Hello, my name is Doro, and I would like to share...

Hello, my name is Doro, and I would like to share my rhinoplasty experience with you.

It took me a while to decide whether I want to tell people that I underwent nose surgery or better keep it secret. I am not sure if it's the hydrocodone pain meds that are giving me the courage (today is day 6 after my surgery; I haven't taken any pain meds for almost 24 hours now), or my strong believe that people should be open about the need to improve their looks when they are unhappy with them.

My love and hate relationship with my nose started when I was twelve years old. A dear family friend, a 10 year old child at that time told me out of nowhere that my nose looked like a witch's nose. I was shocked; until then I was pretty sure I had a cute and small nose like a button and that my friend was probably just teasing me. However, as weeks were passing, I realized that there was something to his words. My nose wasn't cute as button anymore. Never ever again.

At the age of twelve, it didn't look as big and crooked, neither it did at the age of 16 or even 18. My nose looked larger and more defined than the noses of my friends, more like on a Roman or Greek sculpture. It was very slim from the front, with a little longer than wanted columnella, but still very acceptable. I thought I looked good from the front. What bothered me the most, was the over projected profile, and worst off, when smiling, the tip of my nose pointing down.

Slowly, but surely, as I entered my twenties, there was more of hate relationship than love. I tried to accept and love myself for who I was and how I looked, yet I dreamed about having my nose fixed.

I am 36 year old Caucasian white, however, my nose has a very ethnic look. Pardon me, had.
After a decade of researching rhinoplasty surgeons and building up the courage to actually do it, the timing seemed right. I had my second baby 11 months ago, I run my own business from home, and I am not planning any exhausting travels for the next year. My parents were coming to visit me for long time to help with the children, so the only important, if not the most important remaining factor for my surgery was my surgeon.

As I said, I spent the last ten years finding the right doctor. Fingers crossed for me, since I am still sitting here in front of my laptop with a cast on my nose thinking about my uneven nostrils and my nose seeming to slightly point towards right. Cast removal is in two days, yeay!!!

I chose Dr. Cochran from the Gunter Center because I liked his work best. The noses he creates have definition, are proportionate to the face, look elegant, and very important - don't change the overall look of his patients much. I still want to look like me, just me with more refined and pretty nose.

I finally scheduled my interview which went really well. I brought some pictures from magazines showing what I desired for my nose to look like. Dr. Cochran showed me a simulation image of what he could do, and eventually we agreed on the final look. I appreciated his honesty about what he can and can't do, or shouldn't do. Also, important to mention is my breathing. Not only was my septum deviated, but my nostrils were basically lying flat at the columnella creating a difficult passage for the air. When sleeping on my side, I only got partial air, as well as during the sports when correct breathing is crucial!
Dr. Cochran and I agreed on rebuilding my deviated septum, shortening the nose from the profile, and widening the nostrils a little bit. I already had enough definition in the cartilage in the tip of my nose, however, the tip was too long as well.

I scheduled my surgery to be in one month, today it's 6 days ago.

I am not sure yet how my nose will look like and how difficult it will be for me to get adjusted to the new looks. Even though my profile already looks fantastic, just like my mother's nose that I wanted so much to have inherited but didn't, I look like a different me. From the profile I look about 10 years younger, no kidding, like my mom when she was young and whose beauty I adored. From the front my nose is swollen and shorter and wider than it used to be. It will probably always remain somewhat wider because my nostrils should flare out a little bit. As of the moment, with the cast still on my nose and splints inside, I do not like myself all that much yet. I am very positive that this will change, hopefully sooner than later.

The experience of the surgery was great. Not only the staff at the Gunter Center was professional and courteous, but also everybody at the Texas Institute for Surgery. From the receptionist, through the payment assistant, through the nurses and the anesthesiologist, to Dr. Cochran, everybody made me feel as comfortable as it got. I totally felt like I was in good hands and that I could absolutely trust them. I do not trust many people and I am quite critical. I can be difficult to please. There were numerous complaints I had at the hospital where I was delivering my both children at the aftercare, but I had no single complaint the day of my nose surgery. So far, my experience is very positive.

