The Non-Surgical Nose Job

Along the road of life there are sure to be bumps, or so the cliche goes, and for the most part, you can do nothing about them.  Except, of course, when those bumps are on your nose.  For more than 300,000 Americans a year Rhinoplasty, or a "nose job," has helped correct such unsightly nasal bumps and bulges.  For many more, however, this type of correction would never be an option.  Forget the average price tag of $3,332 not including anesthesia, it hurts; don't let the whimsical "nose job" nickname fool you.  Besides, how can you be sure you will be happy with the results?  Well, for patients who can't handle the bumps anymore, but aren't yet ready for major surgery, California doctor Alexander Z. Rivkin may have found a solution: the Non-Surgical Nose Job.

Developing An Idea

Since the fall of 2004 Dr. Rivkin has been performing this non-surgical, minimally painful procedure, and has corrected about 20 noses to date.  Dr. Alexander Z. Rivkin, MD, who runs the Westside Medical Spa in Westwood Village, CA, has a lot of experience with minimally invasive surgery like Botox, and wondered if he could use that experience to correct nose deformities. His idea: use the same facial injections that he uses to correct wrinkles and crow's feet, but in the nose to correct bumps and deviations.  He tried it on a friend of his and the results, he says, were amazing.

Working With What You've Got

For this relatively painless procedure that can be performed in just minutes, Dr. Rivkin uses either Restylane, a product composed of hyaluronic acid, a substance produced naturally by the body, or Radiesse, a synthetic calcium composite.  The injectable filler of choice is injected into predetermined areas of the nose to help camouflage deformities.  Dr. Rivkin says that some patients are afraid it will make their nose look bigger, but, on the contrary, it simply evens out the nose and makes it look like one smooth line.

Dr. Rivkin developed his idea because, in his words, "there was no alternative to nose surgery if you have nasal deformities."  Though both Restylane and Radiesse have been used in tens of thousands of patients since 2003, they have not previously been used for this purpose in the nose.  So are injections in the nose any different from the rest of the face?  According to Dr. Rivkin, yes.  "The substance will last longer in the nose than anywhere else because it doesn't move."

The Pros And Cons

There are of course limitations.  The procedure is not permanent, lasting about 6 months with Restylane and about 2 years with Radiesse, may not be able to correct major deformities, and cannot help patients seeking a smaller nose.  There are also minor side effects associated with both fillers, including bruising, swelling, redness and irritation.  However, Dr. Rivkin says he has not had complications in any of his patients thus far; they have all been delighted with the results. 

They are delighted, mostly, he says, because he can "save them the risks and expense of permanent surgery."  The Non-Surgical Nose Job gives patients the opportunity to test out a new nose at a fraction of the cost of surgery, at a price of $1,000.