Revision Journey

I had what was supposed to be a finesse...

I had what was supposed to be a finesse rhinoplasty in December 2013 with a double certified Dr. (see my previous review). What was to follow was nothing I ever expected or imagined.

It has turned into a long, emotional, painful ordeal that I wish upon no one. When the cast came off, I nearly passed out from how swollen and hideous my nose looked. Instead, I went numb and my brain could not process that I was looking at myself. The nurse asked me what I thought and I remember telling her: "I look scary."

The following months were emotionally the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, and I have been through a lot in my life. I had my first revision with the same doctor, which I have come to regret now. I should have saved money and gone to a revision Dr and had all my issues addressed in one shot. While the profile was improved, I was left with retracted nostrils and a persistent hump, a slight depression, along with a visible fracture line that did not go away. To make matters worse, a surgery that was supposed to help my breathing has made it worse. It is difficult for me to work out now, something that used to be my therapy.

My nose is not a "botch job", but what I walked out with was much worse than what I walked in with. I get really sad every time I look in the mirror or see my reflection. I am more self conscious of the nose I have now than I ever was of my biological nose. I know people live with bad nose jobs for years before they address it, probably out of fear that another surgery will make matters worse, but I cannot imagine continuing to look in the mirror at this nose for years to come. I hope to find the right revision Dr. I have consulted with two so far and both said I could have my revision 5-6 months after my last procedure since no bones were broken and my tip was not altered. This will document my journey of finding the right Dr for me.

No surgeon has a perfect record

If I knew then what I know now, I would have never touched my nose. Having a rhinoplasty IMO is opening a can of worms. In the last 8 months I have spent countless hours and days researching this procedure and speaking to patients. The amount of people who suffer from a bad rhinoplasty is scary. There are so many who suffer silently, ashamed to post about their experience. Even the most renowned surgeons have some very unhappy patients with bad results because the nose is very delicate and Drs are not perfect. It is really scary. A bad nose surgery is not something you can hide and forget about. It is in the middle of your face for you and all to see daily. Reading and researching Drs has led me to realize that this is a huge $$$ making industry and a lot of Drs resort to shady, unethical, and deceitful tactics. There are so many fake reviews out there that you just don't know which ones to trust. Some Drs have negative reviews completely removed from certain sites. That fact alone breaks my heart. Drs lie about the number of surgeries they perform, their revision %, and even whether a patient really needs an actual procedure such a septoplasty or not since insurance pays $$$ for those things.

Anyway, the point is, it astonishes me when I see so many people who have perfectly nice noses and still take this huge risk for little reward. People DON'T focus on your nose unless it's huge. They see your face as a whole. So many people who have very low self-esteem, BDD (Body dysmorphic disorder), depression/anxiety, and start obsessing over their noses thinking that fixing it will cure their warped self-image. Of course I'm not discounting the experiences of those who had noses where we can objectively say, yes, a nose job could really help, and a nose-job does in fact give them a self-esteem boost.

For me at this point, I'm as miserable as can be with my results, so I'm taking a risk again, but I am doing my due diligence and researching as much as possible. There is the possibility that I won't be happy with my results, and that worries me, but I want my life back!!!

Consults so far

I have spoken with a few surgeons so far and met with 2 in person.

Of all surgeons I have emailed, Dr. Lamperti in Seattle has been the most helpful in his responses. He reviewed my pictures, answered ALL my questions thoroughly, explained different techniques to me, etc. If he wasn't all the way across the country, he'd be at the top of my list.

Meanwhile, I drove 2 hours to see another well-known Dr who I will not name, and he would not give me ANY feedback. It was a 10 minute useless consult where I was told: come back in a few months. Really? Things like a hump or nostril notching aren't going to magically fix themselves. I am tired of surgeons blaming swelling for everything. While some things do resolve themselves with swelling, there are others that DO NOT and are known not to.

I also met with Dr. Boahene in MD. I was really excited to meet him and he did not disappoint. He was such a sweet, cheerful man. I was so grateful that he took pictures, created morphs, and told me while my nose does not look bad, he can see why it bothers me. I think the only thing was he did not agree with me that I had a droopy columella, and told me that my nose now leaning to the right was just an illusion, although my fiance (without me ever mentioning it) pointed it out. Another concern I had was his replies to my emails were a bit slow, I'm not really sure what the norm is in terms of responsiveness amongst other well-known surgeons is, so maybe I am just impatient.

I have considered Dr. Eric Joseph in NJ but don't like the fact that he really advocates permanent fillers which are completely unsafe. I want to feel that I can trust my surgeon.

I'm also considering Dr. Le in MD, he fixed penelopenose's completely botched nose and he is known for his revisions, but there are others who have had really unusual encounters with him. I think I will find out for myself by scheduling a consult.

Finally, I am scheduled to see Dr. Zuliani in Michigan. I am seeing him because he had a lot of experience with thick skinned patients/ethnic noses. I personally spoke to three of his patients who are very happy with their results, one being a major revision. He would not respond to any of my questions via email though. My only concern is that he is a young Dr with less experience than some others.

OMG It's done!

I made it to the other side and back! I'm still holding off on telling you guys who I picked as my surgeon because I want to do an honest assessment without getting any backlash or hostility. In total, I spoke to 6 surgeons before making a decision. So I'll talk more about why I picked him and meeting him in person in another post.

I had my revision surgery yesterday. I flew out to have it and had to come by myself. I think that's the hardest part about it so far, not having the emotional support, and I could use some assistance.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I was given too much anesthesia or what, but I woke up feeling awful. I was hallucinating!! no joke, and then I was in so much pain. My nurse was really rude and started saying things like "you are whining like you're dying! you are not dying!" Wow...I just told her "I know I am not dying but I'm in a lot of pain!!!" she then told me "hun, you've been through this before, you should know what it's like!" I could not believe her! Literally the meanest nurse I've ever had! I started crying and only then did she call the Dr who told her to give me some morphine, which helped so much. I then got my period while I was in recovery, omg, what? just great!

I had arranged with a nurse assistant to take me to my hotel, and she was supposed to spend 4 hours with me. Unfortunately the nurses at the hospital told her to come too early so she ended up waiting there for 2 hours :( She wheeled me back to my room and helped me a bit then had to leave, and I wished she'd stayed longer :(

I ended up throwing six times that night. It was so bad because all that pressure made blood gush out of my nose. I also could not stomach anything so I couldn't eat, which meant I couldn't take any pain meds. I'd feel so much better after throwing up, fall asleep, probably swallow some blood coming down from my nose, then wake up and vomit again. It was a really rough 6 hours.

I've been sleeping in increments of 1-2 hours, waking up with a really dry mouth, drinking some water, then dozing off again. The pain is very manageable now and I have been able to do without the narcotics I was prescribed. My eyes are nearly swelled shut. I am having nightmares about my nose when I fall asleep..it feels like I have PTSD. I really cannot handle another disappointment. He told me because it was a revision it wont be perfect but it will be an improvement. I am just scared, not sure what to expect.

Oh!! And I am so lucky that he ended up not needing any ear cartilage! I am so glad he found enough septum to work with. I didn't need any grafting except for spreader grafts. yay!

Will try to update until the cast comes off!
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