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A rhinoplasty or nose job is a surgical procedure performed on the nose to improve its looks, function or both. While it is usually done as an outpatient procedure, rhinoplasties can be either opened or closed.

What is the difference between an open rhinoplasty and a closed rhinoplasty?

There isn’t much difference between open rhinoplasty and a closed rhinoplasty techniques. In an open rhinoplasty, the surgeon cuts the columella, the little column of skin between the two nostrils. She then peels back the skin and tip of the nose to give herself an unobstructed view of the problem. In a closed rhinoplasty, she works strictly within the nose and doesn’t make any cuts on the outside. Closed rhinoplasties are most often done when the surgeon is removing excess soft tissue, reshaping cartilage or bones, removing humps or bumps or doing some types of work on the nasal tip. The closed technique is the method surgeons have used for years. The open technique was originally a teaching method to show medical students and novice doctors what the interior of the nose looked like. Also, open rhinoplasty started to become popular with younger surgeons in the late 1980s and is used to correct nose tips that are too large, bulbous or malformed.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the two methods?

The chief advantage of the open rhinoplasty is that the surgeon has a better view and easier access while the main disadvantage is the possibility of a visible scar on the underside of the patient’s nose. Conversely, a closed rhinoplasty’s chief advantage is the lack of visible scarring. On the other hand, it can be a more challenging procedure for a surgeon since it means working within a confined space.

Who is a good candidate for either of the two methods?

A patient who is getting their nasal bridge worked on is a good candidate for a closed rhinoplasty. Generally speaking, closed rhinoplasties are best for people having only moderate work done. Somebody getting their nose tip worked on should choose an open rhinoplasty. If their nose has a large hump or otherwise needs extensive work, they should choose an open rhinoplasty.

What are the risks?

Both types of rhinoplasty are surgical procedures, and they, therefore, have the usual associated risks. The patient will typically have swelling and bruising around the nose after surgery. Contact Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgery today to see if you are a candidate for rhinoplasty.

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