Fixing your nose on a your lunch break? It sounds great – easy, fast, and if you don’t like the results, just wait and things will return to the way it looked before. That’s one of the main promises made by those who support the idea of an injectable or “lunchtime nose job.” As is the case so often, however, what sounds good on paper turns out to be something much less desirable in reality.
Rhinoplasty (more commonly known as a nose job) is surgery that reshapes, resizes, and helps functionally correct the nose. A visible bump on the nasal bridge, a droopy or enlarged nasal tip, a nose that’s off-center or crooked, or asymmetry due to a previous injury – whatever the ‘defect,’ rhinoplasties can correct them. That said, a rhinoplasy is one of plastic surgery’s most technical and difficult procedures, and not only because of the difficulty in creating an aesthetically-pleasing result. The functionality of the nose has to also be preserved, making the procedure a whirlwind of artistic and technical ability. Board certified plastic surgeons offer their take on the lunchtime nose job and if such a procedure is even possible.
What is a Lunchtime Nose job?
Just a few years ago, if you wanted a new nose—smaller, straighter, smoother—you could either A.) have a rhinoplasty or B.) there is no B. You had no other options. But then with the rise of injectable fillers came an off-label use capable of transforming your entire profile in under 15 minutes: the non-surgical nose job.
Working with the same fillers used for lips and cheeks, a physician can correct curves, bumps, and lumps, making your nose appear smaller (even though it’s technically getting bigger). The before-and-after photos are so unbelievable that you might just think the “lunchtime nose job” is too good to be true—an Instagram fable, if you will. It’s not, but there’s more to the story.
Dont Hurry a Good Thing
Jason Cooper, MD, a board certified plastic surgeon in Jupiter, FL., is a huge fan of rhinoplasties, but not efforts to correct the nose quickly.“The nose is such a complex part of our bodies to improve,” explains Cooper. “I just don’t like the whole idea or a lunchtime nose job as the nose is so complicated. Distilling it down into something you can do in 30 minutes and have a good outcome is setting unrealistic expectations for the prospective patient that all of their nasal problems are going to be melting away during their lunchtime break. It’s just not reality.”
Many of Dr. Cooper’s colleagues agree. Mary Gingrass, MD, a board certified plastic surgeon who practices in Nashville, says our of all the good ideas and innovations that her specialty has come up with in recent years, the lunchtime nose job is not one of them. “I think it’s a really bad idea. I almost think it’s impossible,” Dr. Gingrass tells the Plastic Surgery Channel. “All I can think about when I think of injectables in my nose is liquid coming out of my pores! It just doesn’t sound like a good idea.”
Lunchtime Nose ‘Fixes’ are Popular
Not only does the non-surgical nose job look more natural, according to patients and doctors who like them, there’s virtually no downtime and it’s a lot less painful than a full-on rhinoplasty. “I use a tiny needle (the same one I use for Botox injections), so big bruises are rare and the procedure really does not hurt,” explains Dr. Alexander Rivkin in Los Angeles, cited as the initial practitioner of the procedure. “Patients frequently cannot feel that I am injecting them at all.”
Like all fillers, however, the effects of your unique new nose will wear off after a few months. For something permanent, traditional rhinplasty is the answer, though it may not be a popular one for a bargain-hunting patient. Fillers cost about $1,000 a session and a surgical nose job starts about $15,000.
There’s Room for Both Approaches
Tiffany McCormack, MD, a board certified plastic surgeon in Reno, understands the need to have both options for patients. But even when someone is considering the filler-based, non-surgical approach, it’s probably not advisable to expect it to be super quick and painless.”With the exception of fillers, which can only do a number of things when it comes to camouflaging contour deformities in the nose, a nose job is a complex operation and depending on what you’re attempting to achieve, a 30-minute deadline may not be a realistic goal,” she explains.
Like many of the non-surgical procedures burgeoning in plastic surgery, the “lunchtime nose job” offers legitimate results – in the right patient. There may be a small population of patients that could have their issue solved by a quick filler injection in the nose, and they might be OK with the fact that it’s not permanent. For most nose cases, however, a rhinoplasty will be required. It’s on the patient to educate themselves as to what is and isn’t possible, and likewise see a board certified plastic surgeon who is looking out for their patients’ health and goals as priority number one.