Septo/Rhino with Dr. Grigoryants!

After years of thinking about rhinoplasty and...

After years of thinking about rhinoplasty and detesting my nose, I'm finally out of school and making a salary that has allowed me to save up for the procedure. I've read so many reviews on realself and elsewhere, and I've decided that I definitely want to go with Dr. Grigoryants. When I initially had my email consultation with him (I'm out of state), I was told that he wasn't scheduling surgeries for six months, and so I figured that I may not be able to have him as my doctor. I'm considering a job change and was hoping to schedule surgery in a month or so, before I would potentially be in a new job, maybe even all the way on the east coast, with different vacation policies. It would also be nice to not have to have the awkward "Hi, New Boss. I need two weeks off for a nose job" conversation. Anyway, fast forward to this morning, when Dr. G's office called me to offer me a surgery date in mid-September. I honestly do not know what to do. I can get the days off from work, I have most of the money (though it's basically my entire savings), and I've done a ton of research. I have to let them know first thing in the morning whether I will be taking the September surgery date. Was anybody this trigger-shy, or do you think I'm rushing it? Neither my gf nor my family is very supportive of me going through with the procedure, so any advice would be much appreciated.

Haven't gotten a surgery date, yet.

I'm going in for another consultation tomorrow morning. This time, it will be with Dr. Schlesinger in Honolulu. As of right now, I'm almost convinced that I really want to go with Dr. Grigoryants, but one more consultation won't hurt. Also, if I stay at home in Hawaii, I will be able to devote more energy to healing rather than flying back and forth to California. My gf would be able to be there to hold my hand, and the overall cost would be reduced because I won't have to travel. Then again, and oddly enough, doctors in Hawaii seem to be even more expensive than the more experienced ones in LA. Anyway, I'll update more after my consultation!

Worst consultation with Dr. Schlesinger in Honolulu

Long post alert!
So I went in for my third rhinoplasty consultation today, this time with Dr. Larry Schlesinger in Honolulu. I want to try to keep this review free from any personal judgments about him, though I will say that I think our personalities didn't mesh well.

Dr. Schlesinger asked me a little bit about myself and which procedure I was interested in. He didn't ask me what I wanted to change about my nose or what I liked about my nose. He went straight into the exam, and his first words were, "Well, the #1 reason why your nose is big is because your chin is too small." Obviously, he could have phrased this a little bit more nicely, but whatever, I appreciate honesty and even bluntness. Unfortunately, it was only downhill from here.

First off, I'd like to acknowledge that the last Hawaii Dr. I consulted with suggested a chin implant. He was slightly pushy with his suggestions, even after I told him I really wasn't interested, and I was definitely turned off by it. That guy was NOTHING compared to Dr. Schlesinger.

Dr. Schlesinger immediately grabbed his samples of chin implants and launched into what he dubbed "the educational portion" of the consultation. He ONLY spoke about the chin implant procedure, in spite of me repeatedly telling him that I was honestly only interested in rhinoplasty. I told him that I was a lawyer, not a model, and that I wasn't terribly concerned about having the perfect angles in my profile. He just kept going on and on about how deficient my chin was, and how even if I found the perfect nose doctor and got the perfect nose, I would still come back to his office and ask for a chin implant. He said that doing a rhinoplasty on me without a chin implant would be "inappropriate." I told him I didn't have a problem with my chin, and that my main concern was my nose. Then he grabbed a book from his shelf to show me pictures of what "a chin is SUPPOSED to look like." Thanks, Dr. Schlesinger, but I haven't been isolated from all other humans up until this very moment and consequently, I have actually seen what chins look like. At this point, I told him I was uncomfortable and asked to leave. To his credit, he took a rather awkward pause, said "yeah, of course" and shook my hand.

