What Are the Different Types of Rhinoplasty?

Most people are not aware of the different types of rhinoplasty. If you are thinking about plastic surgery to improve the appearance of your nose, then it may help to understand you have a range of options. Rhinoplasty, or a “nose job,” refers to the plastic surgery done to reshape, reposition, or change the nose.

People often think of rhinoplasty as purely aesthetic or wonder does nose surgery hurt. While it is true that many seek plastic surgery to improve their appearance, some people also have medical reasons. Sometimes genetics or trauma from an injury makes it difficult to breathe through the nose. In this case, your plastic surgeon reshapes or repositions parts of the nose to help it function better and look good.

Please remember this article is educational and not a substitute for seeing a plastic surgeon (Please see our post about “how to select a plastic surgeon“). Given the nose’s complexity, there is no substitute for a personalized consultation with a licensed professional. Depending on your aesthetic or functional goals, rhinoplasty may be used to:

  • Make your nose smaller or larger
  • Straighten a crooked nose
  • Narrow the bridge of the nose
  • Change the nose tip
  • Make your nose look more symmetrical 
  • Make your nose better suit your facial proportions
  • Smooth out a bump on the bridge

Since there are a variety of types of rhinoplasty, your plastic surgeon will pick the one that best suits your goals and needs.

Types of nose jobs include

  • Open rhinoplasty
  • Closed rhinoplasty
  • Tip Plasty (nose tip rhinoplasty)
  • Septorhinoplasty
  • Revision rhinoplasty
  • Non-surgical rhinoplasty or liquid rhinoplasty

 The main categories of rhinoplasty are open rhinoplasty vs closed rhinoplasty. These terms refer to the way the surgeon accesses the bones, cartilage, and muscles that form the structure and shape of your nose.

Types of Rhinoplasty and Related Procedures

Open rhinoplasty

During open rhinoplasty, your plastic surgeon makes an incision between the nostrils to access and re-sculpt the nose. This results in a tiny scar.

The advantages are that open rhinoplasty gives the surgeon more access to reshape and re-stabilize the nose. It’s also more common, so finding a skilled board certified cosmetic surgeon may be easier.

The downsides are a small scar though most people won’t notice if you had a skilled plastic surgeon. It’s also more invasive so rhinoplasty recovery might take longer.

Closed rhinoplasty

During closed rhinoplasty, your plastic surgeon doesn’t make an incision to access the nose but goes in through the nostrils.

Upsides include no external scars, a quicker procedure, and faster recovery. The main downside is the limitations this procedure places on your surgeon making it less suitable for some people depending on their needs.

While most nose jobs are either closed or open rhinoplasty, depending on your needs, your plastic surgeon may have a few other “tools” in their surgical tool bag. All are good options for some people, but not others depending on their needs.

Nose tip rhinoplasty

If you just need the tip of your nose shaped, your plastic surgeon may be able to focus just on that without performing either open or closed rhinoplasty. This procedure is shorter and also boasts a relatively short recovery time since your surgeon would only be manipulating or reshaping the cartilage and tissues at the tip of your nose.


Septorhinoplasty is a more specialized form of rhinoplasty often done for therapeutic reasons like correcting a deviated septum and improving breathing. It can also enhance the appearance of the nose since people often use this opportunity to make aesthetic improvements. During the procedure, your surgeon corrects misalignments of the cartilage and bones around the septum.

Revision rhinoplasty

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, rhinoplasty is incredibly challenging because our nose is the central focus of the face and its small but still complex structure. Sometimes people who previously had rhinoplasty want or need revision surgery to correct previous work or fine-tune the results. 

We include it as its own category in this article because revision rhinoplasty requires an exceptionally skilled plastic surgeon due to the potential structure issues and scar tissue that naturally results from the prior surgery.

Non-surgical Rhinoplasty or Liquid Rhinoplasty

Some people who seek rhinoplasty want to smooth out a minor bump or make some asymmetry less obvious. Sometimes this can be accomplished without surgery by injecting dermal fillers into the area needed to smooth the appearance. This is temporary solution is called liquid rhinoplasty, but it doesn’t involve an operation or any downtime for recovery.

Your Next Step to a More Attractive Nose

With so many types of rhinoplasty and other related cosmetic surgeries have a high success rate in the hands of a skilled plastic surgeon.

During your consultation, we encourage you to be frank and open with your plastic surgeon. Share your aesthetic goals, hopes, concerns, and your complete medical history. Your provider needs to know your medical history, any existing health conditions, and lifestyle factors to ensure the safest and best result possible.

You may be shown before and after photographs from actual patients who had similar work done, and you may also get a chance to see simulations using modern imaging tools. The happiest patient often has a clear and realistic sense of what results they can expect. 

Be sure to take the time to ask any questions you have and find out what to expect during the procedure and your recovery period.

At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we proudly serve people in and near Charlotte, NC. With a decades-long proven track record, we blend experience with today’s best practices and hottest procedures. Our team meets each patient with compassion and a desire to help you look and feel your best.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn what rhinoplasty can do for you.