Although general plastic surgeons are more than capable of performing rhinoplasty under most circumstances, they may not always be the best choice depending on the desired outcome – especially as it relates to functional rhinoplasty.  

Rhinoplasties are typically performed by either a general plastic surgeon or an otolaryngologist with training in facial plastic surgery. Jeffrey J. Lehman, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board certified otolaryngologist at The Ear, Nose, Throat and Plastic Surgery Associates, is one such otolaryngologist with years of education, training and subsequent experience in facial plastic surgery with a concentration on rhinoplasty.

“The general plastic surgeon usually goes through a general surgery training, though not always, and then does the plastic surgery fellowship afterwards, which involves all aspects of plastic surgery,” Dr. Lehman explains.

He says ENT surgeons are well positioned to perform rhinoplasties given the extensive training they receive in nasal procedures. Many plastic surgeons undergo training to perform all aspects of plastic surgery throughout the body, meaning they are less focused on just rhinoplasties. By contrast, ENTs with a focus on facial plastic surgery just focus on the face; and, therefore, have more rhinoplasty experience and more successful cases under their belt than traditional plastic surgeons in some instances.

Surgical Approaches to Rhinoplasty

According to Dr. Lehman, there are two main approaches to surgical rhinoplasty – the closed approach (endonasal) and the open approach (external).

Endonasal Approach

nose renderAll surgical incisions made for the endonasal approach are made inside of the nostrils. The parallel incisions encircle about half of the nostril lining, but no part of the incision can be seen externally and there is no visible scar. Although not having a visible scar can be a major benefit, there are considerable challenges and technical limitations associated with this approach.

With the closed approach, the “healing, swelling and the changes in the nose occur over a period of about six months,” explains Dr. Lehman.

External Rhinoplasty

An ENT makes a small bridging incision, called a trans-columellar incision, to adjoin the right and left nostril incisions. The nasal skin can be folded upward and provide open visibility of the lower nasal structure. The open rhinoplasty approach allows for minimal distortion of the nasal cartilage and most individual components of the nasal skeleton can remain undisturbed.

An external rhinoplasty may involve external scarring, but the approach may be more accurate, versatile and effective because the surgeon has complete visibility while reshaping the nose.

More About Dr. Lehman
Request an Appointment

Rhinoplasty Resources

Click on a video or post below to learn more about the rhinoplasty procedure and what you can expect.

Latest Posts

  • Dr. Lehman - Rhinoplasty Expectations

Will Insurance Pay for a Rhinoplasty?

Jeffrey J. Lehman, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board certified otolaryngologist with training in facial plastic surgery, says many patients not only […]

  • sleep

When Will I See Results Following Rhinoplasty?

A Gradual Approach to Realize Results
According to Dr. Lehman, it’s important for rhinoplasty patients to have a long-term approach […]

  • diagram 2

Functional vs. Cosmetic Rhinoplasty

Although the expressed goal of a rhinoplasty is to correct breathing issues, patients usually experience positive cosmetic benefits as a […]

  • Rhinoplasty ENT Orlando

Why Have a Rhinoplasty Performed by an ENT Specialist Instead of a Plastic Surgeon?

He says ENT surgeons are well positioned to perform rhinoplasties given the extensive training they receive in nasal procedures. Many […]