Once upon a time, if a patient wasn’t happy with the shape of their nose, there was only one option—surgical rhinoplasty: an invasive procedure that reshaped nasal bone and cartilage to create a nose more akin to the one a patient wished Mother Nature had originally bestowed on them.
But for a significant percentage of patients, the nose of their dreams lies not on the operating table but in a syringe. And it’s for this reason that in the last five years the demand for non-surgical rhinoplasty (aka, “liquid” rhinoplasty, or the “liquid nose job”) has steadily skyrocketed. (Along with skyrocketing demand for RNs, NPs, and PAs with the training to safely perform this procedure.)
What is a liquid rhinoplasty and how does it differ from surgical rhinoplasty?
In contrast to surgical rhinoplasty that is performed with metal instruments to reshape nasal contours from the inside out, liquid rhinoplasty is performed with injectable hyaluronic acid (dermal fillers) to recontour the nose from the outside in. And while surgical rhinoplasty is subtractive (it removes bone and cartilage), non-surgical rhinoplasty is additive (it adds the appearance of soft tissue to areas where this will provide an aesthetic benefit.)
Who is a good candidate for liquid rhinoplasty?
As with all aesthetic procedures, non-surgical rhinoplasty has limitations. Although it can offer a range of subtle-to-dramatic improvements for many nasal-contour complaints, it is typically best reserved for patients seeking corrective bridgework rather than, for example, narrower nasal cartilage or a more elevated nasal tip. (Since these latter corrections require the subtractive approach of surgical rhinoplasty.)
Liquid rhinoplasty is often the gold standard for “finesse” rhinoplasty—nasal contouring designed to improve very subtle profile irregularities such as a very faint “hump” or excessive supratip break. But liquid rhinoplasty can often produce very dramatic results even on patients with fairly extreme dorsal (bridge) contour irregularities. For this reason, non-surgical rhinoplasty should never be ruled out without first consulting a well-trained and high-experienced aesthetic injector.
Benefits of Liquid Rhinoplasty
For the right patients, liquid rhinoplasty brings a host of benefits that make it a superior choice to surgical rhinoplasty. These benefits relate to procedure cost, predictability, reversibility, and recovery. Let’s take a look at each.
Cost — The average cost of a surgical rhinoplasty is between $5-15K. Compare this to the cost of liquid rhinoplasty, which averages between $500-1,500.
Predictability — Surgical rhinoplasty is an incredibly complex procedure that should be performed only by a board-certified facial plastic surgeon. But even in the hands of a highly-skilled surgeon, the anatomy of the human nose poses steep technical challenges, and aesthetic results can be somewhat unpredictable. Liquid rhinoplasty, however, can offer more predictable results.
Reversibility — Revision rhinoplasty is widely considered to be the single most difficult cosmetic procedure to successfully perform. (In other words, if a patient isn’t happy with the results of their primary procedure, the second is likely to be even more of a gamble.) But in the rare case a patient isn’t happy with their liquid rhinoplasty, the results are reversible. (Not only is liquid rhinoplasty not permanent—results must be maintained about once per year—hyaluronic acid can be reversed almost immediately with the injection of an enzyme called hyaluronidase.)
Procedure and Recovery Duration — Surgical rhinoplasty involves multiple hours on the surgical table and an extended postoperative recovery period. Following this procedure, patients may exhibit significant facial bruising and swelling for up to six weeks, and the final result is seen only after a year. But non-surgical rhinoplasty can be performed in as little as 15 minutes, results are instantaneous, and recovery time typically spans less than a week, and in some cases, only a few hours.
Risks of Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty
Just as all aesthetic procedures have limitations, they all have risks. While liquid rhinoplasty is typically far safer than surgical rhinoplasty, it does pose risks for serious complications. Chief among these risks is a vascular compromise, which occurs when hyaluronic acid blocks blood flow through a critical end artery. If this occurs, the skin is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, leading to tissue death.
The sides of the nose have been referred to by many experienced surgeons and injectors as “end-artery minefields.” To avoid the risks of non-surgical rhinoplasty, hyaluronic acid must be deposited deep beneath these vital vessels, and the bridge of the nose should be regarded as the safest injection site.
Due to these risks, only well-trained and highly experienced injectors should perform liquid rhinoplasty procedures.
How RNs, NPs, and PAs Can Learn to Safely Perform Liquid Rhinoplasty With Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty Training
If you’re an RN, NP, or PA with an established background in aesthetic medicine who would like to learn to safely perform liquid rhinoplasty, AAAMS is the industry-leading platform for fully accredited, world-class aesthetics training. In our advanced non-surgical rhinoplasty training course, you’ll learn:
- Concepts of non-surgical rhinoplasty
- Nose anatomy and aesthetic analysis
- Dangerous and safe injection zones
- Dermal Filler Injection techniques
- Indications and contraindications
- Proper patient selection
- Treatment plan creation
- Complication management
- And more!
If you’re ready to grow your practice by learning to perform this incredibly popular procedure, we’re here to provide you with the knowledge, skills, and professional Aesthetics Network you need to succeed. Visit us today to learn more about how we can support your career development. We look forward to training with you!