A nonsurgical nose job, or rhinoplasty, is an alternative to cosmetic surgery. It changes the shape of the nose using filler injections rather than cuts or grafts.

Unlike surgery, the effects of a nonsurgical nose job are temporary. They only last until the filler dissolves. For this reason, a person undergoing the procedure will need repeat injections to maintain the appearance of the nose.

Nonsurgical rhinoplasties can make mild or moderate alterations to the nose shape, but clinicians do not use the procedure to make major changes in appearance or to address conditions inside the nose.

Keep reading to learn more about the uses, risks, and cost of a nonsurgical nose job, as well as what to expect during the procedure and recovery.

The medical term for a nose job is rhinoplasty. Usually, a rhinoplasty involves making an incision in the nose and altering its structure through cuts or tissue grafts.

Nonsurgical rhinoplasty, or liquid rhinoplasty, does not involve any surgery. Instead, a medical professional injects a liquid filler under the surface of the skin using a needle to change the nose’s shape.

The procedure takes less than 1 hour and produces immediate results. However, as the fillers dissolve over time, the effects are temporary rather than permanent.

Clinicians conceptualized nonsurgical rhinoplasties in 2006. According to a 2020 study, it was the second most common minimally invasive cosmetic procedure in the United States in 2018.

Compared to surgical rhinoplasty, it is less expensive and has fewer risks and a shorter recovery time. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of fillers in the nose.

Nonsurgical rhinoplasty can make mild to moderate changes in the shape of the nose. It cannot take any tissue away or make the nose smaller, but it can even out:

  • indentations, such as a deep nasal bridge
  • a convex or concave nose
  • asymmetry

Some techniques, such as reducing the nose tip, can also give an impression of a narrower nose, even without reducing its width.

Some clinicians believe nonsurgical rhinoplasty can provide functional improvements, but this use is controversial.

The procedure is not appropriate for people who want major visual changes to the nose. It also cannot correct internal issues, such as a deviated septum or a nasal functional problem.

Previously, clinicians used bovine collagen and silicone in nonsurgical rhinoplasties. Now, they tend to use hyaluronic acid (HA) or calcium hydroxylapatite (CH), both of which they consider safer and more reliable.

HA is the most common and is the filler of choice for 80% of nonsurgical rhinoplasty procedures. Clinicians like it due to its softness and natural feel. It also dissolves quickly and is reversible.

Although CH does not offer the advantage of being easy to reverse, its effects last longer. With this in mind, HA fillers need more frequent injections to maintain the desired shape of the nose. However, CH may cause more discomfort following the procedure.

The process of nonsurgical rhinoplasty begins with an initial consultation with a doctor to discuss goals and take photographs of the nose. They may make recommendations or give advice about what the procedure can achieve for the person.

On the day of the procedure, the doctor will:

  1. Analyze the anatomy of a person’s face, making marks and measurements.
  2. Clean and disinfect the skin and may apply a topical anesthetic to numb the nose.
  3. Make one or more injections into the nose, which may cause a slight pinching sensation.

The procedure takes less than 1 hour.

Instructions for recovery may include:

  • sleeping with the head elevated on the first night
  • taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain relief
  • making a follow-up appointment in 1–2 weeks for a clinician to review results

For 2–3 days after the procedure, a person needs to avoid manipulating the nose and engaging in vigorous activity. Also, depending on the location of the injections, they may have to avoid wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses for a while to avoid creating an indentation.

Individuals should ask their clinician how long to wait before applying makeup and showering. At the follow-up appointment, they may add a little extra filler if necessary.

Immediately after the rhinoplasty, a person may experience:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • bruising
  • bleeding
  • redness or inflammation around the injection site

These side effects tend to be mild and self-limiting, meaning they improve on their own.

Serious complications from this procedure are rare, as long as a person receives the treatment from a reputable doctor. They can include:

Early-onset risks

These risks can occur soon after the procedure and include:

  • asymmetrical appearance
  • a hypersensitivity reaction, which may cause itching, fever, and pain
  • a blue hue under the skin
  • infection
  • surface irregularities

Rarely, nonsurgical rhinoplasties cause vascular occlusion. This is when a blood vessel becomes blocked, causing mottling or ulceration of tissue. If the blood vessel supplies the eye or brain, it may lead to blindness or stroke.

Due to this risk, people should never get nonsurgical rhinoplasties or nose fillers from a nonmedical source. Make sure the practitioner is a licensed medical professional.

Delayed-onset risks

These risks may surface months or years after the procedure, and include:

  • changes in the color of the skin
  • scarring
  • foreign body granuloma, which is an immune response that usually occurs only with silicone injections but can also happen following other fillers
  • biofilms, which are a substance that protect microbes to allow them to grow

If foreign body granuloma occurs, doctors can treat them with steroids or surgical removal. For biofilms or infection, doctors may use antibiotics.

If a person is having nonsurgical rhinoplasty to address mistakes from a previous surgical rhinoplasty, they need to wait a sufficient amount of time before undergoing the procedure. They can ask their doctor how long after the initial surgery they can receive fillers.

Similarly, people who want a surgical rhinoplasty after liquid rhinoplasty need to wait at least 1 year between procedures.

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about nonsurgical nose jobs.

How long do nonsurgical nose jobs last?

Generally, the results of a nonsurgical rhinoplasty last 9–18 months. To maintain the results, additional injections are necessary.

How much do nonsurgical nose jobs cost?

In the U.S., costs can range from $600–1,500, depending on location.

How old does a person need to be to get a nonsurgical nose job?

A person should not have any kind of rhinoplasty until they have stopped growing. This means it is not suitable for adolescents.

Nonsurgical rhinoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that involves injecting fillers, such as HA, into the nose. It can create mild or moderate changes to the nose shape. The procedure is relatively quick, involves little downtime, and does not require general anesthetic. However, unlike a surgical rhinoplasty, the results are temporary.

There is a small chance of complications from this procedure, some of which are serious. For this reason, it is essential for people to only get cosmetic fillers from a reputable medical professional.