In the medical aesthetic scene, one of the most common and popular requests by patients is a sharper nose. This is hardly surprising at all, considering that Asians generally have flatter noses. In the past, plastic surgery used to be the only option to improve your nose shape — but not anymore. Nose fillers can give an equally refined nose in as short as 10 minutes without the need for surgery. Hence, it’s commonly touted as a “lunchtime procedure”.
What are nose fillers?
Nose fillers are injectable dermal fillers which make use of hyaluronic acid to alter the shape of a nose. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that binds water to collagen. When injected into the nose, it helps to hold the nose up. As hyaluronic acid is already found in our body, chances of allergy reactions are very low.
With nose fillers, patients are able to add definition to low and flat nose bridges, as well as enhance the support, projection and definition of the nasal tip.
If this sounds too good to be true, it’s because nose fillers come with their own set of risks and complications. Side effects can be as serious as blindness — this occurs when the filler is injected into a blood vessel that supplies oxygenated blood to the eye. Another potential complication is that fillers can be inadvertently injected into blood vessel that supplies blood to the skin, depriving the skin of nutrients and oxygen, resulting in blanching and pain of the skin, and skin necrosis. Prompt injection of hyaluronidase, an enzyme that dissolves hyaluronic acid, can restore blood supply to the affected areas. As such, it’s extremely important to get nose fillers done under the hands of an experienced doctor to minimize these risks as much as possible.
What is the procedure like?
Step 1: Patients will first undergo a consultation with me. During the consultation, I will assess your condition and goals before recommending the best treatment options. I will also explain any potential risks, the downtime and answer any questions you have. Before and after photos will be taken to document the treatment progress.
Step 2: A topical numbing cream is applied to the treatment areas prior to the injection to minimise any discomfort and pain.
Step 3: Hyaluronic acid filler is injected in the treatment areas via a thin needle. The fillers will then be moulded to achieve desired results.
The entire process takes about 10-20 minutes and is well tolerated by patients.
Are the results permanent?
Unlike a rhinoplasty, the results from nose fillers are temporary and only last between 9 to 18 months. As hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the body, your body will break down the fillers with an enzyme, causing the fillers to dissolve over time. As such, to maintain results, patients are advised to do another treatment before all the fillers run their course.
To maximise the longevity of nose fillers, I advise patients to avoid drinking alcohol for the first week as alcohol has a vasodilatory effect. This increases blood flow to the face and can worsen bruising.
Although patients can resume their daily activities after the treatment, I would not recommend going for facials or exercising for about 2 weeks. As with all dermal fillers, nose fillers also need time to integrate themselves into surrounding soft tissue. If the fillers are moved before positioning themselves properly, the nose can look distorted or asymmetrical. The instance this happens, you can consult your doctor to adjust the fillers back into shape.
Can I really achieve my dream nose with fillers?
When done appropriately, nose fillers can give you the nose you’ve always dreamed of. Apart from getting a surgeon who can do the procedure properly without running the risk of complications, he/she must also have a good eye for what looks good. For example, injecting excessive volumes of filler can cause lateral spreading of the nose fillers. This results in an excessively broad nose, or what we call an ‘Avatar effect’.
To minimize this effect, this is where some doctors will make use of nose thread lifts to complement nose fillers — or in some instances, they will recommend that you just do nose thread lifts instead.
Like nose fillers, a nose thread lift is a non-surgical procedure to achieve a higher nose bridge. This result comes from “stacking” polydioxanone threads.
However, nose thread lifts are better for improving nose contour than adding volume. Hence, they are suitable for patients who already have good nose projections and are looking for more sculpting and contouring.
Patients with a very flat nose bridge and are looking to improve both contour and volume can benefit from combining both nose fillers and nose threadlifts. The thread lift can lift the nose bridge, followed by a little filler to smoothen out and shape the dorsal hump. By combining both treatments, less fillers and threads are used altogether, minimizing the risks of each procedure.
Do you have any questions for me?
- Mundada, P., Kohler, R., Boudabbous, S., Toutous Trellu, L., Platon, A., & Becker, M. (2017). Injectable facial fillers: imaging features, complications, and diagnostic pitfalls at MRI and PET CT. Insights into imaging, 8(6), 557–572. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13244-017-0575-0
- Prasetyo, A. D., Prager, W., Rubin, M. G., Moretti, E. A., & Nikolis, A. (2016). Hyaluronic acid fillers with cohesive polydensified matrix for soft-tissue augmentation and rejuvenation: a literature review. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 9, 257–280. https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S106551