Cast OFF!!!! - Orange County, CA

So I have been reading these reviews for months...

So I have been reading these reviews for months now and have finally decided to make one of my own! I have always wanted to change my nose ever since i was around 12 when someone made fun of me in Middle School! I didn't even really think about my nose until then and it's been on my mind ever since. I am always so self conscious in pictures at certain angles especially the side view. I have no pictures of myself from the side on my facebook and if anyone ever posts one of me I immediately un-tag myself or delete it.

I finally began doing some research on the internet around November 2012 and began looking into doctors in the Orange County/Los Angeles area. I am extremely picky when it comes to my face! who isn't? I cry every time I get a haircut... don't judge me! Anyways, I told my parents, sister, and my boyfriend that I wanted to look into having rhinoplasty and surprisingly they were all very encouraging. My nose is quite large and I have a large bump on the side. I also have a bulbus tip and large nostrils. Sometimes I feel like I have trouble breathing as well.

So, about a week ago I made the hour and a half drive up to Beverly Hills for a free consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. I was very excited and nervous during my consultation. The doctor and all his staff were very nice and friendly. We went over how it would look and what would be best for me. He recommended I do open rhinoplasty. Which is where they do incisions inside and outside of the nose. We had plans to fix my bump, slightly re-adjust the tip for more definition, and to bring down my nostrils. I was very excited and happy with what he had told me. Although it wasn't completely set in stone for me. However, a big factor too, is that I will be paying for this procedure by myself so cost is a big factor. (I'm not expecting it to be cheap) just reasonable enough! I'm a college student, cut me some slack..

Anyways the doctor told me it was going to be $7,500 and my heart was broken! I was expecting like 4-5500 tops! Mainly because its a minor procedure and I haven't had any surgeries or breaks/fractures. I know everyone is different as well. So, I decided to wait and get a second opinion. I now have another consultation in about a week with a facial plastic surgeon much closer to my house. I am skeptical and optimistic at this point. I haven't told any of my friend or co-workers so I want to remain semi anonymous for now. Any tips, suggestions, or encouragement would be awesome!! :)

Thanks for starting your story on RealSelf!

You're smart to do a lot of research into what doctor to choose. Try not to pick based on price alone, though. You want to get this right this first time rather than face more expensive revisions down the road.

Here's what doctors say about choosing the right rhinoplasty surgeon for you.

Please keep us posted on how your second consultation goes!

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So I went and got a second opinion and found a...

So I went and got a second opinion and found a doctor closer to home. I actually found him on RealSelf! Imagine that.. My doctor of choice is Dr. Elam of Newport Beach. He is much closer to home and has 30+ years of experience. I felt really comfortable with him and his staff. The price was right and he was very confident that he was going to make me happy. He seems extremely skilled at what he does and I decided to go for it! My surgery date is set for March 19th. I now wish it was sooner so I could get it over with and stop thinking about it!!! I'm thinking about posting me doctors before and after pictures as well :)

I updated a front picture of the doctors before...

I updated a front picture of the doctors before and after
Good luck and congrats on finding thr right surgeon! :) Looking forward to following your story.
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Thank you! I'm excited and anxious waiting for my surgery date! I will keep posting and updating :)
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My pre-opt is in exactly one week and I'm so...

My pre-opt is in exactly one week and I'm so excited! I'm confident that everything will go well and I'm interested to see the outcome. I have a pretty high pain tolerance so I'm not really worried about the pain, just more concerned with the overall outcome. Only 20 more days left with my old nose!!
Your surgery date is on my dogs birthday haha. Goodluck! Keep us updated!
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I think my dogs birthday is sometime this month too!! haha thank you :)
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hey can you please update what is the cost for the rhinoplasty
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So I had my pre-opt on Tuesday and we went over...

