Why Would One Surgeon Say My Rhinoplasty would Take 1.5 hrs and the Other 3 hrs?

Narrowed it down to two surgeons. One quoted me 1.5 hours and the other quoted 3 hours for open rhino. Both were confident about my tip asymmetry, neither cared much about the small dent on bridge of nose. Why such a big discrepancy in time of operation? Does open rhino take that much longer?

Doctor Answers 14

Rhinoplasty Time

Surgery times are never a definite. Each surgeon has their preferences in terms of technique and pace. The choice of the surgeon should be based on the experience and expertise of the surgeon as well as the ability for the surgeon to understand your needs/objectives.

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Rhinnoplasty Time

All surgeons operate at their own speed based on comfort, experience and technique. You should make your decision based on the relationship you have with your surgeon. Read testimonials, reviews, research background, credentials and so on.
Good luck!


Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

How long does rhinoplasty surgery take?

I can see why you're confused by such a wide discrepancy in estimated operative times. Certainly, using the open rhinoplasty approach does typically take longer than a closed approach.

I wouldn't focus too much on the surgical time estimates, though. You should make sure that both surgeons are talking about fixing the same things. More experienced rhinoplasty surgeons may have longer operative times due to the fact that they have the skills to make complicated changes to the nose. Also, you should see if a septoplasty or other cartilage harvesting is planned. This adds time to the surgery as well.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

How long should rhinopalsty surgery take?

  • Every surgeon should work efficiently and safely to attain your goals of a great result.  For a straight forward rhinoplasty of the tip, middle and upper portions, most experienced surgeons would reserve about 90 minutes of operating room time, but would never be surprised if it took an hour longer.
  • If you have seen 2 reputable surgeons and you like their personal manner and their previous results , then you could be happy with either.  There is a chance both would finish in 2 hours!.
  • If one surgeon were habitually longer than 3 hrs for a typical nose, then I would at least want more information. Skill, confidence with the operation, excellent pre operative planning all help keep OR time under control.
  • While you would never want a fast and hurried or sloppy surgeon, it is beneficial to have a quick and skilled surgeon!  Less OR time means less anesthesia,  quicker recovery,  and potentially fewer complications. 

Michael Suzman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Time is important but results is what counts

The estimated time for the rhinoplasty procedure has to do a lot with surgeon’s experience and skill. For an experienced rhinoplasty  surgeon usually the open rhinoplasty would take about 1.5 hours for the first time rhinoplasty. Sometimes the septum also needs to be repaired and the combination of both can take about 2 hours (on average). It is hard to select a right plastic surgeon so although shorter surgery is obviously preferable, it is the results that count. Please make sure the plastic surgeon of your choice can show you numerous before and after pictures to show off his work. Beware of surgeons with limited portfolio.

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Rhinoplasty length of surgery

experience is a big factor

a longer procedure or faster one doesnt guarentee results

look at photos

check reputation

ask if the procedure is open (longer) require grafts (longer) general anesthesia (quicker)

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews


Different surgeons take different amounts of time to do surgery. I usually do a nose in about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Most of the noses I do are closed. I have been doing it that way for over 30 years. Many younger surgeons do the surgery open, which takes longer. The most important thing is that you get  a good result no matter how long the surgery takes.

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

In my experience, most Rhinoplasty Surgeries will take between 1.5 and 2 hours to complete unhurriedly.

I read your concern. If you're financially responsible for your anesthesia / facility fee, your 3-hour estimate may just be an over-estimation so there are no monetary surprises after your surgery.

When performing Rhinoplasty, I almost exclusively use an open-approach, and I will harvest and use septal-cartilage grafts in nearly everyone. Specifically, a columella-strut has become fairly routine for ensuring tip position and support. Sometimes a tip-graft is needed as well. At this point in my practice, rhinoplasty surgery takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. A complicated primary rhinoplasty or a revision rhinoplasty may exceed 2 hours.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Dr. Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 421 reviews

It does not really matter how long a rhinoplasty takes.


Some surgeons are fast and some surgeons get great results.  The two factors are independent.   But a rhinoplasty hardly ever takes three hours.  You have to decide whom you trust.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Time Estimates for Rhinoplasty

Different surgeons operate differently, and it is very difficult to judge your results from proposed operative time. You should make your judgment on the relationship you have with your surgeon and their experience in rhinoplasty.  Timing is based upon surgeon preference.

Best of luck

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

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.