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Recovering From Rhinoplasty

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San Francisco facial cosmetic surgeon David C. Mabrie, MD, FACS, specializes in rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty. San Francisco and Oakland patients, as well as those traveling from around the country and world, visit his Bay Area and downtown offices for his knowledge and skill. Request a consultation online or call us at (415) 445-9513 today.

To help you plan for your rhinoplasty surgery, here is some important information on recovery time. Dr. Mabrie categorizes rhinoplasty recovery into 3 time periods:

  • Immediate Recovery (5-7 days after surgery) - During this time, you will want to take time-off work to promote optimal healing and wellness
  • Intermediate Recovery (1-3 months after surgery) - 50-75 percent of the surgery results will be evident
  • Final Recovery (1 year after surgery) - Complete results of the nasal improvements are apparent

Featured Cases

Case 319

Background: This Bay Area woman, in her 30's, felt she was looking older and wanted to freshen up her look. She consulted with Dr. Mabrie about Dermafillers for her under eyes. Dr. Mabrie's Assessment: "I am really excited about this case. Pretty often I see some moderate sagging of the cheek skin. I also noticed that her nose had some asymmetry to it and I felt it would really make her face look...

Case 318

Background: Woman with Eastern European background, living in the San Francisco Bay Area, had received Juvederm previously for under eye circles but wasn't happy with the outcome. She found Dr. Mabrie online and was impressed with the patient reviews. She was also impressed with Dr. Mabrie's approach and focus on non-surgical facial sculpting. She consulted with Dr. Mabrie for treatment of he...

Case 312

Background: This woman in her 40's and mother of 2 had been considering treatment for her nose about a year. She found Dr. Mabrie online and liked the reviews and photo gallery examples. She decided to schedule a consultation in his San Francisco office. Dr. Mabrie's Assessment: "This patient was an excellent candidate for Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty. On frontal view, the contour of her nasal bridge...

Case 305

Background: This Santa Cruz woman had long felt her nose was a little round and bulbous. She liked her nose and face in general but was interested in refining her nose. She was certain she did not want a surgical procedure so when she found Dr. Mabrie's website and watched the videos and reviewed the before and after photos, she decided to visit San Francisco for a consultation. Dr. Mabrie's Asse...

Case 300

Background: This African American man in his 20's, had long felt his nose detracted from the rest of his face. While he liked its shape in general, he felt his nose looked too childlike. He searched for a surgeon familiar with ethnic rhinoplasty. He liked Dr. Mabrie's videos and consulted with him in his San Francisco office about Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty.   Dr. Mabrie's Assessment: In th...

Case 276

Background: This young woman from the East bay wanted to subtly change the look of her nose but was not wanting surgery. She consulted with Dr. Mabrie at his San Francisco office about Non Surgical Rhinoplasty. Dr. Mabrie's Assessment: "This case illustrates the importance of a smooth nasal contour. With Rhinoplasty surgery her nose would been reduced, breaking the bone and cutting the cartilage....

Case 261

Background: This East Bay woman long considered surgery to narrow her nostrils. She consulted with Dr. Mabrie at his San Francisco office regarding Surgical Rhinoplasty. Dr. Mabrie's Assessment: "I recommended Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty to augment the nasal bridge and tip, combined with an in office surgical nostril reduction." Procedure: She received 1syringe of Restylane to her nose tip and brid...

Case 227

Background: This east bay woman consulted with Dr. Mabrie in his San Francisco office about non-surgical Rhinoplasty. In general she was happy with the overall size and character of her nose, but wondered if some small improvements could be made. Her two main concerns: 1. She didn't want her nose to look "done". 2. She was afraid of needles!   Dr. Mabrie's Assessment: “This ca...

Case 218

Background: This young lady was fairly happy with her nose, but felt it was a little round and a little undefined. She was interested in definite changes, but nothing too drastic. She searched online for a facial plastic surgeon specializing in non-surgical Rhinoplasty in San Francisco, found Dr. Mabrie's before and afters, and made a consultation. Dr. Mabrie's Assessment: This young woman was ve...

Case 210

Background: This patient actually consulted with Dr. Mabrie about treatments under her eyes.  Dr. Mabrie noticed the nose was fairly misshapen and inquired about it.  She told him she had had a Rhinoplasty many years ago and was disappointed with the shape but really afraid of having another surgery performed. Dr. Mabrie's Assessment: Unfortunately her nose had some of the classic signs...

Case 208

Background: This young San Francisco woman was interested in Rhinoplasty surgery.  She chose Dr. Mabrie because of his experience with preserving ethnic characteristics and maintaining natural results.  She wanted a softer nose, like her mother's, with better symmetry, a smaller tip, and a straighter profile.  Lastly, when she smiled and said certain words, like, "no", her nasal tip...

Case 201

Background: This woman had long considered Rhinoplasty surgery. Her nasal tip was full and similar in size and shape to the nose of her father. While she liked his nose on him, she wanted something softer and more feminine. After searching several plastic surgery websites of doctors in San Francisco, she found Dr. Mabrie and scheduled a consultation. Dr. Mabrie's Assessment: "This African America...

