Published: October 3, 2023
Category: Latest News

As you explore the possibilities of rhinoplasty — a plastic surgery procedure that reshapes the nose — various options will present themselves. In your research, you may have encountered the terms “open rhinoplasty” and “closed rhinoplasty.” These aren’t just medical jargon; they refer to specific surgical techniques used in the procedure. Understanding the basics of these techniques can offer valuable insights.

While you might be tempted to focus on the choice between these nose surgery techniques, what’s most important is choosing your surgeon. The real cornerstone of a successful experience and outcome lies in selecting a rhinoplasty surgeon with the right qualifications and a bedside manner that puts you at ease. This professional will walk you through the different surgical options, helping you determine the most suitable course of action.

Let’s dive into the nuances of these rhinoplasty techniques, weigh their pros and cons, and explore why selecting a seasoned, board-certified facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Ridenour can make all the difference in your rhinoplasty experience.

A Brief Backstory: The Evolution of Rhinoplasty

Traditionally, the primary goal of rhinoplasty was to reduce the size of the nose. Bone and cartilage would be removed to accomplish a smaller shape. While initially satisfying, these methods led to long-term complications for some patients, including pinched nostrils and overly pointed tips.

Fast forward to today, and the approach has shifted significantly. Surgeons like Dr. Ridenour focus on creating natural, long-lasting results that don’t just shrink your nose but harmonize it with your overall facial structure.

In addition to making the nose smaller, contemporary rhinoplasty procedures can make improvements to the following:

  • Irregularities or protrusions along the bridge of the nose
  • An overly broad or slim nasal bridge
  • Extended, rounded, sharp or sagging tip of the nose
  • Expansive or splayed nostrils
  • Overly broad or thin nasal base
  • An overall small nose
  • Imbalance in nasal structure
  • Misaligned nasal partition (septum)

For more details about these improvements, read our blog about what rhinoplasty can fix.

The Key Difference Between Open and Closed Rhinoplasty: It’s All About Incisions

When it comes to open and closed rhinoplasty, the primary difference lies in where the incisions are made. The techniques and adjustments performed during the surgery are generally similar for both; however, the incision placement significantly impacts visibility and access for your surgeon.

Open Rhinoplasty: For Intricate Adjustments

In an open rhinoplasty, an incision is made on the thin strip of tissue between your nostrils, known as the columella. This incision allows your surgeon to peel back the skin and tissues, providing full access to the nose’s underlying structure.

This method is especially useful for complex or challenging cases, such as revision rhinoplasties or when the nose is crooked. It’s ideal for surgeries that require precise placement of sutures and grafts.

Pros of Open Rhinoplasty:

  • Superior visualization for the surgeon
  • Better suited for complicated cases
  • Enables precise adjustments

Cons of Open Rhinoplasty:

  • Longer recovery time
  • Small scar beneath the nose (though usually inconspicuous)

Closed Rhinoplasty: Quick and Subtle

For closed rhinoplasty, all incisions are made within the nostrils. This approach offers limited visibility but is suitable for simpler cases that don’t require extensive nose reshaping. If you’re looking for subtle changes from your rhinoplasty, this method could be right for you.

Pros of Closed Rhinoplasty:

  • Shorter recovery period
  • No visible scarring
  • Effective for straightforward cases

Cons of Closed Rhinoplasty:

  • Limited visibility for the surgeon
  • Not ideal for complex alterations

Recovery Differences for Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty

Post-surgical expectations and recovery times can vary between these two nose surgery methods. With open rhinoplasty, you can expect more prominent bruising, particularly around the eyes, that may take up to 10 days to fade. The bandages and splint on your nose will also be more substantial compared to closed rhinoplasty and may require a longer period before removal. Open rhinoplasty also usually involves more time off work (up to two weeks), while closed rhinoplasty may offer a quicker return to normal activities (about one week). Closed rhinoplasty patients generally experience less noticeable bruising that resolves within seven days.

Regardless of the technique, bones and cartilage usually take six weeks to heal, and certain precautions — such as avoiding strenuous activities and sun exposure — apply to both rhinoplasty methods. Managing discomfort is generally straightforward in both cases, with pain often peaking in the first three days and subsiding considerably by day eight. Scarring shouldn’t be a concern, as both techniques result in inconspicuous or hidden scars once they’ve fulled healed.

Is Open or Closed Rhinoplasty More Expensive?

Generally, open rhinoplasty may be more expensive than closed rhinoplasty. This is often because open rhinoplasty is usually reserved for more complex cases that require additional surgical time, and sometimes, specialized materials for grafting or reconstruction are needed. These extra requirements can add to the overall cost.

On the other hand, closed rhinoplasty tends to be less complex and more budget-friendly as a result. However, this is not a reason to insist on this technique if it’s not the best option to meet your rhinoplasty needs.

The cost of rhinoplasty can also vary based on a range of other factors, including the facility fees, the surgeon’s experience and your geographic location. At the end of your consultation at Ridenour Plastic Surgery, we will be able to provide you with all of the specific costs involved in your rhinoplasty procedure.

Dr. Ridenour’s Approach: Where Expertise Meets Exceptional Care

Dr. Ridenour believes in a balanced approach that preserves the essential structures of the nose. Whether opting for open or closed rhinoplasty, you can expect a careful and calculated method that prioritizes your safety and satisfaction. Remember, the skill of your plastic surgeon is the ultimate game-changer in your surgical outcome.

The Bottom Line: Choose Your Rhinoplasty Surgeon Wisely

While the type of rhinoplasty is a crucial factor to consider, the expertise of your surgeon should be your primary focus. Dr. Ridenour’s extensive experience in both open and closed techniques assures a tailored treatment plan best suited for you and the highest degree of safety.

Ready to Find the Best Rhinoplasty Technique to Reshape Your Nose?

Don’t just leave your rhinoplasty knowledge to research on the internet; speak to a seasoned expert who can offer personalized advice tailored just for you. Take advantage of a consultation with Dr. Ridenour to discuss your rhinoplasty goals and options.

Ready to make the leap? Schedule your consultation at Ridenour Plastic Surgery in St. Louis today by calling (314) 878-8600 or contacting us online.

Further Reading on Rhinoplasty

For more information about this procedure, read our other blogs:

What to Expect From a Rhinoplasty

5 Things to Know Before Getting Rhinoplasty

Schedule a Consultation

Schedule Now

Click here to start a private virtual consultation