How Long Is a Rhinoplasty Operation?

One of the most common questions plastic surgeons get asked before a rhinoplasty operation is how long the surgery will take. It’s actually quite difficult to give a straightforward answer to this question, as surgery times depend on the patient, the complexity of the procedure, and the style of the surgeon. In this post we’ll have a detailed look at how long you can expect your rhinoplasty operation to take.

Rhinoplasty Has Many Forms

It’s important to note that there are many different types of rhinoplasty—it’s not a simple matter of one-size-fits-all. The procedure can be either “open” or “closed.” Open rhinoplasty involves an incision to the skin between your nostrils, whereas in closed rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes all of his incisions inside the nostrils. The surgeon sometimes also performs a septoplasty, which straightens the cartilage between your nostrils to help you breathe more easily. The type of operation, and the amount of work required to get the results you want, will both have an impact on surgery times.

Additionally, there’s a difference between “primary” rhinoplasty (a patient’s first nose job) and “revision” rhinoplasty (where the surgeon corrects or improves upon a previous nose job). Revision rhinoplasty tends to be more complex, and therefore takes a bit longer.

Surgeons Come In Many Stripes

Another thing that influences the duration of the surgery is the skill, experience, and style of the surgeon. Inexperienced or hesitant surgeons usually take longer, while an experienced facial plastic surgeon who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties a year will often be much more efficient. Some doctors run a sort of “conveyor belt” business model, where (for a cheaper price) they try to get through a huge number of patients as quickly as possible. You should try to find a surgeon who knows what he or she is doing, and emphasizes quality and individualized attention over speed for speed’s sake.

But What’s The Average Surgery Time?

Okay, enough preface—let’s talk numbers! Most primary rhinoplasties take around one to two hours. This can sometimes extend to as many as four hours, if the operation is very complex or the surgeon is unaccustomed to performing rhinoplasties. There’s generally a prescribed recovery period immediately after the surgery, just to make sure that everything checks out—this lasts for about one hour for most patients.

There’s also another type of rhinoplasty that takes as little as ten minutes, and involves no surgery or general anesthetic whatsoever. This is “filler” rhinoplasty, in which a dermal filler is injected into your nose to produce the desired improvements. Filler rhinoplasty can be incredibly effective; it only lasts for around a year, but one advantage is that the effects can be easily reversed if you ever change your mind. Some patients find this is an ideal way to experiment with a nose job before committing to something more permanent.

Dr. Siegel is Houston’s rhinoplasty specialist. To find out more about the different types of rhinoplasty operations he offers and what they involve, contact him today!

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