Getting Over The Hump - Chicago, IL

Hello RealSelf world! So I’ve been lurking...

Hello RealSelf world! So I’ve been lurking around this site for quite some time now, and can’t even begin to say how helpful and enjoyable it has been to read everyone’s stories throughout these past few months. I don’t know where I’d be without them, so I figured it’s about time that I pay it forward by sharing with you all about my own journey with rhinoplasty. I am a fan of detail and thoroughness, so... here is your fair warning that there is lengthiness ahead. :p

The Backstory

Well, like a lot of other people around here, I had been unhappy with my nose for a very long time. I can’t even remember when I became aware of it, but for as long as I can remember, I hated my profile with a passion, and always thought that my nose was way too big for my face and features. I was never teased or anything about my nose, and didn’t really think of myself as unattractive because of it, but it was just something I always thought did not belong on me. I always felt very self-conscious about it, and tried my best to avoid having people see me from the side. After coming to this site, I realized that I’m also not the only one who even thought about my nose while driving. Stopping at lights and knowing that people were seeing my profile was definitely on my mind back then. I’m a fairly confident person and knew that it was silly to worry so much about strangers criticizing my look, but I guess that’s the kind of self-doubt and worry that goes along with having something about yourself that you’re so unhappy about. If it doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel right.

As I grew older, I would occasionally joke around with friends and family by telling them that I would get a nose job one day. I didn’t know when it would be, but I guess I always did intend to. I remember being blown away by Ashlee Simpson’s results way back in the day, and telling myself that I would pay tons of money to have an outcome as good as hers - haha. Eventually I found out I really didn’t want to go that doctor (or spend ridiculous amounts of money just to get work done by a “celebrity” surgeon). Whatever.

So every now and then when I was feeling bored I’d Google info about rhinoplasty, and that’s what I was doing this past winter break when I decided it was about time I go for it. I found this site and a couple of other ones, started scouring surgeon’s websites, and basically just tried to become as informed as possible. Luckily, I was living and going to grad school in Chicago at the time, so I realized that I was very close to one surgeon who seemed to have many people singing his praises, Dr. Anil Shah. I booked a consultation with him in January, and later booked my surgery with him for the end of June. I probably jumped the gun by consulting that long before surgery, but I was excited to get everything planned out.

I had a prominent dorsal hump prior to surgery, which was my main concern when going into this whole thing. It’s funny because until my consult with Dr. Shah, I didn’t even realize that my tip was kinda bulbous as well. My septum was also deviated, and I later found out that I had enlarged turbinates as well. In surgery, then, Dr. Shah planned on smoothing out the profile, refining the tip, straightening the septum, and reducing the turbinates (among other things I’m sure). I had an open rhinoplasty and my nose did have to be broken in order to fix the problem areas.

But anyways, those 5 months of waiting felt like they took forever! I had plenty of work to keep me occupied since I was finishing up with school and an internship, but a lot of my free time was also spent on researching rhinoplasty. RealSelf definitely became one of my go-to sites during this time and I again thank everyone who has shared their experiences with everyone else on here! What I found out in this down time, though, was that this type of surgery really should call for a lot research on the patient’s end. Nothing can guarantee a good outcome, but doing your due diligence will help you to avoid a bad one, and assist you in deciding on whether this is something you really want to do or not! I only talked with one other ENT besides Dr. Shah, and it was really only to get some additional feedback from someone in my insurance network. It probably would have been beneficial to go on more consults, but I didn’t. I recommend that when possible, anyone take the time to do so, though. It’s good to get multiple opinions and see what different people have in mind about what they can and can’t do with your nose. This is something that’s right in the middle of your face, people! Do what you can to make sure you’re gonna like what you see after changing it. :)

Pre-Op

So as surgery was approaching, I was starting to get really excited that the day I had been waiting for for so long was finally getting near! At two weeks before surgery, I paid off the remaining balance I had for Dr. Shah. The girls at his office also sent over my lab work order and pre- and post-op information. The only time that I felt nervous at this point was when I had to play phone tag with the office a couple of times. Once I spoke with one of the girls in Dr. Shah’s office in more detail, though, I felt a lot better. I also stopped by the office one more time to go over everything with Dr. Shah again (since I hadn’t seen him since January), and from there I was just counting down the days. I started taking Vitamin C caplets (500mg) one week and Arnica Montana 30X tablets 3 days before surgery.

