Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty: Comparing Techniques for Smaller Noses and Better Sleep After Surgery

Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty

Imagine waking up to a new day with a beautifully refined nose and a blissful night’s sleep behind you. Rhinoplasty, the transformative surgical procedure, holds the key to reshaping your appearance and quality of sleep.

But when it comes to your nose, the choice between open rhinoplasty and closed rhinoplasty can make all the difference.

Today, we’ll explore the nuances of both rhinoplasty techniques as we guide you toward finding the perfect balance between a petite nose and nights filled with restful slumber.

What Is Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a “nose job,” is a surgical procedure that aims to enhance the appearance and function of the nose. It’s also one of the most common cosmetic surgeries performed around the world.

The procedure involves skillfully reshaping the nasal structures to achieve better facial balance, refine your nose’s proportions, and address aesthetic concerns.

Beyond the visible changes, rhinoplasty can also address functional issues, such as:

  • Deviated septum – This refers to the misalignment or displacement of the thin wall separating the nostrils. Rhinoplasty can help alleviate breathing difficulties due to this condition and improve airflow.
  • Nasal obstruction – Rhinoplasty can address nasal obstructions caused by nasal valve collapse (the narrowest part of the nasal airway), enlarged turbinates (bony structures inside the nose), or other structural abnormalities that hinder proper airflow.
  • Chronic sinusitis – In some cases, rhinoplasty is performed together with sinus surgery to treat chronic sinusitis, a condition characterized by persistent inflammation and infection of the sinuses.
  • Congenital deformities – Rhinoplasty can correct congenital deformities (such as cleft lip and palate), improving both the appearance and function of the nose.
  • Nasal trauma – Rhinoplasty can help repair and restore nose function or appearance after trauma or injury, including nasal fractures or deformities resulting from accidents.

There are two primary rhinoplasty techniques: open and closed. Each technique has different purposes, advantages, and considerations.

In the following sections, we’ll delve into the specifics of each technique, exploring their differences, benefits, and potential drawbacks to help you make an informed decision about which approach aligns best with your goals.

What Is Open Rhinoplasty?

Open rhinoplasty is a surgical technique that allows for a comprehensive and detailed approach to nasal reconstruction.

With this technique, a small incision is made on the columella, the narrow strip of tissue that separates your nostrils. This incision gives your surgeon greater visibility and access to the underlying nasal structures.

Through this meticulous method, Dr. Cat can artfully sculpt and refine the nose, addressing both functional and aesthetic concerns with precision and care.

So, when it comes to factors determining the suitability of open or closed rhinoplasty, what type of candidate is a better fit for the open technique?


Dr. Cat typically recommends open rhinoplasty for individuals seeking significant nasal changes, addressing complex deformities, or requiring extensive reshaping.

Additionally, patients with previous nasal surgeries or specific structural concerns may benefit from the enhanced visibility offered by the open procedure.

On the other hand, you may not be an ideal candidate if you:

  • Have minimal or less complex nasal concerns that can be addressed through closed rhinoplasty
  • Have a medical condition that could increase surgical complications
  • Don’t appear to have realistic expectations of your surgical outcome
  • Are unable to commit to the required recovery and aftercare

Speaking of aftercare, what does the healing process look like?


As with any surgery, recovery following open rhinoplasty requires patience and attentiveness.

After your procedure, you can expect swelling, bruising, and a temporary nasal splint within the first two to three weeks.

Dr. Cat will instruct you on gently cleaning the area to ensure proper healing. You’ll also be asked to avoid strenuous activities and protect your nose from potential trauma.

Sleep plays a crucial role in your post-operative care, too.

You should rest with your head elevated, using extra pillows or a reclining chair. This helps reduce swelling and promotes better breathing when sleeping after rhinoplasty.

If you adhere to your post-op guidelines and maintain regular follow-up appointments with Dr. Cat, you should fully heal in several months.

Curious about the potential investment? Let’s talk cost.


Generally, open rhinoplasty costs can range from $5,000 to $45,000. That said, every patient is unique.

The price for surgery varies based on a few factors, such as:

  • The complexity of the procedure
  • The experience and expertise of your surgeon
  • Surgical facility and anesthesia fees

While the procedure is considered cosmetic, your insurance may cover some of the costs if surgery is deemed medically necessary to address functional issues, like a deviated septum or breathing difficulties.

At Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery, we believe cost shouldn’t get in the way of your path to self-confidence and fulfillment. Therefore, we offer flexible financing options and payment plans.

That said, understanding the pros and cons of this surgery will help you make the best choice that aligns with your goals and expectations.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Rhinoplasty

The most significant difference between open and closed rhinoplasty is that open rhinoplasty gives your surgeon enhanced visibility, allowing for more precise adjustments. With this increased access, your surgeon has better control over shaping and refinement.

Other benefits include enhanced nasal function, improved symmetry, and newfound confidence in your appearance.

However, there are some disadvantages to consider, such as potential visible scarring (due to the external incisions), wearing a nose splint for some time, and a longer recovery period than closed rhinoplasty.

Speaking of which, let’s look at the other technique.

