281-606-0208 Contact Us

Open vs Closed Rhinoplasty

If you are planning to have rhinoplasty surgery, then there is a lot to think about. You have to find a seasoned plastic surgeon and take the time to learn as much as possible about the procedure. Patients also have to do certain things in order to prepare for the procedure, as well as think about financing and recovery. Another key consideration that is often ignored when getting ready to have a nose job is the type of surgical technique used. In this article, we explore the differences, pros and cons of the open and closed rhinoplasty surgical methods.

What is open rhinoplasty?

Open rhinoplasty is a technique that allows plastic surgeons better view and access to the structures of the nose that need to be altered under the skin. This procedure entails a visible, external incision on the bridge of the nose. Following the surgery, this incision is closed with tiny sutures that are usually removed within 7 days. While a small scar may be evident soon after treatment, it usually fades away over the next few months.

→ Open rhinoplasty procedure

During open rhinoplasty surgery, your plastic surgeon will create a horizontal incision through the bridge of the nose (tissue that separates the two nostrils). The skin will then be raised in order to reveal the bone and cartilage underlying the nasal skin. Once the desired changes have been made, the incision is sutured and the treatment area bandaged.

→ Candidates for open rhinoplasty

You may be a candidate for the open rhinoplasty technique if you:

  • Are looking to have a revision procedure.
  • Have a crooked nose.
  • Need to reshape the tip of your nose.
  • Need a particularly complex rhinoplasty procedure.

→ Pros and cons of open rhinoplasty

Benefits of Open Rhinoplasty Drawbacks of Open Rhinoplasty
Allows for better visualization and access to the outer structure of the nose (including the bone and cartilage) Resulting scar may be visible
Very good for surgeons-in-training May take longer to heal due to the extent of the incisions
Allows ease of stitching to reconnect the various parts  

What is closed rhinoplasty?

Closed rhinoplasty, also referred to as endonasal nose reshaping, is a procedure that is performed inside the patient’s nose in order to address asymmetry issues or other imperfections. The difference between this and open rhinoplasty is that this procedure is completed using internal hidden incisions. These incisions (which are invisible from the outside) are closed using absorbable stitches.

Closed rhinoplasty procedure

During surgery, plastic surgeons will create small incisions inside the nose and use them to complete the designed changes. Once the procedure is complete, these incisions are closed using absorbable stitches. A closed rhinoplasty is entirely performed through the nostrils.

Candidates for closed rhinoplasty

You may be a candidate for a closed rhinoplasty if:

  • You are overly concerned about the risk of scarring.
  • You have less time for recovery.
  • Your procedure is less focused on your nasal tip.

Pros and cons of closed rhinoplasty

Benefits of Closed Rhinoplasty Drawbacks of Closed Rhinoplasty
Incisions are invisible so there will be no evident scars Technically more difficult than open rhinoplasty
Stitches used are absorbable and do not need to be removed Complexity creating and closing incisions inside the nostrils
Shorter operating time Not easy for surgeons-in-training

Differences between open and closed rhinoplasty

Both open and closed rhinoplasty procedures can help alleviate diverse aesthetic and functional concerns. Still, these procedures are different in a number of ways:

  • Procedure complexity – closed nose reshaping technique happens to be a lot more complex than open rhinoplasty because it requires the surgeon to operate from inside the nostrils.
  • Incision visibility – in open rhinoplasty, a horizontal incision is created between the nostrils in order to allow better access to the bone and cartilage. While this incision will fade after recovery, it may still be visible. In closed rhinoplasty, incisions are placed inside the nostrils where they are hardly visible. This makes closed rhinoplasty the procedure of choice for patients who are very worried about a scar showing.
  • Operating time – closed rhinoplasty technique requires a bit less time to complete compared to procedures involving open rhinoplasty.
  • Stitches – absorbable stitches are used during closed rhinoplasty procedures. On the other hand, during open rhinoplasty, tiny removable stitches are often used to close the incision.


The right rhinoplasty technique should be determined by your plastic surgeon based on your specific needs and goals of the surgery. Schedule a consultation visit with Dr. Chaowen Wu at Revel You in order to discuss your individualized nose reshaping treatment.