Nose augmentation, whether surgical or non-surgical, is a big deal in Asia. A beautiful nose is one of the most sought after aesthetic goals in Asia – simply because we, especially South Asians, are often born with noses which are often aesthetically less than ideal. I will repost my picture from my previous article to illustrate:
In the past, going under the knife was the only option to improve the nose’s appearance. Fillers changed how we can augment the nose, but today, with more and more advanced techniques, my patients and I are presented with many more choices.
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers for Nose Augmentation
Fillers are a quick and convenient way to improve the appearance of your nose. The procedure is performed via injections. Fillers was one of the first non-surgical nose augmentation methods, and still is the mainstay of my practice.
Fillers are excellent for improving the nose bridge height and overall nose projection. They also help to lift the nose tip effectively. I use a hard filler, such as Restylane SubQ, to make sure that the nose is defined after the procedure.
There are disadvantages, however: Fillers have a tendency to spread sideways after the procedure, causing the nose to look broad. Being a gel, fillers also often do not have enough lifting power for the nose tip, especially if your nose is big and round (like mine) – this results in having to repeat the procedure more often. Lastly, there have been cases of blindness from filler injections – this occurs when the injector accidentally enters the arteries. Hence, it is extremely important to do to a certified doctor when getting your filler injections done.
Ellansé BioStimulator for Nose Augmentation
Ellanse is a semi permanent filler – instead of hyaluronic acid, it contains Poly-Caprolactone (PCL) microspheres suspended in a gel carrier made of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). Unlike hyaluronic acid fillers, which lifts because of its properties as a gel, Ellanse works by stimulating your body to produce collagen. The results last 2 or more.
Like the fillers mentioned above, they are excellent for improving the nose bridge tip and height. Because of the stiffer nature of the filler, Ellanse lifts the nose tip better, and also keeps its shape better. It also does not broaden over time, as it is your own collagen giving the shape and not a gel.
Disadvantages: unlike hyaluronic acid fillers, Ellanse cannot be dissolved. This means that if your doctor makes a mistake during the procedure, there is no way to reverse it. Hence, go to a doctor who is experienced, and whom you trust, to have the procedure done for you.
Nose Threads For Non-Surgical Nose Lift
More and more, my patients are asking for nose threads. Popularly known in Korea as the ‘lunch-time’ nose job, the procedure involves inserting polydioxanone (PDO) threads into the nose for lift and projection. The threads are bio-compatible and dissolve in 6months. As the PDO threads dissolve over the next few months, they will continue stimulate the growth of connective tissues and collagen to maintain the definition of the nose. The results last for about 1 year, although repeating the procedure just before the effect completely wears off will significantly prolongs the effects to up to 3 years.
The procedure is popular amongst my patients because despite the beautiful results, it can be completed in less than half an hour and has minimal downtime compared to traditional rhinoplasty. It gives more definition compared to fillers, and does not broaden over time. Nose threads are unique in that they serve as a a middle ground between fillers and a surgical implant – they are more rigid than fillers, last longer, and yet, are still a non-surgical procedure.
Disadvantages: There is more post-procedural swelling compared to fillers. If not inserted properly, the nose bridge can look deviated – and this is again, non dissolvable unlike fillers. Lastly, infection and nodular formation can occur if the threads are not inserted properly. Hence, it is again very important to seek out an experienced doctor to perform the procedure for you.
In Conclusion: Non-Surgical Nose Augmentation
While non-surgical techniques have improved tremendously, there are some instances when surgical rhinoplasty will be a better option. It is important to speak to your doctor about your options, and also ask if surgery might be better instead.
Nose augmentation is one of the most difficult areas in aesthetic medicine – it requires experience and honesty. Things can go very wrong – and people have gone blind from the procedure, even though it is very rare. It is never worth it to have to live with a lifetime of disability while trying to look better.
Lastly, here is a recent video, of me, filling up my nose. I am still mustering courage to insert some nose threads, so stay tuned!