A before and after example of a a non-surgical nose job. COURTESY FINGER AND ASSOCIATES

Most people are fully aware of the result of trauma to the nose, both the resulting deformity and breathing problems. But what happens to noses with age? Unfortunately, cartilage in the body continues to grow with age, whether it’s the nose (mostly the tip), the ears, and even the cartilage part of the ribs.

With severe nasal deformities from fractures, surgical treatment is generally the best solution, but not always the only solution. Improvements can often be made with what is called by some a “liquid”  or “non-surgical nose job.”

This is basically a process of injecting the various depressions with “fillers.” Often, dramatic changes can be made with fillers alone in a few minutes.

The question usually arises as to how long it will last. My suggestion is to inject the nose with a filler that lasts between one and two years to see if the result is satisfactory; and if it is, then the next treatment can be injection with a filler that can last for five or more years. 

The shorter-lasting injection is usually a hyaluronic acid filler. An advantage of these fillers is they are reversable by injecting a special enzyme. The longer lasting filler is not reversible, which is the point of trying the shorter acting filler first to see if the result is satisfactory.

Generally, most noses are not perfectly straight, and this is most often noticed by patients when looking at their photos. Fillers can be effective at straightening some noses, e.g., by filling in certain depressions.

What can be accomplished with fillers? Even the dreaded humps can be reduced by elevation of the nose area between the eyes, called the root, and elevation of the tip of the nose. It’s very common for the tip of the nose to have insufficient projection, making the hump look larger.

This combination of a filler in the nasal root and the tip can hide a significant nasal hump.

Additionally, with age, the tip of the nose droops from growth of the cartilage of the nasal tip and loss of bone in the maxilla (the bone that houses the upper teeth). Some of this can be corrected with fillers but, if it is severe, the cartilage may need to be trimmed and the hump removed surgically.

As with all cosmetic surgery, each patient is different, and the treatment must be individualized. Non-surgical nose treatments are often possible, and the recovery time is almost nonexistent.

E. Ronald Finger, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon with offices in Savannah and Bluffton. fingerandassociates.com