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Non-surgical Rhinoplasty: Nose Job without Surgery

Non-surgical rhinoplasty has reemerged over the past few years as a popular option for certain patients. In the past, only silicone was injected into the nose, but now Maryland and northern Virginia rhinoplasty patients can choose from a variety of cosmetic injectable fillers. As the FDA has not yet approved the use of fillers for cosmetic injection into the nose, they are currently being used off-label. Fillers are typically injected into the bridge of the nose to help smooth depressions and irregularities. They may also be used to build the bridge and provide augmentation for flat or wide noses. Injectable fillers which have been used for nonsurgical rhinoplasty include Radiesse and hyaluronic acids, such as Restylane or Juvederm.

However, I’d like to offer a few words of caution for those considering the use of fillers as non-surgical rhinoplasty. Nasal injections can have potentially serious problems. As a result, your cosmetic specialist should be appropriately trained and board-certified. Some potential complications include, but are not limited to lumps, irregularity, color changes, discoloration, swelling, infection, blood flow problems, skin loss, pain, or numbness.

Technically, any physician or nurse can treat a patient with cosmetic Restylane injections into the nose. However, laws vary by state within the US regarding who can treat with fillers. To help minimize potential complications, one should be treated by someone who has extensive training and experience with nasal procedures and rhinoplasty.

Additionally, non-surgical rhinoplasty with fillers is temporary given that fillers eventually dissolve. Fillers in the nose, however, do last much longer than in other areas of the face, such as cheek or lip enhancement. For example, hyaluronic acid fillers (Restylane and Juvderm) can last up to a year or longer in the nose while only 6 months in the lips.

Lastly, non-surgical rhinoplasty cannot achieve all the results that a formal rhinoplasty surgery can provide. Only surgical rhinoplasty can narrow wide nostrils with skin removal or narrow a bulbous tip with cartilage removal. In addition, only surgery can remove a nasal hump with bone and cartilage removal. Non-surgical rhinoplasty may possibly give the illusion of a reduced hump or narrowed bridge, but the non-surgical results are different from what surgery may provide.

Depending on the specific anatomy of your nose and your personal preferences, I suggest first speaking with a rhinoplasty surgeon who can use computer imaging to simulate rhinoplasty. You’ll be able to visualize in real time what results are potentially available. Only after a comprehensive in-person evaluation can a facial plastic surgeon help determine the appropriate cosmetic surgery options for your nose.

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    Houtan Chaboki, M.D.