Just About Chickened out Right Before my Surgery, but Went for It in the End - Chicago, IL

So yesterday, Dec. 3rd was surgery date. I was...

So yesterday, Dec. 3rd was surgery date. I was sick to my stomach scared all day before surgery and my surgery wasn't scheduled until 3 pm that day so that day was hell too. I was contemplating going through with it or not. All I could think about were all the risks, and how they didn't seem to be worth the chance of a great outcome. I knew this surgery could lead me down a very happy road or a very deep depression and embarrassment depending on the results. But then again, if I didn't do it I would always wonder, and probably end up getting it eventually anyway. Also, I couldn't stand the thought of just accepting my nose forever if I hadn't gone through with it. I don't know if all my second guesses and negativity stemmed from my parents or what. They were not excited about my decision, and made sure I knew EVERY possible scary outcome that could occur. They were so worried for me and didn't want me to be making a mistake, I suppose. Also, it didn't help that I got quite a few text messages the day before surgery saying, "You are a beautiful young lady." Or, "you have a beautiful face and everything fits nicely." Those comments just make it harder for some reason. In the end I just hope they don't think I was more beautiful before surgery, that would really hurt my feelings after going through all of this.

Anyway, I did have the surgery, but was contemplating the decision still just before they put the IV's in me. The doctor was able to calm me down, by talking to me about what he wanted to fix and he was displaying confidence and kindness in which I didn't know if I saw in him before. The nurses were also very reassuring that I would be fine and that they do this about 10-12 times/week in this particular surgery center. I just kept thinking, well thats a lot easier said than done, and they have NO idea whether or not I will be fine 2 months ago. Anyway, I was thinking like Negative Nancy. I only thought about the worst case scenarios. Some how, some way I went through with it.

Right now, 7 hours after surgery, I am super glad I did go through with it. I have no idea what my final outcome will be and whether or not I will be so happy or regretful of this decision, but for now I am happy I went with it. One step at a time, right?

As of right now, I can already breathe much better through my nose than I ever could before! I am not experiencing intense pain except for a half hour after surgery, and there isn't any bruising so far. I am dripping onto my "mustache bandage," but not excessively. If recovery can stay like this I will be a very happy camper. The only thing is that my hands and feet are tingling really bad now preventing me from sleeping; a possible side effect from the general anesthesia. I will probably post some pictures tomorrow, and will continue to keep everyone updated.

Okay So today is my third day post-op. The last...

Okay So today is my third day post-op. The last two days were a little rough. I was not in too much pain, just was very weak and kind of sick feeling. Sucks not feeling 100%. However, I have not been in too much discomfort since I still have not taken any prescribed pain pills. I have been taking Tylenol Extra Strength which it over the counter, maybe 3 times so far. Sleeping has been some what difficult since you have to keep your head up about 30 degrees, and my nose is all stuffed up due to the swelling I suppose, so I can't breathe out of it at this time. The past two days I have been depressed actually. I am still not sure whether I made the right decision or not. I don't know if I want a big change, and as far as I can see it looks like it will be a change that I am going to have to like no matter what. There is no reversing this. I woke up in the middle of the night quite a few times freaking out, saying "what did I do to myself." I just get really scared to face people again. I don't want them saying how different I look, or getting sad that I don't look the same, or them telling me I was fine before and why did I do this.

Today, I have felt 100x better than I have in the past two days, so this is good. For the first time I feel like I actually could be happy with the results. I also, have less fear about facing others as of now. I am not the type to get plastic surgery and be so vain, so this whole process has really taken a toll on me and has got me worried about my priorities. Sorry for being so depressing, but this is how I feel and someone else may feel the same after their surgery. Anyway, I am trying to stay positive since I can't tell the results yet. I hope I LOVE it. Yesterday was so nice, my boyfriend and I took our dog on a walk around 9 at night and the cold air felt really good on my face. We also put up a few Christmas lights and garland along our balcony.

