Three years ago, the Internet freaked out over the idea of five-minute nonsurgical nose jobs. In a local magazine article, a woman recounted her tale—complete with photographic proof—of walking into a plastic surgeon’s office, getting the noninvasive nose-perfecting procedure done, and then heading directly from his office to dinner with her friends. Instead of going the traditional surgical route, she’d had her surgeon inject thousands of dollars worth of fillers into her face to straighten out the slope of her nose.
Nowadays, fillers for the nose (as well as any part of the face, neck, hands) has become more commonplace. Some statistics have even shown it to be more popular than rhinoplasty surgeries. We found out more from Dr. Low Chai Ling, who has been using dermal fillers not only to give patients a higher nose bridge but also to “photoshop” imperfections such as depressions or a bump on the nose away. First things first: The “multi microdroplet technique,” as Dr Low calls it, is used mainly to fix botched nose jobs or on people whose noses don’t naturally have a prominent bridge. “In these cases, we can go back and add a filler to build a bridge for them or build an area,” says Dr Low. In typical rhinoplasty procedures, surgeons often construct the bridge of a nose by placing a small piece of an implant in that area, but according to Dr Low, the hyaluronic acid injections make the process far simpler. But if you’re looking to decrease the size of your nose or make certain other changes to the shape, you’ll probably still need to go under the knife, though recent advancements have introduced a new nasal threadlift procedure to slim down bulky noses, according to Dr Low.
But back to that “nonsurgical” procedure. A major selling point is that they’re supposed to be far less painful—and have almost no recovery period—than full rhinoplasty procedures. Greta who wanted to have a slightly higher bridge and is terrified of pain and needles being a “procedure-virgin” as she calls herself, was relieved the procedure was surprisingly painless and was over in about five or six minutes. When she was handed the mirror, Greta could see a distinctly sharper and more defined nose bridge and opted to stop, instead of adding more fillers. “The huge advantage of it is that not only is it really quick, the patients are awake and they can see what’s going on so they can assess,” says Dr. Low. “With a nose job, you only have one shot, and you wake up, and it’s like a surprise on your nose. This is a very correctible and predictable procedure. The patient can look in the mirror and navigate it, and they can say whether they want a little bit more on the tip or whether they want a little bit more on the sides. And because it’s hyaluronic acid, I can always reverse it. If they don’t like it, I can always take it down a notch.” To reverse it, doctors can melt the filler by injecting an enzyme called hyaluronidase.
Judging from Greta’s experience, the recovery process is also fairly easy—she reported being a bit swollen right after the procedure. But that’s nothing compared to a typical nose job. “In a traditional nose job, you have bruising, you have swelling, and it can take six months to a year for it to fully heal,” she says. “When people do this treatment, in 24 hours the swelling is down and the patient is back to normal.”
Here’s the other thing: According to Dr. Low’s clients who have undergone similar procedures before, a ‘microdroplet’ technique is not always used. In some cases, Dr Low may employ a different technique known as the “threading” method which involves one single injection to leave a thin strip of filler. According to Dr. Low, the latter is particularly useful for people who want an overall increase in definition from nose bridge to nose tip, and has no defects such as bumps or humps to fix. “There is no one technique that is suitable for everyone. When someone walks into my office, I assess where they are at now, where they want to get to, then we can plan the path for them aesthetically.”
The next day when we saw Greta for her photoshoot, there was nary a pin-prick mark to be seen on her nose. Now that she has jumped onto the aesthetic bandwagon, she is toying with the idea of The Sloane Clinic’s nasal shaping threads to slim down her nose sans surgery! Watch this space.
Read more: I Had a Facelift at 25!