Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty: What’s the Difference?


If you have wanted to get your large, bumpy, or asymmetrical nose corrected from a young age, you may be one of the many people who can benefit from rhinoplasty. This procedure reshapes and corrects your nose to achieve facial harmony and boost your confidence. If you are considering this surgery, you may have done some research and started wondering about the difference between types of rhinoplasty. 

*Individual Results May Vary

What is Rhinoplasty?

Because the nose is one of your most noticeable features, rhinoplasty or a “nose job” is one of the most common types of plastic surgery. Dr. Rankin at NorCal Plastic Surgery performs rhinoplasty to correct a wide range of aesthetic concerns. He also performs highly specialized types of rhinoplasty, such as:

  • Ethnic rhinoplasty to enhance your natural features
  • Revision rhinoplasty to correct the effects of a past procedure
  • Mohs rhinoplasty to repair the effects of skin cancer removal
  • Preservation rhinoplasty to minimize disturbance to the nasal structures

Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty: What’s the Difference?

Regardless of why your rhinoplasty is performed, Dr. Rankin will perform an open or closed procedure. The primary difference is that an open rhinoplasty provides more access for the surgeon, making it more appropriate for procedures that require more extensive reshaping. Closed rhinoplasty is more appropriate for corrections that do not require significant reshaping. 

The open rhinoplasty gets its name because a small incision is made at the base of the nose, between the nostrils. This tiny incision lets the surgeon lift the skin to perform more in-depth work. During closed rhinoplasty, the incisions are made inside the nostrils, limiting access but leaving no external scars. 

Only a full examination and assessment of your needs can determine how Dr. Rankin will decide to perform your rhinoplasty. He will recommend the option that will help you achieve your desired results, whether that requires a closed or open procedure. 

Request a Consultation

We’d love to help you get all the information you need in order to make the best choice for your eyes. Request a consultation today! Our staff is available and happy to answer your every question.

What is Recovery Like After Rhinoplasty?

You can expect to have small splints supporting your nose after surgery. You will experience some swelling and bruising, which you may also notice under your eyes. Dr. Rankin will remove the splints after the first week. Most people return to work after one to two weeks, although you may still have some swelling at this time. You can usually return to all your regular activities within six to eight weeks. 

How Long Do Rhinoplasty Results Last?

While most facial features will change as you age, the shape and structure of your nose will not. You can expect your rhinoplasty results to last a lifetime. If you had a rhinoplasty in the past with a different surgeon and are unhappy with what you see, you may choose to have your results corrected. Dr. Rankin is an expert in the delicate art of revision rhinoplasty, which is usually a more complex procedure than the original one. 

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Wonderful service and great results! Dr. Rankin is super nice and great at his job and the staff at Greenbrae surgery center were amazing! Overall 10/10 experience and would go back for any other surgeries in the future!
Tortilla I.

Next Step

If you are interested in open or closed rhinoplasty, please reach out to our qualified staff to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient locations in Walnut Creek and Greenbrae. Give us a call at (925) 397-5486 or fill out our online form. Helping you achieve your cosmetic goals is an honor and a privilege at NorCal Plastic Surgery, proudly serving the East Bay, Marin County, and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. We look forward to hearing from you.


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