformations from cleft lip and palate or craniofacial anomalies that severely affect your child’s ability to breathe.
What to Expect After Rhinoplasty
Your surgeon will provide information about what to expect based on the type of rhinoplasty your child has.
In general, you can expect the following:
- Most children go home from the hospital with soft material packed inside their nose and a splint on the outside to support the surgical changes.
- The packing inside your child’s nose may be uncomfortable. It can lead to difficulty breathing and feelings of stuffiness or pressure.
- While your child has packing inside their nose, they will need to breathe through their mouth. This can lead to a sore throat. Encourage your child to continue drinking water even if it hurts to swallow.
- Your child may have pain after surgery. Different children have different experiences with pain. We will work to make your child as comfortable as possible.
- Your child will have some bruising around the eyes and nose. This will gradually fade away.
Before and After Photo Gallery
For before and after photos of some of our rhinoplasty surgeries, see our Rhinoplasty and Nasal Reconstruction Gallery.
Why Choose St. Louis Children’s Hospital for Rhinoplasty?
A focus on preparing your child, mentally and physically: We work with you and your child to understand the goals for surgery. We do this for several reasons: We want to make sure your child’s goals are achievable. And we want you and your child to be fully educated about the risks of surgery, as well as other options your child may have. We also want to make sure your child’s anatomy is ready for whatever procedure they wish to have.
Expertise with rhinoplasty related to nose malformations: Our plastic surgeons are part of the Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Institute team. Together, the team has treated more than 4,300 patients with cleft lip and palate, and more than 3,000 with major craniofacial anomalies. Their extensive experience means they understand the complexities of rhinoplasty related to other facial malformations. They can provide your child with a treatment plan that factors in additional surgeries your child has had or will need.
Plastic surgeons focused on kids: Pediatric plastic surgeons focus primarily on treating children and adolescents. Their in-depth understanding of children’s and teens’ anatomy allows them to tailor surgical plans to your child’s needs.
Kid-centered support team: Your child’s support team will include a range of specialists who work exclusively with children and adolescents. Pediatric anesthesiologists and child-life specialists, for example, make surgery and the entire hospital experience more comfortable for kids.
Safety and quality outcomes: Our plastic surgeons continually review data on our rhinoplasty outcomes so that we can provide the highest-quality and safest care possible. Our main goals are minimizing complications after surgery and the need to re-operate.