My nose 2 months later - Australia, AU

I'm booked in to have rhinoplasty on the 21st of...

I'm booked in to have rhinoplasty on the 21st of Jan 2014, so in a little over a week. I've always felt my nose is too big for my face, and after years of wanting to do this and one cancellation due to nerves, I'm finally going to go through with it.

So I had my last appointment before my op with my surgeon a couple of weeks ago, it was good to talk with him and discuss what he's going to do. He said he is going to add some cartilage to lift the tip up. Anyone know where this said cartilage comes from??? He also said he will shave down the hump which is great, but I did ask if that will make my nose wider, he said it can, but he breaks the nose to make it slimmer :-O !!!!!! My face literally looked like that when he said it! I said so long as it doesn't end up any wider than it is now its all good. He said that he will make it look much better than it does now, so I'm happy and looking forward to a nicer appearance and hopefully more confidence! God I hope it turns out ok!!!

So I've started getting supplies. I've got the arnica cream and my ps prescribes arnica pills after surgery. I've got some dermablend concealer, will I need the foundation too??? I've got some U pillows and a travel neck pillow. What else will I need???

I'll try and get some photos together

Today is the day

So today is the day, I'm first on the list and go in at 1 pm. It'll take about an hour provided nothing goes wrong and I'll probably be out of there around 4-5pm. I'm expecting 5 as I don't come out of anaesthesia very well. Not looking forward to that. I've had a cough for the last couple of weeks, it's nearly better now, but I'm wondering that they might not do the surgery because of it. Time will tell I guess. I'll update when it's all over and feel up to it.

Done and dusted

Well so far so good. Surgery went ahead as planned yesterday. I went in around 1.45 and woke up in recovery at 4 pm. The first time I noticed when I woke up was that my front teeth hurt. I'm guessing from the breathing tube, maybe I was biting it? The anaesthetist was great. I told him I normally get the shakes and the vomits when I wake up so he took that on board and I woke up fine! The worst part about it all was the anaesthetic pushing through my veins. That hurt. When I woke up, the cannula was also the most painful part. At times I could feel my nose dripping, because of this, the packing didn't get removed yesterday, so will do that this morning, but it's still dripping so I'll ring and check if it's still ok to do so. I had also started bruising under my left eye while in recovery 1. The nurse set me up with some ice on my eyes for 30 min while in recovery 2.

The breathing tube didn't hurt so bad this time, but I didn't feel like I could swallow the panadine forte that they offered me. The pain was about a 1-2 so didn't need it anyway.

I got home shortly after 7pm and had 2 Panadol at 8pm and haven't had any since (it's now 8 am the next morning). The pain right now is also a 1-2, very manageable. I iced the back of my neck (which the nurse recommended) and my eye when I got home.

The night want easy, it wasn't hard, but definately wasn't easy. I slept on a 45 degree angle with a few pillows and my neck pillow. That was easy. Because the packing is still in, I had to breathe through my mouth which obviously made my throat dry while I slept and killed when I woke up. It's not so bad this morning though. I went to bed at midnight and woke up at 5 and saw every hour in between. Through I night I felt like I was swallowing something, or trying to, it never seemed to disappear. I checked my mouth this morning and it looks like the little dangly thing at the back of my throat is stretched!?:-/ anyone else noticed this??? my throat does hurt a bit so I'm hoping it's just swollen and will settle down cos it's really irritating having that sit on the back if my tongue.

This morning the bruising is a deep purple and has spread to my right eye and the swelling it under each eye, on the inner corners of my eyelids and the very top of my nose, between my eyebrows.

I think it's going to look good, only time will tell though so I'm not getting my hopes up too much. I don't know exactly what he did at this stage. I go back in next Tuesday to have the stitches removed. Exactly one week later.

So right now I'm just resting, sipping my water and playing my hay day. Probably what I'll be doing for majority of the day. Might get up and watch some Australian open a bit later. So many options for a person with a face full if bandages ;-)

Packing removed

I rang my Drs rooms to check if it was still ok to remove the packing from my nose, they said yes so I pulled it out slowly. It felt funny but it was a relief. I still can't breathe through my nose but it's so much easier to swallow so I finally had something to eat, first bit if food in 30 hours. I wasn't hungry but thought I'd best keep my strength up. I had a yoghurt and it burned my throat. I'm guessing it gots scratched by the tube and that perhaps it's swollen causing my dangly thing to sit on my tongue and wobble each time I talk or breathe. So annoying.