Here's my issue: Surgery always carries a certain degree of risk, especially when it involves implanting foreign objects into your body. Elective surgery, by its very nature, is medically unnecessary. I think that if a patient has repeatedly expressed that they are uninterested in a medically unnecessary surgery, then the doctor should back off. Yes, Dr. Schlesinger is a doctor and I am not. And yes, I greatly appreciate his honesty and candor. However, trying to convince a patient to change a part of herself that she had previously harbored NO insecurity about, after she has repeatedly told you that she is not interested, is at best rude and at worst, medically irresponsible.

PS: I'd like to clarify that I am not a mutant. I have a chin. It's small because I'm Scottish/Irish and my people don't have chins. And you know what? I'm totally cool with that.

PPS: I will say that rhinoplasty is only about 4% of Dr. Schlesinger's practice (he mostly does boobs and "mommy makeovers," a term I find appalling but whatever), and he WAS very good about naming California doctors that I could consult with who had more rhino experience. However, he had never even heard of Dr. Grigoryants.

PPPS: This experience solidified my decision to go with Dr. Grigoryants. Bedside manner is extremely important to me, and Dr. Schlesinger was condescending, arrogant, and rude. Dr. Grigoryants, on the other hand, found a way to be straight-forward about my nose's issues and even raised issues of symmetry that the other two doctors hadn't even noticed, and he was able to do so in a tactful way. To top it off, Dr. Grigoryants made it a point to tell me that I had a beautiful face, which obviously is just something he says, but it was really nice of him. He also didn't even mention my mutant chin. Dr. G. all the way!

Before/morph pictures! Would love feedback

Hey realselfers! Here are some before pictures and morphs. Doing front morphs is so hard with my nose because my tip just isn't refined at all. I don't want to go too small, and I thought these profile morphs still look pretty realistic/natural. Let me know if you have any suggestions :)

I GOT MY SURGERY DATE!!!! SEPTEMBER 25th!

So quick background: I have been previously offered TWO September surgery dates off of Dr. Grigoryants's waitlist. The first one, I just wasn't ready to commit financially and emotionally and the second time, they called me on a Saturday while I was still asleep (I'm in Hawaii) and by the time I got their voicemail, they had already given the date to somebody else. This time, I WAS READY. I saw the 818 number on my missed call log and called them back IMMEDIATELY.

My date is September 25th!!! It's both a highly convenient and a highly inconvenient time for me to do this, because I'm interviewing for new jobs right now. Hopefully the position I want, if offered to me, won't need me to start for at least two weeks after surgery! On the other hand, if I get a new job, I can quit my current one before surgery and show up to the new job and everyone meeting me won't have any idea that I had work done :) Best plan ever? Maybe.

I'm ecstatic. I'm seriously smiling so big right now. Even though I'm still incredibly nervous to do this, I'm really excited about actively bringing about positive change in my life. This may be a physical manifestation of my quarter-life crisis (I'm 26), but I want to do this so that I can have the confidence to truly go after what I want. I can't wait :)

More pictures

Here is another photo of me from the front smiling. My nose just has no shape!

Another 3Q picture

Is this worth it?

Okay, RealSelfers. I'm having one of those pre-op days where I'm like, "Is this really worth the time/money to change something about myself that nobody else seems to notice/care about?" I know that this is for me, but I'm starting to worry that I'm making a mistake. Does this really alter your life? Can anybody who has undergone the procedure tell me about their post-op experience? I don't want the perfect nose, I just want to simply get to the place where I don't think about my nose anymore. I showed my best friend one of my simulations and she said "If you had shown me the "after" picture, I would have said that was your nose already." So that made me feel like this might be worth it and that even though people would think I looked better, they wouldn't guess that it was my nose that changed. Now I'm just rambling... Anyway, I'd love to hear how other people's lives have been affected by surgery!

One more morph! haha

Here's possibly my favorite morph so far from the front. I just want my nose to be thinner and more photogenic.

A nelfie a day keeps the nerves at bay

So in honor of being exactly one month pre-op, I have decided to take a selfie every single day to document my nose's final days before transformation. I have dubbed these nose selfies "nelfies." Don't worry- I'm definitely not going to post them all to realself, haha. Anyway, I think I am actually going to miss her a little bit ("her" being my nose) and to honor her, she deserves as much attention as possible this final month before she enters her very expensive cocoon.

