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Rhinoplasty/ Septoplasty - 6 week update pics

I'm not going to get much into why I did this and...

I'm not going to get much into why I did this and the pre-procedure stuff. I'll be posting a lot of info on my blog in the coming weeks so you can message me if you want details!

Procedure day: I wasn’t exactly "prepared' because the previous few months at work were crazy busy, but I did chat with the nurse a few weeks prior to get pre-op instructions (basically not to eat for 8+ hours before, not to take ibuprofen for 2 weeks before), and I picked up my prescriptions from the pharmacy (vicodin, zofran, ativan, antibiotic). I showed up to the facility with my dad. We were about one hour early, but they got things going anyway. I finished up my paperwork, gave a urine sample, got my IV started, etc. Then I waited around for a while again before talking to my anesthesiologist and surgeon (basically just saying hi) and getting on the operating table. After I got situated on the table I was out in seconds. My surgery lasted 2 hours, 45 minutes. A long time, my nose was apparently a fractured, broken mess on the inside, which my surgeon was definitely not expecting!

Post-op: I didn’t feel great when I woke up. My whole face hurt (obviously) and I was quite nauseous. I got a little extra IV zofran, which helped the nausea. I didn’t take any pain meds, not sure they would have helped (I’m sure I still had a good amount of fentanyl lingering from the procedure). After what seemed like a few minutes my dad came in and helped me to the car. It wasn’t the worse two hour car ride. I didn’t vomit, which was good. I tried to eat a little when I got home, but I wasn’t hungry. I think I put down a little macaroni and cheese so I could take my meds. I took note that at least I could taste a little and feel my mouth and lips (they say that sometimes people lose this for a few weeks!). Then I went into a fitful sleep (waking up about every hour, peeing every two).

POD #2-4: I didn’t have the easiest recovery. The first 72 hours were the worst. The bruising and swelling kept getting worse and worse. At one point my puffy eyes even obstructed my vision, mostly on the right. I was taking vicodin for pain, mostly my pounding headache pain. And every time I took the vicodin I’d sleep for 1-2 hours. I’d wake up and be ok for about an hour, and then I’d get a bad headache, take the vicodin and start the cycle over. It was rough. Icing didn’t help, just made me sweaty and wet when I woke up (and I couldn’t shower while the cast was on… gross). By day 3 I was allowed to take ibuprofen, and that helped break the cycle. Sleep got a little easier, but was still extremely difficult because I was 100% congested. I got a somewhat used to mouth breathing and waking up every hour or two to take a few sips of water, though. I was so “comfortable” on night 4 that I even punched myself in the face and made my nose bleed and swell back up.

POD #5: Cast removal day. I was a little nervous for obvious reasons. I got to my appointment about 30 minutes early and was taken back right away. The RN came in and asked me how I was doing. She tried to very gently take off my cast. But to be honest it hurt like hell. Lots of pressure-type pain. Pulling out the sutures didn’t really hurt too much, mostly because my nose was still pounding from the cast removal. She game me a mirror and some water and asked me what I though. I didn’t really look or reply, just tried to breath. She gave me some space (in the nicest way possible, she’s such a lovely person) and a few minutes later my surgeon comes in. He was sooooo excited to see my nose! He just loved how the bridge turned out (good to be proud of your work). He then proceeded to… this is gross… clear all of the gunk and whiteheads from my nose like a very vigorous extraction session in a facial. Oh my goodness the pressure. It was awful. But I’m sure it needed to be done. He put some tape on my nose and that was that. I’m taking the internal nasal splints out myself and can come back or send him pictures whenever I want.

So breathing got 100% better after the removal of the external cast, even though I still had the internal splints in place. My face was feeling so much better, despite still looking like a puffy panda bear. But then the stomach cramps hit. Bad ones. Thinking back, I hadn’t pooped since a day or two before my surgery (damn narcotics). So about a week. Yes, that was a problem. I won’t get into details, but it was an awful day of nausea, near vomiting and laxatives. It takes my guts about a week to recover from such an incident.

POD 6: Feeling so much better today. Actually looking at my nose and face and not feeling like I'm gonna die from belly pain (although thats not totally fixed yet). I love love love my nose from the sides! And the front is obviously extremely swollen (like 2mm of edema throughout), as are my cheeks, which still resemble a chipmunk. But I can tell the front is going to look great, too. My nostrils are uneven, more-so than pre-op, but I'm sure its just swelling as its already improving! I'd be happy with this as my final result, and I know I'm going to love how things turn out :)
Going back to work tomorrow with a swollen face and bruised eyes, though. Not gonna be pretty. I'll update as things settle down (and post much better pre vs post-op pics, but these give an idea), please ask any questions and refrain from any negativity if possible. Thank you!!!