I got a follow up call from the nurse that looked after me yesterday. She said I sounded great. I'm very stuffed up but feel fine considering. I told her I removed the packing and it hasn't really bled since, but was leaking clear stuff tinged with blood, she said that's exactly what they're looking for so I was happy with that.

I'm finding it difficult to rub the arnica cream into my bruising sat the cast and bandage cover most of it. I'll keep trying on the parts that I can see but I'm skeptical as to wether it will do anything or not.

Pain is still very minimal. I do have a high tolerance to pain so I don't know if it's that or if it really just doesn't hurt that much. I haven't taken Panadol since 8 this morning and it's now 3pm.

Day 2

Not too much to report really. Took a tramadol last night to help me sleep and slept really well, even with breathing through my mouth. Bruising seems to be moving downwards and is starting to have a yellow tinge to it. The swelling is still very much there in my eyes and too lip. I'm only occasionally dripping clear liquid now. Starting to get a bit of airflow in both nostrils now, not much, but it's progress and I'm happy with that. The pain is still fine. Eating and drinking is getting easier. Basically it feels like I have a cold where my nose is all blocked and it is irritated from wiping it. All in all it's all pretty good and easy, even the itching under the cast isn't bothering me that much... Yet.

Day 3

So it is exactly 3 days right now since I had this done. Right now I only feel pressure, I think from not being able the breathe through my nose still. The bruising has backed off heaps, it's mostly yellow with a purple bit that's hanging around near the bandage. I haven't been rubbing that with arnica gel so I'm guessing it is really working. I normally have if bruises for the smallest things and they last ages. I definately recommend the arnica gel. I've also been icing for the swelling. The swelling around the eyes has gone but is still in the top lip. I could breate even better this morning, but it's blocked again this afternoon. The most pain I have right now is from the pic cushion I trod on a short time ago. I'm looking forward to seeing it with the cast off, I hope it looks ok! I still have a sore and swollen throat and it stings to eat still, I haven't eaten much over the last 3 days and I've lost 2 kgs. I didn't think that would be part if the recovery, but I think the anaesthetic can muck around with your appetite. So it's still all good at the moment.

Day 4

I look very jaundiced today. Apart from the last remaining bit of bruise on the edge of my bandage, it's all gone yellow. The breathing still comes and goes. It goes more than it comes, but when it's there it's pretty good, I'd say around 70%. I have a bit of tingling in the part that separates my nostrils. I'm guessing that could be the feeling coming back as it's rather numb at the moment. I rinsed my nose out with some salt water and cotton tips and got a fair bit of dried blood out, but it seems to have made it sting a bit. I was very gentle so I don't think I disturbed anything, just irritated it maybe. Still the worst part is trying to swallow food/drink. The only thing that doesn't sting so much is water, so mouthful of food is quickly followed by a cold mouthful of water. I'm thinking of gargelling some salt water to help it heal, but I'm torn because the salt could make me swell up. What to do, what to do...
So I actually just got a torch and had a look in my throat, it looks hideous. It's all red and veiny with bumps on it and bits if white. It explains why it's so sore to swallow anything so I rang the all hours number for my surgeon and got the on call Dr. (Which wasn't my Dr. but oh well) and he said its unlikely to be an infection and to try gargelling some aspro and swallowing it. I've also been to the chemist and got my script filled for my anti inflammatories and some biotene spray for when my mouth gets dry when I sleep, so I'm hoping all this helps. It would all have been caused by the breathing tube but if I start to get a fever then go get some antibiotics.
Fingers crossed!

Day 5

Well the worst part is still my throat. I won't bore you with that but be aware that you could end up with a very very very sore throat!

Still nothing much has changed, breathing still comes and goes. The itching under the cast drives me nuts but if I ignore it, it goes away. I actually forgot And went to scratch it and bumped it a little. It still hurts so I'm hoping I don't do that again.

