Closed vs. Open Rhinoplasty – The Differences to Know

September 7, 2022

When someone elects to undergo rhinoplasty surgery, there are two major types to choose from. Your goals, and the surgeon’s advice, can be factors in whether to choose closed or open rhinoplasty. But it’s not as simple as saying one is better than the other. Both have a place in certain situations.


What Are Open and Closed Rhinoplasty?

With an open rhinoplasty, nose surgery is performed through a tiny incision between the nostrils. It’s considered open since the skin on the nose is folded up to see the structure underneath. Open rhinoplasty can be combined with dorsal preservation techniques.

On the other hand, closed rhinoplasty does not have this incision. The entire surgery is done through the nostrils with no external scars.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Open Rhinoplasty

An open rhinoplasty exposes all the internal structures of the for better visibility. This makes it easier for a surgeon to ensure your nose is reshaped to meet your personal preferences. In addition, after the procedure is complete, an open rhinoplasty is easier to stabilize with structural elements that prevent long-term nasal collapse or weakening. The nasal tip experiences more numbness with open rhinoplasty. This approach is also more common than closed rhinoplasty, so finding an experienced and qualified surgeon may be easier.

However, there can be some drawbacks to choosing open rhinoplasty. For instance, the surgery is going to take longer and be more involved. It also tends to leave a small scar, although the best surgeons can mask its appearance. Open rhinoplasty has a longer recovery period and may have greater bruising and swelling.

Pros and Cons of Closed Rhinoplasty

Now that you know what to expect from open rhinoplasty let’s look at closed rhinoplasty. There are several benefits to expect, such as a shorter time in surgery, a less involved procedure, and no external scars involved in the process. In addition, a closed rhinoplasty has a shorter recovery time, although bruising is similar with the two techniques.

On the flip side of that coin, surgeons have less visibility with a closed rhinoplasty. That means the changes are more limited, and not as much delicate work can be achieved. In addition, the incisions created in a closed rhinoplasty might make the structure of the nose weaker, which can make keeping it stable in the future more challenging.

Situations to Choose Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty

For situations like clearing bone protrusions or fixing a deviated septum, a closed rhinoplasty is a good choice since no additional incisions are needed. With fewer incisions, there’s less swelling, and the chance of infection is lowered while recovery is faster.

However, anything that makes a noticeable change to the look of the nose is best done with an open rhinoplasty. Keeping the nose symmetrical or reducing cartilage requires a better view of the entire nasal structure. Precision is easier with an open rhinoplasty.

Final Thoughts

Whether you choose to get closed or open rhinoplasty, it’s important to consult with an experienced surgeon for the procedure. Let the surgeon know which nose job you prefer and find out if it’s the best option. In some cases, you may find the other rhinoplasty method is best to meet your needs.