8 days out...

So I went back to work yesterday. It was not a good day. I was pretty exhausted. I also felt really dry and dehydrated, and my nose actually felt more dry than usual too. I'm obviously still very swollen in my entire face (people thought I had dental work done), not just my hugely edematous nose. I also have persistent bruises under my eyes that makeup just doesn't cover. I'm hoping they'll go away by two weeks. As you could tell from the pics, my face was in really rough shape, so it'll take a while (long while) to get back to being decent again. Work today was a little better. I was able to focus more and be more productive. I have to gently blow my nose and clean it a few times per day, but its not a huge deal. Staying hydrated helped a little bit. And thoughts on my nose? Its actually gotten more swollen the past few days. My nostrils keep changing shape based on what is more or less swollen. I'm optimistic that they'll eventually look relatively symmetric. Bummed about not being able to smell still!

My before pictures

My nostrils are somewhat uneven, which never bothered me. What I wanted to change was that bump that was forming at the bridge of the left side of my nose where two of the broken pieces of bone were starting to overlap. I didn't really have a visible bump from the other side. The bump was always slightly tender, and since it was uneven I always had a problem with glasses.

Day 11 - Nostril inflammation/ infection

So after I had my cast removed I constantly had irritation of the lateral anterior suture in my left nostril. After a few days I snipped it, but it still was a bother. Yesterday I went for a walk outside and had to dab my nose a lot because it was so runny (chilly outside here). A few hours later my nostril flared up and became red and swollen on that outer edge (and edematous on the inside more obviously). Bummer. I'm taking some abx now, just in case there's a little infection brewing. Otherwise the good news is my swelling has decreased a little and my nostrils are looking more like pre-op... well they were until this happened anyway. But this swelling will all continue to subside, I'm not too worried. My tip of my nose is huge and will most likely take months before it gets some shape back! I actually still have nice purple under eye bruises about 1" long on each side. Geezzzz, I hope that go away in the next few days here! They're impossible to cover up.

Day 13 and the internal stents are out!

phew, saying taking those internal stents out was uncomfortable is an understatement. Given the state of my nose, specifically my left nostril infection, that process was not fun! But its done :) Right after they were taken out and I was walking around, I had an onslaught of... smells. I could barely smell when the stents were in, but as soon as they were taken out I could smell again. And everything smelled so strong and horrible. Thank goodness that passed. As far as the rest of the stuff, I still have a small amount of purple bruising under my eyes. I think my cheeks are nearly back to normal. And my nose is still quite large and bulbous, but its taking some shape now, and my nostril swelling has subsided a bit so my nostrils are more even. I'm still much more swollen on the right side, causing some unevenness, but I'm sure it'll get better every day. Finally, things are starting to get better about 2 weeks out now!

About 15 days out

About 2 weeks out now. My nose already has good and bad days. Well, I cause the bad days by going to hot yoga, but I have to take care of my body, too. Still have bruises! But they're almost healed. My infection is getting better, which is so reassuring. I think in a few weeks my nostrils will be about even. I don't know why my right side is so much more swollen! But I'm optimistic. I think things will look good.

Back to blogging

I'm finally starting to feel a like my normal self at about 3 weeks out now. I'm not a fan of my horribly swollen nose, but at least my bruises are just yellow-y dusky patches under my eyes now, and my facial swelling is almost totally gone, and my infection appears to have cleared. But that swelling! I've cut down my workouts to about 3-4 times per week because of how much they increase the swelling. I developed a bump where my old bump was, too. Hopefully that goes down sooner rather than later. I can tell that my swelling is going to take a looooong time to go down. I'm trying not to focus on it, but its difficult. I look like a "normal" person with an ok nose, I guess. I'm back to taking blogging pictures and trying not to be too self-conscious of my nose. Not easy!

6 week update

I can tell my swelling has gone down a little now. By the end of each day my nose looks less puffy and more symmetric (the swelling is always increased in the morning). My nostrils are starting to become pretty even now, finally. I was really worried for a while because my right nostril was higher than my left. But it looks like my right side was just more swollen than the left. It still is harder and more swollen, and a little higher than the left. I'm excited to see how it turns out! I think it'll look quite good. I like the profile views already. When the cast first came off my nose was totally straight and I loved it. After the cast was off for a while I swelled up so much that my nose now has a slope to it. Every view will be so much better when this tip swelling goes down! The one thing that does really bother me is I still have dark dark undereye circles. I'm going to try some warm massage, decongestants and arnica to see if I can get these clearing up. I hate having to wear so much concealer! Will post update pics soon.

