If I get a open Rhinoplasty, would there be any visible scars? Or would it look as if i have had a Rhinoplasty done?

Doctor Answers 8

Rhinoplasty Scarring

In an open rhinoplasty, there will be a small scar under the nose. This is barely visible only from pretty close up and well tolerated by most people.

Techniques to hide the scar in open rhinoplasty

There are great techniques to diminish the visibility of a scar in rhinoplasty.

1. Site selection: midpoint of the columella is harder to see than incisions closer to the tip or base of the nose.
2. Incision design: an inverted V incision creates a broken line, but symmetric scar that is does not stick out like a straight line.
3. Tension-free closure: the skin edges need to meet without any pulling forces, so the scar does not widen.
4. Suture selection: Using a very small suture will improve the appearance.
5. Suture technique: the skin edges look better with an everting technique, to create a flat scar.
6. Time: meticulous closure takes added time. A rushed closure is likely to be more visible. 

I recommend that you ask to see examples of rhinoplasty scars and bring this list to your consultation. A visible incision can be a tell-tale sign of an open rhinoplasty, so I believe it's worth the extra effort and time to closing it carefully. 

Victor Chung, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Open rhinoplasty with visible incisions

 Open rhinoplasty leaves a visible scar And an incision across the columella. Closed rhinoplasty involves placement of all the incisions on the inside of the nose.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Open Rhinoplasty and Visible Scarring


With an open Rhinoplasty approach, the incision is made across the columella.  This area tends to heal very well and leaves virtually no telling signs you have had an open Rhinoplasty. 

A closed Rhinoplasty does not have any outside visible incisions. 

I am a Board Certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon and have performed thousands of Rhinoplasties both open and closed over the past 30 years. 

Best of Luck!!

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Open Rhinoplasty, would there be any visible scars?

  Hi, I have performed many Rhinoplasty Surgeries using either an open or closed technique, for over 30 years.  The incision for an Open Rhinoplasty incision can be placed in various locations but I prefer using an inverted "V" in the mid columellar region that then connectes to incisions that are inside the nose.  All Open Rhinoplasties must have an incision somehere across the front of the nose (Columellar region).  The inverted "V" is the most aesthetic IMHO.

Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Open rhinoplasty incisions

The open rhinoplasty incisions tend to heal very well and are barely perceptible, if placed in the appropriate location on the nose. I typically prefer the closed rhinoplasty technique because patients have less postoperative swelling, but I still find the open technique to be helpful in certain cases. The rhinoplasty "look" usually has less to do with the scar and more to do with too much cartilage removal from the nose.

Visible scars after an open rhinoplasty

Most rhinoplasty surgeons performing open rhinoplasty will perform internal incisions which cannot be seen and an incision in the middle of your columella. This columella incision is made as an "inverted V" incision (i.e. upside down V shaped incision) or a stair-step incision - these irregular incisions tend to heal much better and have less wound contracture as compared to a straight line incision. When closed meticulously, the incision along the columella heals quite nicely and is imperceptible after complete healing, usually over a period of 6-12 months after surgery. In general, the columellar scar will not be a tip off to having a rhinoplasty... however, over-aggressive surgical techniques with the underlying cartilage or bone could certainly give your nose an "operated" appearance. I would encourage you to seek out a consultation with a board-certified, experienced rhinoplasty surgeon to discuss your concerns.

Sachin S. Pawar, MD
Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Scars from open rhinoplasty

Thanks for the question. In an open rhinoplasty, you get a small incision across the base of your columella and inside your nostrils. The incisions inside your nostrils are invisible. The incision across the columella generally isn't visible after your healing finishes. Feel free to check out my website's before and after photos for an idea of what it looks like.
The things that can make you "look as if you've had a rhinoplasty done" have more to do with what is done with the underlying framework. When you're considering a rhinoplasty and you want a more natural look, be sure to check out your surgeon's before and after photos to get an idea of the work that they do. Good luck! 

Robert S. Schmidt, MD
College Station Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 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.