Day 6

I feel really good right now, though I haven't got out of bed yet. Still sleeping on a 45 degree angle which is going ok. Slept really well last night. I slept for about 5 hours straight, and then some more on top of that. I went to sleep breathing through my mouth and woke up breathing through my nose. My right nostril was very clear but my left is still quite swollen inside so breathing isn't as good in that one. Before going to sleep I had a tramadol, plastered my lips with lip balm and covered my mouth with biotene so I'm attributing my good sleep to that. I don't even sleep that good on a normal night so in case you can't tell, I'm pretty happy right now! A little warning though, the biotene spray will sting a sore throat for a little while, but it's worth it for a bit if comfort while you sleep. It definately works, unlike the water which just wets your throat and dries straight out again.

Bruising/yellowing is looking much better. Still a tiny bit hanging on and breathing still comes and goes but keeps getting better. I could survive breathing through my nose at the moment if I had to (until it disappears again) but it still easier through my mouth. My nose needs a good clean out, can't wait for the stitches to come out.

So far my necessities have been
- pain relief
- neck pillow/travel pillow
- arnica gel
- lip balm
- biotene
- straws
- scrambled eggs and peanut butter sandwiches (relatively gentle for a sore thoat)

Off to see my surgeon tomorrow on day 7... A tad excited to hear/see what he's done to me and to get these stitches out :-)

Day 7 - cast removal

The cast came off yesterday. I was so nervous on my way there, but once I got in there I was fine for some reason. I checked in and they whisked me off to a private room straight away so I didn't have to wait with everyone else and have them state at me, I thought that was great cos I was worried about that. The nurse cut my outside stitches out straight away and OH EM GEE that friggin hurt! Far out. It made my era water and I went all hot as stuff. Then she peeled my bandage back and pulled my cast off. That hurt too, but not too bad, it was more uncomfortable than it was painful, but she had to use a lot of force to get it off as the double sided tape underneath was still quite stuck. As soon as it was off i could breathe! So then she left and said the Dr. Will be in shortly. I felt my nose and it felt tender and crooked :-/ A few minutes later he came in and asked what I thought, I said I hadn't seen it yet so he handed me a mirror. I got quite a shock, it looked so different and skinny! I instantly liked it, it doesn't droop and it's not as long which were my main issues. The crookedness I felt is only a little bit visible and I'm pretty sure it's from the swelling on the inside of my left nostril which is significantly more than my right. He had a student with him and explained to him all the work that he'd done on it, I hardly understood any of it so I'll ask him at my next appointment. He mentioned the call I made to the on call Dr. presuming that it was all better. I said it still extremely sore and he said it would be from the tube. It was only when my husband said that it's all white and stuff in there that he thought he'd better have a look. He said I have an ulcer back there that's was caused by the tube and he crewed his face up and said he was sorry. It's not at all his fault, or anyone's for that matter. It's something that can happen. I don't care about it, but it does hurt. (To the point where it's too hard to eat and I'm down to 44.4kg!) It all took about 15 minutes and I was out of there, he wants to see me again in 6 weeks.

I got home and went to the bathroom to check out my nose, as you do. I washes and exfoliated my face (gently) as there was a lot of dead skin ready to come off. There are a few black heads on my nose but no bumps that some people talk about so I'm thankful for that. Upon closer inspection of my nose I came to the decision that I was about 75% happy with it, which I thought is pretty good really. I still felt like t was too big for my face, but definately heaps better than before, and it hadn't completely changed my face which is what my husband and I were worried about. So I left it at that, decided I'm not completely happy, but not sad either and it still needs time to do what it has to do and in the 6 weeks until my appointment I can gather up my honest thoughts and opinions of it all and decide then how I really feel.

So I went to bed later that night. I had to take a couple of Panadol as it seems the pressure that was in my nose when the cast was one, instantly went to my head once it came off resulting in a large headache. I still slept raised as it takes the pressure off my nose. I couldn't breath very well while going to sleep but sometime through the night it must have come good cos I woke up at some stage breathing through my nose, and did for the rest of the night, and still can this morning.

I've had another look at it this morning and I am feeling better about it again, better than last night for sure, still not quite 100% but pretty close. I know I'm going to go back and forth on this but right now I'm feeling pretty good about it.

