Write a review

I have hated my nose since I was 11 years old - Two Months Post-Op - Indianapolis, IN

I have hated my nose since I was 11 years old. I...

I have hated my nose since I was 11 years old. I have a big hump and my side profile looks awful. First I had to have jaw surgery so I opted to wait until that was done so that my nose could be sculpted to match my new jaw/chin. That surgery was just over 5 months ago; my doctor advised me to wait 6 months to have the nose surgery. I'm really excited to have it and to have my face "finished". I am so pleased with my jaw surgery and hope to be just as happy with my new nose, but I'm a little bit anxious as the jaw surgery was very difficult to go through. I know the recovery will be much easier than jaw surgery, but my surgeon was careful to warn me that it is still a process and while he agreed it will be easier than the jaw surgery, he didn't want to minimize it. So the surgery is booked for May 17 and I really couldn't be more excited! Will post some pictures here soon.

Added some photos - there are from my wedding...

Added some photos - there are from my wedding almost five years ago before I had jaw surgery or had taken accutane. I don't take many pics of myself or allow many to be taken, so this is the best I have on hand. Wish I could redo my wedding photos after I have my nose done, I hate looking at them. Very much looking forward to my surgery, especially as I have just had my braces removed and am feeling so much more confident now that I have a chin, cheekbones, and a nice smile with straight teeth that meet with a perfect bite. Currently bleaching them with trays from the dentist. All I need to finish my look is my new nose!

Hard to believe my surgery is only a few days away...

Hard to believe my surgery is only a few days away - Friday is the big day! I took down the pictures I had uploaded as they weren't very good. I took some new ones and will post soon. I think I'm all ready to go. I have all of my supplies and a very busy week ahead of me. The next few days are going to fly by. My next update will be post surgery!

1 Day Post-Op

It's over! I had surgery yesterday morning at 8 AM. Everything went smoothly and I was home by about 3:30 in the afternoon. I felt pretty good, but very tired, and napped for a chunk of the evening. I tried to eat a little bit, but didn't feel like it and went to bed early. This morning my eyes were both very red and swollen. It's uncomfortable, but I have experienced virtually no pain. I had a little right after the op and was given pain medication through the IV. After that I did take a pain pill but I did not one again for the rest of the day. Sleep was difficult. I can't breath though my nose and breathing through my mouth is really uncomfortable while sleeping. I keep waking up and my mouth is incredibly dry and throat hurts. Today has been okay, just mostly uncomfortable. I took a short nap this afternoon and ate some rice for dinner. I'm thinking about taking a bath tonight and turning in early. Still very tired. Can't wait for the swelling around my eyes to go down - I think that's been the worst part so far besides the dripping nose. I'm not bleeding anymore but my nose is still draining so I've kept the gauze on and change it a few times a day. All for now...will update again soon.

First doctor visit post-op

I'm just a little over 72 hours post-op now. Saw my surgeon this morning and he removed my stitches (I had an open procedure). He said everything was looking good and encouraged me to continue cleaning the inside (about of a quarter of a way in) with a q-tip dipped in hydrogen peroxide. I did this a bit when I got home today and managed to dislodge some dried blood which opened my airways considerably. I am now getting some air through both nostrils.

One things is slightly concerning me. Just after my procedure, my doctor talked to my husband about how everything went. He mentioned that he did not have as much cartilage to work with as he had anticipated. However, he believed I would like the result. I asked him about this today. He said normally, he would take extra cartilage from the ear, but because he had not discussed that possibility with me before the surgery, he did not. So I'm guessing he was able to sculpt the nose to his satisfaction by working with what he had. I sure hope it is to my satisfaction, too. It is kind of a red flag to me that he did not discuss this possibility with me beforehand given that he has done thousands of nasal surgeries. It seems like it would be pretty basic. So I'm a bit anxious about this. I sure hope I like what I see when the splint comes off this Thursday.

Otherwise, I have been doing okay. Minimal pain, if any. Mostly soreness. My eyes are less swollen, and bruising is beginning to turn yellow and redness is slowly receding. I really wish I could blow my nose, but I'm getting by. I went to bed early last night after taking an ambien and slept okay (still sleeping propped up). I'm really tired today but I don't feel like napping. I'm always very puffy and swollen just after waking up.

That's all I can really think of at the moment. Oh, it is starting to get quite itchy, but I suppose that's a good sign.