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The Healing Process

Before I was wheeled off to the operating room, I was given some pill that makes me forget the time between being wheeled off and waking up. It really works! After I said bye bye to my surgeon, my husband and my old nose, I don't remember anything until after waking up from the anesthesia. I didn't even hear my name, but the name of the lady waking up across the room. They called her about 10 times and she wasn't responding probably, so my first words were asking if she was alright? I was told she was alright as was I :) Good news! I had a new nose!
I was really happy to be alive, awake, and to hear from my husband that my surgery went well and that Dr. Cochran did not have to break my nose. I did not get to talk to my surgeon after my surgery, but he talked to my husband. It's probably better that way because I don't remember much, only that my throat was really hurting and that my male nurse was absolutely compassionate and well taking care of me. We talked about Germany and how we miss the food.
The trip home, about 30 min car ride was miserable. I wasn't nauseous at all, probably also because I almost never get nauseated and never vomit either. I was, however, uncomfortable, dizzy, not myself, and that throat! The throat pain was from the breathing tube inserted in my throat during the surgery. I kept on drinking, but didn't have the strength, nor the will, nor the right mind. My husband stopped at McDonald's to get me a shake to feel better. It went straight to the freezer when we came home. Yesterday, 6 days after my surgery I drank it after dinner, with no smell and no taste sensation, its freshness didn't matter anyway.
Before I fell asleep after we came home, I noticed very important observation in the mirror - my nose was tiny and my nostrils were symmetrical - picture perfect! This was before the swelling started taking part. The first days went by when I had to take the prescribed pain meds for super sore throat, painfull swelling in the face, and really painful bridge on the nose. I altered every 4 to 3 hours, for the first 2 days. My second evening after the surgery was the worst; my face swelled up too badly around my nose and eyes. The following days brought some relief as my swelling started subsiding, however, new nuisance appeared. My nose got stuffed up and started running. I remember the words for the aftercare - NO BLOWING YOUR NOSE, NO SNIFFLING, AND NO SNEEZING! Well, what to do then??? I called up my surgeon's nurse, who, such a sweet and helpful lady recommend decongestant that does not contain any ibuprofen nor aspirin. Remember, do not take ibuprofen or aspirin after your surgery because it can cause bleeding and who knows what else. So I sent my husband to Walgreens to get me Sudafed. He came back with Sudafed, but the type that contains ibuprofen which I couldn't take. Great, so I had to wait until he was willing to get me something else the next morning which was Claritin. Claritin did not work for me at all. We called the nurse again, and she said that at this point almost every patient has stuffed up and runny nose and that frankly, decongestants do not help that much. My last hope was Vick's DayQuil Sinex 'Daytime Sinus relief' containing acetaminophen and Phenylephrine. It worked about 85% of getting rid of my terrible symptoms. If you had a nose surgery and about after day 3 your nose gets really stuffed up and running, the chances are high that you didn't get a cold or flu, your nose is just trying to heal and this is normal. I didn't feel sick and I don't have any allergies either, so I knew for sure it had to do with the surgery. Also, instead of blowing my nose I found that running a Q-tip along the rim inside my nose takes away the excess mucus and leaves me feeling almost as if I blew my nose.
Today is day 7 after my surgery and my cast removal is tomorrow. I have mixed feelings. With splints inside my nose, I don't even remember how it feels to have empty nose. I am excited to have the cast and stitches removed, to see my new nose, to see the swelling start going down the following days and weeks. On the other hand, I lived 37 years with the way I looked, so who knows how hard it will be excepting a new me even if it looks much, much better than my old me.

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Few more pics

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Pics before cast removal

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Wow! It's already evident that your results are fabulous! And your review is amazing--exactly what we are all about here on RealSelf--so thank you immensely for being open and honest and helping countless, countless others with their journeys. Can't wait for the big reveal!

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You look amazing ! I can't believe the lack of bruising ! I guess that is due to not having your bones broken...?? Your profile looks so good, congrats !!
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Looks really really good. Dr. C is truly awesome. I cannot believe that you didn't have any swelling or bruising! You will look fantastic with the end result.
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The Cast Is Off!

