How long does a nose job surgery take?

How long does a nose job surgery take?

For the most experienced rhinoplasty surgeons, total time in the operating room for the average primary rhinoplasty is under two hours. Other surgeons, who are frequently less specialized and experienced, can take 5-6 hours to complete a procedure.


Cases requiring cartilage harvesting from the ear or rib take longer. It may be essential to add more tissue to some patients in order to attain the best results. A round, plunging tip, a bridge, or a very crooked nose where some cartilage or bone may be missing are common requirements. The nasal septum is frequently harvested for cartilage, especially if the septum needs to be corrected to promote ventilation and prevent sinus infections. It’s easy to find in the nasal interior. The cartilage from the ear is the next option. The ear is not left distorted; the incisions are on the back of the ear, and the ear is an excellent supply of cartilage with a natural curve. Rib cartilage is the last option, however it is the largest piece of cartilage that may be harvested. It’s possible to shave it into tiny pieces. To lift a low bridge, larger pieces are used. Grafting adds merely minutes to the length of the surgery in terms of the amount of tissue required.


The type of anesthesia used for rhinoplasty has no bearing on the outcome or safety. Most surgeons and anesthesia professionals choose a procedure that combines propofol, the great colonoscopy anesthetic, with other anesthetics and local anesthesia given by the surgeon after the propofol has put you to sleep. Anesthesia at a very low intensity, unlike that required for abdominal, chest, or brain surgery. Sleeping and waking up quickly. Because narcotics aren’t required, there’s a low risk of nausea and vomiting. A longer procedure will require more anesthesia, resulting in a longer wake-up time and possible grogginess for the rest of the day. Of course, as we’ll see later, the less time you spend under anesthesia, the better.


Whether a surgeon does an open or closed rhinoplasty might affect the length of the procedure. Closed rhinoplasty, the classic and still excellent procedure, is a patient favorite since it leaves no outward scar and all sutures used to close the hidden, internal incisions dissolve. The insertion of various cartilage and tissue grafts is made a little easier with open rhinoplasty, which is a wonderful way to teach and improve surgeons in training. The time it takes to make the external incision and then close it at the end of the surgery should be no more than 20 minutes. The horizontal scar between the nostrils does not bring happiness to some patients. Others, possibly because they recovered faster, are more forgiving of what is a barely visible incision. Typically, as with so many other aspects of rhinoplasty, the surgeon’s expertise, not luck, dictates the outcome.


There are only a few “Minimal” operations available. Whether the flight is 400 miles or 4000 miles, the loading, takeoff, landing, and unloading are the same as on an airline flight. Certain time variables are unchangeable. All rhinoplasties and other facial plastic surgery operations should be performed in a licensed/certified outpatient surgical center or hospital for the best and safest results. Personally, I prefer having “at the controls” an anesthesiologist who specializes in aesthetic facial surgery treatments. This is for the sake of the patient’s comfort and safety. Given these safeguards for the patient, the time required to prepare a nose patient for surgery, connect the patient to the ultra-advanced anesthesia and monitoring system, induce anesthesia, prepare the patient, disinfect the operative area, provide local anesthesia, drape the patient in sterile sheets, connect all instrumentation, and then begin the actual surgery is considerable. And, whether the actual cutting and sewing takes 45 minutes or seven hours, it all takes time. But that’s what it takes to do it properly, and who doesn’t want it done properly?

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    The Seattle Rhinoplasty Center

    William A. Portuese, M.D.
    The Seattle Rhinoplasty Center®

    Seattle, Washington 98104

    (206) 624-6200

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