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Examining the Difference between an Open and Closed Rhinoplasty

By Dennis Hurwitz on May 10, 2014

Pittsburgh Open vs. Closed RhinoplastyAs one of the most prominent facial features, a nose that is misshapen, too thin, too wide, or one that protrudes too far or not enough can easily throw off the whole balance of the face. Patients faced with these cosmetic flaws often turn to rhinoplasty surgery in order to obtain the ideal nose they desire. However, once patients choose to go ahead with plastic surgery to reach their cosmetic goals, they are often faced with terms and decisions that are unfamiliar to them. Dr. Dennis Hurwitz walks his Pittsburgh patients through each phase of the rhinoplasty procedure so that they are well informed on how their surgery will proceed. One of the greatest decisions to be made regarding rhinoplasty is whether an open or closed technique will be used. Dr. Hurwitz explains the differences between the two techniques and how to determine which is right for each patient.

The Open Technique

When we discuss the technique used during the rhinoplasty procedure, what we are really talking about is what kinds of incisions will be used in surgery. An open technique uses an incision that extends across the columella, which is the soft tissue that extends down between the two nostrils. By making this incision, the surgeon is able to completely lift the skin off the nose and obtain full view of the underlying cartilage. With this access, Dr. Hurwitz has an unobstructed view of the area and can make any necessary alterations in order to improve the appearance of the nose. Rhinoplasty surgery may involve changing the nasal tip, altering the bridge of the nose, addressing projection, or correcting breathing issues. The advantage of the open technique is that Dr. Hurwitz has a greater sense of precision and control with the nose cartilage fully exposed. The downside to this technique is that it will leave a small scar on the nose.

The Closed Technique

This technique is referred to as “closed” because all of the surgical incisions are made on the inside of the nose. This does not allow the skin to be completely lifted off the nose so the surgical view is limited, as is the space in which manipulations can be made. However, under the skilled hands of Dr. Hurwitz, the closed technique can provide safe and effective results for some patients. For those who are ideal candidates for this technique, a closed rhinoplasty offers the advantage of a shorter surgery, less post-surgical swelling, a quicker recovery, and the absence of any visible scarring.

Choosing a Technique

Facial plastic surgery is customized to each patient’s unique needs and this includes choosing a surgical technique that is most appropriate for each patient. Dr. Hurwitz will recommend an open or closed rhinoplasty based on several factors such as what type of alterations are being performed, the degree of alterations that are required, and the personal goals and desires of each patient. All of this will be discussed at an initial consultation so that the patient fully understands which technique is right for them.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have concerns about the appearance of your nose and would like to learn more about rhinoplasty surgery, we would love to hear from you. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Dennis Hurwitz at your earliest convenience to discuss your cosmetic goals and learn how we can help you achieve them.

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