Surgical vs. Liquid Rhinoplasty: A Guide to Choosing What's Right for You

Are you unhappy with your nose right now? Do you snore and have sleep apnea because of a deviated septum? Or are you just not satisfied with the look of your nose?

Then you should probably consider rhinoplasty.

About 220,000 rhinoplasties or nose jobs are performed every year according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. However, while it’s almost routine nowadays, nasal surgery is still surgery.

Is there a less invasive alternative?

There is, and it’s called liquid rhinoplasty. It’s a nonsurgical option to correct the bumps and smooth out the contours of the nose.

What is it and how does it compare to traditional rhinoplasty? Keep on reading to learn more about the pros and cons of liquid vs. surgical rhinoplasty.

Why Choose Liquid Rhinoplasty?

Liquid rhinoplasty is your non-surgical nose job. It uses injectable fillers (hyaluronic acid or HA), similar to cheek and lip fillers, to reshape the nose. There are absolutely no incisions needed.

What Are the Pros?

It’s quick, non-invasive, cheaper, and achieves good results. According to a study in 2016, more than 250 patients who had nasal reshaping with HA were satisfied with the primary outcome.

It has virtually no downtime. You can have the procedure done and go to work immediately after. You only have to contend with some mild discomfort and minor swelling or bruising.

It’s also completely reversible if you’re not satisfied with the results. The doctor can dissolve the filler by injecting hyaluronidase.

What Are the Cons?

There are two things to remember about this type of rhinoplasty. One, it’s purely cosmetic and two, it’s temporary.

As a purely cosmetic option, it can’t correct any functional issues. Also, it can only add volume to the nose and can’t reduce its size.

How long does a liquid nose job last? It only lasts for one to two years, so you need to come back for more treatments to maintain your new look. Or you can use it to “test the waters” before having a permanent nose job.

Why Choose Surgical Rhinoplasty?

Traditional rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure that aims to reshape, resize, or repair the nose. It involves modifying the bone, cartilage, or skin of the nose and is usually done on an outpatient basis.

What Are the Pros?

Aside from altering the look of the nose, it can also be used to repair the nose after an injury. It can also be used to fix a deviated septum and correct breathing and other functional issues.

It’s permanent, which is either good or bad, depending on the skill of your surgeon. You want it done right the first time, according to rhinoplasty surgeon, Dr. Michel Siegel. Fixing a botched surgery is a much more difficult procedure.

What Are the Cons?

Modern surgical rhinoplasty is a very safe procedure but it’s still surgery and comes with potential risks. It’s also considerably more expensive than a liquid nose job.

Downtime is longer and it will take about a week of recovery time before removing the stitches and splints. It also takes a few months to one year before the swelling completely settles.

Go With Liquid or Go Under the Knife?

The way you go about changing the appearance of your nose will depend on your preferences. If you’re looking for a permanent solution, then go with surgical rhinoplasty.

However, if you want to avoid the risks of surgery, choose the less invasive liquid rhinoplasty.

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