Is Nine Hours Under General Anesthesia Too Long?

I am considering revision rhinoplasty and a facelift. The surgeon is a board certified facial plastic surgeon with excellent reputation. I am concerned about the length of the surgery. This will be done in a hospital. I am healthy, a non-smoker, and 46 years old.

Doctor Answers 16

Lengthy Surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Nine hours is a long time, but we do it all the time for total makeovers. However, if you do have anesthesia for this long, certain precautions must be taken. You should be put to sleep only by a board certified anesthesiologist and you should plan to spend the night in the hospital. You should also have a clearance from your family doctor to make sure you are as healthy as you think. Additionally, you should make sure that the OR staff does everything to make sure you have no problems, such as warming you, using compressions leggings, and using gel padding and moving your pressure points frequently.


Highlands Plastic Surgeon

9 hours?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I would be concerned about the surgeons skills. A face lift should take 2 to 3 hours and a revision nose no more than 2. Nine hours for elective cosmetic surgery is way too long.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Is Nine Hours Under General Anesthesia Too Long?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In my opinion 9 hours under general anesthesia isway too long. There are good statisitcs that show postoperative complication rates start to rise after 5 hours. It just is not worth taking ANY extra risk for cosmetic surgery. Not to mention the fatigue factor for the surgeon. And that amount of time seems very excessive for the surgery you are having done. You might want to get several consults before settling on a surgeon, that is always a good idea. And separate the nasal surgery from the facelift if you can't find someone who will be able to accomplish the surgery in a more reasonable time.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Prolonged Anesthesia

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Nine hours is a long time for surgery but it is performed commonly.  Before surgery, even if you are healthy, ask for the procedure to be performed at a hospital and plan on spending the night (know the fees in advance).  Make sure your primary care doctor is aware you are doing this so you have his/her blessing.  Sometimes prolonged anesthesia can make you feel fatigued and also have a prolonged 'hangover' effect into the next day so plan on having some help for  few days by someone who can stay with you.  Stock your fridge with soft foods and ice packs in advance.  Generally, a facelift and rhinoplasty together can also increase the amount of swelling for an individual, so give yourself some extra time for the swelling to resolve after surgery.  

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Facelift and rhinoplasty together can be lengthy.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question.


Having a surgery that long at a hospital is good.  Yes, surgery like this can take that long.  If you are worried, you can have the surgeries done separately. You can also ask to be observed in the hospital overnight to make sure that you recover as planned without any surprises.

Discuss these possibilites with your surgeon.  I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

9 Hours too long?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I personally limit my preoperative estimate to 5-6 hours. If more time is required, I break the procedures up into seperate sessions staged at a reasonable time apart. Many of the most serious complications have resulted from procedures that took more than six hours. Though length of time may vary from one surgeon to the next, I would have questions about a procedure taking much longer than average.

Nine Hours Under General Anessthesia

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I am not concerned about 9 hours of general anesthesia when administered by an experienced specialist, but I don't understand why these procedures will take so long unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Surgery duration and safety

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This a difficult question. I agree  with most of the back and forth arguments in this forum. My only concern here is what if the surgery lasted 10 or 12 hours. Are you still going to be safe. Can he/ she guarantee the surgery will finish in 9 hours.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

9 hours of anesthesia for nose and face lift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A nose revision and full facelift takes 5possibly 6 hours normally.  It is safe to have 9 hours of anesthesia but that is way too long. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Revision rhinoplasty and facelift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Nine hours is a long time to be under general anesthesia for cosmetic surgery. You are young for a facelift so I would wonder what the surgeon proposes which would result in so long a procedure. Whenever the anesthesia time exceeds 5.5-6 hours, there is a documented increase in complications no matter how skilled the surgeon and anesthesiologist. I agree that, as a surgeon, you simply get tired past a certain point and it is important to recognize one's own limits and to create an operative setting with which both the patient and surgeon are comfortable.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.