I was told today by the nurse at the Gunter Center that I actually didn't have a cast on, just tape. So since my nose wasn't broken, I didn't need a cast. Makes sense. Splints removal, which i feared so much, wasn't that bad at all, just uncomfortable, and it only took about 6 second per nostril. My nurse was really gentle.
After she was done removing the stitches and after she informed me about the aftercare of my nose, Dr. Gunter came to check on me. Dr. Gunter has established the Gunter center, however, he is not my surgeon. It was really nice meeting him and hearing his professional opinion. He also explained to me, rather insensitively, not to be too critical of my nose yet, and he reinforced it by taking away the mirror the nurse just handed to me. On the positive side, he explained to me what was done to my nose in the surgery by my actual surgeon. Even though I was excited to have met Dr. Gunter, I wish I had seen Dr. Cochran who was my surgeon. I did not get to see him after my surgery although he spoke to my husband in the waiting room, and I did not get to see him at the cast removal when the patient is seeking the surgeon's approval of his work and encouragement. I was not told why Dr. Cochran wasn't there. My next appointment is in 4 months.
My nose looks great from the profile, not as great from the front which only makes sense since it's still swollen. The swelling is uneven. It seems to be more swollen in the left nostril and then in the right side of the bridge. I have my highest hopes up that my nose will look better soon.

14 Comments

Your new nose looks great!!!! Just wait for swelling to go down! They say it can take up to a full year to see actual results !'
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Looking really good!!!
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Looks really natural. I love how Dr. C keeps everything in proportion.
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Two Weeks Post op

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You look amazing! Sorry about the swelling. Are you taking anything? I get my cast off tomorrow and have been taking Arnica, Bromelain, Vitamin C, and Zinc, but not sure if they're really helping as I'm still bruised and feel swollen / puffy. ;)
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Some Changes in my Nose

I noticed some changes in my nose during the week after the cast removal - the tip of my nose which was a little upturned has dropped and it's a little bit longer, and I have a noticeable bump on my nose. I know there is still a lot of swelling going on, actually, quite uneven swelling. Let's see what will have changed in one week.

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Looks real good!!!
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Thank you, I'm still hoping for more slim down especially in the bridge.
It will!! That took me the longest time- about 2.5 months.

Swelling Up and Down

I noticed that my nose goes between more and less swollen stages, depending on my water intake, the type of food I eat, and daily activity. The more physical stress, the more my nose swells up. I am not working out yet, not that type of physical stress, but being up on my feet longer and caring for my little kids all day long.
Here is a picture of me with least swelling so far, at 17 days post op.

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You were attractive before but I am loving your new nose as it fits your face! My nose is wider than before and it took some getting used to! Your still in early days and the swelling will go down, you think all the work that's been done it is no surprise it is swollen! Anyway looks great, your side profile is perfect! X
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I went to see your pictures - you look great! Yes, the tip is a tiny bit wider, but that's just swelling! Your picture is showing 9 weeks post op, and that's not even the 4 months mark when the major swelling should be down. Your nose looks natural and you still look like you, just with improved nose. That's a good thing!
You look great !!! Congrats !
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Three Weeks Post Op

It's been a little over 3 weeks post op, and my nose is slowly decreasing in swelling. While it looks more narrow in the bridge, I think the swelling is moving into the very tip of my nose because from the profile, my nose seems a bit larger than it was 1 or two weeks post op. I also noticed smell coming from my right nostril, and I was advised by my surgeon's office to start using saline spray. Sooo.... I'm taking saline spray now about twice per day and let's see how this will affect me.

