Dr. Serhan Derin, born in 1982, is a seasoned ENT specialist who graduated from Ankara University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Kocaeli University in 2010. Dr. Derin is a highly skilled surgeon specializing in functional and cosmetic nose surgeries, including Primary Rhinoplasty, Revision Rhinoplasty, Ethnic Rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, Septorhinoplasty, Nasal Valve Surgery, and Sinus Surgery.
This is the third step of your 8 part journey into the exclusive guide on rhinoplasty types.
Sometimes people consider getting a rhinoplasty surgery, but after hearing about the long recovery timeline and the cost involved, they may change their minds. But did you know, you can achieve a similar look with just a few injections? It is possible with liquid rhinoplasty!
The scale of a liquid rhinoplasty operation is much smaller than a huge rhinoplasty surgery. In fact, it is not even considered a surgery since it does not involve any big incisions. The liquid rhinoplasty procedure will give you the nose shape you want with small injections, but how? Without further delay, let’s get started!
What is a liquid rhinoplasty and how is it different?
Liquid rhinoplasty is one of the most popular procedures in nonsurgical rhinoplasty options. As an alternative to surgery, the procedure involves injecting a liquid (dermal fillers) into your nose to create volume. By doing that, eligible providers give you a reduced dorsal hump look, a defined tip, and generally an aligned nasal appearance.
The idea of using injectable fillers for a nose procedure was first thought of and tested in 2002 (1). The research was established to observe 11 people who got augmentation (a lift-up) on the nose with dermal filler injection. The patients were most satisfied with the results and the study became a pioneer for liquid nose job attempts.
During the procedure, surgeons might offer or use various kinds of different fillers which we will explain further and dive into details right below.
What filler is used for liquid rhinoplasty?
There are many different types of fillers used in a liquid nose operation. Materials that your body can absorb safely are used in the procedure, such as hyaluronic acid, to achieve aesthetic results that will not cause you any discomfort. Additionally, some artificial materials are also used for the procedure. These include:
- Hyaluronic acid: A natural substance found in your eye fluids and joints.
- Calcium hydroxyapatite: Another natural substance generally found in your bones.
- Poly-L-lactic acid: A synthetic substance that can resolve in your body.
- PMMA-collagen: A synthetic substance that does not resolve in the body.
Hyaluronic acid is the most preferred filler, as the procedure can be reversed even during the operation. Calcium hydroxyapatite and poly-L-lactic acid are also used for their lower complication rates and longer-lasting durations. If you want to know which filler is best for liquid rhinoplasty, it’s important to note that only PMMA-collagen is FDA-approved for this purpose. While other filler types are considered safe and applicable according to many different articles, only non-dissolvable fillers are approved by the FDA (2).
Is liquid rhinoplasty permanent?
Depending on the type of material used, liquid rhinoplasty can be temporary or permanent. Most of the fillers used in this procedure generally collapse eventually, and to sustain the same look you need to repeat the procedure after a certain time has passed.
There are three different types of fillers, such as temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent. A filler is considered permanent if the procedure lasts around five years. However, there is no single classification of fillers that is exclusively referred to as temporary or semi-permanent. Additionally, the duration of fillers can vary from person to person. For PMMA-collagen, some people have claimed that their fillers lasted for 10 years (3). Here are the estimated durations for different types of fillers.
- Hyaluronic Acid lasts around a year
- Calcium hydroxyapatite lasts around 2 years
- Poly-L-Lactic acid lasts around 2 years
- PMMA-collagen could last for 5 years or more
As you can see, some materials last for a few years and the procedure is repeated to sustain the same look if it is not permanent liquid rhinoplasty. Now, we will take a look at the procedure itself.
How does the procedure work?
First, you are prepared for the operation. It can be either performed while you are sitting or lying down. They might apply some topical numbing creams on your nose, but some doctors might not prefer this. There are also some fillers that come with the anesthetic ingredient. The procedure is pain-free either way.
Then your doctor starts injecting the needle into the different parts of your nose. The only thing you can feel is a slight pressure on your nose or your doctor pinching your nose during the procedure. Injecting fillers on the different parts of the nose requires different amounts of material. Generally, doctors avoid injecting huge amounts at once instead they inject in sessions.
The whole liquid rhinoplasty process takes at most an hour. It can take 15 minutes less unless topical numbing gel is applied and it is done. Now we will explain what can you achieve during that one hour.
What does liquid rhinoplasty do?
People might be confused about what the procedure does and assume that their noses will get bigger afterward. However, the procedure only provides a partial augmentation over the required areas of your nose including the low radix area (the area between your eyes). The goal of dermal filler rhinoplasty is to add volume to your nose to make it appear more defined and well-shaped. So, what can liquid rhinoplasty change?
- It can smooth out bumps or humps on the bridge of the nose.
- It can correct minor asymmetric nostrils.
- It can improve the appearance of a droopy or downturned nasal tip.
- It can improve breathing function by straightening the nasal septum.
- It can slightly correct past rhinoplasty results.
As the procedure only works on the outside of your nose, it cannot correct a severely crooked bridge. That is only achieved with a surgical procedure. Although, it is possible to enhance your breathing by widening your narrow nostrils through filler injection.
Is liquid rhinoplasty safe?
Yes, liquid rhinoplasty is generally considered safe in the hands of a professional. The procedure is simple for a plastic surgeon or an ENT specialist as they are familiar with the face and nose anatomy. Still, before the procedure, your provider will warn you about the risks.
When considering a liquid nose job, keep in mind that there are two types of dermal fillers available: permanent and temporary. If you encounter any infections or issues while using temporary fillers, they can be dissolved with an enzyme injection called hyaluronidase. Permanent fillers are considered to be less likely to cause complications, but they do not offer the same dissolving option. Some of them can be removed, though, it is hard to remove them after a long time.
