AA Rhinoplasty Experience (CAST OFF) - Jacksonville, FL

Since I was a young teen, I've longed to have a...

Since I was a young teen, I've longed to have a rhinoplasty. I've always felt my nose was far too wide for my face and no one in my family had a nose quite like mine. It was very damaging to my self-esteem and confidence, but I went back and forth with the idea of changing it thinking that maybe someday I'll learn to accept it. To make a long story short, that day never came. It got to the point where I hated to take pictures or even looking at people directly in their eyes, self consciously thinking they were staring at my nose. As an African American it was very important to me to find a surgeon who was experienced with ethnic rhinoplasty and only specialized in the plastic surgery of the face. I had my first consultation online about a year ago, continued to do research and had a face-to-face consult this year. I decided to go with the surgeon that I spoke with this year, he seemed very skilled and addressed all my concerns. I booked my surgery for July 9th and my pre-op is in about 5 weeks. I'm really excited, nervous, and anxious ! *I will be updating around the time of my Pre-op*

Here are a few pictures....

Pre-op appointment is in 2 weeks... time is really flying !! (: I was going to wait until after my appointment to post pictures but I decided to go ahead and upload a few. So here goes.....

Pre-op appointment ? complete !

So my pre-op appointment is done, surgery is paid in full.. so everything is pretty official now. I got my prescriptions, pre-operative and post-operative instructions, and she explained to me what would be going on the day of the surgery. The patient care coordinator also gave me some very helpful tips that she learned during her rhinoplasty recovery, I absolutely love that she has been through the experience as well and can really relate... it's helps a lot. One of the tips she gave me was to drink lots of pineapple juice and eat blueberries prior to surgery because it helps minimize bruising. So I definitely plan on doing that. In other news I'm not feeling as anxious as I thought I would be, I guess this is all still kind of surreal to me, I just can't believe it's finally happening ! I'm very excited, nonetheless. Well I officially have 19 days til my surgery... LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN !!!

Surgery all done !! Let the recovery begin...

I had my surgery this afternoon ! Upon my arrival I got my pictures and vitals taken, I changed, got an IV and met with the nurse, anesthesiologist and anesthesia tech (who were all VERY nice and humerous). Last but not least I talked to my surgeon and we went over my goals. After a long wait in a freezing room I went to the OR and the last thing I remember is talking about Hawaii with the anesthesiologist then I woke up in recovery. Not sure how long I was out, I didnt ask (my surgeon didnt use general anesthesia, so I was "awake" and breathing on my own if anyone wanted to know). Then my parents drove me home which took forever because I had to use the restroom every 5 minutes... those IV fluids really did a number on my bladder ! lol So far no pain though... just a little pressure in my nose and a sore throat/dry mouth from breathing out my mouth... but I ate a popsicle and that helped a lot ! oh and I already have two black eyes which are just adorable... but i've been icing around the clock so they don't look too bad. As far as my nose goes... I cant really form an opinion right now, nor do I want to because it's way too early but I can see a difference in my tip, already. Anyways I have a follow-up appt with my surgeon tomorrow morning bright and early so I'm going to get some rest... or atleast try to.

Night 1 / Follow-up appt.

Last night wasn't too bad... I woke up about every 2 hours to drink water and use the restroom. I also had to change my drip-pad a lot but that's expected. Throat still hurts today but not as bad as I had imagined. Still no pain, just minimal pressure mainly between my eyes/upper bridge area. As far as swelling/bruising goes it's very minimal mostly just around my top eyelid (the picture makes it look a lot worse). I also have a little sweeling between the tip of my nose and top lip, but that's expected.

Woke up early for my follow-up appointment. My surgeon removed the blood/mucus clots from my nostrils,did some suctioning, cleaned my incisions, and sprayed a little saline in my nose as well... which managed to open up one of my nostrils so I can breatheeeee... the other side was being stubborn ! lol Anyways my surgeon also told what he did to my nose and says I will be very pleased, as is he. So overall I'm feeling very optomistic and I'll just leave it at that.

