A botched procedure in China recently cast light on the potential dangers of non-surgical nose jobs. According to state news agency China News Service, a 21-year-old woman from the eastern province of Jiangsu was blinded in one eye after receiving “micro plastic surgery injections” aimed at reshaping her nose.

The woman, identified only by her last name, Song, spent approximately $1,500 on a total of four injections administered by a group advertising its services on the messaging app WeChat. Tragically, Song was blinded in her right eye when the fourth injection hit a nerve in her face.

As neither the person administering the injection nor the couple running the service were licensed medical professionals, according to the news agency, they were arrested and charged with operating an illegal medical practice as well as selling counterfeit drugs.

The case has reminded facial plastic surgeons to stress the importance of thoroughly researching any treatment you are considering, not to mention the person(s) providing it.

What Is A Non-Surgical Nose Job?

A “non-surgical nose job” is a treatment that provides temporary correction of issues such as a bump on the nose or a misshapen nasal tip. In truth, the term is a misleading one, because rhinoplasty is by definition a surgical procedure. And this, in turn, underscores the problem with the procedure itself— namely, that none of the filler techniques included under this umbrella term can possibly be as effective as rhinoplasty.

That being said, neurotoxin-based injectables, including Botox and Dysport, can temporarily lift the tip of the nose slightly; and filler injections, including Restylane, Juvederm and Radiesse, can temporarily add volume in order to smooth and/or hide a bump.

Potential Complications Of A Non-Surgical Nose Job

It should be noted that when administered to enhance the appearance of the nose, these products are being used “off-label,” because they are not FDA-approved for this use.

In Song’s case, the so-called non-surgical nose job was performed through hyaluronic acid-based injections. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that is already present in the body. It is not harmful when administered properly, but when administered improperly it can be very harmful. This is what happened in Song’s case.

Unfortunately, this is hardly an isolated incident. Minimally-invasive cosmetic treatments, including the injectables used in non-surgical nose jobs, are hugely popular — not just in China but worldwide — and this demand has encouraged fraudsters and snake oil salesmen to come up with their own fake products. Cosmetic injection services are now widely advertised across a number of social media platforms, some of which make it all too easy to set up a “store” and pawn dangerous wares.

Even when administered properly, using fillers in lieu of a surgical rhinoplasty procedure is madness, because the results are always temporary. So if by chance you are considering this route, you should reconsider; over time you will spend far more money, because you will have to get so many repeat treatments.

Why Surgical Rhinoplasty Is Better

A non-surgical nose job cannot reduce the size of the nose, alter its structure, make a large tip small or a wide nose narrower — nor can it address functional nasal issues such as breathing problems. For all of these reasons, traditional rhinoplasty, which alters the structures of the nose, is a far more effective procedure.

Any of the following are possible — often in combination — during surgical rhinoplasty:

  • Altering the shape of the tip
  • Straightening the nose
  • Adding or removing cartilage
  • Adjusting internal structures (e.g., the turbinates and/or septum)
  • Inserting nasal grafts
  • Fixing breathing problems

Dr. Sam Rizk is recognized worldwide for his innovative techniques and technologies aimed at promoting a quick recovery that allows patients to get back to their daily lives as soon as possible. For example, when performing nose surgery Dr. Rizk uses a 3D telescope so that he can see the internal structures of the nose better. He also uses small incisions that encourage higher levels of precision, while avoiding disturbing sensitive blood vessels. Dr. Rizk intentionally leaves the incisions partially open so that they can drain more effectively. In addition, he uses dissolvable sutures and special tissue glues, which allow him to avoid using nasal packing. He also performs sculpting techniques deeper in the nose than many surgeons do, resulting in more natural-looking outcomes.

To learn more about rhinoplasty and the other services Dr. Rizk offers, contact his office today.