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I'm very happy and excited about my decision thus far - I can't wait to see what's hiding behind this tape! Glad to hear a good portion of your swelling went down 1 week after the cast was taken off. I've been wondering if everything will relax on me once its not being held captive in place! And good to know about your nostrils - he did the same with my columella, so doing that probably made my nostrils in proportion without having to reduce them.
When is your next appointment? Wed or Fri? I had mine on Fri, but instead of Dr. C, Dr. Gunter showed up. I was hoping Dr. C would take a look at my nose because he was the surgeon as well as the person I was consulting with. I hope your recovery will be speedy. I am feeling fine, but twice I took a nap lying flat, and my nose swelled up badly afterwards. It seems like sleeping with my head elevated even 3 weeks post op is a good idea. Your nose will get better, trust me! You're probably just at the stage when the body is reacting to the surgery with all kinds of discomforts, but they will go away the day your cast is removed. After my tape was removed and especially the splints came out, I felt better physically and of course, mentally. That day, I guess with stitches and splints being removed, my nose got aggravated, so it swelled up looking really large. But by the next morning, the major swelling was down. The advantage I had in the first two weeks post op was that I work from home, so I didn't have to worry about being seen in public with swollen, obviously operated on nose :)) At this point, going on 4 weeks post op, people who don't know me can't tell I had a surgery, and the ones who do know me can't tell if it's allergies or weight change.that's making me look different...who knows. I am not going to deny my surgery if somebody will ask about it, as well as not advertising it either. I have better days and worse days, however, altogether the nose is slowly slimming down, and I am sure it will look much better than before :) Hang on in there for a few more days, and you will see that everything will start getting better :))
Hi, I wanted to check on your updates. I hope you've been well and recovering. Are you happy with your results so far?

4 to 5 Weeks Post Op

Ok, the smell from my nostril turned into a sinus infection with some pain in the low sinus area. I got prescribed a course of antibiotics for seven days. The pain went away within less than 2 days, but the smell is still lightly noticeable. My surgeon explained that because my sinuses were swollen from the surgery, they weren't able to clean themselves as they normally would and hence the infection.
The nose is still quite swollen from the front - I can't wait for it to start slimming down:)

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I'm sorry to hear about the sinus infection. I'm happy the doctor figured it out and now you are better. Your nose will get less and less swollen with time. The main thing is that your profile is already gorgeous!
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I really like my profile - and even the front seems to look better in real life than on the pictures. I wonder why is that. I am waiting to see if my nostrils will show more from the front because I was used to the two dots and they aren't as obvious. Still have a lot of internal swelling going on.
Just read your whole story. I too am 36 and hated my nose from the time it changed about 14 or 15. I also got my father's nose! I never minded the front view just my profile. I can really relate to your story in a lot of ways I think mostly in that we are the same age and it seems most people get this done much earlier. I always wanted it but was too scared and then the kids came along and that was just more important. But a few month ago I finally decided it's now or never! I am currently 4 days post op and I'm pretty much feeling back to my normal self. the 1st 24 hours after surgery was the worst for me and it was much worse than I excepted. I read so many posts where the surgery was a breeze and not painful and I figured I had 3 c-secs with no problems so this would be no different....this was way harder for me. But things are good now and now I have 3 days until the cast comes off. BTW....I think your nose looks great! It's hard but I know we have to be patient with the swelling. Thanks for sharing your story!
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6 Weeks Pics

My nose is still very wide in the bridge, and tends to look better in the morning, but by the afternoon it gets more swollen again. It's been only 6 weeks since my surgery, yet it feels like I have had this new nose for a much longer time. I totally got used to it and don't even remember how my old nose looked like ; )

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7 and 8 Weeks Post Op

Very interesting - I met with a good friend of mine after not having seen her for a year, and she didn't even notice my new nose! I tried to explain and show what everything was done to my nose, but she just didn't see a difference. Then she asked "What was wrong with your nose in the first place?" In a way I was happy to hear that she didn't consider my nose in desperate need of plastic surgery before, and also I liked the fact that she thought I looked the same. As I mentioned earlier, I have decided not to make it a secret, so if somebody asks if I had surgery, I will admit. I'm curious how many people will not notice at all.

