While surgical rhinoplasty remains one of our most popular procedures, not everyone is ready to go under the knife.
“Lots of patients—especially younger people—want to explore the idea of a non-surgical rhinoplasty,” says our facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Inessa Fishman. “The appeal of improving the appearance of the nose without the anesthesia requirement and downtime of surgery is undeniable, and some patients like the concept of modeling what rhinoplasty can look like before they consider surgery,” she adds.
We see many patients who are interested in changing or improving the appearance of their nose without surgery, and this is where non-surgical rhinoplasty—also called a “liquid rhinoplasty”—shines.
A liquid rhinoplasty typically refers to a non-surgical treatment, or a combination of treatments, where injectable therapies are used to reshape the structure of the nose.
Dermal fillers, such as Restylane® or Juvederm®, are most commonly used in non-surgical rhinoplasty; these volumizing and structural agents can camouflage bumps on the nose’s profile, reshape the nasal tip (such as in the patient shown below), and camouflage depressions to improve the appearance of a crooked nose.
Muscle-relaxing medications such as Botox® and Dysport® are often used to help relax muscles that pull down on the nasal tip; this treatment helps raise an overly droopy tip. Occasionally, temporary threads are used to build up volume on a nose with a too-low bridge; threads can be used to raise the nasal tip also.
“Liquid rhinoplasty is a relatively newer treatment, made extremely popular by social media,” says Dr. Fishman. While it provides instant (or relatively quick onset) results, liquid rhinoplasty is a medical procedure and has associated risks. Besides bruising, bleeding, and infection, there is a risk of vascular occlusion–or blockage of blood flow–in the setting of injecting dermal fillers into the nose. Blockage of blood flow can result in skin death, tissue loss, scarring, and even vision loss. “The risk of vascular occlusion is rare in trained hands,” says Dr. Fishman, “but it is not zero, and it is important to understand this and all other risks of any medical procedure you may be considering.”
Because the primary treatment for vascular occlusion is the speedy dissolving of the injected filler, Dr. Fishman prefers to use hyaluronic acid fillers (such as Restylane® and RHA®) in the nose and always keeps on hand hyaluronidase, the dissolving agent for hyaluronic acid fillers.
Non-surgical rhinoplasty is associated with mild to no discomfort; we commonly use topical numbing cream prior to treatment and occasionally employ relaxing laughing gas to comfort anxious patients. Downtime from liquid rhinoplasty is low to none, and most patients return to their work and social obligations immediately upon leaving our office.
Dr. Fishman recommends avoiding strenuous exercise and heavy lifting, as well as facials and extensive rubbing or manipulation of the injected area after treatment. Most patients report that their friends and family do not notice anything is different about them after non-surgical rhinoplasty. Most patients who want to keep up with treatment return in 4-12 months, depending on their individual anatomy and aesthetic goals.
“If you are pondering changing the appearance of your nose, do your research about treatment options and their risks and benefits,” advises Dr. Fishman.
Curious about whether non-surgical rhinoplasty is a good treatment option for you? Schedule your consultation with our facial plastic surgeon Dr. Fishman. Call Aviva Plastic Surgery at (678) 974-8435 or contact us online to get started.