What Are The Risks Of Using Injectable Fillers In The Nose?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a rhinoplasty done 5 years ago to correct the contour of the sides of my nose. While the surgery made a very significant improvement, the left side is still a little curved from front view, while the right side is straight. I met with a different surgeon recently about whether or not a non-surgical liquid filler could correct this issue, and they said they wouldn’t recommend injecting a filler after a previous surgical rhinoplasty, as it’s “a little dangerous”. 

I’m not sure what the danger is they’re alluding to, but if it’s the vision loss I’ve read about, and the risk is high enough, it might not be worth it. If the risk is very low, though, maybe it would be worth it.

A: If the goal is to augment the flatter side of the nose to better match the curved side, then the use of injectable fillers is a reasonable non-surgical approach.

When it comes to the use of injectable fillers in the nose the risk to which is being referred is that of an ischemic event. This means the pressure of the filler causes a compression of the blood supply to the overlying skin resulting in an area of necrosis or eventual skin loss. In the scarred nose (prior rhinoplasty) this risk is higher due to this scar tissue. How significant that risk is can be debated but I can’t fault the surgeon from passing on doing it as for him/her the reward:risk ratio is just not worth it. Its occurrence may be uncommon but it would create a deformity worse than the original aesthetic problem.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indianapolis