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8 Weeks Pics

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Hey lady, I saw you commenting on a different post and I thought I would check out your posts. I haven't been around for a while.... You look really good! What a difference. I see you still have a load of swelling. I bet it's even worse with the hot weather. My nose still changes on a daily basis after almost six months. I have thought to visit Dr. C before my 4month official visit but I always talked myself out of it. Usually I had the answers to my questions within days just by figuring out that I was over reacting. I also feel some scar tissue in my nose, but my thought is if I can't see it no one else can. Keep reminding yourself that Dr. C is the best, and let the process take its time. You will get more and more gorgeous over time. XOXO
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Thank you, Baratod, for your encouragement! There are days when I love my nose and think how lucky I am to have made the decision about rhinoplasty, and then there are days when I get critical of my nose. I do not regret having the surgery - my nose looks so much better. I adore my profile, but am worried about the area above the tip of my nose. It gets frustrating to see my nose still swollen from the front, which makes my bridge look much much wider from what I used to have, along with shapeless tip. I hope it's swelling. I have attached one of my better "before pictures" to compare the front of the nose.
It is definitely swelling. My bridge finally started to shape up at 4 months - and that's when Dr. C said it was still 50% swollen. Give it time. XOXO

10 to 11 weeks Post Op

I do not see much difference between the previous pictures from my 8 weeks post op. I think the swelling is subsiding very, very slowly, if at all. Some days my nose feels slimmer, other days it feels like a blob on my face from the front. I love the profile and my smile profile - they're better than I could have imagined.
At this point, I am concerned with three issues:
1. scar tissue formation inside the nostrils, at the tip. I can touch it right at the entrance to the nostril, and also see it from the bellow view. My surgeon's nurse believes it is still swelling, but she hasn't seen it yet, so let's hope she is right. I rely on my surgeon's office year long experience. I bet they have seen it all :)
2. callus or some type of bump on the right side of my bridge. It has been here since about 2 weeks post op and can be seen in my 45 degree angle or when light is coming from above.
3. swollen area above the tip of the nose. My nose from the front still feels very wide and shapeless. I am hoping this is all just swelling as I have olive skin which is said to be thicker than other skin types. I am including a few pics to see what I am talking about, one of them is a picture before the surgery that shows how narrow my nose used to be compared to now.

Overall, I am still very happy that I have gone through with the surgery, and I can't wait to see my nose start shaping up.

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Your nose looks great!!! I wanted your experience with having little children around your recovery time? I have my surgery Sept 17, and have a 3 and 1 year old and don't know how I am going to handle it. My husband will be home, but I feel like I won't be around so much for them because I will be recovering. How did you do? Thanks!
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Hello Gaby, thank you for your comment. My kids are the same age! At the time of the surgery my daughter just turned three, and my son was 11 month. If you can find one more person to help during your recovery, that would be ideal! I was very lucky that my parents were able to take my kids for the first 4 days. You will feel beaten up and in pain from the breathing tube the very first day of the surgery, and then from the facial swelling following two to three days. Because you will be taking pain meds which will make you sleepy, it would be best if you had your hubby just for yourself to be your private nurse. You will not feel much like walking either (I know this sounds scary, but it's just the first few days), so having him to help exclusively you, would also make him a better nurse :) You will need help with administering medication, cleaning your nose, changing the drip pad, getting you food/drinks/ice chips, ice compresses, and just being there for you for whatever comes up. If you don't have anybody who would take your children for the first three days, maybe you can invite their grandparents over , possibly ask some friends or hire a babysitter for a few hours a day. Because I know the dynamics of two children, that's what I can recommend. For example, right now my hubby is sick with a stomach virus, and taking care of my kids alone, plus being there for him is getting overwhelming. Congratulations on your scheduled surgery and good luck for the best results! Please keep us updated.

3 to 3.5 months post op

I have been doing well, especially because my nose is starting to show more definition. Part of it is probably the steroid shots I received at 3 months and one week visit. Dr. Cochran said that I was with my healing where I was supposed to be, he acknowledged my scar tissue inside the nostrils, but believed that it was a stage when it grows and swells, but eventually diminishes. He didn't think it was necessary to inject steroids into the scar. Instead, he injected both sides above the tip that were quite swollen and still, at 3.5 months post op are. The injections were surprisingly painful, but don't we have to suffer for beauty?
It's been a week since then, and I started noticing the swelling go down a bit more. It can take up to 8 weeks apparently to take full effect - can't wait!! :))

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3.5 months post op Profile

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Very beautiful nose. Congrats.
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Amazing results! Thank you for sharing your journey. It gives the rest of us great hope to see that flattering and natural looking results are attainable ;)
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Thank you! I am starting to be happy with my nose, but it took a lot of frustration with the swelling along the way.