Day of Surgery

I barely slept at all the night before surgery, so was up and pretty much ready to go at around 4:45 on the day of. I threw on some yoga pants and a zip-up and got in the car with my mom and boyfriend to drive to the city. Arrived at the SurgiCenter just before 6, filled out some paperwork, and paid off the money that I owed for the facility and anesthesia fees. After that, I just had to sit and wait for one of the nurses to come and get me, and that’s when I started getting nervous! At around 6:30, someone came to take us back into the room where I would be recovering to get everything started. They had me change into the hospital gown, pee into a cup to check for pregnancy, and then I sat down to do some more chilling before surgery. My nurse, who’s name I believe was Rimel, was so amazing. He was funny and really could not have been sweeter. He put in my IV and gave me the run down about what to expect pre- and post-op, but also helped to make me feel more relaxed while I waited to go back into surgery. My mom and boyfriend were allowed to stay with me for most of this time as well, which was pretty great. I also received two little tablets which were supposed to prevent me from feeling nauseous later. The anesthesiologist stopped by for a minute to ask me some questions and let me know more about what the plan was. My surgery was scheduled for 7, but I guess things were running a little behind, because the only time that I checked was around 7:15. Soon after that, though, Dr. Shah came back and went over the game plan one last time. He showed me the morphed pictures again, and we were good to go!

A few minutes later, I walked with another nurse into the operating room. It was cold, but they made me really comfortable as soon as I got in there. I got up on the table, they put some warming blankets on me, and people started doing their thing. The anesthesiologist told me that he had already done his magic, and that it would take a minute or two to kick in. I remembering thinking that I would be out before I knew it, making a note about the music that was playing (I think it was the tail end of a Led Zeppelin song - bonus!), and that’s about it!?

The next thing I remember was waking up and coughing. I vaguely remember someone telling me that everything went fine, but I can’t remember if it was Dr. Shah or my nurse (or maybe both). Things are a little hazy besides that, but I also remember waking up with ice on my eyes and feeling kind of nauseous. My nurse came over and gave me a shot to help with the nausea, but told me that if I felt that way again, it might be better just to go ahead and throw up. Apparently I had thrown up a little bit already by that point, though I did not remember it. My boyfriend and mom were then allowed to come back and hang out with me again. There really wasn’t a lot of pain at this point, but I did feel kind of spent. They told me that I might have some throat pain from the breathing tube, but that was also pretty nonexistent as well. The nurse helped me to drink some cold water, and then move on to a juice box of apple juice. He asked me if I was ready for some apple sauce, but I was too worried about the nausea. I did end up throwing up again, but felt temporarily better after that. My mom helped me change back into my clothes and go to the bathroom, and I think it was about two hours post-op that they were getting me ready to go. I threw up a tiny bit more before I left, and the nurse gave me a bag to take with me for the ride home.

After that, I was taken downstairs in a wheelchair to get to my ride home. Kinda weird being wheeled around with a cast on my face in the middle of Chicago on a busy summer day, but it’s all good. For the ride home, I basically kept my eyes closed the whole way and tried to fight off the occasional nausea I was feeling. I threw up again once we got home, but then got into my recliner to start recovery. I did get sick probably two more times that afternoon, though it was small and not terrible each time. Probably around 5pm that day I started to feel better and was able to start eating, drinking, and taking my meds as planned. Like other people have said, the pain isn’t too bad but more of an annoying congestion and pressure kinda feeling. I was telling my sister that it reminded me of the way my teeth feel after wearing my retainers for the first time in a long time or something. Maybe some of you can identify with that, I don’t know! Other than the annoyingness of that feeling, though, and when not feeling nauseous, recovery wasn’t going too bad on Day 1.

The Rest of Recovery Week

Day 2 was for the most part a lot easier than the first day. I started to get my appetite back a tiny bit, and was mostly just doing a lot of hanging out. I took the Hydrocodone for pain that day, more as a precaution than because I was in any strong amount of pain (the day before I had only used Tylenol Extra Strength because I was scared of the potential nausea that might go with the other meds). I started off with 1, then took 2 four hours later without a problem. When I was due for another dose, I took 2 more and unfortunately, started to feel dizzy and nauseous about an hour after that. This lasted for a couple of hours, so I was basically taking turns with sleeping and throwing up for a decent chunk of the night. I was so nervous that all of the pressure from vomiting was gonna negatively affect my healing and outcome, but I just could not keep anything down no matter how hard I tried. I was feeling pretty miserable at this point, and was definitely starting to wonder what I had done to myself to be feeling this way. My boyfriend eventually Googled nausea after rhinoplasty and found some suggestions from other people online... he drove out to a gas station in the middle of the night and picked me up some Dramamine. I took a pill as soon as he got back, and thank goodness that did the damn trick. I finally got to stop holding onto that garbage can and went to sleep. No more Hydrocodone after that. I stuck with the Tylenol for the rest of the week, and didn’t take any pain meds at all past Day 5.

