Dear Dr. Kelly: I have been thinking about getting my nose done surgically, but I saw something online called a “liquid rhinoplasty.” What exactly is that procedure and does it really work?


Dr. Kelly's Response: Thanks for writing!Liquid rhinoplasties have become very popular in the last two years and I have become a big fan. Basically, a liquid rhinoplasty is where I change the shape of a patient’s nose using fillers, rather than surgery.

So how does it work? First, you have to understand a traditional surgical rhinoplasty. In that operation, the patient is often concerned about a hump on the bridge of their nose. The surgical approach is to shave down that hump using chisels or rasps and make the profile of the nose smooth. It is very effective and the result will last forever. But it involves surgery with general anesthesia and up to three months of healing before the patient is “photo ready.”

In a liquid rhinoplasty, we use fillers to add volume to the nose in the areas above and below the hump. Again, the goal is to make the profile a smooth line. But the difference from surgery is that we are achieving a smooth profile with the addition of filler, rather than subtraction of existing bone and cartilage. The most common fillers used are made of hyaluronic acid like Juvederm or Restylane. This is the same gel that is in your knee joint.

The risks of this procedure are that imprecise execution could lead to an asymmetric result. Another risk is that the filler could be injected into a blood vessel leading to circulation problems. Clearly, it is not a procedure for beginners. As with any injectable, bruising is always a risk. Yet another drawback is that it is not a permanent fix. The filler will usually last one year, so it will need to be repeated going forward to maintain the improvement.

The recovery is fast as there is no general anesthesia, and most patients look completely fine within hours to days.

The patient in the photo was getting married in less than a month. She didn’t have time for a surgical procedure before the wedding. She had a liquid rhinoplasty and was ecstatic with the result. Her wedding photos were amazing.

In the right patient, and when performed by an experienced physician, liquid rhinoplasties are a fantastic alternative to traditional nose surgery.


About Dr. Kelly

Dr. Kelly is a board-certified Plastic Surgeon and partner in both Miami Plastic Surgery and MPS MedSpa. He has been in practice over 25 years and has been recognized by his peers both nationally and internationally as one of the best plastic surgeons in the United States. In addition to being an expert on Cosmetic Surgery, his practice encompasses the entire spectrum of non-invasive treatments such as Botox, fillers, CoolSculpting, ultrasound, lasers and radiofrequency.

He also believes in giving back to our community, having served on the Village Council for eight years and volunteering as a coach for our youth sports programs. You can email him questions at mkelly@miamiplasticsurgery.com.

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