The idea that you may be able to get a new nose without surgery has been circulating in beauty blogs and magazine features lately. Sometimes called a “liquid nose job” by the media, non-surgical nose reshaping involves strategic use of injectable fillers to improve nasal contours.
For several years now, I have successfully used dermal fillers to improve nasal shape for many of my own patients; in the appropriate situation, fillers can be a great way to camouflage minor flaws, improve symmetry, or fill small depressions in the nose following rhinoplasty. As with most cosmetic procedures, however, achieving aesthetically pleasing results in a safe, consistent manner requires considerable expertise.
Injectable fillers can be a great way to camouflage minor flaws, improve symmetry, or fill small depressions in the nose following rhinoplasty. However, achieving aesthetically pleasing results in a safe, consistent manner requires considerable expertise.
If you are considering your options for nose reshaping, it may help to know some details about what nasal filler treatments entail, so you can more confidently compare the benefits of both non-surgical and surgical rhinoplasty.
Are filler injections a good alternative to rhinoplasty?
Dermal fillers can be a suitable rhinoplasty alternative for certain patients who would like to improve nasal contours but are reluctant to commit to nose surgery just yet. While fillers tend to last longer in the nose compared to other areas—1 year or longer in many cases—the results are temporary, whereas an expertly performed rhinoplasty will last a lifetime.
Hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Juvéderm and Restylane, are best suited for use in the nose, as they can be injected in small amounts and reversed if need be with injections of the enzyme hyaluronidase. More permanent fillers should generally be avoided as they are not as suited towards delicate refinements and time is the only way to reverse the effects.
It is important to understand that fillers are limited in what they can achieve with nasal contouring and are not effective for every issue. For example, if you would like to straighten a very large bump or reduce the overall size of your nose, a surgical rhinoplasty would be most appropriate. To determine the best course of action for your needs, consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon who performs rhinoplasty regularly.
Using fillers to enhance or correct a previous rhinoplasty
While filler injections can be used in lieu of rhinoplasty to “test out” a new nose shape, I have found fillers to be particularly useful for making adjustments to a prior rhinoplasty, either to correct minor flaws that don’t call for a secondary surgery, or to enhance the results.
Dermal fillers usually last considerably longer in the nose for patients who have had rhinoplasty compared to those who have not—I have had one patient for which the effects lasted more than 4 years.
One very interesting thing about dermal fillers is that they can last a very long time in the nose after surgery—I have had one patient for which the effects lasted more than 4 years. Not all patients can expect such a result, but fillers always seems to last considerably longer in the nose for patients who have had rhinoplasty compared to those who have not. While more research is needed to prove why this is the case, I suspect that the the thin layer of scar tissue created inside the nose following rhinoplasty helps to isolate the injected fillers, slowing the rate of absorption.
How does a non-surgical nose job work?
Dermal filler injections are often touted as a quick “lunchtime” procedure, and I have even read some magazine articles that suggest that nasal contouring with fillers takes as little as 15 minutes. However, a “non-surgical nose job” is a surprisingly complex procedure compared to many other injectable treatments. Excellent results require a careful approach, and the injector must have 360° access to the face to view the nose from the top, bottom, front and sides to monitor the 3-dimensional effects of each injection on the overall contour of the nose. Plenty of time should be set aside for the procedure—expect up to 1 hour.
Because we often use fillers to elevate tissues in the nose, rather than simply fill depressions, injections must be made in tiny increments, using an extremely thin needle. Injecting fillers in “layers” allows a provider to build upon each prior filler addition to achieve the desired elevation while preventing the filler from spreading laterally across the nose. I apply a powerful topical anesthetic prior to treatment to enhance patient comfort and help blood vessels contract, which reduces risk of complications.
As with most injectable procedures, non-surgical nose shaping requires no downtime and the results are immediate.
What are the risks of using fillers to shape the nose?
Injecting dermal fillers to the nose safely requires considerable skill and experience. Even very small over-corrections can cause the nose to appear unnatural or misshapen, and there is a higher risk of a complication called “vascular compromise” with nasal injections. This occurs when the filler breaches or compresses a blood vessel, which cuts off blood flow and can lead to skin loss if not addressed immediately. The risk for these complications can be sharply reduced by choosing a highly experienced, qualified provider, such as a board certified facial plastic surgeon, to perform nasal filler injections.
Explore your rhinoplasty options further with an experienced professional.
I hope you have found this information helpful in your research. If you are currently exploring your options for a rhinoplasty surgeon in New York, I invite you to contact my office for a consultation. Together, we can discuss your goals and go over the options that will best help you achieve the changes you desire.