So I had my pre-opt on Tuesday and we went over all the do's and dont's! I went and picked up all my medications and I'm anxiously awaiting my surgery date, which is coming up pretty quick!! I'm 100 percent comfortable with my doctor and his staff. They even both congratulated me and gave me a hug on the way out!! awww. The only thing I'm really afraid of on the surgery date is being nauseous and throwing up. I get car sick and nauseous pretty easy..so I'm pretty sure I will throw up! wa
Hi, From my experience i would recommend to you to visit psychatrist which i think very important. I am just telling the truth as healing process will be very long and it takes up to 18-24 months. Not as Plastic surgeon say. Please be careful . alot of people regret what they have done and get frusrtated about the results. Healing is very slow. Swelling of nasal tip takes long time and can you imagine that hard stone on your face due to swollen nosal tip. I did many rhinoplasties due to many mistakes made by plastic surgeons.
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Hello! Just curious... is he going to lift your columella?
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I don't believe so. From what I understand we are removing some excess cartilage, removing the hump, and making my nostrils smaller, as well as bringing them down. I think maybe a slight raise in the tip as well.
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So, my surgery date is fast approaching and I...

So, my surgery date is fast approaching and I don't feel very nervous yet! I'm one of those people who it doesn't really hit until the day of so I'm sure I'll be super freaked out the morning of. My surgery is scheduled for 6:30am on Tuesday!! Yay finally. I took a bunch of pictures of my old so I can compare them to the new one. haha!! and because it's the last 2 days I will ever see it again! I will update the day of surgery... wish me luck!! any last minute tips?!
Good luck beautiful! I'm the same way with getting nervous. I'm sure I'll freak out the day of too!
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Thank you!! I love your morphed photos, whens your surgery date? Good luck to you as well.
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Don't have one yet. I still have one maybe two more consults to decide which PS to do the job. :-/ I can't wait to finally have a surgery date though!
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My surgery date is tomorrow surprisingly.. I'm not...

My surgery date is tomorrow surprisingly.. I'm not nervous at all. They gave me some medication to take in case of anxiety or nervousness but I don't think I will be needing it. The receptionist called me as well as the anesthesiologist so I'm very confident and happy for tomorrow. If anyone wants to see real pictures of me or actual before and after pictures just private message or email me!! :)
Good luck!! Frozen peas will be your best friend for the next couple of days :) and be sure to write down the times you take all your antibiotics and pain meds, you'll feel out of it for a while and will definitely not remember what you took and when!
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Thank you they gave me a sheet of paper to write down all my medication times. So far so good! thank you very much
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Ahhhh! GOOD LUCK! I'm so excited for you :) I will be at the airport getting ready to fly while you are in surgery & I will be having my surgery only 25 hours after you!! So I will definitely be looking forward to your posts! You are going to look great, I can't wait :)
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So the surgery was this morning I wasn't feeling...

So the surgery was this morning I wasn't feeling nervous at all which is a total shocker. I walked in and was greeted by Dr. Elam. :) I met the nurse and she asked me a few questions then we went back into the operating room. The anesthesiologist was there and was also very nice and comforting. By this point I was very confident that everything was going to go smoothly. I was laying on the table for a few minutes and I was like... So are you going to put the IV in? and they all started laughing and said it's already in! I didn't even feel it. I think getting my blood drawn was worse. haha. Then they asked me about my college and what I wanted to be when I grew up and then I was out! Woke up about 2 hours later feeling fine. No nauseous feelings and no pain! It was like a walk in the park. Then I stayed with the nurse for a little she went over all the medications with my mom and I. I didn't feel loopy at all and then the doctor took me down in a wheel chair and helped me get into my car and we were off! Took us about 30 minutes to get home and I started feeling slight pain. The weirdest thing was that my 2 front teeth were numb and kind of hurting. The packing makes it a little difficult to breath and swallow. My nose also bleeds a lot so far but it seems to be going down now. I took one pain pill and took a nap and I feel much much better! Almost like my normal self but with a very slight headache. So far, I'm so happy with the doctor and staff i can't wait for the big reveal in a week. I am scheduled to go in tomorrow at 930am and there going to take out the packing yay!! Have any questions? Let me know :) oh oh and also no bruising so far!! I can't believe it. I normally bruise like a banana. I might have some bruising over the next few days though.
Glad to hear it went so smoothly! Sounds like you faced it like a champ! I hope the rest of your recovery goes as well :) Post pictures soon!
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Thank you! I hope I do as well as you did. I've been following your story for a while now. I plan on posting before and after pictures for everyone :)
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Dr Elam did surgery on my nose in jan. and you will be happy with him!! He is very caring and very well experienced! His staff also very caring, you will feel like part of the family. You are in good hands! Good luck!
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I slept pretty good last night. I didn't take and...

