Last week, the Internet freaked out over the idea of five-minute nonsurgical nose jobs. In an essay for the Daily Mail, a woman named Joanna Della-Ragione recounted her tale—complete with photographic proof—of walking into Los Angeles plastic surgeon Simon Ourian’s office (he’s the doc who gave Kylie Jenner her famous voluminous lips), getting the noninvasive nose-perfecting procedure done, and then heading directly from his office to dinner with her friends. Instead of going the traditional surgical route, she’d had Ourian inject thousands of dollars worth of fillers into her face to straighten out the slope of her nose.
Ourian has also been advertising this procedure, which he calls the “nonsurgical nose job,” all over his Instagram (he has 446,000 followers), with brief explanations in the captions of what the procedure entails. The captions say things like “Technique: Multi micro droplet injection. Purpose: Enhance the shape of a small bridge of the nose. How it works: Hyaluronic acid. Time it takes: 15 mins. Recovery: none.” And with that limited scientist-speaking-to-himself-via-recorder type of detail, the whole thing sounds too good to be true.
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We found out more from Ourian himself. First things first: The “multi microdroplet technique,” as Ourian calls it, is used mainly to fix botched nose jobs or on people whose noses don’t naturally have a prominent bridge. “In these cases, we can go back and add a filler to build a bridge for them or build an area,” says Ourian. In typical rhinoplasty procedures, surgeons often construct the bridge of a nose by placing a small piece of an implant in that area, but according to Ourian, the hyaluronic acid injections make the process far simpler. But if you’re looking to decrease the size of your nose or make certain other changes to the shape, you’ll still need to go under the knife. “A lot of people have large noses or hooked noses, and I think in the majority of those cases, they still need a surgical nose job,” he says. “For nose jobs where you want to make it smaller, you’ll still need to go through a surgery, so it’s not the complete fix for all nose jobs.”
But back to that “nonsurgical” procedure. A major selling point is that they’re supposed to be far less painful—and have almost no recovery period—than full rhinoplasty procedures. Della-Ragione compared the pain she experienced to “a trip to the dentist” and said that Ourian “works fast and the whole thing is over in about five or six minutes.” Ourian says he uses three to four syringes of hyaluronic acid on each patient and that the entire office visit (from getting your picture taken to completing the injections) really does take about 15 minutes in total. “The huge advantage of it is that not only is it really quick, the patients are awake and they can see what’s going on,” says Ourian. “With a nose job, you only have one shot, and you wake up, and it’s like a surprise on your nose. This is a very correctible and predictable procedure. The patient can look in the mirror and navigate it, and they can say whether they want a little bit more on the tip or whether they want a little bit more on the sides. And because it’s hyaluronic acid, I can always reverse it. If they don’t like it, I can always take it down a notch.” To reverse it, Ourian can melt the filler by injecting an enzyme called hyaluronidase.
According to Della-Ragione’s experience, the recovery process is also fairly easy—she reported being a bit swollen right after the procedure. But that’s nothing compared to a typical nose job, says Ourian. “In a traditional nose job, you have bruising, you have swelling, and it can take six months to a year for it to fully heal,” he says. “When people do this treatment, in 24 hours the swelling is down and the patient is back to normal.”
If you’re thinking of getting Ourian’s nonsurgical nose job, it’s going to cost you. The procedure starts at $1,500 (for a temporary procedure using a filler like Restylane) and goes up to $4,000 or $5,000 for something more permanent (if he uses a filler like Voluma). That’s a lot to shell out for a nose job that’s going to go away eventually.
Here’s the other thing: According to Bonnie Baldwin, a plastic surgeon in Houston, this concept isn’t necessarily new. “I am not sure a ‘microdroplet’ technique is unique. It can also be called serial puncture with very small amounts of product injected in multiple specific areas, and it might require several treatments to get a favorable result,” she says. Ourian does say that he’s been doing the procedure for seven to eight years, and he feels he is one of few doctors to have mastered it. “The more practice you have, the better the results are,” he says. “I feel like every year I’ve been getting better results, and now I can change the angle of the nose. Depending on where I place it, I can make the nose larger, and in certain cases, I can make it smaller. I can now change the shape of the nostrils.”
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