My first foray into cosmetic surgery - nose job
Last year, I decided to have my nose fixed after...
The first month, I was online everyday doing my research-- reading about rhinoplasty, checking on some doctors' credentials, reading reviews about them and looking at before and after pics. After that, I chose my surgeon and started asking him all my questions via email. After 5 months, I flew to his city.
I made plans to stay in the city for a total of 8 days. Instead of staying in a hotel, I rented a fully furnished studio apartment. I also made arrangements for healthy meals to be delivered to my apartment daily so that I won't have to cook or go out and buy them myself. The day before the surgery, I stocked up on water, wet wipes and made sure that the cable and the Internet was working.
I saw my surgeon in person for the first time on Monday, 12/9/13, had my surgery on Tuesday 12/10/13 and flew home Tuesday of the next week, 12/17/13.
I won't deny I was very nervous going into the surgery. My surgeon assured me that the only pain I was going to experience was the prick of the needle administering the local anesthesia.
First, he harvested the cartilage that he was going to use for my tip. He took it from my right ear. The whole time I could feel him tugging and sawing, there wasn't any pain but like I said, it wasn't comfortable.
The doctor had asked me to tell him if I felt any pain and I did repeatedly but somehow no matter how often he injected my nose with more anesthesia, it didn't completely numb out the area. Once or twice, I felt pain when Doc used the cautery and also when he inserted the needle for stitching. And then there was the discomfort of feeling him hammering against my bones when he broke them to make the new bridge more prominent. Lastly, it felt like the whole thing took forever and while the doctor was kind enough to take note of my favorite music and he played them the whole time, I was still hugely relieved when he proclaimed the surgery DONE and SUCCESSFUL.
All in all, it was one of the most uncomfortable 3 hours of my life. Was it worth it? Yes it was! Minutes after he was done stitching me up, Doc placed a mirror in front of me and I felt ecstatic about what I saw! Everything about my nose was definitely slimmer, gone was the squashed-tomato like projection in front of my face and in its place was the slim and pretty nose I always dreamed about!
Recovery was not easy but it was uneventful. 24 hours after the surgery, my face puffed up like crazy and there were ugly blue, black and yellow bruises all over my face. I wasn't really worried, I knew it would all go down, but I admit feeling impatient about them. I also admit I was lazy with the ice pack and did not apply it to the bruises as diligently as I should but I made sure I took the antibiotics on time, cleaned the incision sites thoroughly and applied the cream as often as I was told.
Doc asked me to go back for checkup 2 days after surgery. He praised me for having kept the incision sites clean. Stitches were removed 7 days after. It didn't hurt and it took only a few minutes. When I flew home, my face was still a bit swollen and there were bruises on my eyes and along my jawline but I thought I was presentable enough.
My face did not go back to normal until 4 weeks after the surgery. The bruises persisted until the third week and I have to admit during those times, there were days I regretted going under the knife. But whenever I took pictures of my nose and compared it to my before photos, I knew I did the right thing.
My family noticed the change right after I came home and many of my friends complemented me on my new look. Only those very close to me knew exactly what changed, the rest just thought I looked prettier even beautiful -- words which were rarely associated with me before the surgery.
Unfortunately, as of this writing, Doc has scheduled the removal of the Goretex implant that he used for my bridge because my nose was reacting to it & a persistent redness has appeared. One week of Augmentin (antibiotics) did not help. Doc says revision can be done a month after the removal, this time using my own cartilage.
So once again, I'm prepping myself for the surgery. Doc assures me removal will only take 15 minutes so I will be spared going through what I did the first time. A month after, I would return for the revision and he will be harvesting cartilage from my other ear to enhance the bridge again.
Would I do it again? The answer is a big YES. I probably would have gone for cartilage the first time instead of Goretex but all in all, I would still choose the same surgeon. Oh and I'd probably opt to have the surgery done with general anesthesia instead of local :)
* A piece of advice for those thinking about having their nose done. If you cannot stand being in pain for even the fewest minutes and if you can afford it, opt to have the surgery done with general anesthesia. It will cost you more and you will have to get several tests done before the surgery, but I think it will be worth it.
Adding my before pic :)
2 weeks away from implant removal -- anxious and worried!
I've been reading previous posts here especially those similar to my case, wondering if I'm better off leaving my nose alone after the implant is removed. As mentioned in my first review, ear cartilage was added to make my tip more prominent. I'm afraid that after the Goretex implant is removed from the bridge, my tip would look horrible & somewhat abnormal. I've asked my doctor this and he could not give me a definite answer. I understand what he means when he says we can only tell AFTER the removal but the uncertainty is causing me a great deal of anxiety.
Right now, the tip of my nose is very swollen. I'm scared this is because of too much scarring and that I'd have to live with this look if I refuse to undergo revision. I'm no longer feeling optimistic about this whole procedure :)
Relieved! Implant is gone and nose doesn't look bad at all!
I'm so relieved now that the pressure from the swelling on my nose is gone and the best part is, it doesn't look bad at all. Doc left the cartilage tip alone and with the trimming he did on my alae, my nose still looks better than before rhinoplasty.
Now we're just waiting for the infection and the swelling to completely go away. I'm not in a hurry to do the revision anymore, in fact, I may decide not to go through with it after all :)
Revision in August
I'm really hoping that this time will be the last one. It has been a long journey and while I can't say there aren't any regrets, I'm determined to see this through and come out of it with the nose that I wanted.
