Q: My 14-year-old daughter wants a nose job for her junior-high graduation, but I think she looks great just the way she is. What do you suggest?

A: Your daughter is at a crucial age in her physical and emotional development. In deciding whether to let her get rhinoplasty [a nose job], you'll want to consider both parts of that equation. And since she's a minor, parental consent would be required before she could proceed with any surgery.

As for the physical part, it's believed that performing rhinoplasty on a developing nose can potentially affect growth. For that reason, it's recommended that the procedure be performed only on teens who are close to their adult height. In general, girls hit their adult height by 15 and boys by 16 or 17. This can also be determined based on how much your daughter grew in the past year compared with the previous year.

What may be even more important in the decision-making process, however, is your daughter's emotional development. Younger teens may be more prone to peer pressure, rather than making independent decisions. When it comes to something as important as rhinoplastywhich will change her nose for the rest of her lifeit's crucial that she wants the surgery for the right reasons and that her expectations are realistic.

I recommend that you and your daughter schedule an appointment with a skilled cosmetic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty. That way, he or she can provide you with guidance to help determine the best and most appropriate decision for your daughter at this stage in her life.

Dr. Pearlman is director of facial plastic surgery at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City and an attending surgeon at Lenox Hill and Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospitals. Dual board-certified, in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and in Head and Neck Surgery, he is also founding president of the New York Facial Plastic Surgery Society and former president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.