May 23 2008

I have been reading about the open versus closed approach to rhinoplasty. What is the difference?

The open rhinoplasty is a relatively new approach to performing nasal cosmetic surgery.  The surgeon makes an incision across the columella (the vertical skin column separating the two nostrils) and elevates the skin from the cartilage of the nasal tip.  The modification to the nasal skeleton (cartilage and bone) is then done under direct vision.  Some surgeons feel that this direct visualization of the underlying structures improves their results.  The open rhinoplasty approach, however, produces increased postoperative swelling and prolongs the receovery time.  Many surgeons are also concerned about creating a permanent scar from the incision across the columella.

Other surgeons prefer the traditional closed rhinoplasty and remain confident that they can see the internal structures very well as they operate through the nostril with specialized instruments and lighting techniques.  The advocates of this closed approach explain the advantages of seeing the result and changes to the nasal contour as they perform each step of the process.  They feel this offers superior control in their results. 

To: Roger J. Oldham, M.D

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Roger J. Oldham, M.D

Phone: (301) 530-6100
Fax: (301) 530-6104