Rhinoplasty is a type of plastic surgery performed on the nose to reconstruct or enhance its shape, or improve nasal breathing. It can be used for cosmetic reasons or to repair the nose after trauma or congenital deformity. Some of the reasons for a medically necessary rhinoplasty include surgery for nasal trauma, a congenital defect, and breathing difficulties. Rhinoplasty is a common surgery, and many patients wonder if they will have lasting scars.
What is the Difference Between Open and Closed Rhinoplasty?
There are two types of rhinoplasty – open and closed. The defining feature between the surgeries is the incision approach. Open rhinoplasty involves a potentially visible incision on the columella (the fleshy, exterior-end of the septum of the nose between the lip and tip of the nose). There may be additional incisions inside the nose for the nasal correction. The incisions used a closed rhinoplasty are all inside the nose, so there is no scar created on the columella.
Closed rhinoplasty has a few benefits over the open surgery. There is usually reduced post-operative swelling (edema), less visible scarring, less risk of excessive reduction of the nasal-tip support, less inadvertent damage done to the nose, and less time needed for complete healing. However, open rhinoplasty provides the surgeon with a better view of the cartilage in the nose. The surgeon will usually also be able to better manipulate and alter the shape. Whether a patient receives open or closed rhinoplasty will depend on the reasons the surgery, the anatomy of the nose and surgeon preference.
Will There be Scarring?
Most surgery creates some type of scarring, and rhinoplasty is no different. The good news is that in most cases, an uncomplicated surgery will lead to minimal visible scarring. Since a scar is created on the columella, there is far more potential for visible scarring with open rhinoplasty than with closed rhinoplasty. However, even in open rhinoplasty, the incision is typically very small and tends to heal well, making it a very small scar that most people will not notice.
Preventing and Treating Scars
Before you undergo rhinoplasty, discuss the after-surgery care and issues with your surgeon so you will be prepared. It may take a few weeks for the skin to heal and it might a year for the before the nose is completely healed. Proper post-op care is essential with any surgery so make sure you fully understand all the post-op instructions including how to best take care of your scars. After the incision is healed and your sutures have been removed, start using a topical scar treatment to reduce scarring as much as possible.
Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer!
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