Exactly three weeks left!

So I have exactly three weeks to go. I got my bloodwork done today (I'm out of area and so I had it done locally, which didn't shave anything off Dr. G's price tag, in case you are wondering) and I'll fax over the results to Dr. Grigoryants when I get them in a few days. It's really happening! I'm slowly telling more and more people, although I think I'm going to stop soon. Most of my friends who know just get really awkward when I talk about it. I can tell they think I'm making a mistake. I honestly wish I had done this five years ago so that everyone in my life would already just know me with my new nose and I could choose to disclose that I've had surgery on my own terms, instead of everyone just inevitably figuring it out because I showed up one day with a different (hopefully superior) schnoz. Oh well- all the more reason to do it now and not wait another five years.

The only thing I'm struggling with now is just imagining what my new nose will look like on my face. Let's be real- I am not a photoshop wizard, and all of my front morphs on the plastic surgery lite app look fake. What if I get my new nose and then go, "Huh. I guess it's my cheeks that make me so funny-looking, and not my nose, after all"? I trust Dr. G. completely, probably too much. I'm basically just going to tell him to knock himself out and go nuts on my nose because I don't feel like I can have a very real perspective on what it should look like. Anyway, I'll update some more later about what things I'm doing to prepare for the surgery, including my plan to institute a moratorium on mirrors for two weeks post-operation.

Holy crap only one week left- How do I prep?

So I'm trying to prepare myself for surgery. I already stopped drinking, which was no small feat (kidding). Now I'm just trying to eat a ton of kale and all that other stuff we all like to pretend is delicious when we are instragramming our lunch. Additionally, I purchased some arnica tablets, arnica gel, and bromelain capsules. I'm thinking I'll be making a ton of smoothies post-op, so I'll pick up some frozen and fresh fruit and greek yogurt. Does anybody have any other suggestions?

I'm trying not to think about my surgery much. It doesn't feel real. Honestly my gameplan right now is to just not think about it until I'm in the recovery room. I see all of these beautiful women on this website who OBSESS over every detail of their nose post-op. I don't want to do that. I want to just distract myself and keep busy and not really examine my nose until a month out. Is that totally unrealistic? Yeah, probably. But I've also noticed that if you start obsessing over the small details really early on in recovery, that feeling of dissatisfaction will stay with you long after the swelling is gone and those small imperfections are gone. Wish me luck!

IT'S ALL GOING DOWN TOMORROW

Tomorrow is the day, you guys. I'm staying with my parents for my surgery, and they each came into my room this morning to kiss my nose goodbye because they are weird people. My mom referred to my nose as "the nose she gave birth to." Okay. Then my mom sat on the edge of my bed and relayed every worry that she has about my surgery, which, as you can imagine, was very helpful and reassuring. Thanks, mom- I, too, hope that something doesn't go terribly wrong that makes me regret this decision for the rest of my life.

My sister and I will be driving up in a few hours to Glendale, where we will check into a rather seedy hotel and wait until my pre-op appointment. I'm taking arnica and pineapple enzymes, and I'll also be bringing my pricey-but-supposedly-worth-it Swiss Therapy Eye Mask and a cooler, so I can put one on during the ride home from surgery. I don't feel too nervous, but I'm sort of worried that I'll throw up tomorrow morning, just like I did the morning of my first day of college. And before the LSAT. And the bar exam. I get the stress-barfs, you guys. It's great.

I'll try to update after my pre-op tonight! If not, wish me luck :) She's going into the cocoon!

Day One Post-Op

She has successfully entered her cocoon. I'll keep this update a little short, because my eyes are feeling really strained. I'll write about my pre-op and my surgery when I'm feeling a little more up to it.