I no longer have to wear the "mustache bandage" since I am not bleeding or dripping anything from my nose. My swelling has peaked and is starting to go down quickly. I did not have any bruising, yet anyway. I have not experienced a sore throat like others on here. The swelling can really make you look pretty unattractive, so I can't wait until it fully subsides.

Okay, so it is day 4 post op. I still never got...

Okay, so it is day 4 post op. I still never got bruising and at this point I don't think I will which is awesome! Most all the swelling is down, except some in my cheeks. I walked my dog last night and ran into some people. I hate lying, but I was so embarrassed I just told them I broke my nose. Now whether they believed me or not is the question. Oh well.

Anyway, this whole process has been truly taxing and depressing. Everyday I wish I had not gone through with the surgery. I feel embarrassed and weak. I wish I could take it all back. I have not seen the results yet; I get the cast off Tuesday. Maybe in 2 months I may be SO happy and actually glad I did it. I just want to feel normal, quite hiding out, and go on with my life. I guess I am being incredibly impatient, since it is only 4 days since surgery. I just think this whole recovery process is hell. You can't really go anywhere, you look scary, I keep feeling like my nose will collapse or thinking of horror stories. I can't freakin smile. I had a mild allergic reaction to the antibiotic, Clindamycin I was taking(allergic to penicillin as well). I also am concerned the doc went TOO SMALL and that concerns me because I still want to look like me! I should have told him to be conservative with it, but I never did say that. Also, I get anxiety every time I think about facing people who know that I got this as well as friends and family who don't know. I fear people are going to look at me and gasp while putting both hands up to their face saying your nose! I don't think ppl would, but this is what I think about when seeing everyone for the first time. You thought your focus was your nose before, well not like it is now!

I have to try to stay positive, and I mean try REALLY hard. My boyfriend and my cousin give me the best support. They are both so positive about this and try their best to keep my head up. The best thing to do when you start questioning whether you made the right decision or not is to keep your mind off of it. Go walk the dog or play cards or something. Last night was the first night I didn't wake up in a frantic and start stressing out about the crazy decision I made to fix my nose.

Believe it or not, this still could be the best decision I made. I guess I am just so fearful and stressed out of the unknown. Just make sure to consider all of this b4 you go into surgery.

About my Doc, I will rate him once I know the outcome. Surgery took longer than expected so I changed the price. Also, I'll post another pic today after I wash my hair.

Okay before I scare everyone out of getting a nose...

Okay before I scare everyone out of getting a nose job....

I feel ALOT better. Like I said yesterday after I wrote my post I took a bath and washed my hair. I blow dried and straightened my hair. I cleaned the house. I painted my nails and put jewels on them. I took the dog for a walk. I cleaned out the fridge. I made dinner. I feel like me again. However, all that activity was probably not the greatest for recovery since my nose felt quite swollen last night before bed, but I think it was worth it! Anyway, today I am going to take it easy some. I am over this indecisiveness whether or not I made a bad or good decision because you know what, I ALREADY MADE THE DECISION AND THERE IS NO GOING BACK, so why beat myself up over it any longer!! As it heals, I really don't think many people will even notice.

Okay I need to complain a little still.....
My tip is super wide and big! I hope it goes down 2x its size! I am 5 days post-op so I should assume it will. The doc did take fat from my stomach and put it in my nose since my skin was super thin. That scares me that he made my nose too fat! I don't know if this is possible but has anyone had experience with fat (or cartilage, maybe its similar) relocated into their nose?!?!

Day 6 POST-OP FEELING GOOD!!! Today I cleaned,...

Day 6 POST-OP
FEELING GOOD!!! Today I cleaned, cleaned, cleaned the house. I finally feel like this whole rhinoplasty was a GOOD thing. I think I am going to really like my results. I cannot wait until Tuesday to get this dang thing off my nose, yayyayayay! I am not so scared of what I may see anymore; I just want it off. My face still has minor swelling in the cheeks, and my skin is oily and tight. My upper lip is still pretty stiff, but slightly improving. The upper lip stiffness makes you have a flat affect, which adds to the unattractiveness of the whole process, lol. Anyway, I can't wait for Tuesday and I pray for a great outcome after this mini-journey. Thanks all for the support, I have been reading so many stories on here ever since I scheduled my rhinoplasty. Peace.

