Open or Closed Rhinoplasty: What’s the Difference?

non surgical nose job

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When considering a rhinoplasty, it’s important to note that no two surgeries are the same. Your individual goals, nose, and facial structure will ultimately dictate which approach is best for you. However, when it comes to how your surgery will be performed, there are two different approaches that your surgeon may take: an open rhinoplasty or a closed rhinoplasty.

In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between an open and closed rhinoplasty so that you can make an informed decision about your nose job with your surgeon’s guidance.

What is a Closed Rhinoplasty?

A closed or internal approach rhinoplasty is a minimally invasive approach that uses incisions hidden inside the nose. Once the surgeon has made the incision, they’ll separate the skin from the underlying bone and cartilage, allowing them to make changes to the nasal structure. A closed rhinoplasty is often associated with more minor swelling, scarring, and faster healing times.

What is an Open Rhinoplasty?

An open or external approach rhinoplasty is a more comprehensive approach that uses an external incision to give the surgeon full access to the inner workings of the nose. This approach is often necessary for patients looking to see more significant changes after their nose job.

While an open rhinoplasty may require a slightly longer recovery time, it does offer the surgeon greater control and precision when making modifications to the nose. Scarring may be more visible at first, but it is less noticeable after recovery.


The Key Differences Between an Open and Closed Rhinoplasty


The primary difference between these two techniques is the purpose or goal of the surgery.

A closed rhinoplasty can reshape, reduce, or augment the cartilage and nasal bone. This approach is often ideal for patients looking to make subtle changes to their appearance or who have minor imperfections that they would like corrected.

An open rhinoplasty, on the other hand, is a technique to make more drastic modifications. These include:

  • Changes or refinements to the tip.
  • Reducing dorsal humps.
  • Correcting a crooked nose.


With the hidden incisions of a closed rhinoplasty, the surgeon has limited access and is, therefore, limited in the changes that they can make. 

On the other hand, an open rhinoplasty provides the surgeon full access. This allows them to make more significant modifications due to the external incisions.

Scarring and Recovery Time

One of the most significant differences between these two approaches is the recovery time. 

As a closed rhinoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery, patients can expect to see a shorter recovery time with little to no scarring. In fact, most patients can return to their normal activities within a week or two. 

Patients with an open rhinoplasty, on the other hand, may take up to three weeks before feeling fully recovered. They may also experience some minimally visible scarring.

How to Choose Between a Closed or Open Rhinoplasty

If you’re considering a nose job, the best way to determine the right approach is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. If you’re in the Miami, Florida area, Dr. Ricardo Castrellón and his team of professionals would be delighted to help you achieve your desired results.

During your consultation, Dr. Castrellón will assess your individual goals and facial structure to determine the best approach for you. He’ll also provide you with a realistic expectation of what you can achieve together through surgery. This way, you will be able to make an informed decision about your treatment.

Book an appointment with Dr. Castrellón today!

Frequently Ask Questions

Conclusion. Depending upon the patient’s natural anatomy and desired results, closed rhinoplasty can be a good option. In many cases, however, the improved accuracy and access of the open technique is a far greater benefit than the minor risk of visible scarring.

Like in open rhinoplasty, the results of a closed rhinoplasty procedure are permanent and will finalize within 12 to 18 months.

You may have packing material inside your nose to reduce bleeding and swelling. Packing and the nasal drip pad will be removed within 2 days after surgery. The splint will be removed in about a week. Your nose will be bruised and swollen, and you may get dark bruises around your eyes.

Good candidates for closed rhinoplasty would be those with less dramatic nasal complications without expectation of dramatically changed results. Nasal concerns that are easiest to correct using the closed technique include a nasal hump and curved nose.

A closed rhinoplasty will result in less bruising and swelling, a shorter recovery period, and by extension, less pain. Regardless of what type of procedure is right for your needs, pain should be minimal and easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication for a day or two.

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