What is a nonsurgical or liquid rhinoplasty?

The terms nonsurgical and liquid rhinoplasty commonly refer to using injectable fillers (such as Juvéderm®, Restylane®, etc.) to reshape the nose.

Nasal nomenclature

Before starting the discussion on rhinoplasty, it is important to first define a few terms. Labeled photographs of the anatomical locations of the nasal radix, tip, and dorsum are shown below.

What can be corrected with a nonsurgical rhinoplasty?

Dorsal hump “reduction”

Fillers can be most effective for camouflaging a dorsal hump by modifying the height of the radix of the nose (the junction of the nose and the forehead). By increasing the projection of the radix, it has the appearance of decreasing the size of the dorsal hump. This can only be used with certain types of dorsal humps since it may not be possible to camouflage a particularly large dorsal hump. The photo simulations below demonstrate an example for how filler is used to camouflage a dorsal hump.

dorsal hump simulation
This image demonstrates a simulation of a dorsal hump.
liquid rhinoplasty
With soft tissue fillers, the hump can be hidden, by raising the nasal radix. This produces an overall larger nose, but removes the appearance of the dorsal hump.
conventional rhinoplasty
This photograph demonstrates what would be possible with a surgical rhinoplasty. In order to reduce the size of the hump (and by extension the nose), a surgical approach is required to lower the height of the dorsal hump.

Nasal tip modifications

Fillers can be used if there are irregularities including bumps, grooves, or indents on the tip of the nose. Indents or grooves can be removed by filling them with an injectable material. Bumps can be camouflaged by filling the surrounding tissue.

The nose has a simulated slight indentation above the nasal tip in this photograph.
liquid rhinoplasty for indentation
Soft tissue filler can be placed at the location of the indentation to camouflage the defect.

Dorsal camouflage

The dorsal of the nose can also be adjusted slightly with filler. It can be used for smoothing minor irregularities, similarly to how the nasal tip is modified.

How long is the procedure for a nonsurgical rhinoplasty?

The length of the procedure is significantly less than an operation. Usually, a nonsurgical rhinoplasty can take 30-60 minutes and be performed in a standard medical office examination room. A surgical rhinoplasty can often be a half-day event. It requires coming to the hospital or surgical center, undergoing the operation, and recovering from the operation.

How long is the recovery from a liquid rhinoplasty?

The recovery from a nonsurgical rhinoplasty is significantly shorter than a surgical rhinoplasty. Surgical rhinoplasty will require healing of the incisions, which can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks. Often, splints are placed over the nose, which will remain in place for 1 week. The swelling reduces significantly after 1-2 months, but most surgeons agree that the final, stable result from a surgical rhinoplasty occurs 1-2 years after the operation.

How long will the results from a nonsurgical rhinoplasty last?

The results from a nonsurgical rhinoplasty will not last as long as those with a surgical rhinoplasty. Most injectable fillers eventually dissolve in the body over time. They usually last anywhere from 6 to 12 months. There can be some infiltration of scar that provides a slight permanent change.

Will a nonsurgical rhinoplasty improve my breathing?

A nonsurgical rhinoplasty will not improve any nasal airway obstruction. Surgical rhinoplasties can commonly be performed with maneuvers that will improve breathing. These can include addressing a deviated septum with a septoplasty or large turbinates with a turbinate reduction. During a surgical rhinoplasty, one can also correct any weaknesses or collapse of the internal or external nasal valves.

How much does nonsurgical rhinoplasty cost?

The cost is significantly lower than a surgical rhinoplasty for multiple reasons. There is no need to perform the procedure in an operating room. There are fewer supplies and fewer personnel are required to be involved in the procedure.

How do I decide if I am a candidate for a liquid rhinoplasty?

The decision to have a surgical or nonsurgical rhinoplasty is commonly dependent on the concerns each individual patient has with his or her nose. A consultation with a surgeon trained in rhinoplasty and injectable fillers is the best way to determine which type of procedure is the best for you.

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