Surgical Rhinoplasty vs Liquid Nose Job: What’s the Difference?

The nose is one of the most common facial concerns and can cause issues with self-confidence. Your nose shape and size have a powerful effect on the overall balance of your face. Many people would prefer if their nose were smaller, without a bump, or smoother. Whether it’s genetics or injury, there are several reasons why people are unhappy with their nose. Two of the solutions for fixing a nose are a liquid nose job and surgical rhinoplasty; let’s dive in.  

What is the Difference Between Surgical and Liquid Rhinoplasty?

As the name suggests, the main difference between surgical and non-surgical rhinoplasty is that one requires a surgical procedure and the other doesn’t. When trying to decide which option is best for you, it helps to understand each procedure and what to expect. 

Traditional Rhinoplasty 

Rhinoplasty takes between 1 to 3 hours to perform. It involves using various surgical techniques to adjust and reshape the nose shape and size. There are several types of rhinoplasty, like: 

  • Closed rhinoplasty 
  • Open rhinoplasty 
  • Septorhinoplasty 
  • Rhinoplasty-tip surgery
Before and after nose job revision rhinoplasty at the Harley Clinic

Surgical rhinoplasty is probably what you think of when talking about rhinoplasty. The procedure requires incisions, anaesthetic, and recovery time. Rhinoplasty can permanently change the shape and size of the nose as well as the following: 

  • Lift the nasal tip 
  • Narrow or rotate the tip
  • Decrease dorsal hump 
  • Correct breathing issues caused by a deviated septum 

Depending on your concerns and issues, your surgeon will use either an open or closed approach. Open rhinoplasty uses a small incision in the small strip of tissue between the nostrils, known as the columella. Whereas closed rhinoplasty uses the nostrils to make alterations, so the incisions are inside the nostrils.

Within the umbrella of nose surgery, your surgeon can use varying techniques to target different concerns. You also have alarplasty or nostril reduction to target nostrils in particular. Alar base reduction is a surgical procedure that specifically narrows the width of the nostrils. So, it’s quite a precise procedure, but something to keep in mind when researching nose surgeries. 

Alarplasty Before and After 

Alar base reduction before and after

Liquid Nose Job 

A non-surgical nose job is a common form of rhinoplasty that uses dermal fillers to improve the appearance of minor imperfections. Unlike surgical rhinoplasty, liquid rhinoplasty is not permanent, and the fillers will eventually wear off. 

Filler can camouflage imperfections but not get rid of them permanently. For example, filler could make a small bump look less obvious by adding volume. But a liquid nose job will not actually make your nose smaller. The results of a liquid nose job last for about 10-12 months. So, although the result is long-lasting, you will need a top-up appointment to maintain your look. One thing to know is that filler won’t fix any functional problems in the nose. 

liquid nose job - non-surgical rhinoplasty

The Rise of the Liquid Nose Job 

The nose has the power to impact the look of the entire face. Over the past several years, non-surgical cosmetic procedures have been rising in popularity. More and more people are looking to treat imperfections during their lunch hour without spending a long time recovering. The liquid nose job also allows you to test run your new nose without committing to a permanent surgery. 

The low commitment and convenience are giving way to a rise in non-surgical procedures that can deliver surprisingly effective results. 

What are the Benefits of Liquid Rhinoplasty Over a Traditional Nose Job?

Liquid nose jobs can cover up small bumps and defects like a drooping tip or flat bridge. There is no need for any recovery or downtime, and you can add volume to your nose during your lunch hour. However, what it can’t do is actually make your nose smaller or fix a physical problem such as a deviated septum or breathing issues. 

More Affordable 

Naturally, liquid rhinoplasty is a more affordable option. Fillers are a fraction of the cost of surgical rhinoplasty. If you’re looking to test-run a slightly different look or would like a non-invasive option, then liquid rhinoplasty may be suitable for you. 


The results are immediate but temporary. This could be both positive and negative. If you like the idea of a temporary result and don’t have to commit to a permanent new nose, then fillers offer that flexibility. 

No Surgery or Downtime 

One of the biggest draws of a liquid nose job is that there’s no surgery. That means there’s no downtime, no recovering from the anaesthetic and no time off work. When you compare that to the weeks that it can take to recover from a surgical nose job fully, it’s one of the key benefits of liquid rhinoplasty. 

How Do You Know Which Procedure is Right for You?

If you’re looking for permanent changes to your nose and wish to reduce the actual size, a surgical nose job is likely a more suitable procedure. Depending on your concerns, your surgeon can make your nose smaller, larger and change the shape. Also, if you’re looking to correct a health problem, such as breathing issues, then a surgical rhinoplasty is the only option for you. 

Non-surgical rhinoplasty is the best solution for people who want to address concerns about the shape of their nose rather than the size. If you would love to tweak your appearance and improve the balance and contours of the face, dermal fillers can correct your concerns temporarily. The added benefit is that if you’re unhappy with the shape of your nose, the fillers will dissolve over time. 

Ultimately, there are big differences between the procedures. When you’re looking to change or alter the appearance, shape, or size of your nose, the best route will come down to your expectations and needs. Although someone with a deviated septum needs surgical rhinoplasty, another individual may be suitable for liquid rhinoplasty. 

Whichever procedure is right for you, the most important thing is to speak to a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who can guide you through the process safely and achieve optimum results. 

If you’re unsure whether to choose a surgical or liquid nose job, book a consultation today at the Harley Clinic to talk through your options. 

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