What Is Closed Rhinoplasty?

Unlike open rhinoplasty, a closed approach does not involve any external incisions. Instead, all incisions and modifications are made solely within the nostrils, leaving no visible scars.

Through these hidden incisions, Dr. Cat expertly accesses and reshapes the nasal structures to achieve your desired improvements.

So, who’s a candidate for closed rhinoplasty?


One of the biggest factors determining the suitability of open or closed rhinoplasty comes down to procedure complexity.

Closed rhinoplasty is an excellent option for patients seeking subtle changes to their noses without the need for extensive reshaping.

This method can easily address minimal nasal concerns, like minor humps or slight asymmetry, and it’s also ideal for those who prefer a quicker recovery time.

Who’s not the best fit? Besides the general disqualifiers (like underlying medical conditions or unrealistic expectations), individuals needing significant alterations or with complex nasal deformities are likely better suited for open rhinoplasty.

Let’s talk about what to expect after a closed procedure.


Closed rhinoplasty, being less invasive, tends to have a shorter recovery period, with swelling and bruising improving within one to two weeks.

Like open rhinoplasty, Dr. Cat will recommend gentle cleansing and adherence to specific post-operative care instructions for optimal healing.

Similarly, you’ll be asked to sleep with your head elevated. This helps keep the swelling down and enables you to breathe better when sleeping after rhinoplasty.

As you heal, you’ll need to avoid pressure on your nose, protect it from trauma, and attend periodic check-ins with your surgeon.

By following these guidelines, you’ll ensure a smooth recovery and restful healing experience.

But what about the financial considerations?


On average, closed rhinoplasty can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000 or more. As with any surgery, these factors depend on:

  • Procedure complexity
  • Surgical skill and expertise
  • Additional associated costs

Like open rhinoplasty, insurance coverage is usually limited as it’s considered an elective cosmetic procedure. However, if you can demonstrate that it’s medically necessary to address functional concerns like breathing difficulties, insurance may cover some of the costs.

With flexible financing and convenient payment plans, our team at Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery will support you in finding a financial solution that aligns with your needs.

As far as pros and cons, how does closed rhinoplasty stack up?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Closed Rhinoplasty

Unlike open rhinoplasty, closed rhinoplasty is a much less invasive approach. There’s no visible external scarring, and it typically has a faster recovery time.

However, this approach’s shorter recovery and minimal invasiveness come at the expense of limited visibility and control during the procedure.

Both open and closed rhinoplasty techniques have the potential for remarkable results that improve your quality of life and self-esteem. But which is right for you?

Open vs. Closed Rhinoplasty: Choosing Your Path

The success rates of open vs. closed rhinoplasty are generally comparable when performed by a highly-skilled and experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Cat. As for which is better for you, it ultimately depends on your unique needs and nasal anatomy.

During your consultation with Dr. Cat, you’ll thoroughly discuss factors determining the suitability of open or closed rhinoplasty to pinpoint the right path toward achieving your goals.

The best way to ensure you make the right choice? Pick the right surgeon to take this journey with you.

Choosing Your Rhinoplasty Surgeon

The consequences of entrusting your rhinoplasty to an inexperienced or unskilled practitioner can be significant—this is your face, after all.

A poorly executed procedure can result in permanent scarring, asymmetry, undesirable aesthetic outcomes, or worse, irreparable nose function.

For such a prominent and defining feature, it’s essential to prioritize skill and experience when choosing your surgeon.

When starting the selection process, consider the following criteria:

  • Board certification – This indicates the surgeon has undergone rigorous training and met high standards for surgical expertise.
  • Accolades and recognition – Pay attention to awards, honors, and professional affiliations they’ve attained. Dr. Cat, for instance, has earned several awards in the field of plastic surgery, particularly facial plastics.
  • Experience and specialization – A surgeon who regularly performs nose surgeries is more likely to have honed their skills and developed a deep understanding of nasal anatomy.
  • Before-and-after photos – Review each surgeon’s before-and-after photos of previous rhinoplasty patients. This paints a picture of the quality and consistency of their results.
  • Patient testimonials – Read reviews and testimonials from previous patients to gain insight into their experiences and satisfaction with the surgeon in question.
  • Ask questions – Discuss your goals in detail, ask questions, assess their communication style, and gauge their understanding of your needs and rhinoplasty goals. In other words, feel them out.
  • Trust and comfort – Ultimately, you’ll want to go with the surgeon with whom you feel comfortable and have a trusting rapport. Open and clear communication is vital throughout your journey.

Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery – A Nose Above the Rest

Patients from all over the world have turned to Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery for their nasal surgeries. The reason behind this global trust is clear: Dr. Cat’s exceptional expertise, compassionate care, and commitment to delivering beautiful, natural-looking results.

We’re passionate about liberating you from the clutches of self-doubt so that you experience a fuller, happier life with improved sleep, better body image, and unbreakable confidence.

Your precious face is such an integral part of your identity—it’s crucial to put your faith in the right hands.

To learn whether open rhinoplasty or closed rhinoplasty is best for you, book a consultation with Dr. Cat today.