How Visible Will Rhinoplasty Scars Be?

I am scheduled to have an open rhinoplasty to slightly refine my nasal tip. I tend to not scar badly, and I was wondering, how visible will the scar be after the stitches are removed, beginning about two weeks after surgery?

Doctor Answers 10

Open Rhinoplasty Scar is not noticeable

The Open approach to rhinoplasty is a wonderful way for the Facial Plastic surgeon to gain exposure to the nasal anatomy.  It is the approach I prefer to use most often.  You may be concerned about the scar left after open rhinoplasty, however there is nothing to worry about.

With proper closer of the incision, no one will ever see the scar as it heals beautifully.  We have not yet needed to revise a scar in this location.

I have included a short video to show how the incision is closed.

I hope this helps make your decision easier.  I don't think you will regret your open rhinoplasty.

Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Depends on the surgeon

Depending upon the surgeon, some open rhinoplasty scars are quite visible from across the room. If the surgery is performed as a closed rhinoplasty, there would be no external incisions. It also depends upon how much columellar show patients have as to whether or not this can be noticed. It is probably not advisable to have an open rhinoplasty if there is only a minor refinement of the nasal tip that needs to be done. This can be easily done through a closed rhinoplasty by the proper surgeon.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Scar Visibility Depends On Approach Utilized

Rhinoplasty can be performed by utilizing either open or closed surgical approaches. When a closed approach is used, the incisions are placed inside the nostrils. In contrast an open approach utilizes incisions and connects them by making a small incision across the columella. This incision allows the nasal skin to be lifted upward to provide exposure to the underlying anatomic structures.
The transcolumellar incision is the only incision used during rhinoplasty that has the potential to be visible. In the vast majority of patients, these incisions heal imperceptibly.After adequate healing, it can be difficult to find the original incision in most cases.

Columellar scar

I have not found the external scar from an open rhinoplasty to be a problem cosmetically. I have performed essentially all of my cosmetic rhinoplasties over the past 20 years through an open approach and I do not remember a patient being unhappy with the scar. However, I have seen scars that have been placed closer to the lip as opposed to the mid columellar area that can sometimes be noticeable. I would discuss this with your surgeon.

Jerold Olson, MD
Tucson Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Scarring Post-Rhinoplasty

Incisions and scarring are only a factor in an “open” rhinoplasty, as a “closed” rhinoplasty is performed without any incisions. A good surgeon will strategically place the incision at a point that will be least visible as your new nose heals. Typically, the incision is made between the nostrils and is virtually undetectable to onlookers. If you are worried about scarring, ask your surgeon to see before-and-after pictures of real, past patients so that you can personally evaluate their experience with residual scarring.

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Rhinoplasty Scars

Rhinoplasty after a properly performed open rhinoplasty are often quite hard to see postoperatively.  However, a large percentage of my practice is revision rhinoplasty (revising other surgeon's rhinoplasty work) and I do notice poor scar formation is quite common.  Some common errors in scar planning in open rhinoplasty:

  • Placing incision too high along columella- If the incision is too close to the soft tissue triangle it will disrupt a natural border and can become more visible
  • Poor scar design
  • Visible edges of the scar- Seeing the scar along the sides of the columella if not closed properly

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Visible scars from a nose job

The two major types of rhinoplasty are the open and closed rhinoplasty. In the closed rhinoplasty, there are no incisions made on the nose unless the base of the tip is narrowed. If this is done (it is done in open rhinoplasties also), then the scars should be located in the nasal-cheek crease at the sides of the nasal bases. These are usually well hidden in the crease and not noticeable. In the open rhinoplasty, an incision is made across the column between the two nostrils near the bottom edge of the nostrils. If closed properly, the scar is not seen at conversational distances. Doctors who use this approach feel that the more exposure it affords them to the bone and cartilages, the better the results will be. Surgeons who have large rhinoplasty practices and who are speaking at national meetings now use this approach.

Jack P. Gunter, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Open Rhinoplasty Scar

The external incision in an open rhinoplasty procedure is made in the skin of the columella,between the nostrils. Using this technique for over 30 years, I have had to revise two of these scars. There is minimal risk of this complication.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Open rhinoplasty incisions

I am assuming that you are going to have an open rhinoplasty. The incision is usually very small crossing the columella between the nostrils.  It usually heals extremely well.  Good luck!

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Open Rhinoplasty scarring heals fine

Open Rhinoplasty scarring heals fine. A good doctor who has a lot of experience will be able to tighten your tip with minimal scarring. My patients ususally can hide the scar after 5 days.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.