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Open vs Closed Rhinoplasty

There are two surgical pathways into the nose’s structure used to alter its cartilage and bone framework: closed rhinoplasty and open rhinoplasty. This post will explain the differences between these two rhinoplasty techniques to show how the process differs depending on your surgeon’s choice.

Open rhinoplasty is advantageous when increasing the amount of bone, cartilage, or other tissue-grafting techniques are necessary. It is widely the best choice for revision rhinoplasty as well. Closed rhinoplasty is best suited for more straightforward or lesser involved procedures.

The comparisons between the two are primarily surgical details; both aim for a balanced and aesthetically pleasing nose. Below, we’ve provided a brief description of each and highlighted some of the key distinctions between the two.

What is an Open Rhinoplasty?

The open rhinoplasty technique gives access to the nasal structures beneath the skin. This approach allows your surgeon to work unencumbered to graft bone or cartilage or perform a successful revision. The incisions are internal and external. The external incision passes through the columella, the small bridge under the nose, and between the nostrils. This incision will allow the skin to be raised to expose the internal nasal framework.  After the correction is complete, the incision is closed with sutures that are removed within a week after surgery.

What is a Closed Rhinoplasty?

This version of rhinoplasty is also known as endonasal (inside) rhinoplasty. As suggested, the incisions all take place inside the nostrils. This type of nose surgery delivers nasal symmetry, enhances breathing, and is performed with internal absorbable sutures.

Important Differences

As stated above, both techniques aim to enhance nasal functionality and aesthetics. Although the objectives are similar, the procedural steps are very different. Here is how they vary:

Procedural Difficulty

Closed rhinoplasty is the more complex of the two. Your surgeon operates from within the nasal structure, as opposed to using a bridging incision as with open rhinoplasty.

Operating Time

Although the operations last about the same amount of time, the closed technique is slightly shorter. The open approach requires more attention to closing the incision, among other procedural processes.

Sutures

Closed rhinoplasty incorporates absorbable stitches that are not removed. Open rhinoplasty employs both regular and absorbable sutures, and those used externally are removed within a week after surgery.

Scarring

The open version of rhinoplasty employs an incision fashioned between the two nostrils and under the nose. It is carried into the nasal interior, where the incision is less visible. After some time, the incision fades and is less visible. With its placement under the nose, the incision will inconspicuous once bruising and swelling subside. Closed rhinoplasty offers invisible scarring due to the internal incisions.

Learn More

The critical factor in the operation’s safety and efficacy lies with the plastic surgeon’s skill and talent. Dr. Jason Cooper is a Harvard trained and board-certified plastic surgeon who maintains expertise in the leading rhinoplasty techniques. If you would like more information about open and closed rhinoplasty, contact us or call (561) 406-6574 to schedule your personal consultation today!