Summary: Non-surgical Rhinoplasty sounds intriguing. Not having to go under the knife in order to make corrections and improvements sounds ideal, but like most things that sound too good to be true, usually they are too good to be true. That’s not to say that is does not serve a purpose, just that it is not here to replace traditional Rhinoplasty.
As technology advances, more and more people are seeking out non-surgical treatments to correct concerns that could previously be addressed only with surgery. The convenience, quick recuperation, and affordability of these options appeal to a wide range of people. But are non-surgical treatments true “alternatives”? Here, we’ll focus on the non-surgical rhinoplasty, one unconventional option that’s gaining steam around the country.
What Is a Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty?
The original “non-surgical rhinoplasty” is thought to have been developed in the early 1900s by doctors in both New York City and Vienna who attempted to use paraffin wax to fill in the depression in the dorsum that characterized the saddle nose deformity. Although the initial results were promising, patients eventually developed delayed complications such as infections and granulomas.
For many, non-surgical rhinoplasty is a way to improve the shape of their noses without undergoing surgery to make any structural changes. Typically, a non-surgical rhinoplasty is accomplished by using injectable fillers to even out irregular contours of the nose. The fillers typically used are familiar names to many in the cosmetic enhancement world — hyaluronic acid fillers such as JUVÉDERM®, calcium hydroxyapatite fillers such as RADIESSE®, and polymethylmethacrylate fillers such as ArteFill®. Because the procedure is carried out as a series of injections, there’s no need for patients to take time off work or school, no scarring, and no uncomfortable recuperation besides the possibility of some minor injection site irritation.
Non-surgical rhinoplasty is appropriate for smoothing out contour irregularities, such as humps or crookedness. Other concerns that injectable fillers can address include:
- A downturned or stunted nasal tip
- Enlarged nostrils
- A short or retracted columella
- A flat bridge
- Depressions or scars
Because non-surgical rhinoplasty involves adding fillers to the nose, it’s not a suitable match for people who are interested in decreasing the size or projection of their noses.
Is It Really an Alternative?
The word “alternative” often gets tossed around in ads for all sorts of non-surgical treatments. Although the non-surgical rhinoplasty is indeed a viable, effective option for people who are in search of minor nasal improvements, it’s not a perfect “alternative” to the traditional surgical nose job.
According to the website of Dr. Jerold Olson, a rhinoplasty specialist in Tucson, in a traditional rhinoplasty, a plastic surgeon reshapes the bone, cartilage, and other tissues that make up the nose. This approach is much more versatile than a non-surgical rhinoplasty, because it allows the surgeon more access to the nose’s anatomy and increases the ability to make more significant alterations. Additionally, traditional rhinoplasty is often performed to correct functional problems, such as a deviated septum or breathing issues. Non-surgical rhinoplasty procedures are always cosmetic.
Perhaps the most glaring difference between the traditional rhinoplasty and its bladeless cousin relates to the longevity of results. With few exceptions, today’s injectable fillers are temporary fixes, eventually getting harmlessly absorbed by the body and filtered away. In most cases, the results of traditional rhinoplasty are permanent, which is a huge advantage for someone who is significantly bothered by the natural appearance of his or her nose. On the other hand, the temporary nature of the results of a non-surgical rhinoplasty can be a plus for some, as it can allow patients to “preview” their results before committing to surgery.