Daniel Judd BSc, MBiol

 

What is non-surgical Rhinoplasty?

Non-surgical nose shaping (or a non-surgical nose job) is the smoothing and correcting of the nose by injected fillers instead of a undergoing a surgical procedure. Surgery can be a daunting prospect for many and might even be unnecessary for some corrections. Injections can act as an alternative is many cases, particularly those with smaller bumps, folds and asymmetrical regions that they want evened and smoothed out.

Non-surgical nose jobs are limited as an alternative to surgery though as they can only add to the nose and can’t take away. Someone wanting a large nose reduced in size would be unsuitable for these injections as well as someone wanting more major reshaping work. It can however compliment a surgical nose job by refining the nose after larger surgical shaping.

The fillers injected will typically last 6-18 months depending on which type is used.

 

How does it work?

The two commonly used fillers contain either hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxylapatite as the key ingredient.

Hyaluronic acid is a large sugar molecule that occurs naturally throughout the body. It plays a role in water retention, molecule transport and most importantly in this context, space filling. The body uses deposits of hyaluronic acid under the skin to give it plumpness and shape and hyaluronic acid fillers work by increasing or replenishing these deposits. The hyaluronic acid injected is typically modified in process called crosslinking which glues the molecules together and increases its lifespan before the body breaks it down.

Calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) is a mineral found naturally in your bones and teeth. When mixed into a gel it can work as a filler like hyaluronic acid and plump up the injection region. Calcium hydroxylapatite typically has a slightly longer lifespan than hyaluronic acid.

As both fillers are based on substances that naturally occur in the body there is little risk of rejection by the immune system.

 

What is it like?

The first step of this treatment is a consultation where the doctor will discuss expectations and outcomes, sometimes using pictures to give predictions on the possible improvements. The actual treatment is done under local anaesthetic so the patient is conscious throughout. A series of injections will be made into the target areas and the awake patient can follow the progress as it is made. The treatment should last around half an hour, after which the patient is free to return to their day.

 

What is the recovery time?

This treatment doesn’t require any major downtime following the procedure. It is however important to avoid any pressure on the nose for the next five days. It is advised that you avoid sleeping on your front or wearing glasses.

 

What are the risks and side effects?

A non-surgical nose shaping treatment may be followed by a number of temporary side effects.

A common side effect is bruising and tenderness in the treated area following injection. This should disappear after a few days.

Swelling can also occur following treatment and last for up to two weeks. This can lead to incorrectly settled filler which can usually be corrected easily by massaging. The clinic may offer a follow up session to check for this and fix as necessary.

 

How much does it cost?

A treatment session can cost anywhere between £200 and £700 depending on location and clinic. The treatment will need to be repeated after 6 to 18 months.

 

So is it worth it?

Non-surgical, nose reshaping fillers are a great option for someone wanting smaller corrections to the shape of their nose. The smaller nature of the corrections comes with a smaller price tag when compared to surgical treatments which can cost nearly 10 times the amount. What’s most important when deciding if they’re worth it is making sure they’re suitable for the corrections you want. A consultation should help you understand whether your nose can be improved with injections or if surgery is necessary for the improvements you want.

Ultimately, non-surgical nose shaping definitely seems worth it, provided the corrections you want done can be achieved. Just bear in mind when considering the price that in a year or so you’ll be paying it again if you want the improvements to remain.