Open vs Closed Rhinoplasty: Which is Best for Me?

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Planning your first nose job,but don’t know whether to get an open or closed rhinoplasty? This page can help.

This guide from the Sadeghi Center for Plastic Surgery will help you choose the best rhinoplasty procedure based on your needs and lifestyle.

What this page covers:

  • Description and difference between open and closed rhinoplasty
  • Differences in techniques and recovery time between open and closed rhinoplasty
  • Choosing a surgeon for your open or closed rhinoplasty
rhinoplasty procedure model

Understanding Rhinoplasty

What is Open Rhinoplasty?

Open rhinoplasty involves making a small incision across the columella—the strip of tissue separating your nostrils. This approach provides greater visibility and access to the nasal structure. It’s often preferred for more complex cases, such as reshaping or reconstruction, allowing the surgeon to manipulate nasal tissues with precision.

What is Closed Rhinplasty?

Closed rhinoplasty involves incisions that are all made within the confines of your nostrils, leaving no external scars.

The modifications to the nasal structure are performed through these internal incisions, providing a less invasive option with generally quicker recovery times. This method is suitable for less extensive modifications.

Technique Comparison

Aspect Open Rhinoplasty Closed Rhinoplasty
Incision Differences Involves a small incision across the columella (the tissue between the nostrils). This external cut allows for greater surgical access. All incisions are made within the nostrils, leaving no visible external scars.
Visualization in Surgery Offers complete visibility of the nasal structures due to the lifted nasal skin, allowing the surgeon to have full access for more complex restructuring. Provides limited visibility since the surgeon operates through the nostrils, suitable for less complex adjustments.
Recovery More extensive swelling,longer period of visible healing. Reduced swelling, quicker healing time

Pros and Cons

Feature Open Rhinoplasty Closed Rhinoplasty
Benefits Better view of nasal structures, allowing for more precise modifications. No visible scars as all incisions are made within the nostrils.
Allows for extensive manipulation of nasal shape, which is beneficial for complex changes or corrections. Potentially shorter recovery period compared to open rhinoplasty.
Potential Drawbacks – Scar on the underside of the nose may be visible up close and take time to heal. – Limited access to nasal structures, which might not be suitable for more complicated cases.


Both open and closed rhinoplasty procedures aim to reshape your nose, with key differences in how the surgeon accesses the nasal structures.

Open Rhinoplasty

  1. Your surgeon makes a small incision across the columella.
  2. The skin is delicately lifted off the underlying structures to reveal the nasal anatomy.
  3. The surgeon reshapes the bone and cartilage, which can include breaking the nose to reduce its size, refining the tip, or removing a hump.
  4. The skin is laid back over the new framework.
  5. The incision is closed with stitches, some of which may dissolve on their own or might need removal later.

Closed Rhinoplasty

  1. All incisions are made within your nostrils, leaving no visible external scars.
  2. The surgeon has a more limited view and access but still reshapes the nose through these internal cuts.
  3. The bone and cartilage are reshaped, with considerations made due to the less invasive nature of the approach.
  4. The skin is not lifted off entirely. Instead, it remains in place, which may limit the extent of changes possible.
  5. Internal stitches are used to close the incisions, which are typically absorbable.

Choosing a Surgeon for Your Open or Closed Rhinoplasty

Choosing a surgeon with expertise and knowledge in rhinoplasty is important. A procedure like this, can be life-changing so it’s best to have a surgeon who knows what they’re doing and has extensive experience with it.

Check Their Qualifications and Experience

Check for a surgeon’s certification, especially from the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Board certification means your surgeon has met standards of education, training, and ethics.

Ask for your surgeon’s before-and-after photos of previous patients. Assess the results for consistency and quality. It’s important that your surgeon has proficiency in both open and closed rhinoplasty techniques, as each case may require a different approach.

Consultation Process

The surgeon should take time to understand your needs and the outcomes of the surgery during the consulation. They should also be transparent with the results and tell you about the process. It’s all about making you comfortable despite a rather intimidating procedure.


Choosing the Right Rhinoplasty Technique for You

Each method has its own advantages, depending on your goals and the complexity of the changes required.

At the Sadeghi Center for Plastic Surgery, we prioritize your vision and comfort, guiding you through choosing the perfect approach for your unique facial structure and cosmetic desires.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you achieve your ideal outcome with precision and care.