How Safe is Rhinoplasty?


Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Mr Khan - Consultant Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon

Surgical rhinoplasty is an increasingly popular method of nose reshaping and if you are considering the procedure you are probably searching for more information relating to the risks involved. The safety of the procedure can be considered from the perspective of both the anaesthetic, and the surgery itself.

In the same way as any procedure involving general anaesthetic, there is an element of risk associated with rhinoplasty. This is why at The Harley Medical Group, a specialist Anaesthetics Doctor is present before, throughout and after the surgery to ensure that the anaesthetic is as safe as possible. Before surgery, the Anaesthetist will identify any allergies and discuss the likelihood of any complications in individual cases, allowing the patient to make an informed decision on whether or not to undergo surgery.

Although it is essential to be aware of the risks involved with surgical rhinoplasty, it is also important to rationalise those risks in terms of likelihood. A study published in The Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that the overall complication rate was 0.7%[1]. Below we have outlined some of the main risks involved with the surgical element of rhinoplasty.

What risks are involved with surgical rhinoplasty?

  • Infection – If the incision sites are not cared for and cleaned properly after surgery, the chance of infection is increased. It is also possible for an infection to be introduced during surgery.
  • Breathing disturbance – Rhinoplasty that aims to reduce the overall size of the nose is associated with increased risk of breathing disturbance that can leave some patients with the feeling of a blocked nose.
  • Skin numbness – Usually a temporary side effect of invasive surgery, that commonly resolves during the recovery period.
  • Bleeding – As with any surgery, making incisions in the skin and soft tissues carries the risk of bleeding. This is why it is important to share the details of all past medical history with your surgeon and anaesthetist during your consultation.
  • Other potential risks: hypertrophic scarring, residual irregularities, contour defects, residual deviation or asymmetry, revisions surgery, results cannot be guaranteed.

Is non-surgical rhinoplasty safe?

Non-surgical rhinoplasty offers a less invasive alternative to surgical interventions for those searching for a way to correct, enhance or alter the shape and appearance of the nose. Non-surgical techniques provide solutions that are less costly, associated with fewer risks and require shorter recovery periods. Non-surgical rhinoplasty harnesses specific, complex techniques to alter the proportions and contours of the nose to give the illusion of a thinner, straighter or more symmetrical appearance.

Whilst non-surgical rhinoplasty is absolutely a suitable option for many patients, the limitations of the technique mean that under some circumstances, it would not be possible to achieve a patient’s desired results. Some examples of when this might be the case include:

  • Excessive rotation of the tip of the nose
  • A large hump or bump on the bridge of the nose
  • Significant deviation of the nose
  • Nasal reduction

In these cases, surgical intervention may be more appropriate. In any instance, the most suitable approach for your aesthetic goals should be discussed with your expert at The Harley Medical Group during a free no-obligation consultation. We’ve compiled a list of questions that you should ask your surgeon here.

Although every procedure is associated with risks, non-surgical rhinoplasty is considered to be safe and complications are rare. A safety review published in The Journal of Facial Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Medicine found that serious events occur in just 0.2% of cases when administered by a Doctor[2].

Unfortunately, without appropriate training, experience and equipment, the likelihood of serious complications including skin necrosis and infection is increased. This highlights the importance of visiting a regulated, clinician-led provider for all treatments involving filler products. At The Harley Medical Group, patient safety is of utmost concern and our expert clinician injectors have the skills and experience needed to deliver excellent results whilst prioritising safety.

Rhinoplasty before and after

Who shouldn’t undergo non-surgical rhinoplasty?

In addition to the reasons outlined earlier, there are a number of situations where the procedure would not be recommended. Any patient who lives with an autoimmune disease, a problem with blood clotting or an allergy to any of the ingredients in the filler products used may not be able to undergo non-surgical rhinoplasty. However, any specific concerns or personal circumstances should be discussed on an individual basis with the injecting Doctor.

If you would like to find out more about rhinoplasty and view our gallery of before and after's, you can visit our dedicated page here. You can also book a free, no-obligation consultation to explore which option would be best to achieve your desired results.


  1. Layliev J, Gupta V, Kaoutzanis C, Ganesh Kumar N, Winocour J, Grotting JC, Higdon KK. Incidence and Preoperative Risk Factors for Major Complications in Aesthetic Rhinoplasty: Analysis of 4978 Patients. Aesthet Surg J. 2017 Jul 1;37(7):757-767. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjx023. PMID: 28472446.
  2. Rivkin A. Nonsurgical Rhinoplasty Using Injectable Fillers: A Safety Review of 2488 Procedures. Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med. 2021 Jan-Feb;23(1):6-11. doi: 10.1089/fpsam.2020.0291. Epub 2020 Dec 2. PMID: 33270519.
Posted April 26, 2022
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