Case 195

Background: This young woman had a previous Rhinoplasty years ago that had given good results. Years later she started to see a change in those results. She came in to see Dr. Mabrie for a consult with specific goals in mind. 1. Narrow the nasal bridge. 2. Make the tip less round. 3. Smooth the contour of her nose. 4. Improve her profile. Dr. Mabrie’s Assessment: "After her initial Rh...

Case 169

Background: This 24 year old African American woman consulted with Dr. Mabrie about Rhinoplasty in San Francisco to improve the appearance of her nose. She explained that she would like the bridge thinner and tip more detained to match her face. Dr. Mabrie's Assessment: "The nose actually has a nice size and shape to start. There is a small bump on profile and the tip could use some definition. T...

Case 120

Background: This 21 year old Tourism student is of Spanish and Italian ethnic background. She had a history of trauma a few years ago during a water polo incident.  Her concerns were to: 1. Primarily reduce the bump in her nasal dorsum, 2. Resolve her difficulty in breathing, 3. To smooth the lines in her nose, and 4. To maintain the look and character of her nose. Dr Mabrie&...

Case 94

Background: This Filipina woman in her 20’s consulted with Dr. Mabrie in his San Francisco office, interested in a Rhinoplasty. She had been asked to do some modeling and noticed that on certain angles her nose was less defined than she would like. Her husband, who felt she was beautiful as was, supported her wish to obtain a consultation but urged her not to get “that o...

Case 67

Background:  This Bay Area woman was very active in outdoor activities and did a lot to keep herself in good physical condition.  She liked her all the characteristics of her nose except that when she smiled, in photos, the nostrils appeared somewhat wider than she liked.  She consulted with Dr. Mabrie about surgical options and cosmetic rhinoplasty in San Francisco.Dr. Mabrie's Ass...

See All Before & After Photos

Immediate Recovery (5-7 days after surgery)

Dr. Mabrie performs rhinoplasty in San Francisco under general anesthesia. Typically, the procedure takes between 2 to 4 hours. Rhinoplasty surgery is generally an outpatient procedure, meaning that you may go home the day of the procedure, unless the surgery starts late in the evening, in which case an overnight stay in the hospital is an option. You will need a close friend or family member available to drive you home the night of surgery.

Outside nasal bandaging is worn and a splint may be used if the nasal bones were manipulated for the procedure. Dr. Mabrie does not routinely place internal packing inside the nose, which provides for greater patient comfort post-operatively.

Patients are usually pleasantly surprised by the low degree of pain during the Immediate Recovery period after rhinoplasty surgery. Any pain is classified at a 3 to 4 level (on a scale of 1 to 10). Discomfort is adequately treated with a prescription oral pain medication. There may be some nausea from the general anesthetic during the first couple of days.

During the Immediate Recovery stage, patients are free to walk around, and depending on their level of comfort, may walk outside, go shopping and/or run errands. It is important during the first 48 hours for the individual to do as much as possible to avoid bleeding. Therefore, patients should not bend-over, strain and/or perform heavy lifting, or blow the nose at this time. Keeping the head elevated and avoiding medications like Aspirin, Advil, and Motrin are important.

About 5 to 7 days after surgery, patients have their first post-operative appointment to remove the stitches and bandages. Bruising and swelling will be visible; however, after 7 days it is usually not obvious that they have had a surgical procedure.

Featured Videos

Intermediate Recovery (1-3 months after surgery)

While patients are partially recovered after a week and most cannot tell they've had surgery, their final surgical results are not evident. The rate of swelling decrease varies in different anatomical places. The bridge swelling dissipates much faster than the tip, which takes the longest.

At 3 months, the scar under the tip of the nose is less apparent. While patients may have an idea of what their final result will look like in this stage, it is not accurate yet. The swelling will continue to decrease over the next few months.

Final Recovery (>1 year after surgery)

The Final Recovery stage after rhinoplasty may be greater than one year, especially if tip work has been done. Even people who haven't had surgery may have subtle changes in their nose as they grow older. It is natural for the nose to have minor shifts in swelling and scar tissue even a few years after the surgery, so it is a good idea for patients to see their rhinoplasty surgeon for follow-ups once a year.

What About Scarring After Rhinoplasty?

Dr. Mabrie usually performs open rhinoplasty surgery, which requires a small incision at the base of the nose. After rhinoplasty this incision may be red or pigmented for a few weeks to months, but remains concealed under the nose. After several months the incision becomes virtually invisible in most cases.

San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon David C. Mabrie M.D., F.A.C.S.

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The Surgeon

Dr. David Mabrie offers:

  • Double board certification
  • Excellent training & experience
  • Specialization in the face and neck
  • A trainer's skill in injectable filler techniques
Why Dr. Mabrie
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David C. Mabrie, M.D.
166 Geary Street #1502
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 445-9513
Dr. David Mabrie
1700 San Pablo Avenue Suite F
Pinole, CA 94564
(510) 724-3200