Besides those first two days, recovery week went pretty well. On day three, my boyfriend commented about being so happy that I had gotten past the hard part by saying that I was “over the hump.” I of course had to play with those words a little by adding “...literally.” Lol, a little nose humor there... get it? And that’s where the title to my story comes from. :) But yeah, noticeable differences happen everyday, which is pretty exciting. The drip pad needs to be changed less, the swelling goes down bit by bit, and the discomfort becomes less and less as each day passes.

My doc advises to ice 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for the first couple of days after surgery. This is kind of hard to keep up with, but the girl who called from his office the day after surgery recommended that at least once per hour is helpful. Luckily, my bruising was not bad at all... I really only had one dinky little bruise on one eye (could be due to the doctor’s carefulness during surgery and/or Arnica, not sure). My swelling was definitely there, though, so I tried to ice as much as possible. I tried a couple of different methods, but what ended up being most useful was something I found here, actually! We filled up two gloves with a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol and switched on and off between them in rounds. The mixture doesn’t totally freeze so it’s kinda slushy and can mold to your face pretty well. I found that to better than the peas, so I’d suggest for anyone to try to it out. :)

Another thing that was helpful during recovery was a U-shaped travel pillow. It was great during the ride home after surgery and while trying to sleep post-op so I definitely suggest investing in one. Sleeping on my back and in an elevated position has been tough, but that pillow has without a doubt made it a little more tolerable. I picked one up at Wal-Mart for less than 10 bucks.

My final recovery week tip is for those who are going crazy without washing their hair all week. Those last couple of days were getting pretty rough for me, and I didn’t want to go to cast removal looking all dirty, so I asked my mom if we could figure out some way to carefully wash my hair in the sink without getting my cast wet. She was down to help me, but then suggested that we go to the hair salon to do it (duh). My mom’s hairdresser snuck me right in for a quick hair wash, and luckily, the place was empty besides one other person. Easy peasy way to freshen up a little, and it felt amazing to get my scalp played with as well... definitely worth the trip.

Cast Removal and Beyond

I returned to Dr. Shah’s office one week after surgery to get the cast removed and stitches taken out. I totally forgot to take pain meds beforehand, but have seen some people say that they do that to avoid the pain from stitch removal. The pain wasn’t too bad, but it does sting. Apparently I also have some stitches on the inside of my nostrils that will dissolve on their own with time. The removal of the cast wasn’t bad, but kind of uncomfortable, just ‘cause it was stuck on there so tight and it feels like being rough with a piece of your body that you’ve been super careful and gentle with for one week prior that point.

After the cast was removed, Dr. Shah cleaned up my nose a little and told me that I had some breakouts, which is normal. He was very straight forward at the beginning of our appointment in telling me that this is often the hardest day for patients, since everything looks very swollen and because it’s so early in the healing process. I knew this already, and was anxious to see my newly freed nose, regardless of this disclaimer. When I was handed the mirror and did see my nose, though, I was definitely scared about what I saw. It looked huge to me, and seemed to be so much wider than what I was used to and expecting. I didn’t think about it too much, though, and I was taken to go get my first post-op pictures taken. After the pictures, I went back into the room and Dr. Shah gave me a kenalog shot for the swelling (that hurt more than the stitches - ouch). I was given instructions about how to tape at night (Type 2 on his website), as well as a tiny piece of the top of my cast to wear under my glasses as needed (cool, huh?). I also scheduled another appointment for 3 weeks down the line. Since I moved out of the city a couple of weeks ago, Dr. Shah offered to have this appointment take place via Skype, which is pretty nice.

I ended up wearing the tape they put on me at the office for the rest of the day, since I was kind of scared by all of the swelling I was seeing. I took off the tape later at night, and was pretty overwhelmed by the big blob I saw on my face. The profile was a *huge* improvement, and the 3/4 views looked pretty good, too, but the front looked so much bigger than what I thought it would be. Even though I knew that this was nowhere near the final outcome, and that it was too early to be super concerned about anything, I was finding it hard to not freak out about what I was seeing. It just looked much more round and a lot wider than I thought it might be, even with swelling present. I also noticed a little bump near the corner of my eye on one side that is pretty visible and that felt hard. I Googled this and saw that it might be something to do with where my bones were broken during surgery (here’s hoping that it’ll go down on its own). But yeah, first day was scary. I even warned my boyfriend that I may have to cry at some point... but I didn’t (and haven’t).

I am 10 days post-op today, and now that a couple of days have passed, I am glad to say that I do feel a lot better about what I’m seeing. My nose is still wide, but it has become at least slightly more defined, which helps me to better appreciate the shape it might be heading towards. It is definitely improving a tiny bit each day, which leads me to believe that it really is just crazy swelling. I am not one of those people who loves their new nose right after cast removal, so I am just trying to accept that and remember that this is perfectly normal. If anything, I’m thinking that it might also mean that I am more likely to enjoy the long-term outcome! I called about the bump (which also looks a little better), and was told that that is normal as well. I do believe that my surgeon has a great aesthetic eye, so I am doing my best to trust in his skill and to have faith that he did what was best for me as an individual. That whole patience virtue that is mentioned a lot around here also requires a lot of practice, since I know that my results will only get better with time. All I can do right now is wait and maintain a positive attitude!