I slept pretty good last night. I didn't take and more pain pills or sleeping pills. This morning I went to the Dr. office to get my packing taken out. The whole way there I couldn't wait to get it out! I thought I was going to be able to breath once it was out. He took it out and it didn't hurt but ..gross out alert.. when I sat up it was a pool of blood dripping out. Ehhh.. but I came home and feel better now. I took a little nap and don't feel as out of it as i did yesterday. I still can't breath and my nose is still dripping with blood every now and then. I know its only day two but I want to breath again! haha. The swelling is also slightly worse today and I have developed a little bit of bruising. When I take off the mustache dressing to change it I can see the tip of my nose and it looks so good so far! I'm excited and anxious to see the final product
Great to hear all is well. Cannot wait to see your new pictures.
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You are soooo lucky that you don't have much bruising. I don't have a ton but what I do have is reeeeally dark and on the insides of my eyes... I can already tell that tomorrow and day 3 are NOT gonna go well for me when it comes to swelling/bruising! I also haven't had to take anymore pain pills ( I took 1 an hour so after I got home just in case), but I haven't needed to take anymore. The blood situation is the worst part for me. Cant breathe & I cant taste anything! Ha! It's only day 1 and I'm already complaining, Geeesh I need to calm down huh? Well, take good care & I can not wait to see your before/after pictures!!
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Take some Arnica and eat lots of pineapples. They do magic when it comes to bruising.
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I got a good nights rest last night and slept...

I got a good nights rest last night and slept until 11am this morning. Which was a relief since I don't do much all day anyways. I woke up feeling better and like I was able to breath more. sort of. My nose is pretty clogged of blood and I'm getting it cleaned tomorrow at 1:30. I went in the day after and had it cleaned and the packing taken out and it didn't hurt too bad. But im afraid it's going to hurt more tomorrow. All in all I just want to be able to breath again and I'm anxiously awaiting getting the cast taken off. Overall very minimal pain just mainly pressure from the case and sometimes when I swallow my nose will drip.. Gross I know. I have a pictures i took earlier that im going to try to post now

Looking good!!!! I am so happy for you...next we get a consult to fix those swirly eyes. lol.
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muhaha my creepy swirly eyes
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Looking good so far, barely any bruising! I think day 5 was when I could finally breathe through my nose (it made sleeping waaay easier!) and now at day 8 it's completely back to normal
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I got my nose cleaned yesterday and It didn't...