Quick update - 3 days post

I'm starting to be able to breathe out my nose again... still a little stuffy though. Bleeding has stopped for the most part but i'm still having a bit of drainage, which I guess is mucus so I still wear a drip pad from time to time. I've been using my saline spray faithfully and that has helped a lot. Sleeping hasn't been much of an issue. Swelling has gone down a lot, I still look a bit like a chipmunk though. Lol As far as pain goes I've haven't had any...just the annoying pressure of this cast (ugh !)... oh and my top front teeth have been hurting a bit as well... which sucks because I also have to wear a retainer at night. Ouch ! All in all my recovery has been going good... I'm just counting down the days til my cast removal !

Bye Bye Cast !

This morning I got my cast removed (Yay!) and my surgeon also removed the remaining crust from my nostrils which was nothing short of pure torture !! I can finally breathe completely out of both nostrils now, but for some reason I still find myself breathing out of my mouth and I sound very nasal. My nose is quite swollen, especially the tip (as expected), so I don't really look like myself, but because I was really mentally prepared to not be completely happy with the initial result I'm okay with that. I know patience is a virtue and with time every thing will get better. Beyond that I think my surgeon did a fantastic job on my nose...I can tell that the final result is going to be great. It looks like my old nose, just much smaller and more refined. (: To say the least, I'm content right now and I know as the swelling decreases I will feel better and better about it. My eyes and cheeks are also still very puffy so I'm not quite ready to take a picture yet... but hopefully I will be uploading some soon.

9 days post

Here are a couple pictures... still very swollen of course but It's slowly but surely getting better. I actually think these photos make it look less swollen than it is... looking in the mirror I feel like my tip looks way more swollen but idk. Still having a lot of congestion but I can breathe okay for the most part... still have two small bruises under both my eyes but nothing a little concealer can't fix, other than that everything is going well. oh & this is really random but I feel like my eyebrows are too far apart now that the bridge of my nose isn't as wide lol I filled them in in the photos so you can't really tell.... could be all in my head but I'm definitely going to attempt to grow my eyebrows out completely and get them reshaped to fit my new nose.

1 month post-op

Tomorrow I will be 1 month post-op. Had a follow-up with my surgeon today and he said i'm still "super swollen", which is quite surprising b/c other than the tip I think every thing looks good but i'll be looking forward to the changes. The tip is still very very hard and stiff which limits the movement of my top lip a bit. The skin on my nose gets very dry and peels like crazy and I'm also having a lot of drippage with drives me nuts b/c I'm not allowed to blow my nose. =\ I've had a couple friends tell me I look different but no one can't quite figure out what it is. One of my friends asked if I just got my braces off... I've had them off for about 2 years now so that was really funny to me. I don't have much to update you guys on but all is well... and I'm happy camper thus far, even with the swelling.
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Comments (78)

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I love it ! ♡ :)
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Thanksss !
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Great and natural results!
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Thanks. (:
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You look pretty - before and after. Thanks for sharing your story.
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Aww thanks and you are very welcome !
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Looks Great!! Congratulations!!!!
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looks Great! Congratulations!!!
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It looks sooo good so far! :)
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Thank you.
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Congrats on your new & beautiful nose!
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Aww Thanks !
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your nose looks amazing!!
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Hey, How are you doing? Getting more used to your new nose? It gets better everyday! Have my appointment with my dr. Tomorrow, I'm hoping he doesn't say that I need steroid injections. That just sounds like it will hurt. :(
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Yess I'm finally getting used to it, although i'm still really swollen...but it's getting better. I can't wait until the tip goes down though, but I know that will be the last thing to improve. Well if do you get the shots hopefully it won't be too painful. How's everything being going with your nose ?
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Thanks so much !
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Going well. I'm finally getting used to it, which is similar to what I've been reading that it may take a month to adjust. Now when I look in the mirror it looks like me and I have a harder time remembering what my old nose looked like. It is so weird, the change seemed sooo drastic to me, but no one has noticed, only the people I told before hand, not even my parents!
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Who is your surgeon?
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Dr. Phillip Garcia
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That's good... and it's the same with me I only told my parents and my boyfriend, no one else has really noticed. People have told me I look different but I changed my hair as well so they think it's because of that.
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Too funny, it's amazing to me how much we focus on ourselves and others barely notice. I've been told I look younger and well rested after my "vacation". I'll take that:)
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Thank you beautifull!!!
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how true we are so critical of ourselves.
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Thankss !
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I got the steroid injections which really helped with the swelling. Wasn't as bad I thought!
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