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Rhinoplasty Vs Nose Fillers: What Should I Go for?

Rhinoplasty Vs Nose Fillers: What Should I Go for?

What is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, colloquially known as a nose job, is a surgery that changes the shape of the nose. It is often carried out to enhance the nose’s shape and even improve breathing function. During surgery, your doctor will sculpt the bone, skin, and cartilage of your nose in order to achieve the desired shape.

A rhinoplasty can achieve the following:

  • Increase or decrease the nasal bridge
  • Reduce the size or width of the entire nose
  • Reduce the size of the nostrils
  • Reshape the nasal tip
  • Enhance the angle between the nose and upper lip
  • Smoothening humped or crooked appearances

Rhinoplasty can either be open or closed, depending on the desired outcome of the operation. For minor changes, a closed technique that keeps all incisions inside the nostril can be used. However, more significant rhinoplasty will require an open technique, which will leave a 5mm scar across the columella, or the tissue that links the nasal tip and nasal base. In most cases, this scar will fully heal without leaving any visible marks.

What are Nose Fillers?

What are Nose Fillers?

Nose fillers can help to:

Nose fillers, also known as liquid rhinoplasty, are a minimally invasive procedure that alters the shape of the nose for aesthetic purposes. With a needle and syringe, hyaluronic acid is inserted at various points on the nose to adjust the shape of the nose as desired. This is a quick procedure that only takes 15 to 20 minutes. 

  • Create a higher nose bridge
  • Reshape the nasal tip and nostrils

Permanence of Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is a permanent procedure, although a revision rhinoplasty may sometimes be necessary if complications arise or if further adjustments are needed. Postoperative deformities are considered as one of the main risks of rhinoplasty, leading to the need for revision surgery in 5% to 15% of the cases. [1]

In contrast, the effects of nose fillers are much more temporary. [2] As hyaluronic acid dissolves over time, the changes to your nose will only last as long as the hyaluronic acid remains in the nasal tissue. This can be anywhere from 6 to 12 months. As a result, your doctor will likely ask you to come in for touch-ups every few months to maintain the new shape of your nose.

Side Effects of Rhinoplasty

Possible side effects of rhinoplasty include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding

Although rare, rhinoplasty may result in infections, permanent numbness, scarring, and breathing complications.

On the other hand, possible side effects for nose fillers include:

  • Swelling 
  • Filler migration
  • Bruising
  • Nausea

Downtime and Post-Surgery Expectations

Downtime and Post-Surgery Expectations

Regardless of whether a closed or open rhinoplasty is performed, the recovery period for the nostril wounds lasts one to two weeks. For the first few days, you will experience the worst of the bruising, swelling, and pain. You will also be fitted with a splint, which can be removed after 5 to 7 days. The swelling can take anywhere between a month to several months to resolve.

In contrast, nose fillers are a generally painless procedure with no recovery period needed. Any post-operative discomfort or swelling is expected to subside after 24 hours. However, since nose fillers are temporary, you will need to return for touch-ups every few months to maintain the changes to your nose shape.


Rhinoplasty Vs Nose Fillers: What Should I Go for?

Depending on what kind of changes you'd like to make to your nose shape, nose fillers can be a good alternative to rhinoplasty if you are willing to make repeated trips to your doctor to maintain your desired nose shape. 

It can also be a way for you to test out changes to your nose shape before you commit to traditional rhinoplasty. However, as there are limitations to what nose fillers can do, it is best to discuss your options thoroughly with your plastic surgeon who will also be able to advise you on what nose shape will best suit the rest of your face.

  1. Rettinger G. (2007). Risks and complications in rhinoplasty. GMS current topics in otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery6, Doc08.
  2. Rohrich, R. J., Agrawal, N., Avashia, Y., & Savetsky, I. L. (2020). Safety in the Use of Fillers in Nasal Augmentation—the Liquid Rhinoplasty. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open8(8).