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Rhinoplasty – Open vs Closed?

Rhinoplasties, more commonly known as nose jobs are no longer that ‘secret surgery’ with stories about celebrities undergoing the procedure appearing in magazines and online more regularly.

However, the procedure itself is still a little less spoken about, with not many people being able to detail what exactly is involved with the procedure. Here at The Private Clinic we like to make our patients as informed as possible before going ahead with any procedure so we have tackled a popular question asked by many of our rhinoplasty patients – what is the difference between an open and a closed rhinoplasty?

Closed Rhinoplasty
A closed rhinoplasty is when the procedure is performed via internal incisions. It involves the surgeon making one or more incisions along the inside of the nose and lifting the skin up from the nasal bone structure. Once the skin has been elevated the shape of the nose is then altered to the patients requirements.


  • Shorter operative time (Can be up to 30 minutes shorter)
  • Less swelling of the tip
  • No external scar


  • A harder procedure to perform (Only pick a specialist in closed rhinoplasty)
  • Limited number of revisions (Not advised for patients who require complex changes)
  • Difficult for surgeons to see the final result as the way the skin is stretched can distort the appearance.

Open Rhinoplasty
An open rhinoplasty actually does use the same incisions as the closed rhinoplasty but it also requires an incision to be made beneath the columella which is the column of tissue that separates the nostrils. This does result in a small scar on the exterior of the nose, but in most cases this scar actually heals really well and is not usually noticeable.


  • The nose is more visible making it easier for the surgeon to perform the operation.
  • The nasal tip can be altered by sight and not just by feel.
  • Direct exposure of the anatomic structures
  • The direct exposure of the nose means a more precise diagnosis can be made during the operation
  • Less distortion of the nasal framework from intraoperative retraction
  • Ideal for complex nasal deformities


  • Swelling of the nose can last longer
  • Visible scarring
  • Longer surgery time (2-3 Hours)

A rhinoplasty is actually one of the most technically challenging cosmetic procedures and so it is important that you take the time to research fully and pick the most suitably qualified surgeon with all the right credentials who specialises in rhinoplasty surgery.

The Private Clinic
We believe the only way to achieve the very best results is to work with the very best staff. We have a respected team of some of the UK’s leading surgeons, including:

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