Wow… Part of me cannot believe that I’m actually sharing these photos. But another part of me, the part that won out, realized that it was posts just like this one that made me decide to try this procedure, and I hope that it can help some of you make the same decision for yourselves.
Let me back up here: I have been contemplating a real-deal surgical rhinoplasty since my teens. I have never liked my nose or felt even remotely comfortable with it. This insecurity was only amplified by being online and having my picture taken every single day. While the idea of a brand-new nose is more than tempting, surgery just seemed so… drastic.
After my consultation for both procedures, here is what I know:
SURGICAL RHINOPLASTY (I.E. NOSE JOB)
PROS: It is permanent and over a long period of time, more cost-effective.
CONS: Price tends to hover around $10,000. It requires breaking your nose in multiple places (at least for me), it’s a super dramatic change (which is really hard to get used to), requires easily 3 months of recovery time (3 weeks of that is really bad bruising and pain), you don’t see your “real nose” for up to 6 months, there is no guarantee you will like it and if you don’t, it’s really not reversible without another surgery.
However, this is the stat that sold me on a non-surgical nose job: up to 30% of non-surgical nose jobs are tweaks and fixes from people who have already had a surgical rhinoplasty.
NON-SURGICAL NOSE JOB (I.E. WITH FILLERS)
PROS: It’s relatively painless, costs substantially less ($500-$1,500 is the range I’ve found), there’s literally zero down time, minimal bruising (you can see a few injection dots, which are easily covered with makeup), it can be easily reversed if you don’t like it (they inject another liquid which dissolves the filler — I had this done once), you are awake for the procedure so you can talk to your doctor during the procedure and give feedback and finally, it takes about 10-20 minutes.
CONS: Price tends to hover around $1,000 for a good doctor and over time, this option is more expensive. It is not permanent, with results generally lasting 9-18 months. You are technically making your nose bigger to make it look smaller, which is obviously one of the limitations of going the non-surgical route. Not everyone is a candidate for this procedure, depending on what kind of results you want. Also, it may take multiple times to get the result you are looking for (in my case, it was five!)
BEFORE AND AFTER (FRONT VIEW)
With non-surgical nose jobs, your profile gets the most impact. I had the added bonus of having a straighter-looking nose front the front, as well. My doctor (Dr. Rodwell) added a bit of filler to the bottom left of my “bump” — I loved the effect this had.
BEFORE AND AFTER (PROFILE)
This is the most dramatic change. Filler was added to above and below my “bump” to straighten my nose. Dr. Rodwell had a great point: most of the time, people don’t see you from 100% straight on, which is your profile is so important.
DETAILS OF THE PROCEDURE
Luckily for me, I learned of an option called the “non-surgical nose job” about two years ago. With the use of hyaluronic acid gels (the same stuff plastic surgeons use for lip fillers or cheek lifts), the shape of the nose can be altered. Curves are straightened, lumps and bumps reduced, and the nose is made to look smaller — all without going under the knife. At first, I was just curious. But the more I researched, the more I realized a non-surgical nose job just might be the perfect option for me. So, I decided to go for it.
There are many things to consider before deciding to undergo this procedure. First, the cost: Depending on where you live, the expense can range from $400 (not recommended — you do not want a bargain bin nose job!) to $1,200. Mine was $1,000 from Dr. David Rodwell III of Charleston Facial Plastic Surgery in Charleston, SC.
Which brings me to your second consideration: the doctor. I found Dr. Rodwell using RealSelf.com, a site where plastic surgery patients can post their reviews of common procedures and/or the doctors who performed them. Letting a stranger modify your face is kind of a scary idea, but reading reviews from Dr. Rodwell’s patients made me feel like I would be in good hands. 90% of the non-surgical nose job patients on RealSelf rated the procedure positively.
CHOOSING A DOCTOR
After a lot of research, I decided to go with a doctor in Charleston, because that is where we will be living long-term. I’m so glad I did, because my nose job required going back five times over two months to get the right result. Dr. Rodwell had been featured in many credible magazines about the procedure as well, so I felt really confident.
Knowing what I know now, I would recommend taking into account a few other factors as well. Most importantly, if the procedure doesn’t go as planned, how does your doctor handle it? Also of super important: does he or she do touch-ups for free? $1,000 wasn’t cheap, but I’ve now seen Dr. Rodwell five times and he hasn’t charged me an extra penny. That’s a really good value. With procedures like this, I think it’s important to find a doctor who takes pride in their work and is very understanding. Dr. Rodwell was both.
WHAT I WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN
Even though I did extensive research before my procedure, I truly wish I had looked into more non-surgical nose jobs that didn’t go perfectly. I was bombarded by 100% positive reviews from women on Instagram saying they got it done over their lunch break and that was it. For me, that was not my experience. That’s the main reason for the rest of this post: complete transparency
I want to preface this by saying I adore my doctor and I will go back to him for other enhancements in the future. I just want there to be an open example of what can happen and how they fix it, because this is what I wish I would have read. I was a pretty challenging case. I have a “dorsal hump.” (I hate that, makes me sound like a dolphin.) Anyways, on top of this, I has a deviated septum that results in slight crookedness. So basically, my doctor had his work cut out for him.
Numbing process at my first appointment
MY FIRST APPOINTMENT
The first time I went in, I was SO nervous. I was deathly afraid of needles and was really anxious — I say this in past tense, because thanks to doing this a few times, I am no longer terrified of needles! Another thing to add to the pros list.
