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Non surgical alternative to rhinoplasty

Your nose is a key central feature of your face and major determinant of your attractiveness.  Don’t be discouraged if you feel your nose is not as attractive as you like, as so many people have various nasal deformities—whether they be due to family genes (“I got my father’s nose.”) or from trauma.   The multitude of variable shapes of the nose also makes us unique.  However, it doesn’t mean you should just accept your nose if you’re unhappy with it.  Improving your nasal appearance can help you look better, which translates to more self confidence and happiness.

In the past, a surgical rhinoplasty was really the only way to change your nose’s appearance.  However, the thought of having surgery can be very daunting for many of us.  There is trend today towards nonsurgical options to change how we look, and that has come to rhinoplasty as well.  That means more reliance on injectables and lasers, as well as other energy delivery devices.    Specifically, the nonsurgical alternative to rhinoplasty is using fillers.  With recent advances in fillers, we’re seeing more and more patients opt for nonsurgical rhinoplasty, or “liquid rhinoplasty.”  This basically refers to using fillers to improve your nasal appearance.  We see a lot of patients coming to our office asking for the liquid rhinoplasty.  But you have to be aware that a liquid rhinoplasty is not a simple replacement for surgery.

The nose is a complex structure.  The reason why rhinoplasty is among the most challenging of surgeries is because it is a very precise surgery, with results affected by millimeters of manipulation.  It’s unrealistic to think fillers can achieve the same results as surgery.  But, there are certain situations when a filler can definitely improve your nasal appearance.  When should you consider a liquid rhinoplasty?  Basically, if your deformities can be camouflaged with filler, then you’re a good candidate.  For example, the most popular example where liquid rhinoplasty is good option is if you have a dorsal hump.  Again, every case is unique, but—generally– fillers can help make a hump appear straighter and flatter.  Another good indication is if you have a crooked nose.  Fillers, placed properly, can mask the deviation and make your nose look straighter.  Very obvious tip deformities can also be improved with fillers.  However, if you’re looking to make your tip look smaller and pointier, then fillers won’t work well.  Fillers can achieve some small degree of tip rotation and projection, but there is a limit to what fillers can achieve.

The best advice if you’re considering liquid rhinoplasty is to see a board certified facial plastic surgeon, or plastic surgeon for a careful in office evaluation.  The doctor will examine your nose and determine if fillers are a good option.  While I’m sure you can find good injectors who are not surgeons, in my opinion, a surgeon with experience in rhinoplasties has a better understanding of the nasal anatomy and function and can achieve more reliable results.

An advantage of liquid rhinoplasty over surgery is you can do this in a clinic visit, and have no down time.  The procedure is not very painful, if the doctor numbs your skin properly.  Furthermore, almost all the fillers on the market have lidocaine mixed in them.  Thus, the injection gets less painful as the procedure progresses.  In my opinion, the best fillers to use are hyaluronic acid fillers (ie Juvederm Voluma).  The single biggest advantage of these fillers is the option to dissolve them.  It’s crucial you don’t get injected with a permanent filler.  In my view, the small possibility of permanent disfigurement is not worth it.  While safe, it’s critical these injections are performed by experienced surgeon or doctor because the nose can be a dangerous place to inject.  A catastrophic complication is embolization of the filler into a blood vessel; this may result in tissue death or even blindness.  Fortunately, these complications are exceedingly rare if performed by an experienced board certified surgeon.  Another advantage of liquid rhinoplasty is the result is immediate.  There will be a small degree of swelling like any injection procedure, but you can expect to see the final result in couple of weeks.  Rhinoplasty results in swelling and early changes in tip may not be seen for many months after surgery.    Another good news?  Your results should last one to two years.   For many patients, this is a reasonable option over rhinoplasty.  It’s less expensive, not as scary as surgery, and they accept the one – two year duration of results.  For you, these factors may outweigh the benefit of permanent results from surgery because you avoid the potential risks and recovery resulting from surgery.

For more information about San Antonio liquid rhinoplasty, please visit our interactive website at Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a qualified team of experts serving the San Antonio, Texas area. To schedule a consultation, please contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (210) 876-6868 or