Liquid Rhinoplasty: A Nonsurgical Alternative
Portrait of a fresh and lovely woman

– by facial plastic surgeon Heather Lee, MD

Nonsurgical rhinoplasty has increased in popularity over the last few years, allowing patients to make small adjustments to the nose without surgery.  Dr. Heather Lee, a facial plastic surgeon who specializes solely in cosmetic and functional procedures for the face, offers an in-depth look at what the liquid rhinoplasty procedure can do.

The nose is one of the key features of the face, and one of the most common reasons people visit our office.  Because it occupies the central part of our face, it can have profound changes to the perception of one’s look.  It can add elegance, impart youth, and, with subtle alterations, change the overall characteristics of one’s face.

Liquid rhinoplasty is a quick procedure that can change the appearance of the nose without surgery.  By using fillers, we can create subtle changes or more dramatic transformations.  Many patients opt for injection rhinoplasty when they have a feature of their nose they would like to address, but are not interested in undergoing surgery.  Injection rhinoplasty offers a chance to “try on” changes without the commitment and downtime of surgery.

What can a liquid rhinoplasty change?

Many patients use injection rhinoplasty to camouflage a bump on the nose or address any irregularities or asymmetries on the bridge of the nose.  By smoothing out the bridge, the nose gets an instant upgrade with enhanced symmetry and elegance.  Another common use for injection rhinoplasty is to lift a drooping tip.  This changes an older-appearing, drooping nose to one with a more youthful rotation. Asymmetries of the nasal tip can also be corrected with this quick office procedure.

What fillers are used for liquid rhinoplasty?

The injectable fillers used in injection rhinoplasty procedures are hyaluronic acid fillers.  Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that is naturally found throughout the body in tissues such as cartilage and skin.  There are a number of hyaluronic acid fillers that can be used in injection rhinoplasty, and we use a variety of Juvéderm and Restylane products, which provide results that typically last one year.  Each filler has different physical properties and characteristics which help create a beautiful natural result.  For example, a stiffer filler may be better suited to contour the bridge of the nose while a softer filler is better for smoothing out subtle contours of the nasal tip.

What can I expect at my appointment?

With some numbing medicine, liquid rhinoplasty procedures are relatively painless with little to no downtime.  After any injection, there can be a small amount of swelling but this is minimal; many patients head back to work after the procedure and any swelling resolves in a matter of days.  Patients can apply makeup later that day and resume routine gentle skin care that evening.

Limitations of liquid rhinoplasty

The nose is comprised of skin, soft tissue, cartilage and bone, all of which contribute to its shape and its function.  Injection rhinoplasty utilizes filler to change the soft tissue layer of the nose, thus it would not affect structural components of the nose such as the cartilage and bone.  It is a great way to address many cosmetic issues but would not be used to address functional breathing concerns of the nose.  To appropriately address these concerns, a detailed examination is required to determine if surgical changes are needed to improve nasal obstruction concerns.  Surgical rhinoplasty is still the most popular way of addressing changes to the nose, both cosmetic and functional.

Who is a candidate for liquid rhinoplasty?

Since liquid rhinoplasty involves adding a filler, it is not the best treatment to make a larger nose smaller.  Also, patients who have had prior nose surgery should be carefully evaluated and may not be appropriate candidates for injection rhinoplasty due to possible vascular compromise.  Nonsurgical rhinoplasty is best for those looking to address and camouflage less-complex irregularities.

Although injection rhinoplasty can be performed safely, it is important to seek out a provider who has appropriate training and an intimate understanding of nasal anatomy.

Seeking out an experienced facial plastic surgeon is imperative for a thorough assessment to find out what treatment is right for you and to achieve a great-looking result safely.  For more information about injection rhinoplasty, please call our office at (585) 244-1000 or request a consultation.

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