Day of:
I got out of surgery around 11:30 a.m. yesterday and spent the rest of the day feeling like I got run over by a bus. As people have noted in other reviews- it's more uncomfortable than anything. For me, the anesthesia made me incredibly nauseas and I threw up blood about five times throughout the day. Needless to say, I have never felt sexier, lol.

I ate two of those applesauce in a pouch things, and a pudding in a pouch. They are definitely made for children, but they are perfect because putting a spoon in your mouth is not fun right after surgery. I would definitely recommend these to anyone.

I've been trying to ice every hour or so with either frozen peas or my swiss therapy eye compress, which is heavenly. My eyes are pretty puffy but I really didn't have any bruising the day of surgery.

I was hesitant to take my Norcos since I was already feeling so queasy, but my mom (who's a nurse) forced me to and I was in no condition to argue.

Day One:
I slept on the couch last night with one of those sit-up pillows that college kids buy for studying in their dorm bed, and a U-shaped neck pillow. I actually slept through most of the night- I think my Biotene mouth spray is helping with the mouth dryness.

After I woke up, I definitely felt some pressure on my nose and immediately ate a piece of buttered toast so I could take my pain medicine. It went down pretty easily and I don't have any nausea. I iced for 15 minutes and then I had some coffee. You guys, coffee is the sh*t. I love coffee, and I highly recommend drinking some on day 1 if you are an addict like me. I feel much better.

Bruising/swelling:
It has been 24 hours since my surgery and other than some minor bruising in the corner of my right eye, I really don't have much bruising yet. My mom thinks it's coming, though. I have some pretty noticeable swelling on my bridge and below my eyes.

Questions:
1) How soon did you ladies start cleaning below your nose with a q-tip?
2) How long did you have blood on your drip pad? I was really worried yesterday because there was so much blood. Now it's slowly getting more diluted.
3) How long after your surgery did the majority of your bruising show up? I'm super swollen between my eyes, but my bruising is pretty minimal. I'm hoping it doesn't get too much worse...

Day 4- Frustrated and Uncomfortable

Okay, so I know that Dr G. is a fantastic surgeon, but I can't help but feel a little disappointed when I read other reviews from his patients and compare it to my experience. I read that he calls his patients the day of or day after surgery to check in with them, and I didn't get a phone call. I barely got post-op care instructions from the nurses (who were wonderful, by the way), and I don't believe that he checked in on me after surgery (though I could be wrong- I could have just been really out of it). He also never sent the photo that he seems to send everyone, which shows what the profile looked like immediately after surgery. I get my cast off tomorrow, and I hope that I don't feel as rushed as I did the last time I was in his office. He's really busy, and he seems to do his best to spend time with his patients, but it still makes me feel like I need to rush through any questions or concerns that I have. Anyway, I don't think that knowing any of this would have deterred me from going to him, but I just feel a little disheartened.

As for my healing, my nose is FULL of dried blood. My post-op instructions say to clean with saline spray, and I've also started gently twisting a q-tip with hydrogen peroxide in my nostrils. I'm still incredibly swollen between my eyes and it's starting to go down to my cheeks. That being said, I really had minimal bruising, so I'm incredibly thankful for that.

One more day until this damn cast is off! Overall, healing has been going well. I haven't been in much pain. Like others have noted, it's more just uncomfortable. I'm optimistic about my results, and I don't mean to criticize Dr. G. Maybe he's having a really rough week. I just feel a little sad and like maybe he's not as pleased with my results if he's not following up with me. I will say though that every time I have called his office, the assistants have been very helpful. Anyway, I'll update tomorrow after the cast is off!

Cast off! Day 5 Post-Op and feeling good!

Okay, everyone- here it is! I got my cast off today and I'm already loving my results.

I feel a little bad about complaining about not having a lot of time with Dr G. because today, he spent the whole appointment with me (no assistants) and he answered all of my questions. He went over everything we did during surgery and told me all about what I need to do from now on to care for my new nose.

I'm super happy about my nose, even though the bridge is VERY swollen and I felt very self-conscious while I was out to dinner tonight. I obviously look like an avatar/Whoville resident! But I know that the tip will drop and refine, so I'm not worried.