My nose is still quite bruised at the moment, Its light in colour and a bit yellow so it's not very noticeable. I also have that slight remaining bruise under my left eye which is slowly going away. The yellow from my eyes has completely gone away. There's one spot I the side of my nose that feels like it's filled with fluid and feels really weird. I don't know if swelling is meant to feel like this so if anyone has any insight on what that could be, that would be great??? It feels like there's water trapped in my nose when I glide my finger over it, but it's not in my nose, it's like it's just under the skin or something. It doesn't hurt, just feels weird.

I do have another question... The stitches in my nose, they're white, would they be dissolvable stitches? The Dr. Didn't mention them and I forgot to ask. There's 2 black stitches close to the outside, but still on the inside. They look like the ones that the nurse cut off yesterday, I'm wondering if she might have accidentally left them there or if they might dissolve too? Anyone have any thoughts???

Left over stitches

First off I have to apologise for all the typos I've made. My carelessness and the auto correct on my phone don't mix too well.

The black stitches that I mentioned in my last update weren't meant to be there. I rang the nurse and she said I could either come in and see her the next day or make an appt with my GP. I thought both if those were too hard so I did it myself. I took the left one out but cos I'm right handed, it was too awkward to get the right one out so my hubby did it and it didn't hurt at all like the ones the nurse did.

Also the phone call I mentioned in my last update was to do with my sore throat. The ulcer(s) in my throat and in my dangly thing. I should have specified but I didn't think at the time.

So it's been fine with the cast off. It hurts more for some reason, I spose cos it's more exposed and not protected by the cast, but it's ok. Looking forward for the stitches on the inside to dissolve and for it to be less tender to touch. All in good time :-)

There's been no real change to mention and I still haven't been out in public yet so no one has noticed, I wonder if they will? :-/

Question for anyone who has been there

The white stitches on the inside... How long do they take to dissolve? They're driving me nuts, tickling my nostrils when I breathe!

It's Saturday today, will be my first time out in public (other than going to the cast off appointment and hiding in the car at the chemist while hubby went in) so I'm a bit nervous. I'm still swollen and hope I don't look too rediculous! It's real hot today too so I'll probably swell even more.

Week 2

Today marks two weeks since I had the op and one week since cast removal. Things have been pretty good and I'm still very happy with my results. I find my nose is still crooked, it swings a little to the left, but I'm not heaps concerned about that as it did that before and that's not what I wanted the rhino for.

My nose has it's good days and not so good days. For some reason I've noticed that it's more swollen in the morning and less in the evening. I don't know what's up with that cos I'm still sleeping elevated and with my neck pillow.

It is still quite tender at times and other times it's fine. I can't quite pinpoint what causes the change, but it's not an intense pain, it's more of a "I can feel my nose" kind of pain. It's also still very dry, especially the tip. I'm always peeling layers if skin off the bridge and the tip seems to be really rough, like the skin is so dry, but it doesn't want to come off. I've been gently exfoliating more than I normally would and also moisturising more often. I guess it's very traumatising to get cut up and pulled here, there and everywhere (yuk!)

The stitches on the inside are still there. They were bugging me so much when I would breathe through my nose, that I gave them a trim so they couldn't flap about so much and that has helped. It's still quite swollen on the inside (which could be contributing to the crookedness) and still a bit tender too, and so it should after all it's been through.

Clever me, I've gone and caught my daughters cold. My nose is so blocked I'm breathing through my mouth again. I can give it a half decent blow, I don't want to blow too hard in case it hasn't quite healed further up, but I think it's ok. Still, I don't want to wreck anything. I was sooooo scared to sneeze, but turns out it's better to let it out than to hold it in. Obviously, I'm sneezing through my mouth and not my nose.

My sore throat/ulcers from the breathing tube have cleared up thankfully. I gargled some warm salty water and they were instantly feeling better. My dangly thing at the back has resumed normal size too, that was horrible!!! I can finally eat again, although I spent so long not eating that now I really can't be bothered eating.

I had a busy weekend catching up with friends and rellies and no one said anything. One friend said I'd lost weight, which I had due to my sore throat. I lost 2 kilos so I don't know if that's noticeable or not? so I don't know if she really thought I'd lost weight or she just couldn't figure out what was different. My husbands boss also thought I looked too skinny too, again, I don't know if it's that I look skinnier or he couldn't pin point what was different. I guess it's a good thing I lost weight cos it's taking the focus off my nose :•)

I just thought I'd also mention that I'm pretty sure the arnica gel works. I bruise easily and they last for ages. I was rubbing the gel onto my eyes/cheeks and the bruises started turning yellow on day 2 and pretty much gone by day 4. I still have the bruise on my hand from the IV at 2 weeks post op and needless to say I didn't run any gel on that bruise.

