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The nonsurgical nose job: An in-depth examination of liquid rhinoplasty

an in-depth examination of liquid rhinoplasty

Many patients are familiar with the idea of the traditional rhinoplasty, but not as many may be acquainted with a recently popular alternative – the liquid rhinoplasty.

This up-and-coming procedure isn't necessarily new to the world of aesthetics, but rather, it has seen a recent boom in popularity on social media as trends shift towards nonsurgical alternatives.

But what is liquid rhinoplasty, and how does it differ from surgical rhinoplasty? How can you determine which procedure is right for you? To answer these burning questions and more, we reached out to ASPS Member Surgeons Sheila Nazarian, MD, and Michelle Lee, MD, to gather their expert insights on this state-of-the-art procedure.

The basics of liquid rhinoplasty

A liquid rhinoplasty, also known as "nonsurgical rhinoplasty," is an outpatient alternative to provide patients with an aesthetic change to minor imperfections of the nose without the need for traditional surgery. This procedure is performed without general anesthesia and can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. It requires minimal downtime following the procedure, with most patients experiencing minor swelling or bruising.

"Liquid rhinoplasty, also known as nonsurgical rhinoplasty, uses dermal fillers to enhance and refine the contours of the nose," said Dr. Lee. "Liquid rhinoplasty can only add volume to the nose, so this is an ideal option for individuals seeking to improve the contours of the nasal tip or to conceal minor dorsal humps. By filling in the 'valleys' on either side of the hump, a smoother nasal bridge can be achieved."

Those who pursue liquid rhinoplasty over surgical rhinoplasty are often looking for a small adjustment to the appearance of their nose or a fast fix without the need for a dramatic change in shape or structure.

"Patients who don't have breathing problems who want a quick fix without downtime are ideal candidates for nonsurgical rhinoplasty," said Dr. Nazarian. "They also don't mind repeating the procedure."

There are plenty of benefits when opting for a liquid rhinoplasty over surgical rhinoplasty, but there are a few shortcomings to consider. Among these are limitations in terms of what can be achieved with nonsurgical rhinoplasty.

"Liquid rhinoplasty cannot reduce the size of the nose or remove any portion of the nose," said Dr. Lee.

A liquid rhinoplasty will also not help improve any breathing problems a patient has.

In a scenario where a patient is seeking a more dramatic change in the appearance or structure of their nose and to improve breathing issues, a surgical rhinoplasty may be what their plastic surgeon suggests rather than nonsurgical.

"Unlike liquid rhinoplasty, surgical rhinoplasty addresses a wider range of concerns and achieves more dramatic changes in nasal shape and size," said Dr. Lee. "Surgeons have the ability to precisely modify the nose's underlying structures and framework, and have the ability to not only augment the size but to reduce it."

One surprising shift within the world of rhinoplasty procedures is the popularity of patients pursuing both surgical and nonsurgical rhinoplasty together.

"I have seen patients ask for both," said Dr. Nazarian. "For surgical rhinoplasty, typically patients have trouble breathing or want a more permanent fix. Sometimes after a surgical rhinoplasty, there may still remain imperfections or asymmetry that they will want filler for."

Getting the most out of your liquid rhinoplasty

As with any procedure, both surgical and nonsurgical, there are key steps that you can take to set yourself up for success and maximize both your recovery and your results.

Always opt for a board-certified plastic surgeon

With any procedure, both surgical and nonsurgical, always make certain to opt for a board-certified plastic surgeon who is a member of ASPS to ensure that you are safely achieving your desired results.

"When considering nonsurgical rhinoplasty, it's crucial to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon," said Dr. Lee. "The injection site is a high-risk area for adverse events like skin necrosis and irreversible blindness, so I recommend that patients conduct their research thoroughly when selecting their provider."

Set yourself up for success

While the procedure itself is an important part of achieving your desired outcome, the period following a liquid rhinoplasty is also critical. Always make proper preparations ahead of time, such as setting up your recovery space and maintaining healthy lifestyle practices.

"Don't take any blood thinners – which may include vitamins or medication – two weeks prior to the procedure," said Dr. Nazarian.

Take the time to rest and recover

Although a liquid rhinoplasty isn't an actual surgery, this procedure still requires plenty of time for recovery afterward. Make sure that you take adequate time off work and other activities to allow yourself room to recover. Also, be certain to follow any post-procedure instructions to minimize your recovery time.

"Icing and arnica, bromelain and vitamin K prior to and immediately after the procedure help minimize any swelling or bruising," said Dr. Nazarian.

Be realistic with your expectations

As we mentioned previously, liquid rhinoplasty isn't necessarily the right procedure for everyone. If you're not sure whether you should choose surgical or nonsurgical rhinoplasty, always consult with your chosen surgeon and advise them of the results that you are hoping to achieve. They will be able to guide you in the right direction.

Be cautious when you pair up procedures

While many patients may opt for a nonsurgical rhinoplasty to correct any imperfections from a surgical rhinoplasty, it's important to do so with caution because if not performed correctly, it could compromise blood flow to the nose.

"Be very careful if you are seeking a liquid rhinoplasty after a surgical rhinoplasty," said Dr. Lee. "You should choose a provider who is experienced in both surgical and nonsurgical rhinoplasty. After surgical rhinoplasty, the blood supply to the skin envelope is altered and at even higher risk of vascular compromise. To minimize these risks, it is important to be diligent in selecting a qualified provider."

Achieving your dream nose without the surgery

While the so-called 'nose job' may be a popular surgical procedure with a lot of public awareness, its lesser-known nonsurgical sister – the liquid rhinoplasty – has been quickly gaining in popularity within the recent few years.

This innovative procedure uses dermal fillers to make small aesthetic tweaks to the appearance of the nose, offering amazing results with little downtime, making it a great option for patients who are interested in a change but not ready to go under the knife quite yet.

To find a qualified plastic surgeon for any cosmetic or reconstructive procedure, consult a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. All ASPS members are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, have completed an accredited plastic surgery training program, practice in accredited facilities and follow strict standards of safety and ethics. Find an ASPS member in your area.


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