After being turned away multiple times, a mother found a surgeon to perform a nose job on her teen daughter who was tired of being bullied

After being turned away multiple times, a mother found a surgeon to perform a nose job on her teen daughter who was tired of being bullied
Before and after photos of a 14-year-old's rhinoplastyCourtesy of Dr. Babak Azizzadeh
  • A 14-year-old rhinoplasty patient of Dr. Babak Azizzadeh said getting a nose job changed her life.
  • The girl and her mom said Azizzadeh agreed to perform the procedure after other surgeons declined.

When a Las Vegas-area mom saw how her then-13-year-old daughter endured bullying over the size of her nose, she decided she would do anything to help her.

The mom, who was granted anonymity for her and her daughter for privacy reasons, booked an appointment with Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, a Harvard-trained plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California.

In January, they had a virtual call with Azizzadeh to plan for the teen's June surgery.

The decision to get plastic surgery is always a complex one, Azizzadeh told Insider. When he thinks about working with young patients, speaking with the teen and their parents is an essential part of his decision, he said. Azizzadeh said he looks for teenagers who are mature enough to research and articulate the look they want from surgery. They also must have "amazing communication" with their parents, he said.

Azizzadeh told Insider the girl — who became his youngest patient at 14 — embodied those traits. She told Insider the procedure allowed her to get over her insecurities and put an end to her bullying-related depression.


The teen wouldn't let friends see her without makeup

The girl's mother, who also had a rhinoplasty as a young woman, told Insider it was "heartbreaking" to see her daughter get teased about her appearance.

She reached a breaking point when she saw the lengths to which her daughter went to conceal her nose.

"When I started noticing she was wearing so much makeup, trying to contour her nose, it broke my heart," the woman said.

The girl said she would stay up late and wake up extra early during sleepovers with friends so she could be sure to have nose-concealing makeup on.

Together, the girl and her mother agreed to research plastic surgeons. They ran into trouble when multiple doctors turned them away and said 14 was too young for a rhinoplasty.


"I was looking for someone who understood how this was affecting me and that it was not just for 'cosmetic reasons' but more to help with confidence and my life in general as well," the girl said.

More online research led them to Azizzadeh.

She says her rhinoplasty was a 'gift'

Azizzadeh said the girl and her mother discussed the risks of the procedure together. They decided that because "her nose went through a huge growth change as she developed puberty early," the nose job would have lasting results, he said.

After surgery, the girl's mother knew it was for the best, she said. She said the reveal was emotional and that when they removed the bandages, her daughter cried.

"I knew we did the right thing," she said.


The girl agreed and said she noticed an instant change.

"I knew I made the right decision after going to a sleepover, and I actually took my makeup off when everyone else did, and no one even noticed anything different because I wasn't pointing out how insecure I felt," she said. "I just enjoying being with friends. What a gift."

Rhinoplasties on teens are common, but complications can occur

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there is no set age limit for getting cosmetic procedures. However, many plastic surgeons evaluate whether or not they will operate on minors on a case-by-case basis.

"It is very common for teenagers to get rhinoplasties," board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Norman Rowe told Insider.

Rowe said he generally will wait until a person assigned female at birth is 15 and a person assigned male at birth is 17 before performing a rhinoplasty. Rowe said he does so to allow a person's face to reach skeletal maturity before the surgery.


Surgeons who perform too aggressive of a nose job to correct a deviated septum can actually stunt a teen's facial growth, Rowe said, so it's important to treat the procedure with additional caution.

After he's certain surgery won't negatively affect the face's development, Rowe evaluates his patient to make sure they are getting the procedure for the right reasons.

"As long as the patient is mature, and they understand that the effects of surgery are permanent, as a surgeon I feel it is fine to proceed," Rowe said. "We're always sure to ask what the patient wants to see if it's reasonable, and also nothing that is impulsive ever."