6 weeks

Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Based on the reviews I read and the pictures I saw, I went for a consult with Dr. Turowski early this year. His office is actually located right outside of chicago and is very easy to find. The staff are all nice. The consultation took about an hour and we talked and used the picture modifier thingie to be on the same page as to what I wanted (just reshaping the bridge to have no bumps, basically). He was very open and answered my questions, of which I didn't really have too many (I know enough to know I wouldn't know enough to contribute a lot to the conversation about the procedure, and I'd looked up all other important info prior). Booking was easy as it was many months out. Paperwork was easy and submitting payment was easy. I came in from out of town only for the initial consult and procedure. The procedure went well, but I had an expected rough recovery, but have been quickly getting better now. Most importantly, the nose looks great already, I'm quite happy with it! I get my internal nasal splints off in one week. I can already breath fine with them in there, so I'm anticipating my breathing being much improved! Overall great experience so far, would definitely recommend.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (30)

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your before nose is what I want :)
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um, ok...
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Looking lovely! Nice subtle change :)
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thanks! some sort of shape is starting to show itself finally!
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Your nose keeps looking more beautiful every day! Did your surgeon give you the ok to go to hot yoga?
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oh thank you! i still see a swollen mess when i look at myself most of the time. Surgeon gave the ok for yoga at the 2 week mark. i know it wont help my nose swelling, but i'll have to find a balance between the two :)
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Haha, I had the nasal packing taken out when I had my first septoplasty, and it one of the most painful and uncomfortable experiences of my life. Thank god it only lasted an extremely short amount of time. I can't imagine how the stents felt! :( I'm glad that's over for you. Oh man, the smells are bad, too. I only recently figured out where they were coming from and now I don't have to gag all day long. I also have some bruising and a bulbous tip that is slowly taking shape! We're pretty close along in our recovery. Keep sharing your experiences! It's nice to know someone is around the same healing stage as myself.
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your nose is looking so good! i'm back to working out a lot, so my swelling went right back to being bad. oh well!
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A lot of swelling can fluctuate on a bunch of different factors... even before my rhinoplasty I noticed these things tended to cause swelling- not enough exercise- too much exercise, salty diet, not enough water, crying (wiping face after helps), lying down flat (gravity tends to pool bloating and whatnot in the direction you sleep, so if you sleep on your side, that side will be more swollen in morning, if you sleep propped up, swollen will not happen as much in face etc. How many weeks in are you? I definitely don't feel well enough to exercise yet but I did have a very difficult recovery first week..
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Oh, and rubbing causes swelling too! I'm terrible for that!
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I'm about 2.5 weeks in. By last night my nose was looking less swollen so I did a yoga class and fixed that! Lol. I'm still trying to sleep as upright as possible. And I'm starting to ice after workouts. Gah, testing my patience!
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Thanks for showing your experience through recovery. I'm planning on having the same septo/rhino done and was curious when I could go back to work and what it would look like to heal. I have similar coloring to you so I can see what it will look like.
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hopefully you have a better recovery than i did! i had a lot of bridge work done, so my swelling and bruising was pretty bad. It'll take me 2.5-3 weeks for my facial swelling and bruising to disappear totally, it seems.
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Glad you're feeling better. I am surprised that your doctor allowed you to take Tylenol within the two week post op window. I was told (quite adamantly) that ONLY tylenol for the first 2 weeks PO (as apparently ibuprofen and aspirin are blood thinning agents)
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oops, i meant allowed you to take ibuprofen *
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hi! yeah, NSAIDS can mildly increase the bleeding risk (obviously aspirin more because it is an anti-platelet agent). my surgeon gives a 3 day no-ibuprofen after rule (and none 2 weeks before). i felt quite comfortable after three days of very minimal bleeding that ibuprofen would be more beneficial than harmful.
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Your before nose was so nice. I hope you are happy with the new change.
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Yeah I agree, I didn't mind my nose before surgery, other than the bone irregularities from the break which were irritating and mildly painful at times. I'm hoping once the swelling goes down it will look quite similar to before, just bump-free!
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I hope the surgeon fixed the preop issues. I hope you don't experience any pain or discomfort. Take extra care of yourself.
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Yeah, my breathing is going to be good once these stents are out, I think. And hopefully that bump never comes back... and I never break my nose again! I'm excited that your surgery is so close!
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I wish I had your before nose! It sounds like the bump that was caused by the break was becoming a hassle. Your profile is looking gorgeous. :)
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Thank you! Yeah, the bump was slowly growing and would cause my skin to stretch (making about an 8mm white line on my nose). It was also easily irritated by glasses. I'm happy its fixed finally, I had no idea my break was so bad.
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I had a different problem entirely, my bridge was so tall and wide very few glasses were able to fit on my nose properly!
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Love your new profile! Very nicely done!
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thank you!
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