How is a rhinoplasty performed?

Rhinoplasty surgery, also referred to as a “nose job”, ranks as one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed each year. The main goal with a rhinoplasty is to change the shape of the nose, which is primarily made up of bone, cartilage and skin. During a rhinoplasty any of these three components can be manipulated, resulting in a change of the nose shape. So how is a rhinoplasty performed?

A rhinoplasty is performed under deep sedation in an operating room. There are a few different approaches that can be taken. With an “open” rhinoplasty, an incision is made along the columella, cartilage in between the nostrils, for the surgeon to access to multiple parts of the nose. A “closed” rhinoplasty involves no incision with surgical access purely through the patient’s nostrils. The approach is different with each patient depending on their goals and the structure of their nose.

Open Rhinoplasty

With an open approach, or an external rhinoplasty, is made along the columella, cartilage in between the nostrils, for the surgeon to access to multiple parts of the nose. The open approach is generally taken when more visibility is needed to make the necessary corrections. The incision heals very well and becomes almost invisible over time.

Closed Rhinoplasty

A closed approach rhinoplasty, also referred to as endonasal rhinoplasty, does not require the small incision under the nostrils as all incisions are made inside the nose. This technique is less invasive and leaves the patient with no visible scarring.

Whichever approach is used, cartilage, bone and soft tissue are shifted and reshaped to achieve each patient’s desired result.


The final results of a rhinoplasty are not fully apparent until the swelling subsides.  Swelling after rhinoplasty can take up to a full year to resolve although after three months, patients typically notice their nose is about 80% less swollen. This surgery requires about a 7-10 days of initial downtime with results that last a lifetime.

To learn more about a rhinoplasty in Draper or Layton, please call our office at (801) 776-2220.

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