And by the way, nose breathing is not back to normal for me yet. My nostrils are still clearing up a little more each day, but I’ve been breathing through my mouth for the most part. Smelling is not so good, either, which means taste is also not to its pre-op level yet. My nose is very stiff, but it’s slowly becoming easier to move my face around like I used to. I also sneezed for the first time following surgery yesterday and am happy to say that it went off without a hitch. Haha, I know that people might wonder about these types of things and that everyone recovers at a different pace, so hopefully some of you might appreciate this kind of info as well.

I will definitely be updating this as time goes on for you all (Seriously, I promise - if it’s not updated, something has gone wrong.. haha). Unfortunately, though, I’m not sure that I will post whole pictures of myself since I don’t want to risk sending my face into cyberspace and being recognized by someone I may work with in my field. I do apologize for this since I think the best reviews have pictures to go along with them, but alas... I am wussing out in that department. I’ll see what I can do about editing some pictures on my computer so that you can at least see the nose before and after, though. No promises there, however! :p

Sorry for all of the ridiculous detail and length! Hopefully it’s helpful to some of you, and those who don’t want to read the whole thing can look at it in parts or something. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. I will do my best to respond in a timely manner :) Thanks again to all of the fellow sharers on this site!

Alright, so I am two weeks post-op today and am...

Alright, so I am two weeks post-op today and am very pleased with the improvement I have seen over the past seven days. The swelling is definitely improving, and I am loving the profile and oblique views more and more everyday. The front is still looking kind of wide, but the bridge at least seems to be back to where it was before surgery. The tip seems like it's still got a while to go, but I already appreciate the shape the whole nose is starting to take. The little bump at the top of my bridge that I talked about before has definitely gotten better as well. It's barely noticeable visually anymore and does feel like it has gone down in size, too. Very much looking forward to seeing how my nose changes over the coming weeks!

Three weeks post-op already! I feel pretty good...

Three weeks post-op already! I feel pretty good and can't believe I had surgery only 21 days ago. Swelling has improved even more, which means the nose is looking better as well.

I saw one of my close friends for the first time after surgery last week. Since I didn't tell her that I was going to be getting a nose job, I was looking forward to seeing what her reaction would be. I thought she would notice or say something right away, but when we met up, she was just talking to me like she would on any other day. I kept laughing because I couldn't believe it, so I finally asked her if she noticed anything different. She looked me up and down and said no, so I finally told her I fixed my nose. She said, "what do you mean?" Haha, so I told her about the nose job, and she said she couldn't even tell, but that it looked good. It's so funny, because it's clearly a significant change, but I guess I still look myself - just improved. :) Now I can't wait to remind my friend of what I was working with before!

And when I do look back now, I realize that my old nose may have been even worse than I thought it was before. I am so happy with the change so far and think that Dr. Shah really knew what was best for me. The guy is good. I officially gotta say today that it's WORTH IT!

I will have my one month follow-up appointment next week and post updated pics at that time as well. :)

One month post-op! Can’t believe it. Time goes...

One month post-op! Can’t believe it. Time goes by fast, but the healing process seems to drag on. Ah, the joys of rhinoplasty. :p

I saw Dr. Shah for my one month follow-up earlier this week, and everything went well. He told me that I had the type of swelling that he would expect to see at two weeks into recovery, so I guess I’ve got some stubborn swelling. The doc was also examining my nose for a few minutes and after some debate, decided that he would go ahead and give me another kenalog injection. Luckily, it didn’t hurt as bad this time!

In a way, I was glad to hear that I am still so swollen, because then I know that I can still expect to see a lot of improvement. From farther away, I do think that my nose still looks a little more wide than I would prefer, especially in the tip - so I’ll look forward to seeing it narrow out a bit.

My bridge is definitely starting to become more defined, though! As the swelling goes down, I can notice and feel some asymmetry, though it’s nothing major. It almost feels like the bones are healing with some notches here and there, but at this point, I’m not super concerned about it. Dr. Shah actually brought up the little bump at the top of my bridge without me mentioning it at my appointment. It has definitely come down a lot since the time that I first noticed it, but still feels like a small little flat spot that shouldn’t be there. He told me that even though it’s hard, it is cartilage, and that he expects that it will go away. It’s hard to see in the picture I posted, but it’s just barely noticeable in person, and sometimes creates the illusion of a dent underneath it. Dr. Shah said that it was kind of distracting, and I kind of agree - though we might be the only two to notice it! Haha... we will monitor that through time, and if it is still a problem later on down the line, the doctor said that he can use a needle to help break it up in the office as early as 6 months post-op. We shall see!

