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Open Rhinoplasty

Open rhinoplasty surgery is a procedure in which the incision used to access the structures of the nose results in broad exposure of the underlying cartilage and bone. Typically, a small incision is made across the underside of the nose that is then connected to incisions made within both nostrils. The skin overlying the nose is reflected up and off of the structural framework of the nose. This allows the surgeon to have broad visibility of all the components of the nose.

Open Rhinoplasty

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The Skinny

Average Recovery

3 weeks




Surgical Procedure




$2000 - $20000

Before & After Images by Provider

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The Specifics

What is an open rhinoplasty?

An open rhinoplasty is the more invasive surgical approach (when comparing open vs. closed rhinoplasty) for correcting nose shape, nose size, and cosmetic breathing concerns. In this surgical procedure, the plastic surgeon will open the nasal skin and the nasal cartilage to completely expose the underlying nasal structures and the nasal bone.

The Anatomy of the Nose

Nose anatomy cross section illustration

This can be an inpatient or outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia or a milder sedation. There will be significant swelling, bruising, and tenderness for two to three weeks post op. Activities and diet will need to be limited for up to one month. The results will finalize within one year and are permanent. There may be a visible scar.

What cosmetic concerns does an open rhinoplasty procedure treat?

  1. Nose Shape: An open rhinoplasty will allow for maximum visualization and alteration of the nasal structures.
  2. Nose Size: Soft tissues can be excised to enhance the nose size and proportions to other facial features.
  3. Nose Angle: For patients with a crooked nose, an open rhinoplasty may allow for the most correction.
  4. Nose Bump: Dorsal humps and other nose bump-related concerns can be corrected with an open rhinoplasty technique.
  5. Cosmetic Breathing Issues: Nose shape plays an important role in how air is processed through the respiratory system. An open rhinoplasty can alter nasal structures to allow for easier air flow.

Who is the ideal candidate for an open rhinoplasty procedure?

The open approach is ideal for a candidate with more involved concerns or nasal deformities (like a crooked nose) as it allows for maximum exposure of the underlying structures. Candidates seeking to specifically alter the nasal tip or those undergoing a revision rhinoplasty procedure will also benefit from the open approach. Open rhinoplasty is generally not recommended for those under the age of 18 unless there is a specific need due to injury.

What is the average recovery associated with open rhinoplasty procedure?

The average recovery time for the acute healing phase is two to three weeks. During this time there will be significant swelling, bruising, and pain. The nose will continue to heal over the course of 12 to 18 months, but most daily activities will be able to be resumed within the first month.

What are the potential side effects of an open rhinoplasty procedure?

As with any surgical procedure, swelling, bruising, and pain are expected and temporary side effects. Scarring is common with open rhinoplasties and occurs on the base of the nose between the nostrils. Scar appearance will fade over six months to a year, but visible scarring can be permanent. It is important to remember with cosmetic procedures that results will vary among individuals depending on their body’s natural healing processes.

What can someone expect from the results of an open rhinoplasty procedure?

The results of an open rhinoplasty are permanent and will be noticeable immediately after the procedure, but will finalize within one year.

What is the average cost of an open rhinoplasty procedure?

This is a one-and-done surgical procedure that can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000. The actual cost of the procedure is dependent upon location, surgeon, and length and involvement of the surgery. Learn more in our complete guide to rhinoplasty cost.


more precise correctionmore precise shapingmore precise cartilage graft placementpermanent


visible scarlonger procedurelonger recovery time

Invasiveness Score


Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect

Open rhinoplasty surgery is a procedure in which the incision used to access the structures of the nose results in broad exposure of the underlying cartilage and bone. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after an open rhinoplasty.

The Takeaway

An open rhinoplasty is an intensive surgical procedure that allows the plastic surgeon maximum visualization and access to all underlying nasal structures — like soft tissues and the nasal bone — for precise alteration to nose shape and nose size.
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Source List


AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Andreas Zanki Growth Charts for Nose Length, Nasal Protrusion, and Philtrum Length from Birth to 97 Years onlinelibrary.wiley.com
  2. Weiner, JS. “Nose Shape and Climate.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 12, no. 4.; 1954-12-01

‘Try on’ aesthetic procedures and instantly visualize possible results with AEDIT and our patented 3D aesthetic simulator.