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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) 689-6634 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 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 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 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 201

  Achieve similar results non-surgically! Check out this case: Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty 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 Francisc...

Case 208

  Achieve similar results non-surgically! Check out this case: Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty 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 ...

Case 338

ABOUT OUR PATIENT   So many people are unhappy with their nasal tip!  It’s either "too round" or "too droopy". This young lady from the Castro Valley was concerned with the latter. She wasn’t thrilled with her nose’s curvature or the way the tip pointed downward. As intent as she was on finding a fix for her issue, she wasn’t comfortable with surgical procedures...

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 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 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 198

Background: This young lady was unhappy with her nose. She felt the bridge and tip were too wide. She did some research for non-surgical rhinoplasty and after viewing similar cases by San Francisco facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Mabrie,  made an appointment. Dr. Mabrie's Assesment: This young woman of pacific island decent has requests that are common for patients researching Asian rhinoplasty ...

Case 221

Background: This woman was primarily concerned with her profile. She felt the curvature was extreme and made the nose seem large. She found Dr. Mabrie online and consulted about non-surgical treatment. Dr. Mabrie’s Assessment: “This was a very satisfying case. We both agreed that her concerns were slightly different from many of the cases previously seen in my photo gallery. This...

Case 195

< Achieve similar results non-surgically! Check out this case: Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty Revision  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...

Case 110

 Achieve similar results non-surgically! Check out this case: Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty Revision  Background: This San Francisco woman came to Dr. Mabrie to seek resolution for areas of her nose that she was unhappy with from previous surgeries. Her nose was broken when she was 16, for which she had a Rhinoplasty surgery. She also had a Septoplasty surgery performed in 2...

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 325

ABOUT OUR PATIENT After doing some research about non surgical treatment, this young man from Brazil stopped by my San Francisco office for a consultation. He had a clear vision of what he wanted to improve-his nose. He wanted to remove a small distracting bump and make the tip appear more upturned. Facial dermal filler treatments are ideal for these kinds of aesthetic defects, so I was more than...

See All Before & After Photos
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.

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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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Mabrie Facial Cosmetic: David C. Mabrie, MD
166 Geary Street
13th Floor

San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 445-9513
Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m.