I searched around for a while looking for someone who had lots of experience and expertise. I found Dr. Jacono in NY, and although it is about a 4 hour drive, I went ahead and scheduled a consult. All of his before and afters looked great to me because each of the patients seemed to have a unique nose that fit their face. A lot of the other doctors I looked into seemed to create the same nose over and over again - and I definitely didnt want a cookie cutter nose.
When I arrived for my consult I expected a thorough exam of my nose and lots of discussion as well as some time on the computer imaging software creating my new nose. I waited in the waiting room for longer than Dr. Jacono spent with me. He sat down, looked at my photos, clicked a few buttons and created an image of me where my nose looked thinner and less bulbous. It was definitely an improvement. When he showed me my profile I asked to make the nostril smaller which he did. Then I asked if I could see the other side because my nose is not symetrical and I have a completely different profile on the other side. He said "oh its the same thing - it will be the same." I don't know why I let that go - I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and rushed. Even my time with the patient care coordinator was rushed. Still, I was in a place mentally where I just wanted to have my nose done and looking good. I was convinced that he was the best - afterall he is dual board certified and all his credentials are outstanding. I was prepared to spend around $8K - but soon learned that the cost would be $14K. The patient care coordinator pointed out that you shouldn't bargain shop for plastic surgery, and that most rhinoplasties require a revision whereas Dr Jacono's revision rate was significantly lower than other surgeons.
I went ahead and booked my surgery (some people spend $14K on a dress, but for me $14K is ALOT OF MONEY!!!!!!!!) - looking back I definitely should have given myself some time and space - maybe even talked to another surgeon or two. But, as I said I was convinced this was the best person - he exudes confidence and even though he seemed rushed - I figured all surgeons are somewhat like that.
The patient care coordinator, while really nice, definitely gave me a lot of innaccurate information so I don't think I was as prepared for my surgery experience as I could have been. She told me I would be fine to take the 4+ hour drive home after my surgery and that I could stay in the recovery room as long as I needed as well. Well, needless to say I was so nauseas and sick when I woke up that my husband had to book us a hotel room and take me there for the night. They rushed me out of the recovery room before I felt able to move. I was even still too sick ride in the car the next day as well but bared through it. Also, I was told ahead of time that my cast would come off in a week and then I could expect to be fully healed and done at 6 weeks. I have since discovered that my healing time is more like 6-12 months.
Well, I had to drive back 4 days later to have my stitches removed. That was the most painful experience of my life by the way. I was literally screaming and crying. Dr. Jacono wasn't there and didn't look at my nose.
Then just two days later we had to drive back to have my cast removed and Dr Jacono wasn't there again because he was on The Anderson Cooper show that day. Two weeks later I went back and Dr Jacono looked at my nose for the first time. He breezed in the door and before I could get a word out he told me not to "stress" about the asymetry - that it was normal. I knew I still had a couple stitches inside my nose that needed to come out because the nurse told me that the last time I was in. He told me that the stitches inside were desolvable and started looking in my nose. He then noticed the stitches and said "these need to come out." I was still traumatized by the last time they took out stitches so when he started trying to get them I pushed him away and said I would need to take some valium or something to get through it. He told me to go ahead and do that, that he would be around all day and to come back a little later which I did. The nurse came in again and took out the stitches and we waited some more for Dr. Jacono to come back. About 15 minutes later the nurse came back and said that Dr Jacono said he didn't need to see me again and that we could leave - but to set up an appointment for two weeks later. When I went to set up the appointment, they couldn't fit me in for 3 1/2 weeks.
So we came back for our next appointment ready with a lot of questions (I say "we" because my husband has been coming with me to the appointments which I really appreciate because he has been so supportive.) I had/have concerns because my nose is still crooked (it leans to my left and is a lot larger on the tip on that side), my nostrils are two different shapes and sizes and my nose is still really a lot larger than I had anticipated based on the computer imaging. I was hoping that he could explain why, based on what he did surgically, I would be experiencing what I was. I was hoping that would give me hope and reassurance that some day, my nose would finally look good. He rushed a lot and cut me off when I asked questions. When I showed him what and where my concerns were it seemed like he didn't really look at it. He told me that at 6 weeks post op (which is about where I was in my healing process) that it was still way too early. He kept pushing on my nose and saying "it's still really hard, feel that! feel that!" and finally I snapped a bit because it was so annoying to me. OF COURSE I have already felt it. Over and over. It is on my face. I look at it and "feel" it a million times a day! and I said "I KNOW! I've felt it." So I said "So you are telling me that one day my nose just won't lean to that side and look crooked?" and he said "Yes." and my husband said "well what about her nostrils?" and he said "That's what I am talking about, it will all even out." So, that was it. He said he would likely give me steriod injections if my swelling didn't go down fast enough. I said "so let's say its 6 months from now and my nose is still crooked.." He jumped in and said "There's nothing we can do.." and I said "I know I know but at that point should I still have hope that it will be ok?" and he said "yes." So, I sighed and sat back and said "Well, I am just going to trust you and have faith." and he said "Good, you should. This is all we do." We went ahead and made another appointment for two months later.
So that interaction is all I have to go by to get me through for now. I have determined that in order to maintain my sanity I need to intentionally and with purpose NOT focus on my nose. Some days it isn't as hard to do as other days. I field different aspects and layers of my dissappointment each day, sometimes each minute. I had expected to be really confident and happy with my new nose by now. So much of what I didnt like about my old nose is still apparent. I saw a photo taken two days ago with me and my niece and its almost too much to bear.
I try to focus on the fact that while I am not completely happy with my new nose, that it is an improvment over my old one. Of course, sadly really ANYthing would have been an improvement..but still. At least it isnt as bad as some of the stories I have read. I can breathe through it.
Anyway - thanks for reading.. Im going to keep posting periodically.. Maybe my experience will help someone and maybe it will just help me to get my thoughts out..and maybe I will post some pix eventually.