In short, temporary dermal fillers are safe and reversible in case of a complication. On the other hand, permanent fillers are not reversible only can be removed but have fewer complication rates. You can consult your provider to weigh your options. Make sure you are getting the procedure from a licensed eligible provider to minimize risks.
Are there any risks of liquid rhinoplasty?
There is a risk for every procedure and yes, liquid rhinoplasty comes with some risks. Do not worry though. If you are getting the procedure from a professional who knows what he or she is doing, then risks are almost off the case. Apart from swelling and redness side effects that are easily handled here are the liquid rhinoplasty risks:
- Infection: Infection and fever might occur as a result of the procedure.
- Dislocation: The injected filler might migrate into a different place (4).
- Skin necrosis: Your skin might lose its blood support resulting in discoloration and numbness.
- Blurred vision: Arteries carrying blood to the eyes might get disturbed if the injection is done improperly.
- Blindness: Especially in the hands of a sketchy provider, you might even lose your sight.
One of the most important risks here is blindness. As the procedure is performed where there are lots of arteries close to your eyes, if anything goes wrong you might experience mild vision blur or in the worst-case scenario blindness.
These risks can be prevented by a skillful provider. While performing the procedure using enough amount of liquids, sometimes pinching the nose to accurately find the injection sites, and giving enormous care to avoid harming any arteries are important.
What are the pros and cons of liquid rhinoplasty?
The whole nose filler rhinoplasty procedure may seem appealing with all its advantages, but there are some downsizing aspects too. Lots of people prefer to have liquid rhinoplasty operations over surgical ones for different reasons.
You might prefer liquid rhinoplasty if you lack time or money. Everything you possibly heard about the advantages of a liquid nose procedure is the minimized version of surgical rhinoplasty; shorter recovery time, duration of the results (depending on the material), the capability, and the cost of the procedure.
On the other hand, you might not prefer this procedure if you are looking for a more permanent and dramatic change to your nose shape.
Here, we listed the pros and cons of it to help you decide better.
|Generally temporary outcomes
|Risk of complications
|Should be performed by eligible providers
|Costs less for short-term satisfaction
|Costs more for a long-term satisfaction
As you can see as much as it is attempting with all the pros like immediate results and being non-invasive, it comes with some cons like complication risks and being temporary that can change your mind. Talk thoroughly with your provider to understand the procedure better and make your decision wisely.
What are the criteria to get a liquid rhinoplasty?
If you want to correct minor imperfections on your nose you might be a good candidate for a liquid rhinoplasty. These include having a bulbous or ill-defined tip, dorsal hump, slight asymmetries, and flaring nostrils. In addition, this technique can also be used to make small adjustments to existing surgical results.
It is generally advised if you:
- want to see instant results;
- are asking for a straighter nose without surgery;
- like to test the results of a rhinoplasty operation;
- do not want to undergo an invasive traditional rhinoplasty;
- do not have enough time for a long recovery.
It is not advised if you:
- desire a huge reduction over your nose;
- need a correction of a severely crooked nose;
- like to see big changes over your nose;
- are looking for lifelong results.
Achieving all these stuff is only possible with an eligible provider and we will give every detail about who can perform your procedure with less complication rate in the next heading.
How to find the best surgeon for liquid rhinoplasty?
The best type of surgeon to perform liquid rhinoplasty is one who has lots of experience with the procedure. Always ask for your providers’ previous liquid rhinoplasty results with their patients to see it yourself. Generally, it is best performed by:
- Plastic surgeons
- ENT specialists
They are all familiar with the face anatomy, nose structure, and the procedure itself. An emergency kit or required tools to manage your complications during the procedure should be available. If you want to see the best results and avoid any complications make your choice from the previously mentioned providers.
Liquid rhinoplasty aftercare: recovery timeline and results
After the procedure, you will be able to get back to your daily life within that day. The liquid rhinoplasty results are instant. After the procedure, you will see a beautifully shaped version of your nose, there is no recovery timeline. If you experience any redness, pain, or swelling after liquid rhinoplasty do not worry they will subside at most in two days. You can gently use an ice pack to subside these side effects.
The only time you should be concerned after the procedure is when you have constant pain, discoloration, and blurred vision. These are serious complications and you need to get in touch with your provider immediately.
After the procedure:
- You might turn back to your daily life immediately.
- Gentle icepack touch might help with redness or swelling.
- Try not to put pressure on your nose for a week.
- Talk with your provider if you can wear makeup/sunscreen.
- Having a shower after that day is possible.
Always keep in mind that, liquid rhinoplasty can result in disaster if your provider is not a licensed professional. Make sure he or she is eligible to perform your surgery to avoid any problems. It should be always possible for you to contact your doctor. We do care about your health and wish you a better-looking nose with the right procedure.
(1) Han SK, Shin SH, Kang HJ, Kim WK. Augmentation rhinoplasty using injectable tissue-engineered soft tissue: a pilot study. Ann Plast Surg. 2006;56(3):251-255. doi:10.1097/01.sap.0000198549.64341.17 Link
(2) Rivkin A. PMMA-collagen Gel in Nonsurgical Rhinoplasty Defects: A Methodological Overview and 15-year Experience. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2022;10(8):e4477. Published 2022 Aug 19. doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000004477 Link
(3) Raggio BS, Asaria J. Filler Rhinoplasty. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; May 1, 2022. Link
(4) Chae SY, Lee KC, Jang YH, Lee SJ, Kim DW, Lee WJ. A Case of the Migration of Hyaluronic Acid Filler from Nose to Forehead Occurring as Two Sequential Soft Lumps. Ann Dermatol. 2016;28(5):645-647. doi:10.5021/ad.2016.28.5.645 Link