Overall, though - I’m pretty happy with how I’m healing! I think that my new nose is so much better than what I had before, and it feels so good not to have to worry about what angle people are looking at me from anymore. The few concerns I do have are minor, and I am confident that Dr. Shah will be helpful in addressing them in the case that they do persist. :)

I tried to add updated pictures, but it’s unfortunately not allowing me to right now. Will add new ones as soon as I find that it’s working again!

Okay, just added some new pictures of my results...

Okay, just added some new pictures of my results one month out of surgery. There is a tiny bump in the profile shots which I haven’t even noticed in person, and which I believe are just swelling. So far so good, though!

I’ll update again at the two month mark. :)

Welp, I officially passed the two month mark this...

Welp, I officially passed the two month mark this past weekend!

Things are going pretty well. Healing has still been slow, but I can tell that some improvement has occurred over the past month. The swelling feels like it has gotten better in the tip, but I am still feeling a lot of stiffness there, so it’s clear that there is quite a ways to go in that department. Just below the tip also still feels numb, but the feeling is slowly coming back there as well. Breathing has improved a lot over the past month, which I think has been the best part!

When it comes to the little concerns I had mentioned earlier, I have seen improvement in some areas, but not so much in the others. The little bump at the top of my bridge is now pretty much gone, which is good. I still feel some unevenness in the bridge itself, though. Now that the swelling has gone down, I can feel the bones better, and it still seems to me like something didn’t heal quite right. It’s hard for me to explain, but it feels almost like little pieces of bone didn’t stay where they were supposed to in the healing process. It’s not totally visible, but I do see a decent amount of difference in the two sides of my nose in the oblique view, and I wonder if this may be related to that bridge issue. I again don’t feel like this is a big concern, but I will be watching that closely to see what happens there as time goes on.

I added a new picture of the most recent results. They look almost the same as the one month pictures to me, although it does feel better in person. I guess there’ll be more to look forward to in the coming months!

My next post-op appointment with Dr. Shah is scheduled for next week, so I will make sure to let you all know how that goes. Feel free to ask any questions in the meantime!

Just filling y’all in on how my appointment went...

Just filling y’all in on how my appointment went last week! Dr. Shah seemed to be in a pretty good mood when I saw him, and I was very pleased with how much time he spent chatting with me. He again considered giving me another kenalog injection but ended up deciding to hold off on that. Overall, he said that he thought my nose was looking as it should for the 2 month mark, but he also said that he expected the tip to get about 20% smaller. It really is crazy how slow the rhinoplasty healing process can be, but I’m looking forward to seeing my nose evolve with time! It’s already gotten so much better since cast removal, and I am loving what I see in the mirror more and more as the days pass.

Dr. Shah also examined my bridge a bit while I was there, and told me that “filing” could be an option down the line if there is still some unevenness there. It would be an in-office procedure and wouldn’t require a cast, according to Dr. Shah. We talked a bit about how that might work, but also said that if we went through with that step, that it wouldn’t happen until next summer. That was just fine with me! The little irregularity that is in the bridge as I have said before is not a big concern to me, but I do pay attention to it at times. I was glad to hear Dr. Shah recognize it without me even bringing it up, and to hear that he would want to do something about it if need be. I guess we’ll see how everything looks as the swelling continues to go down. I’ll check in with Dr. Shah on Skype early in October, and then see him in person again in November or December.

For now, though - I am so proud of myself for, and happy about, going through with this!

Hey, everyone. It’s been a little while, so I...

Hey, everyone. It’s been a little while, so I thought I would write a quick update.

My 3 month follow-up took place via Skype and went just fine. Dr. Shah said he still expected my tip to go down a lot and asked me to come in for another kenalog injection for our next appointment. I went in to the office last week (around 4 and half months post-op) and did get another round of shots. It’s crazy how much of a difference they can make! Just within a day or two I could tell that my tip was a lot less stiff than it had been in the weeks prior to the injection. It definitely shows me that I’ve still got a ways to go in the swelling department.

The little bridge irregularities are still there, but have not gotten any worse. As time goes on, I am actually loving my new nose more and more. Looked back on some old pictures recently, and I really could not be more happy about going through with this surgery! I look and feel so much better now than I did before, and I’d call that a major success. :) I’ll post new pictures closer to the six month mark.

Happy new year, RSers! I meant to update at around...

Happy new year, RSers! I meant to update at around 6 months post-op, but will actually be hitting the 7 month mark in a week. Those months have flown by, and the swelling in my nose has improved so much in that time, but man, is this rhinoplasty process a slow one!

