Open or Closed Rhinoplasty: Which is Right for You?

When it comes to a rhinoplasty, there are two different types, closed and open. There are reasons why one is used over the other in certain situations.

If you’re thinking about getting a rhinoplasty, aka nose job, you may think that there’s only one way for a plastic surgeon to do your procedure. 

Not true!

When it comes to a rhinoplasty, there are two different types, closed and open. There are reasons why one is used over the other in certain situations.

If you’re considering getting a nose job, it’s important to know about these differences so you can start thinking about which one best suits your needs and goals. Having some general knowledge before you sit down with your plastic surgeon can help to save time.

Let’s take a look.

woman's face with rhinoplasty lines overlaid

What is an Open Rhinoplasty and is it for Me?

Open rhinoplasty refers to when a plastic surgeon makes their incision across the base of the nostrils and the nose. This technique is more commonly used in complicated cases. This allows the surgeon to see the surgical area easier than with a closed rhinoplasty.

Even when this approach is taken, soft tissues of the nose are separated from the underlying structures so that the surgeon can get access to the cartilage and bone to resculpt the nose.

Some surgeons prefer open rhinoplasty because it allows them to get a better look at the nose and what can be done in the reshaping process. With an open rhinoplasty, however, there may be a greater chance of swelling. There can also be scarring with this approach, but it’s usually minimal and fades over time.

If you are considering a revision rhinoplasty, this approach is usually recommended because the original structure of the nose has already been altered. The open approach allows for more clarity to make corrections. An open approach is also sometimes used when the patient’s nose is crooked.

Your plastic surgeon can recommend whether the open rhinoplasty would be beneficial depending on the goals you hope to accomplish.

What is a Closed Rhinoplasty and is it for Me?

During a closed rhinoplasty, a surgeon will make incisions on the inside of the nostrils. This is sometimes recommended for less complicated surgeries. There are no external incisions, so many people prefer this type of rhinoplasty for that reason alone.

Typically, a closed rhinoplasty can be a quicker procedure and one that results in less swelling. Either procedure can drastically change the look of your nose.

Again, after a consultation, your plastic surgeon can advise you about the best approach for your rhinoplasty.

before and after diagram of rhinoplasty with line showing change in shape

Rhinoplasty Basics

Whether you’re opting for an open or closed rhinoplasty, it’s important to know some basics if you’re considering a nose job.

  • Procedure is typically done under general anesthesia
  • Length of the procedure can vary from 1-4 hours
  • Patients can usually return to work 3-5 days after the procedure
  • Bruising around the eyes can happen when the nose has to be straightened

Sometimes other procedures are recommended to achieve the patient’s desired look. This can include a chin augmentation, among other procedures. It’s important to realize this as you start thinking about your nose job and your goals.

Your plastic surgeon can go over the specifics of your surgery since things can vary from patient to patient, but knowing the basics can make things go smoother.

It’s also important to have a general idea of what you want to accomplish from a rhinoplasty. Bringing along photos is helpful because it gives your surgeon a clear look at your goals. It also allows them to honestly let you know if what you want is realistic.

When you first meet for your consultation, ask any and all questions that come to mind. There are no dumb questions when you’re talking about permanently changing the way you look.

Let Dr. Ladner Answer Your Rhinoplasty Questions

If you have more questions about open and closed rhinoplasties, ask Dr. Ladner. He is a highly trained surgeon with plenty of experience. Call the office today at  (303) 253-7686 or visit our website to schedule a consultation.

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