Cast Off Today Holy Huge-ness!! I did not expect...

Cast Off Today
Holy Huge-ness!! I did not expect to see such a huge and swollen nose under that cast. I was shocked. So as of right now I am hoping that I have some major swelling going on, and that it will dissipate and shrink this large blob on my face sooner than later. Yikes. Time will only tell. I am standing up in my best friend's wedding in exactly a month from today, so I can only hope my nose de-swells quickly and that my smile can come back in time(I still have yet to tell her I got rhinoplasty). I mean my profile doesn't even look small! Did anyone ever have massive swelling in the bridge that ended up going down making your profile better?? Getting a little nervous all over again. I will post pics within the next few days.

Day 10 post-op Still looks big. Still waiting...

Day 10 post-op
Still looks big. Still waiting for some de-welling and shrinkage. I have a party to go to Saturday night and my boyfriend's fathers Bday party Sunday, so hopefully by then. Yesterday, my brother told me it looks bigger than b4. I posted pics of cast removal day.

12 Days Post Op/4 days Post Cast Removal! Still...

12 Days Post Op/4 days Post Cast Removal!
Still big, but better. My nose has no definition; it's like a blob right now. However, each day does seem to bring out the slightest changes. From the front my nose is wider than ever and that is what makes me most insecure at this moment. The profile is better than pre-surgery, but was looking for it to be a bit smaller and softer. Maybe time is on my side, and my nose will form to my imagination. As of now, I think I was more confident with my old nose, but I am still less than 2 wks post op. I posted 2 new pics.

3 Days shy of 1 month post op... So, I think my...

3 Days shy of 1 month post op...
So, I think my nose is still swollen. It has improved ever so slightly since my last review. I truly hope my nose is still swollen, because it is still very wide compared to pre-op from a frontal view. The profile is better, but my nose just looks undefined and swollen from all angles. The tip is the worst; it is a huge ball that still projects out. He did put some fat in my nose due to my very thin skin, so I hope I am seeing swelling and he did not give me a fat nose. I would be pissed! I hope my nose defines itself soon. I contour my nose with makeup to make it look more narrow from the front. I see the doc Jan 10th, a day b4 my best friend's wedding. Hopefully, he can assure me that it is swollen and this is not even close to the final result. I def. am going to bring up the fat nose issue, and whether it is due to swelling or actually fat! I drank a few nights around 2 weeks post op and the following days my nose swelled up so bad, so maybe I impeded the healing process some. I am not drinking for a long time; I am doing whatever it takes to get this nose to where it should be so I can have my confidence back. DON'T DRINK, learn from my mistake.

I went to a couple Christmas family parties and no one even noticed anything different. No one said a thing and when I eventually told everyone they said they couldn't even tell. Even my closest friends, seeing them for the first time, had no idea at all. I guess this reaction is better than looking totally different. Like my doc said, really it is just millimeters of a difference. My doc said at cast removal date, that in a month I should love the nose, so that will be in a week from now. I sure hope so.

I have a question for anyone, should I still be trying to sleep upright at 1 month post op? Also, anyone have any other tips for a speedy recovery? I added new photos.

Hey guys, its been a while. I am 2 months post op....

Hey guys, its been a while. I am 2 months post op. I know its still considered early in the healing process, however my nose is still not what I was expecting after all this. I hope its swollen still, and that it will change/shrink quite a bit yet. My nose looks chubby now, if that makes sense. My nose used to be very defined and now it looks like a fat nose. It is very lumpy too. I have two bumps that really bug me on it. Again, I hope all this is still swelling but at times I doubt that. My nose is also wider than before, which I dislike. The tip is this undefined ball which I hope and actually believe that may still be swelling because its hard yet. I don't know if anyone else has trouble with this (if so let let me know) but my nose will fluctuate in swelling. Like if I drink alcohol (which I never do now) my nose will be swollen bad for 3 days. Also, when I eat it will swell up. I just hope my progress is slow and that all these issues go away with time. The worst of it is, when my nose swells up it will look like a triangle on my face....like thinner up top and come down really wide, it looks so ugly when it is swelled like that. At this point I just hope the Dr. recognizes my concerns and is willing to fix them if they persist. Some days I am more positive, where as others like today I guess I am not. My nose isn't deformed and doesnt look weird, so I am happy with that. Not one person has ever noticed I had a nose job, which in a way is disappointing, but is also good at the same time I suppose.