I know that I STILL have a pretty decent amount of waiting to do before I can see the true results that are hiding underneath the residual swelling I have. You can see in my new pics that my nose has refined quite a bit in the past few months, though. I’m loving it more and more as it becomes cuter from the front, but the swelling in my tip seems to be stubborn. I saw Dr. Shah last month, but he decided against injecting my nose again this time around. I have a Skype appointment with him late next month, and will see him in person again in early April, so we’ll see what news I have then.

Nothing really new with the slight irregularities in the bridge. Dr. Shah discussed the rasping option with me again in previous appointments, so my guess is that I’ll have to go in for that sometime in the summer if nothing changes. As you can see in the pics, though, it’s still not super noticeable, so I’m fine with waiting that out. I’m still really happy about my decision to do this and pleased with how everything is coming along.

I’ll probably update after my appointment in April, but feel free to ask any questions in the meantime. I still check the website pretty regularly :)

About 9 and a 1/2 months post-op. Not a whole lot...

About 9 and a 1/2 months post-op. Not a whole lot has changed since I last posted. The swelling continues to go down, and the doc and I are still keeping an eye on the bridge irregularities and general healing as time goes on.

I saw Dr. Shah almost 2 weeks ago and he said that one side seems to have more swelling than the other. He skipped injecting my nose again, though. That’s just fine, but I am anxious to eventually see what is hiding underneath the swelling! As you can see in my most recent pictures, the tip does look uneven in some ways, so I want to know how big of a part the swelling is playing. Since the tip seems to be kinda leaning (for lack of a better term) to one side, I also put up a frontal picture of my nose while smiling for you all to see. I’m still happy with how my nose is looking overall, but it’s something that I noticed and that I therefore thought was worth mentioning.

During the appointment, Dr. Shah again mentioned the possibility of rasping when I’m closer to one year post-op. I’ll check in with him via Skype next month to talk about whether there’s been any changes in the bridge, then probably go in to the office again in June. Will keep you all updated, of course. :) I suppose that’s all for now, though!

1 Year Post-Op; In-Office Procedure Scheduled Today

Hey, all. So it’s officially been more than a year since surgery now! Crazy.

As is probably expected, not a ton has changed since the last time I posted. I do feel like the remaining swelling came down a lot in those last couple of months, though. It’s hard for me to tell how much if any is left, but my guess is that the tip will continue to refine a bit as time goes on.

With the swelling down more, the bridge irregularities ended up becoming a tad more noticeable. I’m actually scheduled to go into the surgeon’s office for a rasping procedure this afternoon. I saw Dr. Shah a couple of weeks ago to talk about what to expect, and he answered some questions for me at that time, but I’m still feeling kinda nervous! He said he thinks what will be rasped is callous that had formed, but part of me still worries that it is bone that may have shifted after surgery. The bridge just feels like it has a few “ridges” when I touch it, so I worry that if it really is bone, that rasping would not be the best way to treat the issue. I obviously don’t have a clue what exactly is going on, but it’s a concern of mine. I suppose this is where I have to place my trust in the professional, huh? If only I had a team of docs that could help in letting me know what’s best for me! Haha. But Dr. Shah is great and I will hopefully get to talk to him about these thoughts again before going through with the procedure.

As I kind of mentioned in my last update, I also have some questions about my tip area. I tend to really like my nose when looking at it in a mirror, but for some reason I think it looks different when taking pictures close up. I can’t really verbalize what looks “off” to me, but the front view does worry me a tad in those up-close pictures, particularly when smiling. This is something I haven’t talked about as much with Dr. Shah, but I plan to ask him about this today as well. I guess I’ve been kind of scared in the past to sound like I am unhappy with my results and have therefore hesitated in asking him about this issue. I realize that I should be totally open about any and all questions or concerns I have, though, so I’ll have to try and be more straightforward about that in the future. I also have to remind myself that while I am overall very happy with my results, it’s important to have the concerns I do have addressed, even if they may be minor in the big scope of things. Wish me luck! :)

One final thing to note is about something strange that I experienced this weekend. I was just hanging out with some friends and happened to look down at the ground when all of a sudden a clear fluid POURED out of my right nostril. It was so strange and unexpected, that I wasn’t even sure it came from my nose at first. A few minutes later, when I took a sip from a water bottle, I could taste the same salty fluid come down from the back of my throat, however, which confirmed that it really did come from my nose. I avoided looking down again until I got home that night, but when I leaned over the sink, more of the fluid came out. I Googled (yeah I know - never the best resource for “ self-diagnosing”) the symptoms as soon as I got home and the glaring result was that this liquid was cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)... as in the fluid that cushions my brain. Some websites said that it can occur as a rare complication of nasal or sinus surgery, but it seems strange to me that this would happen more than a year after surgery. The sites also said that a CSF leak can occur because of some trauma (which has not occurred to me recently) or just spontaneously as well, so I really have no idea what may have led to this issue. It obviously sounded super freaky, though, and can reportedly lead to some scary complications, so I got really worried that night. The information I saw recommended that people experiencing this issue see an ENT, so I guess it worked out well that I already planned to see one today. I decided that if the issue continued I would contact Dr. Shah or my PCP before then, but I have not had any additional problems since that night. Hopefully that means it was just a one-time thing, but this is of course something that I will tell the doc when I see him today. I guess we’ll see what’s up with that.

