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Closed vs. Open Rhinoplasty: What You Need to Know

Open versus closed rhinoplasty – what’s better for you? Like with many critical decisions, the honest answer is, “It depends.” 

So, what does it depend on, you ask? Your specific needs and your doctor’s clinical advice will be major factors in the decision. Certain modifications of the nose lend themselves to one approach over the other. Let’s take a closer look to help sort all it out.

Open rhinoplasty is a nose job performed with an incision made through the bridge of the nose or the tissue between the nostrils.  It’s called “open” because, during the procedure, the skin of the nose is folded upward to reveal the cartilage and other structures underneath. Conversely, a closed rhinoplasty procedure does not involve an incision through the bridge. Instead, the whole operation is performed by your doctor through the nostrils.

When Closed Rhinoplasty is Preferred

Some procedures, like fixing a deviated septum (septoplasty) or clearing bone protrusions from the nasal passages, are best performed with a closed approach because the additional incision is not needed. Your doctor can complete the surgery safely and effectively with less cutting of tissue.  And fewer incisions mean less chance of infection or swelling and quicker recovery time.

If you’re looking to breathe better through your nose, and reap all the benefits from doing so, you are probably in the market for septoplasty.  If your needs include reducing the size or changing the shape of your nose, you probably need a more extensive rhinoplasty.

While fewer incisions and less extensive recovery are appealing, there are limits to the techniques that can be performed using a closed approach. An open rhinoplasty allows your surgeon more extensive access to the inner structures of the nose.

When Open Rhinoplasty is Preferred

If your nose were a car, an open rhinoplasty is like opening the hood to perform repairs. If you want to do serious work on the engine, you need to be able to see all the components at work.

So, what is considered “serious work?”  Anything that involves a noticeable change in the shape of your nose is a good example. To reduce your cartilage and keep your nose symmetrical, your doctor needs to see your entire nasal structure. Seeing everything allows him or her to make accurate measurements and precise incisions.

And when it comes to extensive rhinoplasty, precision is the key. Patients looking to revise mistakes from prior surgery are also better candidates for open rhinoplasty.   Because there is often an unknown amount of scar tissue and structural changes, an open approach allows your surgeon to make precise adjustments that will give you the results you want.

Deciding With Your Doctor’s Help

You may enter your consultation with a strong preference for having an open versus closed rhinoplasty.   But don’t discount the advice of your physician. He or she has probably performed the procedure many times over and has essential insight into what approach will give you the best possible results.

To learn more about open and closed rhinoplasty, and determine what’s right for you, contact the staff at HKB Plastic Surgery in Charlotte, NC today! They can be reached at (704) 659-9000.