Rhinoplasty, 3 years later!

I had rhinoplasty, septoplasty, and turbinate...

I had rhinoplasty, septoplasty, and turbinate reduction with Dr. Anil Shah in April 2011.

I am not completely recovered yet, so this isn't a complete review, but an almost complete review.

Breathing:

It is amazing. I used to be able to breath through my nose no more than 15% of the time before surgery and after surgery, I can breath through my nose close to 100% of the time. I know it may sound funny, but I love breathing through my nose every day. It is such a radical, life changing thing!

Recovery:

My recovery has been slower than I had hoped. I do not think this is a reflection of Dr. Shah's skills, but my own body.

The tip has had the most swelling, which I expected and was informed would take the longest, but is still requiring Kenalog injections to help the swelling resolve more quickly.

I also had an in-office procedure for rasping part of the bridge and a bump on the side of the bridge recently. My face and nose swelled so much after this, one of my eyes swell shut, looking a little bit like a boxer. I guess I underestimated the swelling that would happen this time. I see the doctor this week and am anxious to find out how long he expects everything to fully resolve this time.

I completely trust Dr. Shah's skills.


Appearance:

This is still pending since my face is still not where it should be, but what I have now is a major improvement over what I was born with. Dr. Shah is not just a skilled surgeon, but an artist.


Staff:

His entire staff is very friendly. I have never had a bad experience with them. There have been a couple of late appointments, but nothing too bad or something I would consider unusual for a doctor's office.


Fillers:

In January, I had Radiesse injections under the eyes, over the cheekbones, and in the laugh lines. I consider the results to be very natural and everyone I know has complimented me about how much more refreshed I look.


Conclusion:

I will continue providing updates as my recovery moves forward. I am overall happy with everything, just slightly anxious about what the next few months may bring.

There is another procedure I am considering (lip lift), but money does not permit it at the moment. For now, I'm just going to enjoy my amazing breathing and watching my nose change as much as I can. Thank you, Dr. Shah!

This is a follow up to the in-office procedure I...

This is a follow up to the in-office procedure I had last week plus after surgery advice. It is just my advice so always follow your doctor's advice first. I'm just sharing based on my personal experience:


The cast fell off in the shower this morning. This is 8 days past the in-office procedure (the one made me look like a boxer for a few days) so it wasn't a problem according to the office. I didn't get it wet, but I think the steam loosened it. I just really needed to take a shower.

The callouses are gone! So exciting! I will take some pictures probably in the next couple of weeks. My nose looks much smoother now.


Swelling:

I still have some moderate swelling around the bridge and the tip swelled. Dr. Shah called it compensatory swelling. My next appointment is in 2 months and if the tip is still really swollen, I will have another Kenalog injection.

He told me to stop icing because he said that too much icing may actually be counterproductive. I love the way the ice helps my face feel better, but he explained that the ice slows down blood flow to the area that needs to heal and while icing helps the first few days following a procedure, it doesn't really help long term.

I think icing helped my eye to stop swelling so much, but I'm going to be a compliant patient and stop icing my nose. :)

Dr. Shah said that the overall swelling should not last nearly as long following the rhinoplasty which is good.



Bruising:

I do not have any more bruising, even though my eye swelled shut.

Following the rhinoplasty, I had bruising for about 2 weeks and then it resolved.

I slept on elevated pillows for the first few days following the in-office procedure just like I did following the rhinoplasty. I know this is mostly for swelling, but I think it helped with overall healing and bruising, too. It is not the most comfortable, but it helps.


Day of and following surgery and pain management:

Do not let the anesthesia or local anesthetics fool you that you feel great and don't feel any pain. Rest, rest, rest. Rest is the best thing following surgery. Anesthesia or local anesthetics remain in your body for a few hours or more after surgery and it is not time to go out and party or continue training for a marathon or cook a big meal because you feel so great and pain-free. Just rest and enjoy the feeling of not having a lot of pain for a day or so. Once the anesthesia is "out of your system," you will probably wish it was still there.

Have multiple bags of peas or whatever you are going to use for ice so you can cycle the bags, rather than waiting for them to get cold again. I used pillow cases to wrap the peas in because I felt like the towels I had were a little bit too thick so I was not getting as much benefit using those. I hope that makes sense.


Vicodin:

Eat when you take this medication! Following my rhinoplasty, I was not hungry for days and I ended up vomiting from the nausea. Trust me, that was not a fun experience 3-4 days after having facial surgery.

I knew this time that I needed to eat something - even just a few crackers and not take it on an empty stomach. I didn't have any problems with nausea or vomiting this time.

Stay ahead of your pain for the first 24-48 hours following surgery. Don't wait until the pain is excruciating to take something.


Water:

Drink a lot of water and avoid other drinks. This is not a doctor's advice, it is just mine. I think that water helps a lot with overall healing. I didn't have any water retention following the in-office procedure, but I experienced this after surgery. Drinking a lot of water helped with this. If I had had anything with caffeine, alcohol, or soft drinks with sodium in them, I don't think I would have felt as good as I did.


Supplies:

Make sure you have all of the recommended supplies before your surgery. That probably seems like common sense, but don't wait until the day of surgery to do a rushed shopping trip in an anesthesia haze to get what you need. Open and set up all of your supplies or keep them in an easy location so you don't have to open all of them when you are in pain or go on a supply hunt later on.


