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Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty Technique

Posted in Plastic Surgery, Rhinoplasty

woman smiling at cameraFor many people, rhinoplasty is a great way to enhance the appearance of the nose, achieve a harmonious balance in facial features, and improve self-confidence. At her practice in the San Francisco area, experienced plastic surgeon Kimberly Henry delivers beautiful results with two common rhinoplasty techniques.

The Basics of Nose Surgery

Every cosmetic nose surgery is customized to the patient’s unique nose anatomy, concerns, and desired outcomes. In general, though, the surgery involves sculpting the underlying bone, cartilage, and tissue in order to change the shape of the nose or improve breathing. Some cartilage might be removed, or an implant might be placed to augment the shape and provide more support, depending on the patient’s needs.

The two techniques for nose surgery are:

  • Open rhinoplasty
  • Closed rhinoplasty

Open Rhinoplasty Technique

In the past 20 years, rhinoplasty surgery has been improved with the use of the “open” technique. This method involves making a small, v-shaped incision in the narrow strip of tissue between the nostrils and then lifting the skin off the tip of the nose. Advantages of this technique include:

  • Better view of the nasal cartilage and bone in their natural positions
  • More precise re-shaping of nasal cartilage and bone
  • Ability to address complex nasal anatomy
  • More accurate results

At the end of the surgery, the small external incision is very carefully closed with sutures, usually leaving a practically invisible scar.

Closed Rhinoplasty Technique

The “closed” technique is the traditional method of performing cosmetic nose surgery and involves making incisions entirely inside the nose. The benefit of this method is that it avoids creating a visible scar, because all the incisions are hidden within the nostrils. Some surgeons use this method for uncomplicated cases, such as correcting small humps on the bridge of the nose.

Rhinoplasty Recovery and Results

At our office, cosmetic nose surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, which means patients are able to go home the same day. For the first few days after the surgery, patients should rest and relax and allow the body to recover. The nose will be fragile as it heals, so patients will need to wear a protective splint for about a week. Patients who undergo open rhinoplasty surgery may notice more swelling. Most patients return to work after about 10 days and resume normal activities in two or three weeks.

Within a few weeks, as swelling goes down, you will notice a dramatic change in the appearance of your nose and your ability to breathe. As the tissues continue to heal and settle for up to a year, the final results will gradually be revealed – a beautiful new look that can last a lifetime.

Learn More about Cosmetic Nose Surgery

Rhinoplasty can dramatically enhance your appearance or improve your ability to breathe by changing the size or shape of your nose. Dr. Kimberly Henry is committed to offering expert cosmetic nose surgery with the best possible results. If you are interested in cosmetic nose surgery, we invite you to schedule a consultation today.

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