6 months post op

The bump I had on my right side has definitely decreased with time, however, I can't say it's all gone. Now I am 6 months post op and my nose has what seems like a little bump on each side, which are not really bumps, more of a defined bridge from the front view.
It appeared at 2 weeks post op as my nose started slimming down and probably decreased at 4 1/2 months post op. Now I'm sure it was uneven swelling that made it stand out.
Still, my nose fluctuates in swelling even at 6 months post op. Nobody, including my husband, sister, or my mom notice, even though to me it's a big change. What makes my nose swell up is elevated heart rate from stress and excitement, coffee, alcohol, not enough liquids and foods made with flour like bread and pasta. Took me long time to figure this out. Exercise decreases the swelling. Anyway, trying to keep my nose from swelling, I lost about 10 pounds avoiding above mentioned foods and exercising, so it was good for something after all :)

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more pics of 6 months post op

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Thanks for sharing all the photos which show the progression. I think you look great and there's much improvement with each passing month. I hope you're happy.
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Wow! Love your nose! You have a charming smile! I love your smile before and after. Great results!
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Gorgeous, natural result! Congrats!
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14 months post op

Ok, this is long overdue, but the reason I have waited and waited is that I was hoping for more change that never really came. My nose hasn't changed much from about 7 months post op. There are still days with a lot of swelling, especially when I stress out and walk outside in the heat.
Every morning I wake up with a swollen nose, and by the end of the day, some swelling goes down. Some evening are better than the others.
Am I happy with my results? Not really. Especially when my nose has swelling that lasts several days, I feel like I look masculine. Then there are days when swelling goes down and I get in better mood, however, I think my nose is still very bulky in the bridge and in the tip, as well as has bump on the right side of the bridge.
Doctor Cochran took care of the problem ares which was an overprojected profile and a droopy columnella, however, now my nose is much more wider and feels like not enough nostrils show from the front. At my 12 months op appointment I pointed out what bothered me. After he checked my nose, he said there was still some swelling, but not so much anymore, at the supratip, and the top part of the bridge. He offered to file down the bump on the bridge under full anesthesia, but didn't offer anything about the tip. We agreed to wait 6 more months, until January 2015 to see if there will have been any changes. If there won't be any changes, I am planning on having the bridge narrowed down and hopefully the tip lifted up because I think it's quite droopy.
Another negative side of the rhinoplasty that happens to almost everybody, and is worth mentioning is the change to the upper lip. Because the nose gets shortened and made smaller, it doesn't hold the upper lip up anymore, and the upper lip sinks down. Before the rhinoplasty, when I relaxed my mouth, my upper teeth would show. Now they don't show anymore. Also, my upper teeth showed when i talked before the rhinoplasty, and now more of my bottom teeth show. I am trying to train my muscles to lift the lip a bit more, but it's hard work :) My smile is also gone.
The positive side of the rhinoplasty is that my profile looks quite pretty. I don't have to think about it every time I meet new people. Even though my nose is wider, it still looks relatively normal compared to my old nose. I also like my right 45 angle, not so much my left angle because of the bump. Some pictures are included, they show my 4 months before surgery and 12 months after surgery.

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14 months post op pics

here are some more pics 14 months post op.

4 Comments

I think your results are great!! do you know if you had a cartilage graft put in your bridge?
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Hi thank you for your comment. I am not sure if it is the same, but I had a spreader graft put in. So no my own cartilage, but the commercial graft that helps support the bridge from prolapse.
Thank you for your support! I am still very hopeful about getting more definition, especially in the tip.

narrow nose before surgery

I just want to show a few pics of my old nose, when I was 26, exactly 10 years before my surgery. Even though my nose has grown some since then, it still stayed narrow with a very refined tip. I miss the tip and the narrow bridge. Definitely do not miss the profile! When I smile now, my nose is really chunky and bulbous which wasn't the case at all before the surgery.

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I sent you a private message. Thanks!
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I liked your nose before
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Hi Dorro, sorry to hear you need revision.. I have the opposite problem, my nose is too small and need to be reconstructed. good luck to you. when is your revision?
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Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

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