Pictures:

Take a lot of pictures. I took pictures daily for the first week following surgery, then went to weekly pictures for 1-2 months. From 4-6 months, I took 1 once a month, then moved to every other month. This is the best way to track your progress. There will be some days where you may not feel progress, but when you look through your older pictures, you will see your amazing progress and it will hopefully give you some encouragement.


That is all I can think of for now. Dr. Shah thanked me for being patient during recovery today. I think patience is major. Some people heal very quickly and others do not. It can be frustrating, but like I said, pictures and patience can help.

I forgot to add something in my other updates:...

I forgot to add something in my other updates:

I have not had a sinus infection, upper respiratory infection, or even a common cold since I had the surgery.

I used to have repeated sinus infections (3-4 a year) and I haven't had one since surgery.

I wash my hands all the time - my friends call me a hypochondriac - so I think that has always helped me avoid getting sick in general (except for the sinus infections), but I have no doubt that the surgery, it is no coincidence that I have been sickness-free.

My allergy symptoms have also decreased significantly.

It has been about a month since the in-office...

It has been about a month since the in-office procedure and there is still some swelling, but the swelling has definitely diminished. I do not have any more pain, discomfort or sensitivity.

My breathing is still amazing as always.

I still need to take less scary/prettier pictures, but I like to give updates as I can.

This is an update! There isn't too much to...

This is an update!

There isn't too much to update this time. The nose tip is still swollen, but the doctor used 5-FU to try to help resolve the swelling and any scar tissue in the tip that is preventing full healing. So far, the nose tip is softer and some of the swelling has gone down. There is still some swelling around the places that were fixed in the office, but overall, everything has resolved well from that procedure. I will post more pictures soon so you can judge the progress for yourself.

I'm still extremely happy with my breathing and feeling better about my nose appearance every day.

This is a short update! I need to make an...

This is a short update!

I need to make an appointment to follow up with Dr. Shah this month. This will be following the August update after I had the 5-FU injection.

The swelling is so stubborn in the tip of my nose. It is frustrating. The swelling has overall improved since the in office procedure.

My breathing is amazing, though. I could still go on for days about how good my breathing has been.



These two latest pictures were taken today, again with no makeup and I'm sorry for how scary they are, but I'm just keeping it real, as the kids say. ;) I will follow up with more pictures and another review hopefully later this month or next month.

I am now about 20 months post op. I still have a...

I am now about 20 months post op. I still have a lot of tip swelling, but it is slowly getting better. Dr. Shah recently injected more 5-FU (I think) and while it takes a few days for my nose to respond to the injection, it helps a lot. I'm supposed to go back in 4 weeks for more follow up.


I just posted a 3/4 profile, facing left picture with makeup (say wha?!) so hopefully that will give people a better idea of what the nose looks like in decent lightly and when I'm not all scary plain face business.

I don't have new updated pictures yet, but I...

I don't have new updated pictures yet, but I decided to add two "before" pictures for better comparison to my latest pictures. I didn't like to be in pictures before so I was usually the person behind the camera, not in front of the lense.

For a rhinoplasty update, everything is going well and there isn't too much to update right now. The 5-FU injections have helped a lot with tip swelling and softness. My breathing is just as amazing as ever, and overall, I'm very happy. I would like to take more pictures at the end of this month that will be prettier and a little bit less scary than some of the other pictures I have included. You're welcome. ;)

The title was of review I just wrote disappeared...

The title was of review I just wrote disappeared and also I wanted to correct the typo of "lense" to "lens," but you all probably know what I was trying to say. :D

I added a new picture, front view only this time. ...

I added a new picture, front view only this time. I was sitting in on a test shot for a photographer today so I stole this picture. I know one of the commenters on this review wants a columella shot, but when I take my own pictures I will take one. Just know I haven't forgotten! :D

2 years, 3 months later!

I uploaded another test shot today.

I still need to do the columella shot, but haven't had time. Life has been insane and not always in a good way, but I'm surviving and alive. :)

From a nose perspective, the tip is still swollen. I don't know what is going on with it, but my appointments with Dr. Shah are more spread out now. He used Kenalog in the tip in May instead of 5-FU and I'm still taping the tip at night. I see him again in October.

My breathing is still amazing!

I love the nose profile and will work on getting some more "normal" front and profile view pictures here soon.

Just know that overall, I'm very happy, but still waiting for final tip result.

Nose job success - 2 years 6 months later

I'm updating with my traditional, gross, full flash, no make-up pictures. Aren't you all so lucky. ;)

I included a columella picture this time, too. Someone requested one. Please pardon the nose hair. You can see that there is no scar.

I had another procedure at the beginning of this year and plan on eventually adding this update with chronological pictures, too, but for now, I'm just including the nose pictures.

I am supposed to see Dr. Shah sometime this month. There is still tip swelling so I'm not sure what's next for that as I've also had some health changes and I don't know if that may change what is done or not done.

Overall, I'm still very happy with my nose and as always, thrilled with my breathing.

Post op, 3 years!

I don't have pictures to update with right now. I'm sorry! I've been through a lot of changes the past few months so it has been difficult to keep up with everything.

My breathing is still on point. By that I mean amazing. No sinus infections, allergies are mild, breathing is clear about 90% of the time. I love my breathing.

My nose still looks great, though the tip for some reason is still swollen. I still receive injections every few months. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last July and while I don't think the nose tip swelling is related to any of that, it would not surprise me if my body likes to prolong healing for scar tissue just to keep life interesting.

I will update with pictures soon. Promise!
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon

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