Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty

I perform more non-surgical nose jobs than perhaps any other physician. So, you can imagine how many times I hear “so what’s the difference between a surgical and non-surgical rhinoplasty?” So here it is: the rundown on the two.

The Candidate

Anyone with a bump, droop, scoop….they can benefit from both a surgical and non-surgical rhinoplasty. Extremely large noses are best fixed with surgery, because a non-surgical rhinoplasty fills in “the valleys to hide the hills.” However, most bumps or asymmetries are easily corrected with Radiesse, the calcium hydroxyapatite crystal substance we use to inject into the nose. It resembles the natural feel and consistency of bone, so it’s perfect for forming the nose. If you have a true deformity like a saddle nose or deviated septum, then surgery is the only option to correct this.

The Cost

Surgical rhinoplasty can cost anywhere from $4,000-$15,000 depending on the location, type of procedure, facility, and physician. Much of this cost goes toward anesthesia and pre and post operative care.

Non-surgical rhinoplasty is $800-$1,500 depending on the physician and amount of substance needed.

The Procedure

Non-Surgical rhinoplasty: walk in, apply numbing cream, relax for 30 minutes to an hour, sit and guide the procedure comfortably for 5-15 minutes, and you’re done!

Surgical rhinoplasty: no eating after midnight. Report to the surgical facility early in the morning. Have an IV inserted and receive mediation to relax you and sedate you. The surgeon will then make an incision at the base of your nose, peel the skin back, and use tools like a hammer to re-break the nose and correct it, or a device to shave down bumps, etc. They can also place materials to add volume to the nose and make it taller or more narrow.

Some patients absolutely need a surgical rhinoplasty. And with the right surgeon, care team, and expectations, it can be an incredibly rewarding procedure. But no one can deny that the difference between this: and this: is huge.

The Recovery


Immediately After Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty

Immediately After Surgical Rhinoplasty
5 Days Later
Five Days After Non-Surgical Nose Job

The Results

Surgical rhinoplasty can absolutely produce amazing results that might not have been capable with the non-surgical alternative. Many patients are thrilled with their new noses and say that the recovery process and cost were absolutely worth it. Others, however, find that they didn’t get what they were looking for. This can happen for a variety of reasons: unrealistic expectations, miscommunication between doctor and patient, or for the basic fact that changing someones nose can very much alter the appearance of their face, something they may not be emotionally prepared for. This is why the degree of unsatisfaction with rhinoplasty is higher than many other cosmetic procedures.

Non-Surgical rhinoplasty can be guided by the patient in real-time while they look in the mirror. This means you have a say in exactly how much and where the product is placed, so that you can customize your results: something you can’t do while you’re under anesthesia. If you love the results and want them to be permanent, you can consider then having a surgical rhinoplasty. Or, you can keep coming back around once a year for a touch up. Worst case scenario, your nose returns back to the way it was with time if you don’t like it, something that absolutely cannot happen with a surgical rhinoplasty.


While it’s true that I am biased, the advantages of a non-surgical rhinoplasty are undeniable. It can be used to “preview” a surgical nose-job, used on patients who are too busy, young, or financially unprepared for a surgical rhinoplasty, or for those who are opposed to the recovery or anesthesia of a traditional nose-job. Sound too good to be true? Check out my before and after gallery on the page or come see me to talk about whether or not you could benefit from the procedure.

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