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My first foray into cosmetic surgery - nose job

Last year, I decided to have my nose fixed after...

Last year, I decided to have my nose fixed after years and years of hating it because it was flat and bulbous.

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!

Ever since my doctor told me he would have to remove the Goretex implant on my nose due to infection, I have been feeling all kinds of low. At first, I thought everything would be fine that this can be fixed by a revision, but now, I'm not so sure.

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!

So I just had the Goretex removed today. Doc Eric was right. It wasn't difficult at all. Despite everything I've read online, there weren't any issues taking the implant out and the whole thing was done very quickly.

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

It's been more than a month since the implant was removed and everything has healed well. The swelling has gone down from my nose although not as much as I'd want it to. I'm still communicating with Doc Eric and I've decided to have the revision done in August. Looking at my pics three weeks after the original rhinoplasty, I realized I loved that look and I want to get that back, this time using my own cartilage.

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 :)
Dr. Eric Yapjuangco, THE ICON CLINIC

Doc Eric was very accommodating from the day I inquired about his rates until now when we are already discussing the removal of the implant as well as the revision. He never made me feel like I was a nuisance despite the fact that I asked him a lot of questions and despite the physical distance between us. His rates are very reasonable and he has stood by his promise of guaranteeing his patients' satisfaction. His staff were also very nice, one even held my hand the entire time during the surgery :) During the surgery, I feel that he did everything he could to get the results we both wanted. Originally, he did not plan to do osteotomy but he did because he felt that it was necessary, looking at my nose after the alar trimming and the bridge enhancement. It took him hours to get the look that we agreed on which I felt was a testimony to his claim that he is a perfectionist. During the surgery, I remember him saying it wasn't a race, that we shouldn't be in a hurry since we were aiming for beauty which took time and some serious effort to achieve. Up to this day, I still agree with him and I am looking forward to having him do the revision, in God's perfect time. I'm giving him 4 stars because I had to wait in his clinic longer than I anticipated for my surgery to start. I came in at 1pm as agreed upon and surgery started at 5pm. Also, I cannot disregard the discomfort & pain that I felt while he was working on my nose. As far as the results are concerned, he is a 5. After all, it isn't his fault my nose is reacting to the implant.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (19)

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Hi,I want to have Rhinoplasty too in the future. Im here in The US, I want to fly there for nose job, Im just Curious if your Doctor can use your own cartilage on the bridge instead of silicon or gorotex, if not alarplasty and tip plasty na lang.
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Hello. Yes Doc Eric can use cartilage but usually he gets it from the ears. He says he will combine it with some skin that he will get from somewhere near the butt. That's what he will be doing with mine -- if I do decide to go ahead with the revision. Another doctor who does great cartilage rhinoplasty is Dr. Collantes but she doesn't reply to emails that much so you might have to call her to inquire. Hope this helps!
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Wow that's great news! How nice would it be if you don't need the revision!?
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I am so glad that your journey seems to have a happy ending! I really must put this out there, that I absolutely cannot recall a time where I have seen a happy outcome with an implant. It's my very personal opinion that doctors should know better than to use them. I know they mention the risks and people want to be optimistic... but it seems infection rates are high, and I don't know that anyone could ever really be "in the clear" with a nasal implant. It is too bad they are not immune to issues... think of how many nose problems could be solved! It is just as with other implants... the body may want to reject them. I'd think that would be especially in the case of noses because you are working with such a small constricted space. Good on you for getting it out, you probably prevented some devastating issues down the road.
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I am glad to hear everything went well. Happy healing!
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y so cheap that scares me :/
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$2000 in the Philippines is not cheap. It's pretty much the normal price here.
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Oh man, I'm so sorry about the implant! So you had ear cartilage placed plus an implant, too?
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Yes. cartilage was placed on the tip, implant on the bridge. I wished I went with cartilage right away. It would have spared me the revision. Recovery was the most troublesome part for me and now I have to go through it again.
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Good luck on your second one. I hope all goes well. How does your ear look like after taking cartilage from it? I am having a revision rhino and might need cartilage harvested from my ear. I am a bit concerned despite my surgeon's assurance it would be fine. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
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Thanks! My ear looks fine, actually. I worried about the same thing before the procedure so I know how you feel :) The bruise stayed for a long while, 6 weeks in my case. I'm not sure if this is the same for the others but I find that my earphone keeps falling off now which is really a downer as I love listening to music but other than that, all is okay with the ear. Still, I plan to ask Doc about getting the next cartilage from the rib instead :) Good luck with your revision and thanks again for dropping by!
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Thanks so much. Have you asked your doctor why your ear doesn't hold the earphone well after surgery? That's weird. My doctor also mentioned rib cartilage. I hope I don't need either one but he was not 100 percent sure I have enough septum cartilage when he examined my nose.
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I haven't asked. I will do so when I see him for the implant removal :) Now that I've been reading some more about revisions, I have a couple more questions for him. I want this to be the last so I'm being extra thorough. When are you having your revision?
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You should write down all the questions before seeing him. Me too, I want it to be the last one. My surgery is on March 25. I have a review that you may check it out if you like.
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Yes, I'm bringing a notepad next time I see him. I'm reading your review now. Again, good luck on the revision.
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Thanks dear. I have a second consult on March 5 and I'm also starting to write all my questions and concerns down as it's easy to forget when you're at the doctor's office. Good luck to you as well.
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Wow! Rhinoplasty under local anaesthesia! That is so brave! Good luck with the rest of your journey.
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Thanks! Had I known it was going to be as uncomfortable as it was, I would have insisted on the general anesthesia.
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