I'm adding some more photos to compare. Today I feel more swollen and I think it's noticeable in the photos too.

Week 3

This third week has gone by so quick.

Swelling - I've noticed that the swelling isn't as bad as last week. I feel the side view is smaller again which I'm happier about. I think it's all gone on the top of the bridge as all I seem to feel is bone, but it's still tender so I don't know. I can feel less and less fluid on the sides of my bridge too. The tip is still swollen for sure, but I reckon I can see some difference at the end of the day when my swelling is at it's least. I definitely have WAY more swelling in the morning than at night and I really do need to learn to stop checking it out first thing in the morning! Still swollen inside my left nostril,be which I'm hoping is causing the crookedness of my front view. unless it's scar tissue, in which case it could be permanent. My husband says it's getting less obvious so that's a good sign. Still plenty of time to wait and see.

I've seen some people writing about eating minimal salt to reduce swelling. I had been cutting out as much salt as I could until the other day where I had a lot of salt and it didn't seem to make any difference. I have noticed however that if I drink lots through the day, the swelling is significantly less than if I don't drink much. Definitely something to try if you're struggling with swelling. I've also been massaging the arnica gel into my nose and I find that really helps too. My husband noticed the difference too so it wasn't just me

Pain - it's still tender. I can always feel something whether it be at the bridge, at the incision or in the nostrils. It definitely hurts more in the cold, but it's summer here and has been quite hot so I'm thankful for that! But we've had a couple of chilly mornings and I definitely know my nose is there. It still feels very stiff, I wonder if that will ever go away? The numbness is getting much better at the tip, but still quite numb underneath where the incision was. It's frustrating that when I get a tingly itch there, I don't know where to itch! I also get a sharp stabbing pain from the outside incision every now and then.

Breathing - my cold has nearly gone and my breathing is great for the most part. I think it's even better than before. I always though I couldn't breathe as well as I should be able to.

Sleeping - I'm still sleeping elevated, but not as high as I used to. I'm using a couple of pillows and my neck pillow. I don't see any difference in the swelling from sleeping lower, it's just swollen in the mornings anyway regardless of how I sleep.

Inside stitches - a couple fell out just after my last update at 2 weeks, another one midway through the week and what I think was the last one, came out the other night at 2 weeks and 5 days. That feels sooooo much better!

Something I'm not sure about is that I think I can feel the tip of my nose move when I shake my head or turn my head from side to side when I'm in bed, it feels like it drops to the side I turn my head to. It doesn't have that much movement when I try and move it with my fingers so I'm wondering whether it's just my nostrils moving rather than my actual nose.

I have also noticed that I'm not getting many boogers in my nose (gross, sorry) but I'm getting so many boogers in my eyes! I seem to always be cleaning out the corners of my eyes... Has anyone else noticed this???

Overall I'm still really happy with the outcome. It's definitely not perfect but I'm ok with that. I did this to make improve my profile, and my surgeon has done that, without ruining anything else in the process. My face hasn't changed, to me I still look the same and so far no one has commented on it. I'm still going to leave it the full 6 weeks until my PO appointment with my surgeon to see what he has to says, but so far I'm really happy. It has boosted my confidence heaps and I seem to be happier and more sociable than before.

Front pictures

Front pictures as requested. Not 100% happy as you can see it's still crooked, but it still a HUGE improvement!!! You can see the nostrils are uneven, I hope with time they will even out, but I'm doubtful.

Another front one

Forgot to add this one. Front pic not smiling. Quite swollen here as it is only day 7 (cast off day). I don't really see much change in the front from before and after, might change when the swelling goes down perhaps, dunno. Wait and see I guess.

