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  • Writer's pictureDr. Waterman

Open Rhinoplasty & Columellar Scars

Many people who come to our office are concerned about the appearance of external scars related to the incisions made in an Open Rhinoplasty procedure. Closed rhinoplasty involves incisions inside the nostril and only the partial elevation of the skin of the nose, limiting the maneuvers and techniques that can be used and while it is true that scarring can be somewhat visible after rhinoplasty, the advantages of Open Rhinoplasty over a closed procedure are worth considering.

After injury

  1. Direct visualization - During an Open Rhinoplasty, the surgeon can see everything they are doing to improve the appearance of your nose.

  2. Precision in achieving aesthetic goals - This goes hand-in-hand with better visualization. When your surgeon has total access to the structures of the nose, the surgery can be more successful in terms of achieving aesthetic goals.

The following patient had a functional septorhinoplasty to improve his nasal breathing. Here is a photo of the patient one week after surgery, and as you can see, the scar is minimally visible already. I have highlighted the scar in a copy of the same image for clarity.

On the left, you can barely see the incision just days after rhinoplasty. On the right, the incision is highlighted so that it is more visible.

Below, a photo of the same patient 30 days after the procedure:

1 month after surgery
1 month after Rhinoplasty

And finally, a photo from 1 year after Rhinoplasty. As you see, the scar is minimally visible and does not bother the patient whatsoever.

1 year after Rhinoplasty, the scar is not very apparent.
1 year after Rhinoplasty, the scar is not very apparent.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue open or closed rhinoplasty depends on the preferences and aesthetic goals of the patient. That being said, I prefer open techniques as they provide many advantages cosmetically, especially regarding precision and overall balance with the other features of the face. The scarring typically heals quite well, and should not be a major concern for people who want rhinoplasty.

If you have questions about rhinoplasty, scarring, or anything else, contact us with the form at the bottom of the page!

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