Nose Augmentation: Nose Fillers or Nose Threads?

Nose augmentation is an area of great interest in Asians as well as our local population. A large proportion of Asian people have under-projected, poorly defined nose bridges and many desire to look like their Caucasian counterparts with high and sharp noses. Some individuals may also have an irregular shaped nose or previous scar or injury leading to a crooked nose that he/she wants to straighten and correct.

There are two non-surgical ways in which nose augmentation can be achieved:

  1. Nose Threads
  2. Injectable Fillers

What is Nose Thread Lift?

Nose thread lift is performed using PDO (Polydioxanone) threads of varying lengths inserted via a cannula through a small puncture point on the nose tip. A number of threads are serially inserted (usually 6-8) and stacked on one another to achieve incremental raising of the nose bridge to the desired height. Short threads can also be inserted into the columella to increase the projection of the nose tip.

Pros of Nose Thread LiftCons of Nose Thread Lift
Can achieve higher and sharper result More painful and traumatic
Lasts 1 year to 1.5 years Higher risk of bruising and post-procedure swelling
No risk of vascular occlusion/blindness Risk of puncture wound on nose tip becoming a permanent depressed scar
Irreversible once performed
Leads to fibrosis and distortion of nasal anatomy making subsequent nose filler procedures more difficult
Less able to correct nasal deformities e.g. dorsal hump
Higher risk of infection/delayed healing especially at point of thread insertion at the nose tip possibly due to incomplete thread insertion

What are Nose Fillers?

Nose fillers are also known as liquid rhinoplasty and is commonly done with hyaluronic acid fillers, either via direct needle injection technique or using a cannula. Hyaluronic acid fillers are temporary fillers that last between 6 months to 2 years depending on the type of filler selected.

Pros of Nose FillersCons of Nose Fillers
Reversible via dissolution with hyaluronidase injectionNot as long-lasting as threads
Can correct specific deformities of the nose/easier to modify nose shape and angle Usually gives a less sharp and more natural result
Less traumatic/painful Small risk of vascular occlusion/compromise
Less downtime/bruising
Softer, more natural result    

In my practice, I prefer to use injectable fillers for nose augmentation. I believe that with skilled and safe injection methods, injectable fillers can be used in a more versatile fashion than nose threads to produce a customized and natural result for every patient while keeping the risk of complications such as vascular compromise to a minimum.

AUTHOR: Dr Ng Hong Yi, Aesthetic Doctor, Cove Aesthetic Clinic