Whether or not you've been researching in-office procedures (hey, no judgement—you do you), chances are, you've probably heard of the non-surgical nose job, otherwise known as "liquid rhinoplasty," or the "liquid rhino" treatment. Rather than going under the knife with 6 months to a year of recovery time, the procedure uses injectable fillers to immediately camouflage uneven areas on the nose. "It's almost like a magic trick," says New York City-based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Dara Liotta. "The treatment is subtle, but makes a real difference, so you don't need to explain anything away." After viewing photo after photo of mesmerizing before and afters, we spoke to Dr. Liotta, who outlined every FAQ on liquid rhinoplasty, as well as how to tell if the procedure is right for you.
What Does a Non-Surgical Nose Job Do?
"The best use of injection rhinoplasty is for people who have problems with the dorsum of the nose, which is the bone," Liotta explains. "It's almost like permanent contour makeup—similar to how you'll put a line of light down the bridge of your nose, putting filler in that area will make the light hit you in a way to make it appear you have a straight, nice line down the nose." To address a bump, Liotta typically injects above and below the raised area to even it out completely, and for those with a low nasal bridge, she places filler into the radix area between the eyes to create a thinner and more refined shape. "Although you're adding filler, it's making the nose look slimmer," she adds.
Does It Hurt?
Your doctor will numb the area beforehand, so you shouldn't feel anything. "When people have pain, it's usually from the layer underneath the skin, where numbing cream may not always reach. That's why I use ice to help numb the area, and it makes the process pretty pain-free," she tells us. "Additionally, it causes the blood vesels to constrict, and makes bruising less likely."
Can It Replace Traditional Rhinoplasty?
If you want to address the aforementioned issues, it can, but when you're attempting to alter the overall size of your nose, fix a wide or boxy tip, or need help with a deviated septum, those are issues a liquid rhino treatment can't fix.
Where Is the Filler Injected?
Of course, where the filler goes is determined on a case-by-case basis, but some of the most common areas are between the eyes to raise the bridge, above and below a bump, or in a place that will even out any asymmetry. It can sometimes be injected into the tip to raise an otherwise flat area. "It can give your nose more projection coming forward, and refines the tip a little bit," says Liotta.
Is There Any Downtime?
Not any more downtime than you'd associate with a filler elsewhere on your face. "The entire process takes about 15 minutes max with zero recovery time," she says. "It's super rare to get a bruise—maybe 1 in 50 people I've seen will get a tiny one where the needle goes in—but you can go right back to work, right back to lunch, or on a date that night with no problem."
What Should I Do Before and After the Treatment?
On the day of the treatment, Liotta advises her patients not to do any cardio, as this could increase the chance of getting a small bruise. Then, no facials that involve extractions on the nose for the 2 weeks that follow. "I don't want anyone pushing on that except me, since I know where all of the filler has been placed," she explains. "It's okay to wear glasses and sunglasses, but again, don't use any that push into the nasal bridge for 2 weeks after the procedure."
How Long Does It Last?
A non-surgical nose job can last anywhere from 1 to 2 years, though if you aren't satisfied with the results, the treatment can be reversed. "I only use fillers that can be dissolved, so if a patient doesn't like the appearance, we can inject something that dissolves the filler completely within 24 hours," Liotta tells us. "It's a great way to try out a rhinoplasty if you're considering it, but haven't committed to the idea just yet. I have had clients who ultimately asked me to dissolve the injection rhinoplasty because they wanted a more permanent look."
How Can I Find a Practitioner?
Although the treatment has gained popularity in the last year, it's important to find someone a board certified doctor who is well-versed in the practice, as it still holds a fair amount of risk just like any in-office procedure would. "I think a good place to get information is RealSelf—there are real cosmetic doctors on there, as well as tons of patient revies to help you do your research," says Liotta. "But definitely for an injection rhinoplasty, go to a board certified facial plastic surgeon, or a board certified general plastic surgeon. There's a pretty steep learning curve, so you'll want to see someone who knows the anatomy of the face very well."