April 26 1993
“Teenage Plastic Surgery”
A new nose and a chin to match
Growing up in East Brunswick, N.J., she was an accident-prone girl who broke her nose badly in ninth-grade gym class when she caught a basketball with her face. So Andrea Rudow visited Dr. Alvin Glasgold, the Highland Park, N.J. plastic surgeion who had straightened her older brother Gary’s nose when he was 16. Since she was only 13 and still growing, Glasgold advised her to come back in six months. She did- “with a huge red bump on my face. The nasal bone, instead of growing down, was now growing out,” she says. Classmates at East Brunswick High School noticed, too, and began calling her Rudolph.
During Andrea’s consultation, Dr. Glasgold suggested not only a nose job but an implant to improve her receding chin. “He said that the line of your nose has to fit with your chin,” says Rudow, “ and I trusted him.” According to Glasgold, 25 percent of all rhinoplasty patients also have receding chins. “Sometimes the chin is the real problem and the nose is just a minor one,” he says. “Correcting a chin is much simpler than doing a rhinoplasty, and the results, using FDA-approved silicone rubber, are extremely consistant.” Making an incision either under the chin or in the gums between the chin and the lip, the surgeion slips the implant into place, then anchors it with a surgical stitch to the tissue surrounding the bone. In 1988, when Andrea, now 19, had it done, the operation cost her father, Richard, a real estate appraiser, and her mother, Ricki, a medical secretary, $3,500. (Insurance paid most of the cost because her nasal bone was growing improperly.)
When her bandages came off, “I was laughing and crying at the same time,” Rudow says. “Crying because I was so happy and laughing because it didn’t look like me.”
Rudow was so elated with the results that she was inspired to lose weight,too. Back at school, she says, “ they looked at me like, ‘Oh, did you get a haircut?’” But Rudow felt the difference profoundly. Happier, and feeling prettier, she became less reclusive, making friends and dating regularly. Now a liberal arts student at Middlesex County Community College in Edison, N.J., she sees only one drawback to her surgery. “Men whistle at me on the street,” she says. “At first it was funny, but now it’s like, enough.”