What is a Closed Rhinoplasty?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 23 April 2020
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A closed rhinoplasty is a kind of plastic surgery that changes or enhances the shape of the nose without leaving any scarring on the outside of the nose. In most but not all cases, this kind of rhinoplasty is completed for cosmetic purposes. Many people are unfamiliar with the term rhinoplasty but are familiar with the term nose job, which is more casually used to describe the same kind of procedure. One of the key benefits of a closed rhinoplasty is that there is less of a risk of visible scarring because the incisions are made inside of the nostril. One of the cons of having this kind of rhinoplasty is that it limits the plastic surgeon who is performing the procedure.

If a plastic surgeon is confident that he will be able to create the desired cosmetic effect without making incisions on the exterior of the nose, then it may make sense to choose a closed rhinoplasty over an open rhinoplasty. There are a number of ways in which a plastic surgeon can shape the nose during a closed rhinoplasty. One is by altering the bone and cartilage of the nose. A plastic surgeon can reshape a nose by removing sections of bone or cartilage or by adding it to the nose. Bone and cartilage can also be added to the nose if it is harvested from another part of the body or the nose can be reshaped with an implant.

It is important to note that the incision that is made on the exterior of the nose for an open rhinoplasty is usually very small. The resulting scar, if cared for properly, may become nearly invisible over time. Even still, there are some people who are very concerned about scarring. Furthermore, there are some people who are prone to scarring and whose skin often becomes darker or discolored in areas surrounding scars. For these people, a closed rhinoplasty may be the best option.

Whether one chooses a closed rhinoplasty or an open rhinoplasty, it is important to note that the procedure requires general anesthesia and that the initial recovery time can take up to a month. The patient may continue to experience less dramatic swelling for about six months, sometimes longer. It is also important to consider that a closed rhinoplasty is rarely covered by health insurance.


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