Not having fun right now

I think today is day four post-op. I slept horribly last night and am sore from being propped up. I was up half the night thinking "I have to deal with this damn thing on my face for two more days!!"

I have also had some pain in my nose for the first time since surgery. It's just a dull, aching pain and it's not too bad. But thought I would note that since I haven't had any pain otherwise. The biggest source of my pain so far has been a canker sore just inside my bottom lip (stress related, maybe?) and cramps. So neither one related to the actual surgery.

I wanted to bring up another issue I'm having and see if any of you ladies have experienced this. I'm pretty sure I have a UTI or yeast infection. It is driving me nuts. Here's the thing - I had a pretty severe one after my jaw surgery due to the catheter. For this surgery, I specifically requested to NOT have a catheter placed. When I woke up, I asked the nurse in recovery if I had had one, but she didn't know. At the time, I didn't think I had, because when I woke up from my jaw surgery I KNEW something was off right away. Since my nasal surgery on Friday, I have felt things getting worse. More uncomfortable and frequent urination and all that. When I had jaw surgery, I tried two over the counter treatments before I ended up going to the doctor, getting checked out, and getting a prescription. This time I'm going to try an over the counter treatment, but I'm afraid I'll end up at the doctor again. Has anyone else had this issue post-surgery?? You would think that the prescribed anti-biotics would take care of this, but they seem to only make it worse. It is such a frustrating thing to deal with when I'm trying to recovery from having part of my face broken. I was dreading the fact that this may happen again given how it went down after jaw surgery. Can't wait for this to all be over and be back to normal!

Highly anticipating tomorrow!

I feel a lot better today. Got a prescription for Diflucan from my surgeon to take care of the infection and actually got some sleep last night. Today I am eagerly awaiting tomorrow morning so I can get this splint removed! I'm a bit anxious to see what my nose looks like, but honestly, I am so ready for this thing to come off I can't even think about what my nose will actually look like too much yet. It doesn't feel like this is really happening!

Splint is off!

The splint is off! I am so so SO happy it's gone! That thing was extremely uncomfortable. Removal was fine, not painful at all. My doctor used some kind of solution to loosen the cast and cut it off very slowly and carefully. Then it was time for me to stand up and take a look - I was really nervous! So upon first look I was kind of like...oh. Not as thrilled as I thought I'd be. But I know that is only because of the swelling. After examining it some more from all angles, I think I'm going to be really happy with it once the swelling goes down. It looks so natural! I'm very pleased with the tip, it is not too upturned at all. My bump is completely gone. It's just still kind of a shock for me! I've wanted this for so many years now and it's finally done. My nose is also much straighter. It used to look very crooked when looking from the front. Just overall, I think it's going to be really great.

I still have some bruising under my eyes but it's very minimal. I'm still taking arnica tablets as well as using the gel. The doctor's assistant was very nice and told me to keep using it as often as possible. She also taught me the exercise I need to do 10 times a day for 30 seconds each for the next 8 weeks. I have to kind of squeeze the top of my nose with my index fingers in line with the corner of my eyes. It really hurts, but apparently it's supposed to and the pain should lessen and be pretty much nothing in two weeks. She explained the bones try to go back to their original placement. I'm very used to hearing this...heard the same thing again and again with jaw surgery. I actually told her I had had jaw surgery (7 months ago today!) and told her how different my face looks overall now. I told her I did not used to have cheek bones at all and she was very surprised - she said people pay to have cheekbones like the ones I have now! Ha, that made me happy. Whether it's true or not, I don't know.

Now that is is all said and done, jaw and nose, my face is worth about $100,000 (including the cost of braces, and double jaw surgery is EXTREMELY expensive but my insurance did cover it). I think that's pretty funny...I better be damn careful with it!

Finally - pictures!

Here are a few pictures! No makeup or anything and you can still see some bruising.

One week post-op

I'm feeling pretty good - one week post-op as of Friday. Yesterday I was really tired, ended up napping in the afternoon and going to bed really early. My nose has been sore where the incision was made. The scab there is a little annoying because I can't really do anything about it and it's fairly noticeable, so it looks like I just didn't clean my nose. I've been cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide as instructed by my surgeon. I can breathe through my nose pretty well now but it does get quite stuffed up over night. Always have to clean it very thoroughly in the morning.

