I live in Los Angeles. Home of Hollywood stars, celebrities, and California surfer girls with long blonde tresses, golden tans and perfect bodies and faces. Now we all know, many of them didn’t start out so perfect – a nip here, a tuck there, and a bit of a bosom boost between! How many women these days haven’t had a few surgical adjustments to help them look so beautiful and dazzling?
Here I am a Baby Boomer – one of the few who has never gotten a nose job, Botox, boob job, lifts, lipo, Lattisse, none of it. I was the original au naturel girl. And then one day a few months ago I started noticing changes. Drooping, sagging, “leaning to the left” changes. OMG. No, I’m not talking about drooping tatas or sagging buttocks. Eeeek – my beak!
When I was 16, all the girls in my school were getting nose jobs to straighten out their bumps and make their noses cute and bunny-like. (I’m talking Playboy Bunny, not Easter Bunny.) But not me! I didn’t feel the need to have my nose shortened, ski-sloped or bunnified. My nose wasn’t perfect by any means. It had a little bump, but I was happy with it and I would brag, I had a Roman nose. It had character. It was the real “me.”
Cut to: Decades later. I first realized my profile had changed when I was a guest on a television show and they filmed me from the side. Watching myself that night, I was less interested in my clever and informative repartee… than in the way I looked. Yikes! I couldn’t believe it. WHO is THAT?
It didn’t look at all like me. It wasn’t the nose I’d grown up with… or even the nose I’d had a year before. It had drooped, hollowed out and looked bumpy and crooked. I was aghast. I wasn’t 16 anymore – but now I was ready for that nose job – or was I?
I went to an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist to see if it was a medical problem. No, I could breathe fine. However, the doctor told me a “turbinate” had collapsed. To fix it was cosmetic – and of course, that would require rhinoplasty.
It was my understanding that rhinoplasty = surgery + pain + recovery time. Not to mention a hefty bill in the thousands – possibly $8,000 to $15,000.
Then I discovered Dr. Alexander Rivkin. He has revolutionized the nose job. No surgery. Hardly any pain. And almost no recovery time. That’s right – the nose isn’t broken; there’s no cutting, no general anesthesia, and no post op. You are in and out of his office in less than an hour, and can even go back to work.
The procedure is called the 15 Minute Nose Job or the Non-Surgical Nose Job. Dr. Rivkin first pioneered this revolutionary, non-invasive alternative to surgical rhinoplasty in 2004. More formally known as Injection Rhinoplasty, it resolves the appearance of bumps, drooping tips, and crooked noses, safely and quickly, without the risks and long, painful recovery normally associated with rhinoplasty surgery. In this procedure, small injections of a cosmetic filler are placed into locations around the nose precisely targeted to change the nose shape in the desired manner.
A few different fillers can be used. If Radiesse is used, the results of a Non-Surgical Nose Job will last about ten months to one year; with Restylane it lasts about eight months. A permanent injectable filler is Artefill, which was approved by the FDA in 2007. Usually, a patient will try one of the temporary injectables first; then if they are happy with the results, they can return a year later to get Artefill as a more permanent resolution.
Dr. Rivkin is a Yale trained facial cosmetic surgeon who has focused his practice exclusively on providing his patients with the latest in non-invasive, non-ablative cosmetic treatments. He is an international authority on non-surgical cosmetic treatments, who divides his time between his patients, educating other physicians, media appearances, and lecturing at scientific conferences throughout the world. He has been featured on the shows like The Doctors, The TODAY Show and The Tyra Banks Show as well as in numerous publications for the innovative procedures he has invented. He was the first physician in the country to offer the Non-Surgical Nose Job.
After meeting Dr. Rivkin, and asking some questions, I was more than ready. He has done some 4,000 nose jobs in about 10 years, so I felt confident that he was the right physician and this was the right “nose job” for me!
Dr. Rivkin’s office, Westside Aesthetics is on Wilshire Blvd in Brentwood, a neighborhood not far from UCLA. It’s a warm and welcoming office with a friendly, attractive staff. In the waiting room are lots of pamphlets about various procedures offered by the practice as well as a large screen TV where you can watch Dr. Rivkin explaining some of the procedures to patients, and even showing how he does it. You can see the “before and after” of several patients who have had the 15 Minute Nose Job.
Now it was my turn. I was escorted into his office by his assistant, Ali. Being the cosmetic surgery virgin that I am, I thought I’d be more nervous… but I wasn’t. The truth is I was more nervous about how it would look than how it would feel.
Before the procedure, Ali put numbing cream on my nose and then had me wait about 20 minutes. She took me to their back room, where four massage chairs await patients to relax them.
After the cream took effect, I was brought to Dr. Rivkin’s office for the procedure. While working on my nose he explained everything he was doing, making me feel comfortable and at ease. He injects Radiesse, a small amount at a time, contouring the nose to a more beautiful, straight shape. While he does the injections, his assistant taps you on the arm to distract you a bit, in case there is any pain, which was minimal.
Following the procedure, patients are given a bag of ice and Arnica Montana, a homeopathic medicine to help reduce swelling. I drove myself home (many patients go right back to work, but I work at home, which was nice so I could stare at my new nose in the mirror all afternoon.)
That night my friend Casey came over and said my nose looked “fabulous.” “Wow, it’s better than a real nose job!” she remarked. “I can’t believe you just walked in and out.” I was delighted Casey gave me 10 stars. She revealed to me that over the years, she’d had 6 traditional nose jobs (real surgery and real pain!)… so she should know what’s good. Casey loves my doctor and she’s never even met him!
I had a follow up visit with Dr. Rivkin three weeks later, which is usual for all patients. At this time he injected a little more Radiesse as a touch up, because after the initial procedure, some of the filler may have settled a bit. He told me that, after this second visit, the results should last about 9 to 10 months.
The Non-Surgical Nose Job is significantly lower in price than traditional rhinoplasty. With the filler Radiesse, it costs about $1250. For the permanent filler Artefill – it costs approximately $2,000 – $2,500.
Dr. Rivkin stresses that this procedure is not for everyone. It is not the answer for someone who wants to reduce the size of a large nose. However, as can be seen in several of his patients’ “before and after” photos – just by camouflaging a bump or making a crooked nose straight, the person’s nose will appear smaller.
It’s a bit of an optical illusion, but a feature that is regular and blends in with the rest of the face is less noticeable and appears smaller than a feature that is not in harmony, is asymmetric or bumpy.
As for me – several weeks after my second visit, I can say I am completely thrilled with the results. I’m hoping it lasts forever! If not, I’ll definitely be visiting Dr. Rivkin again. In the meantime, I guess I’m not a cosmetic procedures virgin anymore!
In summary, Dr. Rivkin’s Non-Surgical Nose Job is a relatively low-cost, practically pain free and simple procedure that is an alternative for traditional rhinoplasty.
Dr. Alexander Rivkin
11645 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Marilyn Anderson is a film and television writer and the author of Never Kiss a Frog: A Girl’s Guide to Creatures from the Dating Swamp. Her website is www.neverkissafrog.com