Sharing My Rhinoplasty Recovery Experience

I am 23 years old and have been wanting...

I am 23 years old and have been wanting Rhinoplasty ever since I was around 12 years old. I am Italian and German and had the traditional hump on my bridge, as well as a large bulbous tip. Sometimes I would look in the mirror and cover parts of my nose with my hand and picture how much better I would look if I got the surgery done. Of course it cost a lot, and my husband (best husband in the world) told me I was beautiful no matter what, but supported my decision. So I did the research online for good reputable doctors who have a lot of experience, and read their reviews to see how many stars they had. I finally chose a 5 star averaged doctor in the area of Raleigh, NC where I live and had my consultation about 8 months ago. I wanted to wait until my school semester was over, and I had enough money. 8 months later I was ready!

My concerns of course were common, such as the fact I have never been under anesthesia before. The staff was very supportive and reassured me kindly that the chances of me dying are so low. I was also afraid, because my older sister had rhinoplasty as well in Atlanta, and had a bad experience along with major swelling that her nose turned out to be crooked. Everyone is different and I trusted my doctor, so I tried to be positive.

Being nervous and all, I looked up a lot of blogs and youtube videos on people's experiences and tips for an easy recovery. It helped calm be down and realize it's such a common surgery, so I didn't feel so alone.

I was initially told I was going to have a closed rhino, but in order for the tip to be done properly and have better results, he wanted to do an open, which I just agreed and said hey do your thing. I took two weeks off work to recover and hopefully stitches will not be that noticeable soon enough. The stitches will dissolve so that makes me feel better than having to get them taken out.


THINGS I EXPERIENCED AFTER SURGERY:::

- First day: Head ache from dehydration and because I didn't take my pain medicine right away I felt like I got hit in the nose with a bat or something, but wasn't TOO hurtful. Of course had a lot of drainage leaking and my husband helped me change my bandages. I didn't feel nauseated until around 4 am, but the medicine I got for nausea was WONDERFUL. Lol I felt like melting in my bed and it helped me sleep too. I also found it surprisingly easy to sleep up right, but that is probably because the pain meds help with me to relax. So have plenty of soft and firm pillows. I have a big dog who is still a pup and doesn't jump much, but still crazy, and so I am making sure she is not around me except for my cat. It was adorable because my cat sensed I was going through something and has been by my side the whole time. Nice to have a fluffy friend with me.

- THE HARDEST part for me still is the dry mouth due to the fact I can't breathe through my nose. Especially sleeping with my mouth open, I'd dose off for a couple hours and be woken up for my mouth being so dry I could touch my tongue and it felt like the driest piece of meat and was hard to swallow because my through was dry too. So having plenty of water or gatorade nearby can help.

- Frozen peas on my head and eyes helped me with swelling. I actually have very little bruising which I was so afraid I'd be just like my sister and blow up with huge swollen black eyes.

TIP FOR PREVENTING BRUISING- I took Arnica (vitamin supplement) that I got from a vitamin shop and started taking it three days before my surgery and I literally have very little bruising at all and I am on my second day which I am told from other stories is the worst. I am fair skinned too. You take four tiny dissolved pills under your tongue FOUR times a day, and I am continuing that throughout my healing process.

As far as eating is concerned, I stuck with soups such as spaghetti O's! Cause when I'm sick I like to feel like a kid and nothing makes you feel kidish than yummy food that brings happy thoughts too. The doctors recommended I also eat crackers, but my mouth was too dry it felt like eating sand that was soaking up any moisture I had in my mouth and was therefor hard to swallow. Lol


So today I am swallowing blood and I feel like I want to cough it up, but I want to be careful, so I just drink plenty of fluids. One thing that is weird is when I swallow, my nostrils try to let air out or something and I don't know if that is safe or okay but I can't control it so I guess just roll with it.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share so far and let people who are afraid, anxious, or worried that it's actually going to be okay and don't freak out. Roll with the flow and be careful. This is coming from someone who is a worrier and is a hypochondriac.

Make sure you look for a reputable doctor who has good reviews and specializes in rhino mainly. Do your research, make sure you tell them all your health concerns or anything your allergic to. TAKE vitamins ahead of time and don't stress out.
I cant wait to see the results!

I'll keep everyone updated soon! =)

FOURTH DAY-- I finally got my due for some...

FOURTH DAY--

I finally got my due for some bruising, but mainly on my right eye. In my updated pictures you can see how painful it may look, but it really isn't that painful.... or is it (lol)? The pain meds make me a little itchy around my neck and forehead (especially when I have the frozen peas on me) and my husband will joke with me because I look like I am an addict itching myself even tough I'm far from it. =D

I started cleaning my nostrils with the q-tips as instructed which has been easy and not painful. Still on soft foods, mainly because they are just easier to eat. Some people I have read say their top teeth may hurt, but I didn't experience any pain. I recently discovered pear applesauce and I could eat it all day! Haha, it's just so cool and refreshing and sweet treat to have.