I got my nose cleaned yesterday and It didn't hurt!! Yay! It made me feel like I could breath slightly. When I got home I was very hungry. My appetite finally came back yesterday and I was able to eat more than normal. Which is good because I lost like 7 pounds!! Anyways then I watched tv with my mom and my nose started to feel better, there was a lot of pressure the day before and now it is starting to either go away or not bother me anymore. I slept better but still needed a cough drop for dry mouth. I woke up this morning feeling more like myself and way better. I can slightly breath out of my nose but still mainly breath with my mouth. The swelling went pretty much completely down and now the bruises are turning yellow and starting to go away. I'm on the home stretch now! Only 3 more days and the cast will be off. I get my cast off Tuesday at 11!!! YAYYYY So far I love the tip and size from what I can see anyways.
I loved reading your story! I'm glad you are doing so well. Thank you so much for sharing and I can't wait to see more pictures. I am 100% doing my rhinoplasty (hopefully in May) but I am starting to get nervous about the post-op pain. I've never had any surgeries, other than getting my wisdom teeth removed, so it just freaks me out. You're making me feel a lot better. :)
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Aw thank you that's very sweet! I've never had any surgeries or even broken a bone! Something that will probably make you feel better is that I heard getting your wisdom teeth pulled it way worse than a nose job!! I would say there is very little if not any pain involved. The main thing is the discomfort. Kind of like being very clogged in the nose when you have a bad cold. Good luck you will do great!! I get the cast off tomorrow so I'll be posting plenty of pictures!
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Congratulations! Sounds like everything is going well and you are on track. All the best for the big reveal.
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Today is day 6!! HAAALLLAAAJALULLALA I get the...

Today is day 6!! HAAALLLAAAJALULLALA I get the cast off tomorrow and can not wait!!! The overall experience for me was not bad at all. Especially because I have never had surgery, have never broken a bone, and I've actually never even been to a hospital before. Except when I was born.. of course. Anyways, for anyone that is concerned with pain I would say you can have a great sigh of relieve, because I can honestly say I felt no pain. I had a slight headache and a strange feeling in my nose right when I woke up from surgery but other than that nothing. Day 2 and 3 are probably the worst. It's when your bruising and swelling start to form and you get all uncomfortable and feel like crap, but once you get over the hill its smooth sailing. I didn't go out anywhere, but I did have enough strength to play ping pong, play scrabble, hang with the family etc. The sleeping also wasn't too bad. It takes some getting use to but I'd say I slept fine all 6 nights. I used one of those chair pillow things that has like 2 arms?! if you get what I'm saying.. If anyone has any other questions feel free to ask me! This website has helped me so much and made me 100 percent comfortable making my decision and helping me along the way. I will update with plenty of pictures tomorrow for the big cast reveal!! and this time I will have makeup on and be decent. :) YAY

So I got my cast of this morning! It didn't hurt...

So I got my cast of this morning! It didn't hurt but it was weird and there was some pressure and it made my eyes water. The stitches came out too and It looks much better. I was so afraid to look in the mirror and see someone else! But I love it! It is still me and my nose just a way better version. There is no hump and my nostrils are symmetrical and smaller than before. It also has good definition! There is some swelling of course but I love what it looks like and it will only look better from here on out. The only thing is that I can't smile! and my lips are like numb still or something because I seriously look and feel like a who from whoville or a deer or something. hahahaha anywayss!! I uploaded 3 swirly eyed pictures of me with makeup feel free to ask any questions :))))
(two of them look kind of weird because I took the picture with my camera than took it with my phone)
Lookin' good, swirlygirl! haha. it really looks wonderful.
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You look great, loved your story. Dr. Elam did my nose in January and I just LOVE it, its so natural and I know I really chose the best surgeon ever!!
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Thank you!! aw yay congrats! I know I'm so lucky I found him!! He is the best :)
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Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

I found Dr. Elam on Real Self and could not be happier with my decision. He is so amazing and skilled at everything he does. He has over 30 years of experience and right when I met him I knew he was the one. His staff is so beautiful, friendly, and caring! I love the office and the wait times are excellent. The most important thing is that he gave me MY most beautiful nose! The perfect fit for my face. Not THE most beautiful cookie cutter nose. I still look very natural and like myself. I am 100 percent in love with my new nose and I think he did an amazing job. He was also delicate enough to where I had very light bruising and swelling. He is honest and caring and overall an amazing A+ surgeon. Probably one of the best in the State, if not the United states!! His prices are excellent and affordable I can't say enough good things about him and his whole staff! Thank you

5 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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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