So let's talk about my f***ed up nose. When I saw Dr. G. for the first time for my pre-op the night before my surgery (before that, we communicated over email), he realized how much more structural work would be needed for my surgery. It was a much longer and more complicated surgery than originally anticipated. Apparently, I was born without the lower portion of my septum, and so my tip (which was already pretty big) had absolutely no support. Over the last six years, my nose has just continued to droop down further because it lacked the structural support to stay up. My septum had also become more deviated over the last few years. My entire left nostril was pretty much completely blocked. I honestly just thought that's how everyone breathed!

So this is what was done to my nose, in lay:

- Cartilage was taken from my septum and put into my lower septum for support
- Hump was shaved down
- nasal bones broken/narrowed
- Nostrils taken in- I love this already.
- Tip refined and raised (VERY upturned right now, but I know it will fall)
- Airways opened
- Septum straightened/fixed

So yeah! This ended up being way more medical/structural than I initially thought, and I'm so grateful. Dr. G said that if I hadn't done this, my tip would have just drooped further and further down, and my breathing would have gotten even worse over time.

Okay, I think that's it for now- I'll post a few pics. I've been lucky to have very minimal bruising and moderate swelling. I'm just going to keep busy and not obsess over it too much!

Three weeks post-op!

One Month!!!

Wow so everyone who has had this procedure is right- the month after your surgery really flies by. I thought I'd share brief update on my experience, as well as a frontal pic.

First, let me just say that not a single person has noticed. Really. Other than the friends I told about my surgery, nobody has said anything. Even if they did notice and just didn't want to be rude by asking, I'm grateful for their silence because I don't want to feel obligated to explain my decision to everyone. I know a lot of people feel bummed when nobody notices, but it's actually made the whole process a lot smoother for me. It's reaffirmed what many of my close friends already told me- nobody ever paid that much attention to my nose. Probably because they were distracted by dazzling personality.

Next, the nose itself! Overall, I'm very happy. It still looks super strange in pictures. I really do look like I'm straight out of Whoville. I don't fully have my normal smile back, so I always look a little constipated when I smile in photos. But that is to be expected. It still swells so much, and I'm sure the hot humid climate here doesn't help with that. I clean it (probably more often than I should) and I only just recently stopped sleeping with my head elevated. I tape every night, which I'm assuming helps, but I'm frankly just not the most observant person. I'm not too concerned with how it looks when it swells. Mostly, the swelling is just a general tightness and discomfort, and if it happens when I'm out with friends, it makes me just want to go home and lie down and watch Netflix with my cats. Maybe I'm just old. Oh well.

Since I'm practically at one month already, I'm going to try to work out this weekend. I'm sure I'll feel winded after like five minutes, so I'll just have to work my endurance back up to what it was before. Well, actually, better than it was before, hopefully, since I was a super lazy slob the month before my surgery.

Another thing- Expect crazy boogers even a month out of surgery. Some of them are super awesome and I take way too much joy in getting them out. It makes me feel like I've accomplished something, you know? lol.

Well I'll stop rambling and just post a picture of my much-slimmed schnozzola! I hope you all are doing well with your healing

Seven Weeks!!

Not too much to report. I still swell after exercise and first thing in the morning, but it's not too uncomfortable. Honestly, I barely notice it. Still, nobody, NOT ONE PERSON, has noticed. I visited friends that I hadn't seen in awhile a week or so ago. One of them made a comment about how I had "the perfect nose" and I thought she knew, but then when I told her about my surgery, she was like, "But wait, hasn't it always looked like that? You always had that perfect slope, right?" Maybe the people in my life are just not very observant, which is fine by me!

The timing of my surgery has turned out to be absolutely perfect, and I'm honestly just really happy that I did it. It didn't have this dramatic impact on my life, because I was already pretty okay with myself. It's just one less thing that I think about.

Happy healing, everyone!
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

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