But overall, I'm feeling pretty good. Not totally back to normal yet. I have some whiteheads along the bottom of my nose by the nostrils, and I really can't do much about them so I hope they clear up quickly. My skin is just wanting to break out in general. I think I mentioned this before but I took accutane several years ago for severe adult cystic acne. It cleared up skin and has for years, but I have noticed that post surgeries my skin tries to break out. The break outs never come all the way through, though, and then they go away and my skin it back to being clear. Accutane was a lifesaver for me and has kept my skin looking great for years now.

As for the way my nose looks, it is still very swollen. It just looks big! But I'm very happy with it in general and how my profile looks. I can't believe the bump that I have hated for 28 years is finally gone. So I like how it looks in the mirror. However, my husband took a picture of me this morning and I didn't like it so much. It looked kind of pig-like to me. But I know that's the swelling.

One other thing I'm having issues with is wearing my glasses. I am blind without them, and as you all know, you're not supposed to wear them after rhinoplastly. My surgeon said 8 weeks. I have been wearing my contacts when I go out (but my eyes hate it, they're really dry) and taping the glasses to my forehead when I'm at home. But they keep drooping and falling onto my nose! Does anyone have any methods for glasses-wearing? I wish I could see without them but I cannot see anything. My nose literally has to be touching a book before I can see it to read. I need Lasik but honestly, I'm afraid of it! Even after all I've been through, Lasik still terrifies me.

Two Months Post-op

I'm a little over two months post-op now. I hesitated to write again until I was totally happy with things, but apparently that could be awhile! So about a month ago, a small bump/dent began to form on the bridge of my nose. I called my surgeon, and they advised me to come in. My surgeon was totally unconcerned and said that it will resolve itself in time, but that it could take a few months. I understand that swelling can take up to a year to go away, so this is fine. The bump is very very small, probably unnoticeable to most, but I will not be completely happy until it is gone. The doctor did give me an injection (I think it was cortisone?), which he said will help to break up the bone. I did some online research and it seems that what he says is true; this is actually rather common and usually does resolve itself in time.

So that's where I am right now. Otherwise, I'm really happy with the results. I think it looks very natural, and a lot of the swelling has subsided. If it weren't for the tiny bump, I would be thrilled! So, hopefully, in a few months, it will heal up and I will be totally happy with my results. I feel SO much more confident in my daily life. Overall, it was worth it!

I will attach a photo I just took with my phone. The reason it looks a little red is because I'm finally allowed to wear my glasses again, and I'm getting used to them. The scar on my nose is where I had it pierced once - big mistake! I plan to have it treated in about a year when my nose is fully healed.
Richard Zeph

Was this review helpful? 3 others found this helpful

Comments (18)

