Open vs. Closed: Which Rhinoplasty Technique Is Best for Me?

Woman considering open and closed rhinoplasties in Tucson, AZ.

Just as no two patients are alike, neither are any two rhinoplasty surgeries. The procedure is customized to suit each patient’s needs and help them achieve their aesthetic goals. One of the most important parts of personalizing your rhinoplasty is choosing the proper surgical technique. Surgeons generally offer two options: open or closed rhinoplasty.

Many of our Tucson patients ask which option will be best for their own procedure. While each technique has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, here are the basics of each treatment.

Open Rhinoplasty

Open rhinoplasty is performed by making a small incision across the columella, the soft tissue that separates the nostrils. This technique gives easy access to the bone and cartilage structure within the nose. The main benefit of this approach is that it gives the doctor better accuracy when reshaping the framework of the nose. This technique is also often used during rhinoplasty revision as the original structure of the nose has already been disturbed.

After an open rhinoplasty, a small scar may remain along the columella. This scar is barely visible and usually fades with time.

Closed Rhinoplasty

Closed rhinoplasty keeps all necessary incisions completely hidden within the nostrils. Separate openings are created along the left and right nostrils to give the doctor access to the nose. As there are no external incisions, this technique creates little-to-no visible scarring. However, as the incisions are smaller and internal, the surgeon has less visibility during the procedure.

Which Rhinoplasty Technique Is Best?

Choosing the right rhinoplasty technique depends on your unique situation. Without the columella incision, the closed technique allows for less scarring and faster healing. On the other hand, an open rhinoplasty gives more visibility and allows for more precision during more challenging and complex surgeries. Our practice typically uses the open rhinoplasty technique as the results are more consistent than with a closed rhinoplasty. The resulting scar for our open rhinoplasty procedures is almost imperceptible with proper care during recovery.

In the end, the right technique for your procedure will be decided during your private consultation with your surgeon. Our experienced team will analyze your nose, consider your aesthetic goals, and guide you toward the best approach for your personal needs.

Browse our before-and-after gallery to see more examples of real nose job results. If you’re in the Tucson area and would like to learn more about your plastic surgery options, please request a consultation online or call (520) 200-2218.

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