In 2021, having a little nip & tuck is no longer something we feel the need to keep secretive about. Whether it’s plastic surgery or injectable tweakments, the average consumer’s attitude towards cosmetic procedures has shifted drastically in a positive way over the past 5 years, with over 15 million procedures projected in 2020 alone according to 2020 National Plastic Surgery Statistics.
Rhinoplasty, or commonly known as the nose job, remains one of the most performed and enquired about procedures, and involves altering/shaving the bones and cartilage to change the size and shape of the nose. A non-surgical rhinoplasty, or a “liquid” rhinoplasty is the non-surgical equivalent of the conventional method, and involves injecting fillers into the nose for reshaping purposes. A non-surgical nose job can’t reduce the size, but the benefits can include disguising bumps, contouring the nose whilst giving it a straighter appearance. The filler used is typically hyaluronic acid-based, which means that it will dissolve over time. The popularity for non-surgical nose jobs has risen significantly over the past year thanks to its non-invasive nature and relatively low cost compared to the surgical method. However, doctors and aesthetic practitioners warn that it is not for everyone. Before you make a decision on which method to go for, here’s what you should know about non-surgical nose jobs.
Suitability and Limitations
Dr Sophie Shotter, named Top Injector by Tatler and Bazaar UK and founder of the Illuminate Skin Clinic, says: “Non-surgical rhinoplasty has become an increasingly popular treatment over the last few years. It involves using strategically placed dermal filler to even out lumps and bumps or to lift the nose tip. Even though it is counter-intuitive as we are adding volume to the nose, it makes the nose appear smaller.”
“There are many instances where a non-surgical rhinoplasty will fulfill a patient’s aesthetic goals. The key is to understand the limitations of when it can be useful, and when a surgical rhinoplasty is required.” Agrees Dr Ashwin Soni, who is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and practices both non-surgical and surgical procedures in Surrey and Berkshire, UK. Dr Soni is also the founder and owner of The Soni Clinic.
According to Dr Shotter, the best candidates are those who have bumps in the nose that can be straightened out, and those with a slightly droopy tip. “If your problem is, for example, that you think the tip of your nose is too bulbous, that is something we can do very little about, apart from referring you for surgery. For those who are suitable, it’s an excellent procedure which doesn’t carry the risks and downtime of surgery.” Dr Shotter explains.
Another limitation of the non-surgical nose job procedure is that only the appearance of the nose can be altered. “If doing a surgical rhinoplasty we can also address other issues such as breathing difficulties by restructuring and reshaping the nose. This can often have a massive impact on the patient’s wellbeing.” Says Dr Naveen Cavale, a consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon who works both in the NHS and privately at the Cadogan Clinic in London. With over 25 years of experience in the field, Dr Cavale’s speciality includes rhinoplasty, breast augmentation and breast reductions (www.realplasticsurgery.co.uk).
“The advantages of a non-surgical rhinoplasty is that you do not have to undergo the recovery and swelling that surgery would involve.” Dr Soni adds. Both Dr Shotter and Dr Soni stress that regardless of whether it’s non-surgical or a surgical rhinoplasty you opt for, it’s important to be in safe medical hands who have significant experience with the facial anatomy.
Procedure and Downtime
“One of the big pros of non-surgical rhinoplasty is the downtime afterward. Unlike a surgical rhinoplasty, there is little to no recovery time — if you got it done during your lunch hour, for example, you’d be fine to go back to the office afterward.” Says Dr Cavale.
Furthermore, Dr Cavale points out that a non surgical nose job procedure is quick to perform. “A traditional rhinoplasty takes anywhere between 2-4 hours to do, whereas the non-surgical version can be performed in around 30 minutes.”
Temporary And Reversible Outcome
One of the reasons non-surgical nose jobs have become so popular is because it is reversible. If you don’t like the results, the filler can simply be dissolved and broken down by having hyaluronidase injected. “This also means that a non-surgical rhinoplasty isn’t a permanent fix. The filler will dissolve over time which means if you like the result, you’ll need to go back to your injector once or twice a year for top-ups.” Says Dr Cavale.
Side Effects and Cost
Like any medical or cosmetic procedures, some injection-related side effects can occur including redness, tenderness, swelling and bruising. “On a basic level, infection and a poor cosmetic outcome can occur. If a blood vessel is injected or the blood supply to the nose is compromised it can lead to pain, permanent scarring, necrosis (soft tissue death) and deformity — both of the nose and areas around it such as between the eyes. Permanent blindness can occur due to the blood supply to the eyes being impaired.” Says Dr Jonquille Chantrey, who is a surgeon & Global Key Opinion Leader, and voted No.1 UK Doctor by The Aesthetics Awards. Dr Chantrey specializes extensively in aesthetic medical procedures and founded ØNE aesthetic studiø with over 10 years of plastic and cosmetic surgery experience in microsurgery, breast, facial surgery and burns reconstruction. “Injection rhinoplasty is an advanced procedure that requires highly skilled expertise.”
Costs of non-surgical nose job can vary considerably depending on which country, or even where in the country the patient is, as well as the anatomy of the nose and the work involved. Dr Chantrey says: “A typical cost with an expert will start from £950 (approx. $1,300) compared with a surgical rhinoplasty that can range between £4,000 to £8,000 (approx. $5,500 – $11,000) depending on the complexity.” It’s worth noting that non-surgical options can be more expensive in the long run compared to surgery, if it’s something the patient continues to get for years.
In the UK, fillers are classed as a “medical device” as opposed to a drug, so can be acquired and injected by anyone. The reason this is so dangerous is someone could potentially inject filler into the blood vessels which can cause skin necrosis (death of body tissue) and even blindness. Dr Cavale cautions that for this particular reason, it’s imperative patients go to a medical professional who knows how to perform this treatment safely. “I’d advise checking to see if your practitioner is registered on the General Medical Council’s website if they are a doctor. Or in case of a nurse, the Nursing & Midwifery Council.” Dr Cavale says: “Secondly, I’d advise only getting the procedure at a regulated clinic. Here in the UK we have Care Quality Commission (or CQC for short) regulated clinics, meaning they have high safety protocols amongst other standards. Finally, if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is. It’s worth paying for the expertise of a medical professional for non-surgical rhinoplasty to ensure you don’t run into dangerous consequences.”