So as you can see, there’s a lot to go over with the doc today! Haha, I guess more than I originally thought. I do want to say that in spite of the way this post may come off, I am STILL generally happy with my surgery results. My nose seems to function well for the most part, and I think that it’s looking good from most angles, too. Some minor tweaks will only serve to make it even better :)

Rasping Procedure Went Smoothly ;)

Wanted to let you all know that everything went just fine yesterday! I had the chance to talk with Dr. Shah before everything got started, and he was really great about answering all of the questions I had. He checked out my nose pretty well and just really helped to put me at ease about everything I wrote about in my update yesterday.

When I told Dr. Shah about the leaking issue I had this past weekend, he took a look inside my nose and came to the conclusion that it was most likely NOT a CSF leak. He did mention a couple of other things it could be, but after talking to me a bit about the circumstances of the night in question, he mentioned that the leak was probably related to allergies. That makes sense because I had been sneezing hard in response to something at a friend’s house about an hour before the dripping thing happened. The doc also let me see inside my nose with a mirror while he used a speculum, which was surprisingly helpful. We could see that my turbinates were enlarged some, which goes along even more with the allergy theory. So all of this was obviously a relief after that unexpected scare. I may have jumped the gun by believing it could be a CSF leak, but it’s hard not to worry about all things nose after going through the surgery. Either way, it seems that things are all good there for now, but I’ll make sure to be on the lookout for any other similar issues in the future.

In regards to my other concerns, Dr. Shah also said that he actually did think my main bridge irregularity was the edge of bone. He explained that he felt rasping would still be the best option, and told me the game plan for the procedure. This bone was also said to be contributing to some to the unevenness in the front view, but Dr. Shah also said that ongoing tip swelling was probably part of that as well. He mentioned that he would like for the tip to go down another 10% or so, so I guess I’ll just have to keep waiting to see more refinement in that area.

After talking about the plan for the day and once all of my questions were answered, one of the assistants came and gave me a little baggie of meds to take before the procedure. They included an antibiotic, pain med, anti-anxiety med, and a muscle relaxer, and basically just helped to get me relaxed before the rasping began. I had to wait about 45 minutes for all of that to kick in, and was then taken to another room for the actual touch-up procedure. The whole thing went well and was pretty quick, too. Dr. Shah shot up my nose with some local anesthesia, which was actually the most painful part. He asked me to pick whatever kind of music I liked and the doc and assistants were all very friendly and easy-going throughout the procedure which helped it feel like such a breeze. I couldn’t feel any pain during the procedure, just some pressure, and the whole thing was over in less than 5 minutes. After that, they helped me to another room to do a quick spot treatment with a laser on a little notch I had from a stitch in the originally surgery. That was also easy-peasy! I was taped up and given some patches to help prevent swelling and bruising, and then was good to go. I was tired from the muscle relaxer, but otherwise felt pretty good after leaving the office.

Everything’s gone well since coming home, too. I woke up with some puffiness on the side that the rasping was done, but have had zero pain today. I wish the initial surgery had been this easy! Haha. So far, so good, though. Someone from the office also called today to check in on me which was really nice. I’ll keep the tape on for another day or two and check in with the doc next week. Definitely looking forward to seeing how everything looks in a couple of days!
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon

