See how the open rhinoplasty incision is designed and how well it heals

Many people wonder what the incision looks like for an open rhinoplasty surgery. I prefer to use an inverted-V columellar incision design (see photo below) , whereas other surgeons may use a stairstep pattern.

The photo above shows the planned open rhinoplasty incision line marked on a patient right before starting her surgery.

What's with the the zig zag?

So why not just make the incision straight across the columella? The main reason to create a more complicated incision is to camouflague the incision. An irregular incision line is much less conspicuous than a straight line.

"But I'm worried about having an external scar on my nose."

It's understandable that you may be concerned about having a scar placed on your nose. In actuality, when properly performed, I find the open rhinoplasty incision heals exceptionally well and really becomes a nearly imperceptible. I use two-layers of sutures to close the incision line during surgery. The deep, hidden layer dissolves on its own after a few months. I use multiple, very fine sutures on the outward skin closure. These sutures are removed one week after surgery.

The photo above shows the same patient four months after surgery. You can see that her incision line is easily hidden with some concealer at this stage in healing. So what does the incision look like after it's fully healed? Here are some examples:

This patient is shown before and 1 year after (without any concealer) a revision septo-rhinoplasty using an open approach.

This is another patient who is shown before and three years after revision rhinoplasty.

This patient is shown before and 6 months after open rhinoplasty. You can see that even after only 6 months the incision is healed quite well. The slight redness of the incision would be expected to further improve up to about 1 year after surgery.

Want to see more open rhinoplasty incisions? Check out my rhinoplasty photo gallery here or revision rhinoplasty photo gallery here.


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