Rhinoplasty Wait Time

What creates a surgeon’s rhinoplasty wait time? People believe the longer a surgeon’s wait time for elective surgery like rhinoplasty, the better the surgeon. They reason if other patients are prepared to wait longer, it’s because they believe the surgeon is worth it. Furthermore if the surgeon is prepared to lose some of his potential patients who are not prepared to wait, it’s because he’s busy enough. These are all true, and they represent the major factors influencing rhinoplasty wait time.

However there is more to the equation. Surgeons tend to work too much; it’s the nature of the beast. However some surgeons chose to work less than others. They may be also raising a family or tapering off as they approach retirement. Generally speaking however the more a surgeon works, the longer his wait list.

Surgical Resource Access

Surgeons have varying degrees of access to surgical resources. Those operating from a hospital will likely have limits to the amount of operating room time available to him. Even those working from a private surgicenter, where a patient would naturally expect him to have unlimited access, will also have restrictions, although they are usually less. He may share the time with other surgeons. There may be a limit on support personnel like anaesthetists, nurses, and operative technicians. There may be only a certain number of surgical instrument trays available on a given day.

Type of Surgical Practice

Most surgeons maintain a mixed practice, where their cosmetic surgery is done in an independent surgical facility, while the other surgeries covered by OHIP, like the hand and skin cancer surgery of Plastic surgeons or the tonsil and sinus surgery of Otolaryngologists, occur at their hospital. With these surgeons their hospital commitments will limit availability for cosmetic work and thus impact on rhinoplasty wait times.

Non Clinical Professional Time

Surgeons with academic interests will be unavailable while away speaking or presenting at meetings and conferences. This extends to also include the time needed for their clinical research and talk preparation. Those surgeons with administrative responsibilities have to devote time to their managerial duties. Finally surgeons-educators commit their time to developing and mentoring their resident students.

Surgical Procedure Time

The type of surgery itself has an impact on wait time. In the field of rhinoplasty, more difficult operations, like revision surgery, take longer. The character of the surgeon influences time also. Those who are slow take more time obviously than those who are fast. A surgeon doing three rhinoplasties a day compared to his colleague who’s able to polish off five, is likely to have a longer surgical list.


Patient often use wait times as one means of assessing and comparing as they make their choice of surgeon. Is it reliable? The answer unfortunately is “sometimes”.

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