2 months post op....I just posted like 6 more...

2 months post op....I just posted like 6 more photos and for some reason all my photos are not showing up now. I'll recheck this tomorrow and repost updated pics if the problem has not resolved itself. Bummer

My nose is so lumpy, blob-like, and fat. No...

My nose is so lumpy, blob-like, and fat. No definition. Also, my nose is still a big nose! I have really thin skin and I thought I was supposed to heal quickly?? I am not sure I chose the right doctor now. My nose hasn't made progress in the past couple weeks, and I can honestly say I think it has regressed. It is undefined, and I wish I had my old nose back. I have not felt pretty, not once, since I got this surgery. I felt prettier before. The front and 1/3 view are horrible! The profile is better, but that's the only good thing to come out of all this time, emotion, and money spent. I can't even do things I enjoy..I can't drink tea, my nose swells up like a balloon. I cant go and have a cocktail with a friend bc my nose will look huge. I can't just wake up and leave the house or take a bath because the fluctuations in swelling. Is this normal at 3 months? I see the doctor on March 1st, and I hope he can resolve these issues. The lumpiness and lack of definition make my nose not even look like a normal nose.

3 Months Post-Op.... I went to my follow-up w/ Dr...

3 Months Post-Op....
I went to my follow-up w/ Dr. Shah at 3 months post op, and he came in the room and said my nose was swollen. Then he gave me 3 little tiny shots of steroids(barely hurt) in my supratip, and told me to tape for a week, and come back in a month. Then he vanished. The steroid shot made my nose swell up just slightly the first day. The following days it definitely has decreased in swelling, thankfully!! The steroids turned my hard swelling into soft, squishy swelling. The shot caused my nose to thin out some and the tip to reduce in size!! I have heard from some docs, on this site, that steroid injections only cause temporary effects; I pray this is not true for me. This is the best my nose has looked; it's been 5 days since the injection. Hopefully in a month he will give me another. Finally, I am seeing a normal nose! However, don't get me wrong, my nose is still not yet ideal or fully "de-swelled." It still lacks definition and looks terrible in pictures. The shot stopped my fluctuations in swelling so far, so I drank coffee and had a few beers at the Bulls game and my nose was fine, woo hoo!!! Also, I finally feel acceptable going out in public. Thank you steroids!!

I still have a visible and palpable bump on my nose that concerns me. I didn't get the chance to ask Dr. Shah about this, but I will during my next follow-up. I hope eventually I can get it rasped down with an in-office procedure. Has anyone had experience with rasping?? Did it help, cost you, how many months post op are you allowed to get this, and did you swell up a lot?

About 6 months post op

It's been a long time. I LOVE my nose FINALLY. All that major swelling FINALLY went down 5 months later. Wow, my swelling really took forever! Much longer than a lot of others on here, so there is hope that you will finally like your new nose...it just might take like 5+ months. It is still swollen in the tip, but at least now my nose looks normal. I am SO happy I went through with the procedure. I really cannot compliment Dr. Shah's work enough. He did exactly what I asked. The only thing I would say about his work that I might have changed, is that he builds up everyones nose at the very top- He thinks everyones nose should start above the eye (if this makes sense). That is his signature nose it seems. Anyway, he really did exactly what I asked. If you are out of state I would travel for this guy. He is skilled, and definitely up and coming. I never have to worry about being insecure again!! I don't think the new nose made me prettier; it just made me more confident because I do not constantly have that worry (that ppl are staring at how big my nose is) in the back of my head anymore. Excited about this finally!!

