Undergoing rhinoplasty surgery can be a life-changing experience. After all, a nose job has the ability to enhance your natural beauty, boost your self-esteem, and make performing normal functions easier, such as breathing.
While plastic surgery has become more common and successful than ever before, it’s normal to feel anxious leading up to your surgery. Knowing what to expect before the big day can help you feel more comfortable and confident.
One of the most important factors to understand before your surgery date is the length of time that a rhinoplasty can take. Because every patient has a unique set of needs and circumstances, one person’s rhinoplasty surgery may be shorter or longer than another person’s.
Here’s what you should know about how long a rhinoplasty surgery can take before improving your quality of life with a beautiful, functional new nose.
What is a Rhinoplasty?
A rhinoplasty is a procedure performed on a person’s nose to manipulate its appearance and/or improve its function. During rhinoplasty surgery, a surgeon will modify the nasal bones and cartilages and/or add tissue in order to achieve the desired appearance and functional needs of the nose. Rhinoplasty surgeries can be performed for a variety of reasons, including:
- Personal preference
- Health concerns, such as difficulty breathing or recurring sinus infections
- Facial injury
The best candidates for a rhinoplasty are people who are done growing (over 16 years old for girls and 18 years old for boys), are otherwise healthy, and don’t smoke, since tobacco use can increase the person’s risk of developing tissue damage. Rhinoplasties are a common procedure that is safe for most patients but should always be performed by an experienced, trained professional.
Most rhinoplasties are performed as outpatient surgeries and result in mild to moderate discomfort that can easily be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. It’s common for bruising and swelling to occur within a week of surgery, but when performed by an experienced surgeon, most rhinoplasties tend to heal easily with minimal to no scarring.
How Long is a Rhinoplasty Surgery?
The length of rhinoplasty surgeries can vary significantly from person to person. Whereas one person may only need skin and cartilage adjusted, another may require that their bone be manipulated. The details that make up your specific scenario will ultimately determine how long your rhinoplasty surgery will take place. However, most people can expect their rhinoplasty surgery to be completed in less than two hours.
Factors That Can Affect the Length of Your Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty surgery is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. It requires a lot of specific planning that is catered to the unique aesthetic and medical needs of the patient undergoing the surgery. With this in mind, here are some of the most common factors that could impact the length of your rhinoplasty procedure.
The Condition of Your Nose
First and foremost, the surgeon must consider the condition of your nose. Will this be your first rhinoplasty or will the surgeon be striving to correct a previous one? Is your goal to purely change the appearance of your nose or are there functional needs that must be met as well, such as breathing and sinus issues? Revision rhinoplasties and ones that include resolving functional issues tend to be more time-consuming than first-time and cosmetic nose jobs.
In many rhinoplasty surgeries, grafting cartilage from other parts of the body is necessary to achieve the desired result you have in mind. This is especially true for patients who are interested in lengthening or widening their nose, as well as those who are prone to sinus infections or have difficulty breathing. Cartilage can be harvested from different parts of the body, including the nose, ear, and even the rib. While grafting is not usually a time-consuming endeavor, it can contribute to a longer rhinoplasty surgery.
The type of anesthesia that is used during surgery will also impact how long your rhinoplasty takes. For most patients, a combination of local anesthesia and low-dose general anesthesia is used during surgery, which allows patients to fall asleep and wake up fairly quickly. Of course, a longer surgery will mean more anesthesia. This may lead to grogginess for the rest of the day following surgery, but should not significantly impact the patient’s surgery or recovery time.
Open vs. Closed Nose Jobs
There are two techniques that can take place during a rhinoplasty: open and closed. During an open rhinoplasty, an incision is placed that extends from the inner margins of the nostrils to the external undersurface of the nose. On the other hand, a closed rhinoplasty is performed using incisions that are only made on the inside of the patient’s nose. Typically, open rhinoplasties are used in cases where significant manipulation is required, whereas closed rhinoplasties are usually preferred in less severe circumstances. Open rhinoplasties tend to take a bit longer than their closed counterparts, but only marginally.
The Experience of the Surgeon
Perhaps the most significant factor that will determine how long your rhinoplasty surgery takes is the experience and skill of the surgeon. Where an inexperienced surgeon may take several hours to perform a specific rhinoplasty procedure, an experienced surgeon may be able to complete it in half the time. The more experience the surgeon has, the more likely it will be that he can help you achieve the results you have in mind in less time.
When it comes to gaining the nose you’ve always wanted, faster doesn’t always mean better. It’s important to choose a trusted plastic surgeon who will be well-equipped to meet the specific needs and challenges of your nose. Dr. Matt Hershcovitch, MD, recognizes the responsibility that comes with altering someone’s facial profile. While he is committed to working as quickly and efficiently as possible, his primary focus is to give you the beautiful results you deserve.
If you’re interested in improving the appearance and function of your nose through rhinoplasty surgery, Dr. Hershcovitch can help. Visit us online today to learn more about how a rhinoplasty could benefit you and to schedule your free consultation.