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Douglas A. Taranow, DO, FACOS

New York, NY


Posted July 01, 2012 in Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

One of the most common questions regarding plastic surgery involves the amount of time the procedure takes to perform. The length of time it takes to complete your procedure can vary greatly, depending on the type of surgery and the amount of work required to achieve the desired outcome. Generally speaking, most cosmetic surgeries take an average of one to two hours. Some of this time is spent cleaning and prepping the surgical site, administering the anesthesia prior to making the incisions, as well as suturing and bandaging.

Less-invasive and non-surgical procedures, such as Botox® and collagen injections, can be completed within a matter of 20 to 30 minutes. This makes it possible to schedule these types of cosmetic enhancements over your lunch hour.

Many patients expect surgeries performed on the body to take longer than those performed on the face. Even though breast augmentations, liposuctions, and tummy tucks involve larger areas than eyelid surgeries and nose jobs, certain facial procedures often require more time. This is usually due to the intricacies of the surgeries. For example, a rhinoplasty procedure may require up to four hours of surgical time, and even longer if extra work is required to correct abnormalities. If the rhinoplasty procedure is limited to just the nasal tip, this can often be completed within a little less than an hour. While a straightforward breast augmentation surgery may take just one hour in the operating room, combining it with a breast lift will add to the length of the surgery time. Although liposuction can be completed on small areas that contain pockets of fat in about an hour, removing an excessive amount of fat from various body areas, such as hips, the lower abdomen, and upper thighs, may take more than four hours.

Patients often choose to have more than one cosmetic procedure performed while under anesthesia. Combining a tummy tuck with liposuction or an eyelid surgery with rhinoplasty will increase the amount of time for your surgery. The same is true with “package procedures,” such as a “Mommy Makeover” Although having numerous procedures at once can increase the amount of time required for surgery, as well as add to the recovery phase, it is often less expensive and time-consuming in the long run. Dr. Taranow can help you determine the pros and cons of scheduling two or more procedures at once.

The best time to find out everything you need to know about your upcoming procedure, including the amount of time necessary for your specific surgery, is during your initial consultation. Because every patient is unique, individual considerations play a role in determining the length of each surgical procedure.