A Botched Job When I Was 14 -- in 1971! Let It Be? Palo Alto, CA

I had a nose job when I was 14, way back in 1971....

I had a nose job when I was 14, way back in 1971. I was devastated at the result. I got the ski-jump nose. Too short, sharp, and up-turned, so that you could see up my nostrils. I learned to live with it and I've had a fine life. But I've always been sad that I no longer looked Jewish--in fact I didn't look like anyone in my family or anyone I knew.
Has someone out there had that experience? You go under the knife, and you wake up looking like a totally new person. And not for the better. Is it worth it to try again and try to get a more normal nose? Does it even work? (I've often heard that it doesn't, or that you need several surgeries because the grafts don't always take). Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Dr. Robert Berner, Stanford Univ. Hospital

Now deceased. Yelled at me before the operation when I tried to show him a photo of a nose I liked. He said "I'm the surgeon! I'll decide what kind of nose you get!" I was desperate to have the surgery, so I didn't tell my parents I was afraid of him. When he took the bandages off I tried not to cry. I asked him what I could do to get the tip down. He yelled again and said "Just massage it! It'll drop!" I think he knew he'd messed up? Even surgeons have their bad days. :-O

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You all are so incredibly helpful! I'm sorry, Dr. Beau, that you also went through this. I think the era was just a terrible one for nose jobs… Doctors hadn't figure out how important it was for people to still look like themselves. I am in such a similar situation. The surgery is way beyond my budget. And I've now lived an entire life with the bad results. Which makes the dream of a "good nose" feel silly and vain. I'd be terrified to do it again. And yet I still think … what if? What if I could really get brave enough to try?! Maybe a bunch of us should all go to someone together for support. :-) Thank you so much for responding. It's all food for thought. And P.S. I wonder if surgeons realize how devastating it can be for a teenager to lose her or his face. Even the best nose jobs give you a face you've never seen before, and that can be hard to …. well….face!
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I too had a botched rhinoplasty in 1970 and I was devastated with the result. I had an Italian/roman nose comparable somewhere between an Al Pacino and Charlton Heston nose and as a result of martial arts and a few other sports injuries, changed my appearance. Prior to surgery I could picture the results in my mind, especially after the consult with the doctor. All he had to do was shave a bit off of the bridge but during the surgery I recall being woken up by the doctor's excessive hammering and I knew right then......it would be a disaster. So, for the last 44 years I have been in search of "my" nose...not the perfect nose by any means....just the nose I once had. Money has never come easy for me, so every penny I could scratch and save I did hoping to find the surgeon who was both an artiste and a skilled craftsman. Sadly, The finances for such an undertaking is beyond my means. The irony now is, the profession has made leaps and bounds now and today my vision could become a reality....If only I waited.....My suggestion to anyone anywhere is to "go for it". Most people would talk a potential candidate out of having a procedure done...perhaps even recommending a visit to a psychologist (which might be a valid point)...but if one is not comfortable in their own skin and that reflection in the mirror is not YOU.....GO FOR IT!!!!!
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I wanted to tell you that I, too, realize how much better it would have been if I'd waited until I was older. By the time I was in my 20s I think I would have been okay with my natural face. I'd rushed into the surgery because I'd been bullied so terribly and I thought getting a "new me" was the only way I could survive. Do you think your life would have been different if you kept the "old you"? I wonder about that a lot. Not that I think about my nose all the time-- but the feelings really got reawakened this year because I finally screwed up my courage and told my teenaged daughter that I'd had a nose job. And talking about it with her brought all the feelings back. What a complicated thing plastic surgery can be…. Thanks again for posting!
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You can get your nose back if you find someone who builds out the tip with some nose cartiliage plus I can´t believe that a surgeon performed a nosejob on a 14 year old(!!!) the nose hasen´t even grown to it´s final stage yet. I think that people has to taken in consideration when getting a nosejob that the whole face will change so if one likes one´s current nose too much there´s a big risk one won´t be happy with the result afterwards. I really liked your nose, but if you aren´t happy with it I think you should get a revision with a board certified plastic surgeon that listens to you and your needs.
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It looks like you got the "ideal" nose of the time. The answer is yes! With a skilled revision rhinoplasty surgeon, you can have your nose improved. The key is to do lots of research on which surgeon to go to. You need a board certified plastic surgeon with elite credentials who has done many, many revisions. 

Here's what some doctors say about finding a revision surgeon.

Please keep us updated on your process!
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A revision rhinoplasty can help you achieve the look you desire with a less "done" looking tip. If you are thinking about it for this long, perhaps its time you consulted a board certified plastic surgeon who listens to your needs. We spend a lot of time with our patients, and use a 3d Imaging system to help the patient communicate what it is that they are hoping to achieve. You don't have to live with this nose if you don't want to. Good Luck.
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thanks so much for your response. 3-d would be so interesting! The art of plastic surgery has progressed so amazingly in the last two decades. It would still be incredibly hard to have twilight sedation and hear the sounds again… but maybe there are new knock-out drugs that work better than the old ones. :-)
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I'm sorry you had to go through this horrible experience. Are you going to have a revision? My primary wad in 2001 and I was not happy with my nose so last March I had a revision and gld I did. You don't have to live with this nose. Be well.
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Hi, Zooster, so sorry it took this long to reply! Were you scared to get the revision? Did you like your 2nd surgeon a lot more than the first? What gave you the courage? I'm very torn, still. If I did try to get a revision, I'd need a graft … and a lot of $$. I'm so glad you like the result! That's a real blessing. Be well.
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