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It's Done and I Wish I Had More Patience - Denver, CO

I have only recently been more bothered by my nose...

I have only recently been more bothered by my nose starting in my 30s. I was disappointed to learn your nose only gets bigger with age. I really feel as if I have noticed that in the last 5 years. I just would hate every picture, especially the ones where I was having the most fun and my nose just appeared bigger and bulkier with a bigger smile.

More Before Pictures

Here are a few more that illustrate what I disliked about my nose.

Day One - Oh the bruising

Despite listening and being very strict about preop instructions and all possible homeopathic agents to prevent bruising.....I had the shiners!!! I really was hoping they would not be as bad but kind of expected it as I have always been easy to bruise and when I get a bruise it lasts forever; one to two months sometimes.

Continued recovery

And then the swelling.... I was already so concerned and bothered by how upturned my nose looked with the splint on. My surgeon warned me of this stating it would drop but it is so disturbing to look at. Started to notice day 2-5 how much the swelling was altering my appearance and was really starting to worry about my smile at this time, but figured it was just par for the course. And was excited to just get the cast off!

Cast off - I wanted to be elated, no luck

My cast was removed 8 days after surgery. I have to admit I was overwhelmed with complete dislike. I was reassured straight away that I am extremely swollen and the surgeon stated she could see the end result in her head being fabulous, reassuring but such a bummer to not get that elated feeling straight away. Especially when I've heard so many people report that they love it on cast removal day then it swells but goes back to what they liked eventually. I have no desire whatsoever for my final results to be anything like what I saw when my cast came off. Also I realize sutures were used at my alnar base to keep my nose from getting so wide when I smile, but I see how that really is pinching my sides and impacting my smile reversely in a negative way. I am so concerned this is going to permanently impact my smile. I hated my nose when I smiled but now I'm so worried I may have lost my smile altogether. My teeth aren't showing at all, even when I talk, much less smile. I realize this can really be due to swelling but I can't believe after trolling this site for so long, every picture I've seen of people even a few days out shows them retaining their teeth in their smile. I'm so very concerned about how many months it will take to get my smile back and have my lip lifted when I smile. I did a little research here and for those that this happens to some report 6 to 12 months. I was really prepared for watching a swollen nose change over time but this loss of smile is really impacting me. It gives me such a distorted look. This is a huge curve ball for me, I didn't ever think to ask about how a rhinoplasty would impact my smile.

Pictures didn't post

Pictures to go with above post

Rollar Coaster of Emotions and Fear

All in all I had been starting to feel better about my nose the past two days, feeling was starting to return (which has to mean swelling would follow suit) and I was feeling confident my nose looked fine (as long as I didn't smile). I even put on the most foundation I ever have to cover up bruises, put on a hat, and had a great time out with some great and supportive friends. They were all very reassuring that my nose looked great, they all agreed my smile was off but kept reassuring me that it must get better with the reduction of swelling. Then, just this evening laughed at a friends story and caught a glimpse of my reflection in the window and was still so mortified that the pull on my face by my nose was so disturbing. I started really wondering how the tightness around my nose was ever going to subside.

During one of my pre op consults early on the surgeon and I talked about reducing the alar base to decrease width of the nostrils. We talked about this being a bit of a gamble because I have a history of hypertrophic scarring but she did say it would be something we could monitor and deal with if scarring did occur. Then in a second consult I asked again for her to explain how a wide nose that is only wide upon smiling would be reduced. She mentioned a stitch is placed that keeps the nostrils from flaring. I listened and it all seemed reasonable. I was shown some pictures and was satisfied what I saw. Now I have to be clear here that I think some pictures involved an alar reduction and some a stitch but I'm not actually sure. Right now I am so upset at myself that I did not ask for a distinction.

I have since come to realize that it is most likely that I had an alar cinch suture placed and not an alar reduction because even right after surgery I noticed the stitches on the side of my nose did not go all the way down to the base of my nostril instead they looked like a slit. I was kind of surprised at this at the time because I really was expecting the see a full alar reduction and full stitches down the entire sides of my nose. I honestly was kind of relived because that would be less surface area for a scar to develop.

Now after the cast was off the first thing I noticed was the pulling and tightness on the sides of my nose then how horrible my smile was, with a smaller upper lip and my smile covering my teeth.

Now I am just in utter meltdown mode, because as I research here and read doctors answers, this procedure (cinch suture) does not seem as common mostly because of the way it can alter the smile and thin the lip permanently. I am in utter shock and devastation. I am realistic that the surgeon also could have made the right call for me, and this all could work out, but am so shocked to learn that the recovery of the smile could take so much longer than regular swelling as much as 8 months to 12 months. Had I been warned about this I think I would have really asked more questions and been more specific about researching this procedure. The thought of going through even 6 months with this much altered of a smile is so depressing to me. This could rob me of a whole year of smiles and happiness. I've always been really pleased with my full lips and thinking I may have lost that for up to a year or even permanently is killing me right now.

Of course this meltdown is occurring right as I approach the weekend and I'm not sure I will be able to contact the office until Monday to get an appointment. I really want to go in and discuss this face to face and get some clear answers. I don't think a phone call or simple chat with the P.A. is going to do.

Please if anyone hear has had experience with an alar base cinch suture I would love to chat about your experience.

Feeling a tad better after a call from the surgeon

I ended up calling the office on Saturday knowing I would be able to take to one of the physicians assistants. She was reassuring and went through trying to explain my procedure and let me know that the amount of swelling I have is directly proportional to the amount of work I had done and I just need time to heal. I stated I'm most worried about the tightness and puckering on the side of my nose. I made an appointment to go in sooner based on the fact I'm also a bit worried about how my incision sites are scarring over, on one side a small bump is developing.

Well, I must have left a really nervous impression with the P.A. because and hour later my surgeon called stating the P.A. could sense my nervousness, and thought I would feel better if I had a chance to talk to her. I thought it was so amazing that she made the call on the weekend, and while it was reassuring to hear her describe that I would without a doubt definitely get my smile back, she could only say it could very well take 6 months. Yikes, I can't imagine spending half of my new 35th year without being able to smile. It's just so depressing. I'm really trying to keep a positive attitude and take care of myself health-wise to speed this up. I just can only hope she had to say that to cover herself and it will take way less time.

She also described the pinching and that the sutures used had to be tight in order to prevent my nose from flaring in the future (my primary complaint). And with time and the swelling going down this will not look so deformed.

I made an appointment to go in this week to have her look at the incisions sight and proceed from there.

Now I'm back to drinking soooo much water and trying to star upright as possible even in sleep to help this along as fast as possible.
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