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The liquid nose job: the truth about this trending tweakment

This talked-about procedure is growing in popularity, but it's vital to do your research. To give you a helping hand, we explain the pros and cons

If you’ve spent any time on social media recently, chances are you’ve seen the buzz about ‘liquid nose jobs’, also known as non-surgical rhinoplasties. Images of pouting influencers show amazing results achieved with zero downtime at a fraction of the cost of a surgical rhinoplasty. How tempting!

However, a recent BBC3 documentary, Under the Skin: The Botched Beauty Business, highlighted the shocking and very serious dangers of this procedure when not performed by a highly qualified and medically-trained practitioner.

So, what is the truth about this non-surgical ‘tweak’? What results can you expect, what are the risks and how can you avoid them?

What is a liquid nose job?

Many of us know what’s involved in a surgical nose job – typically, bone and cartilage are removed to reshape the nose. We also know of the considerable cost, discomfort and downtime involved. But now there’s a minimally invasive procedure that involves injecting fillers – generally hyaluronic acid dermal fillers – into the nose to alter its shape.

Although only temporary, it can address many of the issues a surgical procedure can, from camouflaging imperfections such as lack of symmetry, to smoothing out a hump and making a crooked nose appear straight. A recent and popular trend on social media is the Tinkerbell Lift; this involves filler being injected to modify the tip of the nose, to turn it up and make it more refined.

Is it a viable alternative to a surgical nose job?

Some patients adopt a ‘try before you buy’ approach, opting for a nonsurgical rhinoplasty before undergoing surgery, to give them an idea of what they might look like if they decide on a surgical rhinoplasty at a later date. However, if you are considering surgery, it isn’t advisable to have a nonsurgical procedure done more than two or three times at the most, as excess filler in the face could make surgery more difficult.

How long does the procedure take?

Another reason why nose filler is so popular is because it’s so quick – it can take as little as 15 minutes. If numbing cream is applied beforehand, add on a further 10-15 minutes to the process.

Is it painful?

On the whole it’s a pretty painless procedure, though some patients might feel a little discomfort. Bruising is a possibility and swelling and tenderness is likely, though most patients go straight back to work.

How long does it last?

Because everyone metabolises filler differently, results may last anything from six to 18 months. Most practitioners will suggest a ‘top-up’ every six months or so. One advantage of most fillers is that if the patient is unhappy with their non-surgical rhinoplasty, hyaluronidase can be injected to dissolve the filler and return the nose to the pre-injected state.

What are the risks?

This is certainly not a procedure you want to shop around the bargains and special offers for. The nose is a particularly delicate and tricky area of the face, and the potential complications are extremely serious.

If the filler is inadvertently administered into a blood vessel that leads to the eyes, permanent blindness can occur without warning. This is irreversible. A further complication is the risk of necrosis or skin death, which happens when tiny blood vessels like those along the sides or tip of the nose become blocked with filler.

It’s absolutely crucial to seek out highly medically trained injectors. Not only do they need to be qualified to carry out the treatment, they also need to have the expertise to make corrections and address any problems should things go wrong.

Always, always check the qualifications of the Practitioner you choose, ask questions and look at before and after photographs.

How much does it cost?

Costs can start at as little as £300, however this is not a time to be influenced by price as the risks just aren’t worth it – expect to pay anywhere between £400-£800.

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