Week 4

Not really much change this week I don't think, but I've been too busy to take too much notice, which has been a good thing. I think the swelling could be easing off a bit. I'm not as swollen as I used to be in the mornings but it's still quite obviously swollen. Nostrils still a bit uneven. I have a good side and a not so good side, but I'm happy I have a good side :-) cos I've never had ine of those before. My neck pillow and I had a disagreement last night and I slept without it, slightly elevated on 2 pillows rather than my pre op one pillow... It didn't make any difference with the morning swelling. I'm still rubbing arnica gel on it every morning and sometimes evening. It's feeling like my nose is less obvious, like it's more a part of me than it felt a few days ago, if that makes any sense? Still no one has noticed or had the guts to comment on it. To me, my before and afters make it seem sooooo obvious! But I guess it's not really something you'd go up and ask someone is it!? ummmm I can't really think of anything else... If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask me :-)

:-(

Feeling a bit sad about my progress this week. I've stepped my daily activities up this week, lots of cleaning, being out and about and just general moving around. I feel like my nose has just ballooned out again. I'm guessing its all the bending down due to the cleaning (picking washing up and general crap, scrubbing floors etc) that has done this. I also can't sleep as upright as I had been, for some reason I just can't get comfortable anymore and can't get to sleep, so I have to flatten out a bit. I wonder if that is contributing a bit too? Looking forward to my appointment next week with my surgeon to see what he reckons.

6 weeks

Well I'm up to 6 weeks post op now, feels more like 6 months so it sucks to know that I've still got such a long wait before I see real results.

Following on from my last post... The very next day I did everything I could to get the swelling down, I took it easy, drank pineapple juice, water, low salt, slept upright etc etc and it definitely helped. It went back down to where it was before, but I'm still not convinced that it's gone completely. I'm so annoyed with myself that I forgot to ask my surgeon yesterday how much swelling he thinks is actually there.

I had my 6 weeks post op appointment yesterday, it was hardly worth going really. I was only in there for 5 minutes tops. But what I did learn from my appointment is that he (my surgeon) can see that my nose is a little crooked too and that my breathing will still need more time to improve. I mentioned that I have a lot more scar tissue in my left nostril than my right and he said it can take about 3 months for that to settle down. He held his thumb over each nostril and told me to breathe in and by doing that, I could tell how bad it actually was. I'm sure it will get there. I've added a photo of my nostrils so you can see what I mean. One you can see in and the other one you cant. I also think that might have something to do with the asymmetry of my nose. I'd love to hear of anyone else who has had uneven nostrils like this and if they eventually evened out?

My second photo shows two front on pictures of my face. The first one is how I see myself when I look in the mirror and the second one is how the iPad camera takes the picture when its in selfie mode. I'm really baffled because that's totally not how I see myself and I'm wondering how other people see me? My husband mostly agreed with the selfie and I'm actually quite horrified because I find my nose looks hideous in that one. I know it's still early days yet, but if this is how people see me, my self confidence has gone right back to where it started as it looks worse than it did before surgery. Ugh. I'll quiz hubby again when he gets home from work, I'm hoping he was just in a hurry to get to work and just agreed.

The third photo is obviously my profiles which I don't find has changed much for the last couple of weeks. Definitely happy with the side profiles.

So I my surgeon wants to see me at the 6 month mark, that gives plenty of time for things to settle and hopefully even out. If there's no change then I might ask him about revision surgery to correct the asymmetry as its really bothering me at the moment that I don't know how people see me. I'm not fussed about how I see me in the mirror which is only a little bit crooked, but I won't be able to put up it if people see it as the more crooked one. what would you guys do??? I don't get how it's so different, but anyways, moving on...

All in all, at this point, I'm still glad that I've done this, although there is still room for improvement.

8 weeks

Well things are slowly improving still. Last week I noticed that the crookedness I was freaking out about last time has improved a lot. Some days it's more obvious than others but I'm heaps happier that I can see it's getting better, although I still have the uneven nostrils which obviously need more time. I har noticed though that I have what I think could be cartilage sticking out on the left side of my tip. It's so pointy that I feel as though it could poke through the skin soon! Has anyone had this??? Hopefully once the nostrils even up, that it will cover this up too.

All in all though, my nose is feeling much better, it doesn't hurt so much in the cold air, the numbness is going away and I have I'd say about 75% of feeling back and it doesn't hurt at all to touch. It hurts when I bump it a bit when I give the kids a kids, but not so bad, although I wouldn't want to hit it much harder.

Swelling is still up and down, but I can tell it's getting better. Normally by bed time I can feel it's all gone up the top and sides if the bridge.
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