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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

ABOUT OUR PATIENT Feeling like she was looking much older than she actually was this Bay Area woman knew she needed a fresh look to match how she felt. After doing a little bit of research online about the possibilities of dermal fillers, she came in for an in-depth consultation at my office in downtown San Francisco to see what her options were. DR. MABRIE'S TREATMENT PLAN It's very common for...

Case 318

ABOUT OUR PATIENT This young Bay Area woman had previously received a non-surgical Juvederm treatment to address the circles that were appearing under her eyes, but she wasn't exactly satisfied with the results. After reading some of my patient reviews online and noting my unique approach and focus on non-surgical facial sculpting, she decided to come in for a consultation at my downtown San...

Case 312

ABOUT OUR PATIENT For about a year, this 40-something mother of two had thought about getting a treatment for her nose. She started doing research about her options and came across the reviews and photos for my cosmetic surgery practice. Soon after, I was glad to welcome her to my San Francisco office where I gave her an in-depth consultation. DR. MABRIE'S TREATMENT PLAN For this patient, I per...

Case 305

ABOUT OUR PATIENT This woman from Santa Cruz really liked the way her face looked in general but was interested in refining her nose. She felt it was a little round and slightly bulbous in appearance. Evan so, she knew she definitely did not want an invasive surgical procedure to fix it. When she found my website, watched our videos, and reviewed the before and after photographs, she decided to v...

Case 300

ABOUT OUR PATIENT This African American man in his 20's had a big problem: he had long felt his nose detracted from the rest of his face. While he appreciated its shape in general, he felt it made him look too childlike. During his search for a surgeon experienced in Ethnic Rhinoplasty, my videos caught his eye, so we met in my downtown San Francisco office, where I consulted with him about non...

Case 276

ABOUT OUR PATIENT This patient, a young woman located in the East Bay, had a common problem: she wanted to subtly change the look of her nose, but she didn't want to undergo any invasive surgery to do so. That's why she came to see me at my San Francisco office for a consultation, eager to find out about the benefits of Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty. DR. MABRIE'S TREATMENT PLAN This patient's case i...

Case 261

ABOUT OUR PATIENT I love this case! This woman in her 70s from the East Bay, had long considered getting surgery to narrow her nostrils. She and I had a great talk during a consultation in my San Francisco office regarding Surgical Rhinoplasty, in which we explored options that would get her the amazing results she was after. DR. MABRIE'S TREATMENT PLAN I performed a Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty us...

Case 218

ABOUT OUR PATIENT This young lady was already feeling somewhat satisfied with the shaping of her nose, but she knew there was room for improvement. She felt it looked a little round and slightly undefined. Basically, she was looking for a change that was defining but not too drastic. After searching online for a facial plastic surgeon specializing in Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty, she found our before...

Case 210

ABOUT OUR PATIENT This patient initially visited my San Francisco office interested in finding the right kind of filler treatment for bags under her eyes. I noticed her nose was somewhat misshapen and injured as well. She told me it was the result of a Rhinoplasty she had many years ago. There has been a hump reduction during the Rhinoplasty surgery, which had caused the middle cartilaginous port...

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