P.S. The revision will not be totally free, by the way. Doc will be charging me the operating room fees as well as the cost of the general anesthesia since I refuse to go through another rhinoplasty using local anesthesia. Once is enough for me :)
Revision in July
I'm in constant communication with another one of his patients who also got infected. He's had his revision a month ago and so far everything is great with him. He's raving about how his nose is perfect now and I can only pray that things will go the same way for me. To help me heal, I've bought Vitamedica's Recovery Support Program plus Arnica. I didn't take anything during my primary rhino and I was swollen and bruised for weeks! Hopefully this will help me bounce back faster and will help keep the infection away.
I will update this review after my revision.
Doc asked me to come in at 9am, got there at 845. Had my labs done at 930, talked to the anesthesiologist at around 11. I was asked not to eat anything from 4am onwards but my last meal was at 12mn so by 11am I was famished and really thirsty.
Surgery started at 1pm. Doc Eric talked to me and took pictures of my nose 15 minutes before. I changed into OR clothes then after that, all I could remember was the OR nurse asking me to wash my face and hands with a Betadine looking liquid then being lead to the OR afterwards. The anesthesiologist then came to insert the IV and the next thing I knew I was being awakened by the OR nurse and she was telling me the surgery was done. Another OR nurse showed me a mirror so I could look at my nose but I was too nauseated to really focus. They called a cab for me and I got home safe and sound at around 6pm.
During the talk, the anesthesiologist told me I was going to feel three things after the surgery: 1. nauseated/groggy 2. cold 3. exhausted. He was right, I felt all three but it was still better than my primary rhino. I came home really, really hungry. I ate half a salad, drank my meds and went to sleep after texting my folks at home.
When I woke up at 11pm, I felt okay, still a little nauseated but not in any pain. Right away, I could see that my nose is slimmer and the bridge is higher. It looks great even with the cast. The ear where Doc took the cartilage for my tip is okay too, it feels a little 'heavy' but not painful. I cleaned the dried blood from the wounds using distilled water and some cotton swab then applied an antibacterial ointment on them and went back to sleep.
I stayed at home the whole Sunday, of course. I drank fruit and vegetable juices and ate salads which I had delivered. I took the antibiotics every 12 hours, as well as the morning and evening recovery pills from Vitamedica. Also took Bromelain and Arnica three times a day and applied antibacterial ointment on the stitches every after cleaning, as directed by Doc. I needed the pain reliever three times after the surgery, after that I was okay. I wasn't in any pain but the wounds were feeling 'heavy' so I just took the pain relievers before I felt anything more. And I didn't. Through all these, I used my phone to set the alarm off so I wouldn't forget to take the meds. I was taking a lot: antibiotics (co-amoxiclav) twice a day, 3 morning recovery pills, 3 evening recovery pills, 3 arnica pills 3x a day, 2 bromelain capsules 3x a day so i needed help remembering when to take them.
Today I went to see Doc Eric. He looked at the stitches, cleaned them up a bit but didn't remove them yet. He said I was doing well and he told me to see him again on Thursday, 5 days after the surgery, to remove all the stitches.
I'm feeling okay. Sleeping is a bit of a challenge since I have to do it with 4 pillows behind me so that my head is elevated and I can't turn to my sides. Sometimes the stitches itch so I just get a cotton swab and touch it very lightly on the area. I don't see a lot of swelling on my face, there aren't any bruises either and I think this is because of Vitamedica's Clinical Support program which I bought from their website for $98. Two days after my primary rhino I looked like I was stung by a bee. I could barely open my eyes and there were huge, yellow bruises on the sides of my jaw and under my eyes. This time, I look quite normal except for the stitches and the cast on my nose. No ugly bruises and swelling is very minimal, almost unnoticeable.
I'm pretty excited to see my nose after the cast is removed. I can see that it's already very slim and the bridge is as high as I've always wanted it to be. I'm very happy at the moment. I'll update this review after Thursday when the stitch and cast is removed.
P.S. I'm sorry I can't post pictures. I did post some before but I got so uncomfortable seeing my face online I decided to take them down.
Tip Plasty (ear cartilage used to refine tip)
Goretex implant used to heighten the bridge
Doc Eric is very accommodating & he replies to emails pretty quickly. He never made me feel like I was a nuisance despite the fact that I asked him a lot of questions before my primary rhino, after the implant was removed and now that we're discussing the revision. His rates are very reasonable and he has stood by his promise of guaranteeing his patients' satisfaction. His staff are also very nice, one even held my hand the entire time during the surgery :) One thing he could improve on is the way he administers the local anesthesia. My primary rhino was not completely painless, as described in my first entry here. This is why I've insisted that the revision be done using general anesthesia. I don't think I can go through the same ordeal again even if he won't be doing osteotomy & alarplasty this time. 5/23/14: I've edited my review of Doc Eric based on what happened after I got infected. I will edit this again after the revision. For now, he gets 3 stars because although he is doing the revision for free, every time I remember him & his staff telling me that I was just unlucky because I got infected, I get offended. It turns out the issue was from their end. Him downplaying that piece of vital information is a turn off. On the other hand, I do appreciate his decision to redo everything for free. I'm praying everything goes well this time and if it does, I will make sure to let everyone here know. 7/12/14: As promised, I've edited my review of Doc Eric after the revision. It's still 2 days since the surgery but seeing how nice my nose looks now and how painless everything was, I'm giving him an overall rating of 4. He's quite busy but he did took the time to talk to me before the surgery and the anesthesiologist explained everything really well so I knew what to expect afterwards. Again, the cast is still on my nose so I can't see all of it but from what I can see, it's very slim and tall. Exactly what I wanted!