FAQs


Where does Dr. Kim operate?
Can I see how I will look beforehand?
How much pain is involved?
Recovery time(s)
How long before I can exercise?
When can I get a facial with or without extractions?
Is smoking ok?
When can I wear glasses or sunglasses?
When can I travel?
Why should I use a facial plastic surgeon?
What else should I look for in my facial plastic surgeon?
Are there procedures that can make me look better, but will allow me to return to my normal routine quickly?
What are the risks of surgery?

Where does Dr. Kim operate?
For procedures that cannot be performed in the office, Dr. Kim operates at the San Francisco Surgery Center and the Greenbrae Surgery Centre located in Marin County.

The San Francisco Surgery Center is located at 450 Sutter Street, Suite 500. Click here for a map and directions.

Finally, Greenbrae Surgery Center is located at 575 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard #2, Greenbrae, CA 94904.

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Can I see how I will look beforehand?
Through the use of digital photography and a state of the art computer imaging program, Dr. Kim is able to help you decide on the changes you wish to achieve with treatment. Dr. Kim believes that one of the keys to a successful outcome is the surgeon and patient having a shared, mutually consistent goal prior to surgery.

Actually seeing the changes on your own face through the use of computer imaging helps you tremendously in terms of reaching accurate expectations for surgery. In addition, the dialogue that occurs through the course of the imaging consultation allows Dr. Kim to hone in on your specific goals.

Watch Dr. Kim’s video on Rhinoplasty & Digital Morphing

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How much pain is involved?
The majority of procedures Dr. Kim performs have a relatively low level of discomfort. Although each individual has his or her own unique pain threshold, most people find that most facial plastic surgery procedures create less discomfort than many other types of surgery.

For in-office non-surgical procedures, patients may understandably be concerned about discomfort during the procedures. Fortunately, the majority of these treatments are associated with a low level of discomfort. For some treatments, a variety of options are available to reduce or eliminate discomfort. These include topical numbing creams, cold air chillers, pre-treatment with ice, local anesthetic (similar to dental procedures), or oral medication.

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Recovery time(s)
Recovery varies considerably depending on the type of the procedure or treatment. “Recovery” also means different things depending upon what one is concerned about. For example, recovery can mean the time until one no longer has discomfort, until one can return to work, until one can return to exercise, or until swelling or bruising is gone. In order to help you get a sense of these issues, the following table summarizes typical recovery times for patients. It is very important to understand that recovery times can vary tremendously from person to person.

Timeline for Recovery by Procedure

Rhinoplasty 6-8 days for sutures, 8-10 days off work, 10 days post-procedure no flying, 3 weeks no exercise or heavy exertion

Scar Revision 6-8 days for sutures. May resume work the day after the procedure in most cases. Keep area dry for 1 week. 3 weeks no exercise or heavy exertion.

Otoplasty 6-8 days for sutures, 8-10 days off work, 10 days post-procedure no flying, 3 weeks no exercise or heavy exertion

Chin Implant 6-8 days for sutures, 1 week off of work, 3 weeks no exercise or heavy exertion

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How long before I can exercise?
It is advised that you avoid all activity that raises your heart rate or core body temperature for a minimum of 3 weeks from your surgery date. Avoid heavy lifting, bending and straining. Once you have reached the 3-week marker you can ease yourself back into your exercise routine.

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When can I get a facial with or without extractions? What about pore strips?
We recommend waiting 6-8 weeks for a facial or at-home use of pore strips post-procedure. Also, it is important to avoid mechanical cleansing tools (clarisonic etc.) on the nose for 4 weeks post-procedure.

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Is smoking ok?
Smoking can interfere with healing and we advise that you discontinue for a minimum of 1 month before and 1 month after surgery.

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When can I wear glasses or sunglasses?
It is best to wait 6 weeks before wearing any type of glasses that rest on the bridge of your nose.

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When can I travel?
Dr. Kim recommends waiting a minimum of 10 days before flying. Travel by car or train is fine post-procedure. Patients taking any type of medication that restricts or inhibits the ability to operate a vehicle should not drive and should follow the instructions provided.

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Why should I use a facial plastic surgeon?
It can be a confusing process for a patient looking for the right surgeon to perform a needed operation. This is especially true in the realm of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, since there are so many different types of physicians from which to choose. As a potential patient, one must keep in mind the area on the body and the nature of the surgery being considered and then seek the surgeon whose background and training are best suited for the individual situation.

Facial plastic surgeons focus on cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, head, and neck. Specialization in these areas assures the patient that the most experienced and well-trained physician is performing this type of surgery. Facial plastic surgeons are board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, the nation’s second oldest medical examining board and one of 23 boards approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Their otolaryngology background means they have undergone at least four years of devoted study and surgical training to the anatomy and function of the face, head and neck. Facial plastic surgeons then expand upon this invaluable foundation with an additional fellowship devoted solely to cosmetic and reconstructive procedures of the face, head and neck.

The American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery qualifies, reviews, and certifies surgeons who perform facial and reconstructive surgery. By the time the facial plastic surgeon has completed training, he or she has finished at least nine years of graduate education to become a facial plastic surgeon.

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What else should I look for in my facial plastic surgeon?
Most important in your decision to pick a surgeon is a sense of trust. As a patient, you are putting your trust in the hands of a person you probably do not know very well. You need to feel confident that your facial plastic surgeon can be trusted to provide the best service of which he or she is capable, to be honest with you in setting expectations for the outcomes of surgery, and to stick with you after surgery to help you get through the recovery period or any difficulties you may experience. These are qualities that Dr. David W. Kim prides himself on and that underscore his practice philosophy. If you get a sense that your surgeon is a poor listener or seems uncaring of your needs, chances are that this is not a good choice for you.

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I want to look better, but I still want to look natural and look like myself. Is this possible?
Not only is this possible, this is the philosophy David W. Kim, MD follows for all procedures. Unfortunately, there are many people in the world who have undergone cosmetic procedures who now have obvious changes to their appearance that make them look unnatural. While this may be desirable for some, most people would prefer that the improvements gained by facial plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures be subtle and harmonious with the rest of their face and body.

Most people do not want to have facial features that advertise to the world, “I have had plastic surgery.” Dr. Kim believes that surgery should not be “overdone” so that the changes in appearance are improvements that look like they belong to the patient, rather than changes that have been put there. He wants to create a pleasing look that a patient could have been born with. Dr. Kim achieves this goal through careful analysis of each patient’s unique physical features and a conservative and meticulous surgical approach.

Are there procedures that can make me look better, but will allow me to return to my normal routine quickly?
In his San Francisco facial plastic surgery practice, Dr. David W. Kim provides an assortment of minimally invasive procedures that can provide cosmetic improvements with little to no down-time. These procedures are performed with the patient awake in the office setting, and they include:

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What are the risks of surgery?
With recent advances in anesthesia, operating room monitoring, and pre-operative testing, the risks of surgery have become considerably smaller. For a healthy individual, it is probably riskier driving in a car than going under anesthesia. Surgical risks related to the operation itself vary depending on the type of procedure performed.