Scarring Risk in Rinoplasty

does the risk of visible scars and large bone irregularity increase with the amount of tissue/bone removed in rinoplasty?

Doctor Answers 10

Scar Risk in Rhinoplasty, (nose surgery)

Scars in open V.S. closed Rhinoplasty;

  • The difference is the amount of visible scar is very minimal.
  • In most cases the scar in the open technique (between the nostril) is fairly well-concealed.
  • Both open and closed techniques will give good result.
  • The open rhinoplasty allows for more precise manipulation of underlying bones and cartilages.
  • The open technique allows for placement of a variety of cartilage grafts.
  • In summary, Scarring is not a major risk in rhinoplasty.

Hope this was helpful.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 197 reviews

Rhinoplasty Risks

Every operation, including rhinoplasty, has risks. The more extensive the operation and the more times the operation is repeated (IE revision of a revision) the greater the risks. But the surgeon's ability to stir clear from trouble would minimize some of the risks. The Only visible scar in Rhinoplasty may be a tiny scar across the columella in open rhinoplasty. "Large bony irregularities" may be seen with incomplete smoothing of bone edges or putting the ends together with very thin nose skin.

Pick your surgeon carefully.

Mult Noroc.

Dr. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Risk of visible scars from rhinoplasty

The amount of bone and cartilage that is removed from the nose does not increase the risk of visible scars from rhinoplasty. 

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Visible Scars after Rhinoplasty

There is truly minimal risk of visible scars after rhinoplasty. The very rare occurance of this potential complication is not related to the amount of bone or cartilage that is removed.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Scars and Rhinoplasty

Scars are just one component in minimizing visible signs that a rhinoplasty has been performed.  In a scarless approach (endonasal) all scars are made inside the nostrils, so that no external scars can be seen.  In an open rhinoplasty, the scar is made between the nostrils on a portion of the nose called the columella.  This should heal with little to no evidence of a scar, but it is not unusual for me to see scars on nose from other surgeons I revise that are unacceptable.  Each patient has individual potential for how well scars will heal.  

Scars for an open rhinoplasty can be improved by taking the following measures:

  • Location- Scars must be placed on the appropriate place on the columella.  Scars placed too high can lead to highly visible locations (skin is different in this location) and disruption of the soft tissue triangle.  Scars placed too low can lead to excessively wide scars and potentially change a patient's smile.
  • Technique- The design of the scar, how the tissue is handled, type of suture placed, and how each suture is placed can all lead to better outcomes in scars in rhinoplasty.
  • Pre and Postoperative Care- Appropriate pre and postoperative care can lead to better outcomes with scars in rhinoplasty.

A common belief amongst patients of darker pigmentation is that an open rhinoplasty can lead to poor scars.  There is actually no correlation between pigmentation of skin and poor scars in rhinoplasty.  In many other procedures this is the case.  The reason behind this is that the skin between the nostrils is quite different than the skin in other areas of the body which is substantially thicker.  I have never seen or seen published in the scientific literature a keloid formed from an open rhinoplasty incision.  

In general, scars from a rhinoplasty should heal quite well.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Scars in rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty may be performed via either a closed approach - where all the scars are hidden inside the nose, or open technique - where there is a very small incision at the base of the nose between the nostrils. The amount of tissue or bone removed should not increase the risk of bony irregularity after surgery.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Avoiding scars after rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty can typically be done with a very small risk of visible scar.  Half of the procedures I perform are done from the inside of the nose only, the closed approach.  For the open type, where there is a small incision at the lower base of the nose, this typically disappears as a visible scar.  I modify my approach depending on the pigmentation of the skin and the ethnic identity of the patient, as the risk of scars are higher with darker skin.  If you have ethnic skin, go to a rhinoplasty surgeon with experience treating such skin. 

Julius W. Few, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Scar risk with rhinoplasty is very low

Rhinoplasty can be performed with a closed procedure, which means that all incisions are inside the nose out of view. Another popular approach, open rhinoplasty, leaves a small scar on the underside of the columella the central section of the nose. Healing is uniformly very good. We use the open rhinoplasty approach when the tip shape requires major changes, or visible tip grafts need very precise placement. Ovrall though visible scars with rhinoplasty are a low risk.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

No visible scars with rhinoplasty.

If you go to an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon you should not have any noticeable scars. With closed rhinoplasty there are none and with the open there is a fine line between the nostrils.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Scars with nose job - rhinoplasty

There should not be visible scars after rhinoplasty no matter how much bone or cartilage is resected. The only external scar is between the nostrils and this should heal quite well. Seek an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon for consultation.

Etai Funk, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 66 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.