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Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty

By The Landings Surgical Centre on May 06, 2013


New Brunswick Rhinoplasty TechniquesPatients that are considering rhinoplasty should be aware of the differences between the two techniques used in nose surgery. These techniques are referred to as open and closed rhinoplasty. For patients in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, plastic surgeons Richard Bendor-Samuel and Louis Boileau offer this overview to describe the differences between open and closed rhinoplasty. For more information, contact their Halifax-based plastic surgery practice, The Landings Surgical Centre.

What Is Open Rhinoplasty?

Open rhinoplasty is a surgical technique in which some incisions are created on the outside of the nose. Incisions are made along the sides of the nose and between the nostrils to allow greater access to the internal structures of the nose. Next, the skin is lifted to expose the nose cartilage and bones. At this point, the internal structures of the nose are reshaped either by removing or adding cartilage, or altering the bones. Skin can also be removed from the nostrils to improve their shape and appearance. Once the nose is shaped to the desired look, the skin is put back in place and the incisions are sutured closed and the nose is bandaged.

What Is Closed Rhinoplasty?

Closed rhinoplasty refers to the rhinoplasty technique in which all incisions are made inside the nose. This technique prevents any scars from being visible on the outside of the nose. Incisions are made inside the nostrils. The skin is then separated from the structures of the nose to allow the surgeon access to reshape the internal structures. Once sculpted to the desired appearance, the incisions within the nose are sutured closed and the nose is bandaged.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Technique?

There are advantages and disadvantages to each technique. The technique that is employed is best decided between the patient and surgeon based on the patient’s specific needs and cosmetic goals. In general, the advantages and disadvantages of each technique include:

  • Open Rhinoplasty: Open rhinoplasty has the advantage of allowing the surgeon greater access to the structures within the nose. This allows the surgeon greater precision in sculpting the nose. This technique does have some disadvantages, most notably the fact that the incisions are on the outside of the nose. Though incisions are made as discreetly as possible (along the natural crease of the nostrils), there is potential for visible scarring. Another downside is an increased recovery time over closed rhinoplasty. This is largely a result of the need for more sutures to secure the skin of the nose which was pulled back during surgery. 
  • Closed Rhinoplasty: Closed rhinoplasty has the major advantage of no visible scars since all incisions are made within the nose. Closed rhinoplasty also requires fewer incisions, which means fewer sutures. This generally leads to a faster recovery than open rhinoplasty. The major disadvantage to closed rhinoplasty is that the surgeon has limited access and visibility of the internal structures of the nose.

Schedule a Consultation

The Halifax-based Landings Surgical Centre services Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. Rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, face lifts, and a number of other cosmetic treatments are available to patients. Schedule a consultation to discuss possible treatment options.   

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