The 10-minute nose job

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  • New procedure means no surgery is required

    A new procedure is available for people unhappy with their profile – non-surgical nose reshaping.

    The process involves injecting a cosmetic filler into key areas around the nose and means patients avoid going under the knife. It can help those who are unhappy with their noses not because of the size but because of the shape.

    In particular, it should prove a viable option for those who do not want to resort to nose surgery (rhinoplasty). And with each treatment typically costing £300, nonsurgical nose reshaping is far cheaper. Surgery costs around £3,500 and involves a six-week recovery period.

    About 2,500 people have rhinoplasty each year. However, the operation – say researchers at Newcastle University in Australia – is one of the trickiest cosmetic procedures to perform. According to their figures, adverse effects – including excessive bleeding, loosening of cartilage in the nose and scar formation – can occur in up to 18% of cases.

    Non-surgical nose reshaping
    originated in Brazil about seven years ago. Cosmetic doctors there were getting requests for subtle changes to nose shape, rather than the more dramatic changes produced by surgery. They applied dermal fillers already being used to fill out other areas of the face.

    The method has reached the UK only recently, and was initially used to help reshape the nose after sports injuries. These cosmetic fillers, known by brand names such as Restylane and Juvederm, consist of a combination of hyaluronic acid and water.

    Found naturally in the body’s connective tissue, hyaluronic acid is a gel-like substance. Beneath the skin, it combines with water and collagen, a protein which provides structure, to form a spongy layer in between cells. When a synthetic form of the acid is injected beneath the skin, it is taken up by the body’s own tissue, adding plumpness to specific areas.

    However, as it isn’t identical to the body’s own tissue, eventually, in a process that takes between 12 and 18 months, it is recognised by the body’s cells which gradually break it down. A second top-up procedure can then reshape the nose once again.

    However, Nigel Mercer, president of the British Association for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, has reservations about the technique’s safety. He said: ‘Cosmetic products such as fillers do not have to undergo the same rigorous clinical trial process that legally needs to be undertaken for medical treatments.

    ‘I would worry about putting these fillers in the skin as we still don’t know about the long-term reactions to them. They cannot replace nose reshaping surgery, which is permanent.’


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