I think Dr. Shah is an amazingly talented and skilled surgeon, and I have not had a problem with placing my trust in him throughout this process. The staff in his office are also very friendly and helpful, and I have had an overall very positive experience with everyone in Dr. Shah's office up to this point.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 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
5 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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Thank you for this post!!!!! I have been so depressed because of my swelling :( I am almost 2 weeks post op but haven't even gone out in public. I just don't look like myself or feel like myself. I have NO definition in my nose at all. Seeing your nose from week one to now is SO encouraging. Your transformation is fantastic! So encouraging :) thank you thank you!!! Any tips to help with the swelling? Did you tape once your cast was off at all? Thank you again!
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Nice results...congrats.
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Hi, How is your nose now after the last procedure?
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By the way your nose looks AMAZINGGG
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Awesome review! Thanks! I'd like to hear an update if you get a chance, as I am getting a rhino + chin aug with Shah SOON :)
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Thank you so much for your detailed review! I just had my rhinoplasty Sept 17th in Chicago too, but with a different Dr. I can relate so much to what you went thru and wanted to see if you were up with letting me know how everything turned out? I have my tip slightly leaning to the left as well, and I have a really small hump that shows up here and there. Almost like my hump wants to come back. How was everything after the rasping procedure? Is it much better? Thanks so much!
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Hi Gaby, Sorry for the delay in replying! My nose is still healing, so it's still kind of a waiting game. I could tell as soon as I took the tape off from the rasping that even with the swelling, it looked a lot more even in the bridge. Now that it's gone down, though, I could still see some of the irregularities - but with improvement. I think it looks a lot better from the front at this point. The tip thing was not addressed with the rasping of course, but I think my nose did a little bit of a lean before surgery as well. I don't think it's very noticeable, but I do wonder if that could be from scar tissue, too. Will see what the doc thinks next time I follow up. Your nose is looking great, by the way!
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Hey, nice nose. Was yours an open rhinoplasty and did you have osteotomies?
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Thanks, Lilly! Yes, I had an open rhinoplasty and bones broken during surgery.
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Your results are amazing! I'll be really happy if my nose turns out like yours. I am at 5 weeks post op and have a lot of swelling still and it seems to be mostly on the left side so I am looking a little asymmetric. It's just having the patience for the swelling to subside. I know what you mean about your nose looking different in photos. I've been noticing that with mine as well. It's almost like the camera magnifies the swelling.
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Thank you so much! It's hard to be patient, but that's just part of going through with a rhinoplasty for a lot of people. Some people are lucky and don't have to deal with much swelling at all, but I think for most it takes a decent amount of time to see true results. Swelling can really play lots of tricks on what you see, too, both in the mirror and in pictures! I guess part of it is also having to readjust to a totally new facial feature... but all of that will come together with time :) I've seen several great results from your surgeon, by the way, so it seems that you were in good hands! Wishing you all the best with recovery - I'll definitely be following your story.
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Yes it is hard to be patient but I am trying:) It sounds like the swelling in the tip persists the longest and that's where I am noticing the majority of mine. You are looking really good though. When did you find that most of your swelling went down? I agree about my surgeon too. I think he is incredible skilled and talented in his profession. I am happy to have found him. Wishing you all the best! Take care.
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Sorry for the delay in getting back to you! I'd say that the biggest decrease in swelling took place in those first few weeks/ first month or so after surgery. It kinda just went down very slowly but steadily after that, but I did notice that I experienced more "shrink-wrapping" or refinement in between 10 months and a year post-op. The tip is definitely the part that seems to hold on to swelling the most! Gotta wait for time to works its magic there I guess.
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You will love what it looks like post-rasping!
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PS - the local anesthetic in the nose was the most painful for me, too.
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It really was so much easier than I expected! Thanks, though - I'm looking forward to seeing the swelling from this procedure go down. I really liked the shape of my nose even after taking off the tape, so I'm thinking it's gotta look pretty good under all the new swelling!
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Hey! Thanks for sharing your story. What was the diagnosis on that liquid that come out though?
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Hi there! I just wrote about it in more detail in another update, but it turns out that it was most likely a reaction to some kind of allergen(s). Was very relieved to hear that it was probably not something worse, but I will still be sure to watch out for any additional problems in the future. Seems like it was a one-time thing for now, though - phew!
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I can definitely see the progress, especially between 6 months and 9 months. It looks like overall, things are going well!
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Thanks so much for your support, 1V!
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Thanks for those pictures! What a great transformation over time!
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I'm just glad to help! I guess my story goes to show that rhinoplasty really can be quite the long process. Lots of waiting is definitely involved.
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Hey there! So nice to see how you are doing :) I am not on here very much. I had to look twice but I see what you mean with the slight asymmetry of your tip in that one photo. For me my swelling has gone down so much it is drastic, but most difference was at about December (8 months) and I've had no injections. It is pretty much even, or looked like that to me. I'm 12 mo now and am actually going to have him go back with endonasal (closed) approach in a couple of weeks to finesse a few things. You can send me a message if you want details. I am really happy I chose Dr. Shah and I have been through quite a lot (as he keeps saying, not me!). I think you look great and it will get even better, just takes time....
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Hi! Thanks for sharing that. It's always nice to hear that Dr. Shah is willing to go back and fix things up when needed. It seems like he really cares about creating a good result that patients are happy with. It's also good to hear that you're still really happy with your decision regardless of any complications! I probably will message you in the future about your experience with the follow-up. Would love to hear how it goes for you and learn a bit about what I might expect myself in the coming months!
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You are the poster-child for swelling! I can't believe the improvements in your nose!!! It looks sooo amazing!!! I mean seriously, the first pics of when your cast was off vs. your most recent are just incredible, and should ease the minds of many rhinoplasty patients.
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