Pics

Pics

More Pics

I will take 6 month post op pics soon, and post them.

8 Months

BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE!! I CAN'T BELIEVE I LIVED WITH THAT NOSE FOR SOOO LONG. GLAD I NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT STUPID NOSE INSECURITIES ANYMORE. LIFE CHANGER. ANYWAY, MY NOSE IS NOT PERFECT NOW, BUT IT SATISFIES ME. I STILL HAVE SWELLING IN THE TIP THAT IS HARD AND IT IS SOMEWHAT ROUND, SO HOPEFULLY IT STILL HAS SOME DE-SWELLING TO GO. DR. SHAH ONLY GAVE ME 2 STEROID SHOTS. THE FIRST WORKED AND THE SECOND JUST MADE MY NOSE SWELL UP EVEN MORE, SO WE STOPPED- I THINK JUST FROM THE NEEDLE IRRITATING IT. DR. SHAH LOVES FOLLOWING UP..STILL!! HE IS TALENTED AND I AM SOOO HAPPY I CHOSE AND TRUSTED HIM.

11 Months Post Op

So, Dr. Shah is still having me follow-up with him every 3 months due to some residual swelling. I like that he just didn't pass me off, especially since he doesn't make money off the follow-up visits- they are free. He FINALLY gave me a 3rd steroid shot that did something. He was very conservative with my past 2 steroid shots since my skins is so thin and the steroids could thin your skin even more. He still has not given me the strongest one, which he gives most patients. The last shot got the ball rolling, and seemed to help permanently. I finally have definition in my nose, and about 15% swelling left. Dr. Shah told me to try to avoid "inflammation" foods, and to research the trendy anti-inflammation diet to help with the fluctuations in swelling. He went to a seminar about that diet and rhinoplasty, and I guess there were some good studies or at least theories about it.

Anyway, I am so happy I was courageous enough to go through with this surgery, it took away all my insecurities about my nose. I went from hating my nose to loving it, which is insane. I never worry about who is looking at my profile, or I never want to curl up into a ball when people start referring to their noses or big noses or witches or whatever else (that i forget now, since I dont care anymore!) This is a surgery totally different from liposuction or a breast enhancement. This is not something we can fix with exercise or a padded bra. Plus, its in the middle of our faces- how awful, that our biggest insecurities are central to what everyone looks at. Also, noses look worse with age, so that scared me into getting the surgery- the fact that my nose could look bigger and worse, woah- I was not about to let that happen! I am so happy I went through with the surgery. We are a courageous bunch!

About 13 months post-op

So, my nose still fluctuates in swelling! I thought after a year it was supposed to be healed. Hopefully, since it fluctuates this means it is not scar tissue. I still am very glad I went through with it, and my nose it 100x better, however when it gets swollen, it doesn't look nice. Dr. Shah is having me come in about every 2 months still, and injecting me with low dose steroids. I'm glad he has not written me off yet, because my results are still not ideal. Just thought I'd share.

14 months

I'll post more pics soon. Ultimately I am very pleased with my nose. Here are the few complaints I still have 14 mo post-op:
1. My nose STILL fluctuates in swelling- for example, if I am in warmer weather, lay down, or for other mysterious reasons it will swell up. When it swells, it doesn't look pretty.
2. My nose used to be thin and defined when looking at it face-on, however now it is wider and I rather it still be thin/narrow, but at this point I don't think that will happen.

14 months Post Op

16 months post-op

My nose has not fluctuated in swelling lately. It is not swollen when I wake up anymore. Therefore, I know my nose is still changing which is awesome. I don't know if time has caused this or Dr. Shah gave me the strongest Kenallog injection there is, for the first time, about ~1 month ago. Also, my nose is looking more narrow, not as wide, as before so I think the residual swelling is FINALLY dissipating nicely. The tip is still kinda hard but that improves ever so slowly.
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Anil Shah in WaterTower place downtown Chicago. Highly recommended! I could not imagine going to any other doc.