I went in and Dr. Rodwell gave me a consultation for both the surgical rhinoplasty and the non-surgical nose job. He was very open about any limitations or drawbacks of both. He did not pressure me in any way and was incredibly knowledgeable.
After our consultation, I decided I wanted the non-surgical option and was sick of waiting (I had my appointment booked for nearly a month). He put on some numbing cream and let it set for 30 minutes (picture of this above).
I just took deep breaths (mainly because of my initial anxiety and fear of needles). Was it fun? Not really. Was it painful? Also no, not really. It was a little pinch, mainly towards the tip of my nose. The most painful part was when the needle felt like it was scraping the bone in the “bump” of my nose. The weirdest part was hearing and feeling the filler go in.
I stood up and was a little shocked. It didn’t look like I thought it would in my head. But does anyone else talk themselves into things? Like “it’s fine, it’s probably just swelling.” I will tell you that the way it looks immediately after the procedure is basically how it will continue to look after everything settles down. The swelling with this procedure wasn’t bad. You can see the before (right) and immediately after (left) from my initial appointment below.
I went out to lunch right after and felt A LOT of pressure and pain. I couldn’t laugh without it hurting. Also, yes, my nose was “straight,” but I HATED the look of it, from all angles. I felt like any elegance of my nose was gone and I didn’t feel like I looked like myself anymore.
Full transparency: I completely broke down that night. I was crushed. I cried because all of my fears of this procedure came true and all my hopes of finally having a straight nose were gone. Zach told me just to sleep on it and see what the situation was in the morning.
THE NEXT MORNING
I can’t believe I’m sharing these photos. I woke up after crying all night to find a completely crooked and gigantic nose, plus a harsh line that you can see on the right side of my bump. I was also in a lot of pain. At this point, I was totally devastated. The before picture is on the right and how I woke up the next day is on the left. I immediately sent Dr. Rodwell these pictures and expressed all of my concerns to him. I got a phone call right away asking how soon I could come in. Kudos to Dr. Rodwell, because he had me in IMMEDIATELY the next day, right at 9 am.
Here is my before (left), immediately after (middle) and day after (left)
MY SECOND APPOINTMENT
I came to my doctor’s office in tears and he handled it like a pro. He was open and admitted that I was a challenging case, and he chased my A-symmetry too much. He quickly provided a solution and a new plan. THIS IS WHY I SAY CHOOSE A DOCTOR BASED ON WHAT HE DOES AFTER THE PROCEDURE.
He said he would put a solution into my nose that would dissolve the filler. He was very kind and let me know that at any point, I could get the whole thing dissolved if I was not 100% happy. I will say, THIS HURT. Like, instantly bring tears to your eyes pain. This is most likely because I was already very swollen and in a lot of pain, but man, this part was not fun.
Afterward, I was relieved to have it fixed but I was so sad that I felt like I just went through all of that, for nothing. My nose was almost exactly like it was prior to the procedure, but he left a tiny bit of filler in the bridge of my nose as a base. I scheduled another appointment for the next week.
Immediately after my 3rd appointment
MY THIRD APPOINTMENT
A week later, both the doctor and myself were ready to get this right. I had so much anxiety and nervousness — not because of the needles, but because I so badly wanted this to work. Afterward I stood up and almost cried tears of joy. I looked like myself — a better version of myself, how I should look. My nose was straight and I was so happy! It was all worth it.
This photo was taken the day after my 4th appointment
MY FOURTH APPOINTMENT
This is a detail you really won’t find online: the filler will “settle” — especially in the bridge of your nose. This is why Dr. Rodwell scheduled another touch-up appointment, and why I recommend you need a doctor that will do touch-ups without any fees.
I just stood up, said it was all good and was out. Looking back, I should have been a touch more critical because it didn’t look as perfect as last time. But that was my fault for not speaking up more.
Photo taken 1 hour after my 5th appointment
MY FIFTH APPOINTMENT
This was my final appointment, even though Dr. Rodwell so kindly said I can call him anytime I need a touch up. I had him add one more drop of filler, even after he was done. It’s amazing how much this procedure has helped my confidence! It is a really subtle change to other people, but when you’re looking at your own face, small changes make a huge difference.
I know my experience with this procedure wasn’t normal, or even common for that matter. But all said and done, YES, I would do it all over again. If I could go back, I would change two things:
- I would be more critical and vocal about my concerns. No one sees your face like you do and even though you are going to a highly-skilled professional, you need to think independently and make sure to assert yourself if you want anything changed before walking out the door.
- I would have wanted to do more research on procedures that didn’t go perfectly and know that it can all be dissolved at any time. That fact was so comforting to me after it didn’t go perfectly the first time around.
Zach and I have talked about it and I feel like this is something I will continue doing. I now have a doctor I know and trust, and since Zach is very against any kind of surgery, this is a perfect solution for me. I still look like myself, just the best possible version of myself!
Would I go to a different doctor? Absolutely not. Despite the issues in the beginning, Dr. Rodwell has a great practice and was so accommodating. Everything from his beautiful office on Broad, the homey environment and the sweetly southern receptionist, all made what can be a very scary experience a lot more enjoyable. I have considered other injections (like lip and cheek) and I will 100% go back to Dr. Rodwell should I decide to get more work done. He even gave me his personal phone number and said he is always available. I seriously can’t believe how caring he was throughout everything and how far he went to ensure I was happy. Dr. Rodwell showed me just how important it is to find the right provider, and I a so happy I found him.
Would you consider a non-surgical nose job? If you have any questions, just comment below!
As always, thank you for reading.