Sort by

Your nose looks like it is healing well! More impressively, your jaw surgery looks like you hardly have any swelling at all which is excellent considering when you had it. You must feel so brand new! Love it :) Ahh I wish I could get my darn jaw surgery covered.
  • Reply
Thanks! I healed from the jaw surgery quite quickly, so I feel lucky as it's a very hard thing to go through for many people. Do you have insurance and they just won't cover it, or do you not have insurance at all? If you do have it and they are refusing coverage, have you had a surgeon try to appeal it for you? I know some people have a really hard time getting it covered but there are success stories out there. I hate how insurance companies play with you on the jaw surgery. It is a medical necessity! Most people who need it will have problems in the future if they don't get it.
  • Reply
No, I have no insurance : / But yes, I am familiar (from poking around on Archwired & Jawsurgeryblog) with problems other people have with approval the first time or two. It is outrageously expensive otherwise, as you know. It most definitely is a medical necessity.... it surely can have an aesthetic benefit, but I don't know many cases where people aren't having a medical-related problem with a bad bite. I have a slightly recessed upper, and the lower is asymmetrical. Plenty of jaw and headaches! So happy you were able to get yours... what a feeling it must me to smile normal!
  • Reply
I really feel for you...I know jaw surgery is pretty much impossible here in the US without insurance. Yeah, I don't know of anyone who has had jaw surgery purely for cosmetic reasons. I hope you can get it done some day, especially if you're having jaw aches and headaches. That's not good and all that stuff can only get worse if it's not corrected. It is amazing to have it done and have a normal bite and smile!
  • Reply
Hi dear! Hope your recovery starts getting better.. Those first few days are really rough but I finally started feeling better around day 5 or 6! Regarding your UTI/yeast infection situation.. Usually when you have a surgery antibiotics will be prescribed.. Antibiotics kill all bacteria.. Not just the bad, which means no good/protective bacteria which can lead to yeast infections (which are actually fungus buildup) kind of gross. So more than likely you are having a yeast infection from the antibiotics! Be sure to eat plenty of yogurt or take probiotics, it will probably get better once you stop the antibiotics. In my personal experience anyways.. I get a yeast infection almost every time I take antibiotics! Reference: I graduate nursing school in December, haha. Hope that helps you out & hope you start feeling better soon!
  • Reply
Hi! You are probably right about the antibiotics, that is really interesting! I always assumed it was the catheter that caused the infections, but that makes a lot of sense. Geez, I hope it doesn't happen every time I take antibiotics now but at least I know what to expect. I actually called my surgeon's office and got a prescription for diflucan and now feel so much better. In the future I will have some yogurt/probiotics on hand. I hope your recovery is going well! I'm excited to see some pictures with your cast off - good luck with the removal today! :)
  • Reply
Jaw surgery is a big deal! I am looking into it because I have a bad bite. What was yours for? I was thinking of getting it before getting a rhinoplasty because I hear jaw surgery can change your nose if you have upper done, but I didn't have insurance to cover it and broke my nose... so figured I should try to fix what I could. If you survived jaw surgery you will get through this recovery no problem! I agree that the ear cartilage option should always be discussed as a backup to consent to just in case you have minimal septal cartilage to work with, or your nose requires more cartilage than originally estimated. Can't wait to see it :)
  • Reply
PS~ Just scrolled through the comments section and saw you reply to someone else about your jaw surgery. Did you keep a journal of that elsewhere? I know there are several online jaw surgery forums that I frequent.
  • Reply
Hi! I didn't get a journal for my jaw surgery but I did frequent a few jaw surgery forum (like archwired) and talked about my story a bit there. It is really nice to have some support from people who have been through it. I would agree about getting jaw surgery before rhinoplasty. My nose was slightly widened after jaw surgery, but it was already so narrow that it wasn't a big deal. My jaw surgeon advised me to wait six months after jaw surgery to have nasal surgery, so that's what I did. Also, jaw surgery potentially changes the position of your chin so you want to make sure your new nose will match and be in balance. This recovery is no picnic but it is A LOT easier that jaw surgery. Although this recovery is bringing back some bad memories, haha. I do not regret the jaw surgery for one second, though, despite the difficult recovery - it was completely worth it and has given me so much confidence and a great smile. If you have insurance now that will cover it, go for it!
  • Reply
Sorry for all the typos in that - just woke up! :)
  • Reply
I have a horrible bump & side profile as well!! My surgery is May 16th..We're almost there!! Hope everything goes easily for you :)
  • Reply
Thank you! I see you are in Chicago, that's only a couple of hours from me. Great city. :) Good luck with your op - I am going to read your story now!
  • Reply
Why did you get jaw surgery?? I have tmj and went to jaw surgeon and he said the price I would have to pay for jaw surgery wasn't worth the small improvement I would see. I'm just afraid how it might affect me getting a rhinoplasty. I hope to not need jaw surgery but I hope I can still get rhinoplasty
  • Reply
I had a huge open bite where my front teeth didn't meet at all - only two back teeth touched. It was a functional issue and could only be corrected with surgery, so it was considered medically necessary and my insurance covered it. I benefited greatly cosmetically from it as well, but that was just a bonus. Maybe try a different jaw surgeon for a second opinion? If you feel you really need it and you have insurance, it is worth it 100%. Most surgeons require you to have braces first and throughout the process, although I did meet with one surgeon who was willing to do it without. However, the results wouldn't have been quite as perfect so I opted to wear the braces.
  • Reply

Thanks for starting your story on RealSelf. It sounds like you have realistic expectations as to how the rhinoplasty will be compared to jaw surgery. The first three days are usually hardest, but you'll make it through.

Here's a list of supplies you might need for recovery.

Please keep us posted!

  • Reply
Thank you. Jaw surgery had about 10 really tough days before it got even slightly better so I'm optimistic about recovery from rhinoplasty. At least I'll be able to eat! :)
  • Reply
Who is your plastic surgeon? And is he in the Indianapolis area?
  • Reply
Hi, I'm sorry, I just saw this! My surgeon is Dr. Zeph, and yes, he is in Carmel.
  • Reply