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Comments (118)

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Thanks for the review! You look great! I've decided on Shah and it seems there aren't many reviews (with pictures) on here. It's kind of strange, I think :/
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Hello! Looking nice, do you know if Dr. Shah used a radix graft on you?
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Not sure, what is that?
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It's something they put on your nose so it starts higher like. Between the eyes
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Thank you for posting your story! My parents would never support a rhinoplasty, so I'm just not telling them I'm gonna get one done. Actually, only my husband and one of my friends knows about it. I don't mind telling people about it after the fact, but i don't want anybody talking me out of it. Pretty much everybody says: "Your nose is your unique feature!" or "You are pretty the way you are!" and it's pretty annoying :( . Good to know i am not the only person who had trouble with "not too supportive" family. Thank you again!
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i love your nose! Its perfect!
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My boyfriend is trying to convince me to not have a nose job. He is telling me all the cons. I am determined to have it. Like you I am scared. I see it was a slow process for your swelling to go down. The outcome looks perfect to me. Very pretty! I am so glad you are ok:)
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You cannot let anyone decide over you, it is not a good sign in a relationship that he is trying to persuade you to not have it is a sign of controlling behaviour....
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When do you feel your swelling started to get better and your nose got more defined? Did you feel better about it say around 3 months, 6, months, or 1 year? Do you feel your nose still changing or its pretty much where its been?
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I began finally liking my nose around 5-6 months when the swelling finally went down enough where I looked normal and it became more defined at that same time. My nose was a blob for the first 4 months. I hope my nose is still changing, but I don't think it is anymore. It fluctuates in swelling though. I love it when it is small and isn't swollen. However at times, like in hot weather, it tends to temporary swell up and it looks blob-ish...kinda.
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Thank you Jackson! Its very helpful for me to know as I am awaiting for my swelling to go down. My surgeon said I am still moderately swollen especially in the tip area and my left side. I got my second injection of steroid today so crossing my fingers it works. The first one worked wonders but it was only done on my right side so now he gave it to me on my left. But I agree I should see more definition and less swollen nose by 6 months. I have forgotten from my first surgery. Its hard to go through this again. Glad you like your nose. You look great and I think your doctor did a nice job for you. :)
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I am nearly three weeks post op (tomorrow) and feel exactly how you felt, no definition, not what I wanted and most of all that it still looks big!! I felt like I attracted more approving looks before and don't feel prettier now. Your story has given me hope as yours has really improved over time and you look lovely.
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Such a difference month to month !!!! But your most recent results look amazing, very natural and beautiful!
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Looks good!
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Would you mind sharing close up current pictures? Would love to see how much better it looks today. Glad you are happier. What do you feel is not ideal?
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What a huge difference between now and when the cast came off!!! It's super defined and pretty. Looks great and gives me hope that mine will slowly keep refining and fitting my face better.
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My nose took about a year to look normal, and it is still changing to this day for the better. I was someone who had to be VERY patient because my results took forever to show improvement. Just remember, time is on your side!
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I been following u since u started :) and I remenber how u wasn't liking ur results ...it was swollen but now im sure ur loving ur results u look beautiful!!
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Very interesting review, I read it all! Its incredible the mix of feelings someone could get after this procedure.. It helps me prepare a lot for what I will be feeling in the next couple of weeks when my surgery is done.. Very very happy that you love your results and I guess it is all about patience.. I really think you look very great and cute! Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story, it helps!
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It was quite the roller coaster of emotions for me, but so worth it. Yes it is all about patience, and trust in your doctor.
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LOL, I can't believe you read the whole thing! It's a long one, that's for sure!! But, glad I could help you.
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Your nose looks amazing! It's exactly how I want mine!
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Wow, thank you. All my life I would have never imagined someone wanting their nose to look like mine!!! Such an awesome compliment!
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WOW your nose looks amazing!!! :)
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Your surgeon did a great job! Your nose looks very natural on your face! Happy to see all went well :)
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