So overall the worst part now is swelling. Frozen peas will be your best friend for the time being. It makes me laugh a little thinking of the beginning of the movie Bridesmaids, where the crazy British roommate literally pours frozen peas on herself instead of keeping them in the bag. =D If you have not seen the movie, you must because it's hilarious!

And for those with feline friends accompanying you... my cat apparently realized I'm not dying or anything and am not going anywhere so now he tries to hide from me when I go searching for him to sleep with me all day... except for when it's MEAL time! Ugh! =P

Skipping now to my 6th day in recovery after my...

Skipping now to my 6th day in recovery after my surgery this past Tuesday, and I have to say Friday and Sat. were both my worst days for pain.

WORST PART: Head aches non-stop regardless on any pain meds I took, and my throat is a little sore.

- I also am finding it a little painful to eat even soft foods now.
- Nose still drips here and there, but I clean routinely throughout day with q-tips to help that.
- Still swelling in face (cheeks), but around the eyes has pretty much subsided.
- My right eye bruise has turned mainly yellow now, except for on my eye lid.
- I get nauseated late at night sometimes, but rarely. Sometimes it's just easily prevented by eating before taking meds. and drinking enough fluids.
- I found out the less I move and talk, the less pain I am in and the faster the swelling goes down. If your like me, I get stir-crazy and feel like I have to do something, but trust me, the more you rest the faster you will heal.
- The tip of my nose is mainly numb, but I started to feel a little when I touch it now.

Of course, remember no showering, so taking baths is nice and relaxing, and very challenging to wash hair. I can't wait until I can take a proper shower!

TIPS FOR FACE CLEANING: I just use some cotton balls and some witchhazel to clean my face when I see it needs cleaning, in areas I would have a hard time cleaning otherwise. You can use any cleanser you want though.

Oh yeah, try not to laugh cause it hurts and causes more movement for your nose that should be stabilized.

Hard to believe I get my cast off this Tuesday. I am scared it's going to be painful, especially where my stitches are. I am also scared to go back to work after next week. I work at a bar while I am in school so people are always cutting corners and not watching where they are going. I guess hope and pray no one runs into me.

TODAY I GOT MY CAST OFF! =D So today on my way...

TODAY I GOT MY CAST OFF! =D

So today on my way to get my cast off I had all these scenarios going through my head, just to prepare myself for any misfortunes. Of course the number one thing I told myself, and which I hear from many stories, is to realize I will still be swollen and will most likely take up to a year to see my full desired results. Sucky I know, but the tip of the nose is the slowest to heal. UGH! =D

GETTING THE CAST OFF::: I was SO terrified of having the cast removed because I was still having some pain on my bridge, but it felt more like the result of the darn cast still being on so I thought maybe it will just feel better to get the thing off! So my imagination loves to play games with me and I pictured myself strapped to a chair with nurses prying my bandages off like duct tape from skin that has been on too long sloppily while I scream.... while they are all wearing eye patches ( Why Not?). All of this resulting in them messing up my nose and it totally con caving INTO my FACE like Michael Jackson.
THE REAL STORY::::: A single friendly nurse came in, asked me if I got sick at all and joked around with me because I didn't remember her because I was unconscious (HA) and rubbed this solution on my bandages that made it easy for the adhesive glue to come off gently. Lets just call it the magical liquid or unicorn tears since I have no idea what the name of it is and it makes for a better story = D Then she carefully cut the edges and started peeling off gently while adding more magic with a Q-tip as she went along. It only hurt once barely when she got near the tip and was just trying to get the last bit off. Next, she ever so carefully did the same thing with my bandage over my stitching which surprisingly hurt even less! FINALLY, she cleaned the sticky residue off a bit and then tried to clean some scabs that were present inside, which I still have one scab but was instructed to shower (FINALLY A REAL SHOWER!) and breathe in warm steam to help loosen anything else up in there.

WHAT I NOTICED RIGHT OFF THE BAT (REGARDLESS OF SWELLING)::: The obvious and most beautiful difference is the fact my hump on my bridge is gone! Peace out hump! OK so it's a slap to my heritage, but I don't live in Italy and my face likes it without it. =D Some people look good with it, I just don't think it was for me anymore. My bridge looks not as wide either, as well as the side nostril thingies (whatever you want to call them). My tip of my nose of course looks the same, if not now worse perhaps, but as before... swollen so who knows how it will look like, but I dream it to eventually be pure awesomeness soon enough. Also, I breathed for the first time and the air passing through feels abnormally cold and a tad painful, and my left nostril is still stuffy. Hopefully it's because things are still healing inside or because of the swelling. Also my skin around my nose is a tad oily for whatever reason I hear that is normal. I will definitely be in need of some serious facial cleansing. When I got home all i could do is look in the mirror and smile (try to smile because parts of my face are still stiff/swollen). I do not see it being different.. I feel like it's what I was supposed to look like, minus the big tip still, but side view is awesome so far. I even had the nerve to go out with my best friend and watch the new movie with Jonny Depp in it.. wow I already forgot the name of it, but I'll save you all time because I personally think it sucked, which made me sad because I LOVE Tim Burton films! I was expecting more, and it was good at the intro and then got weird... then I couldn't wait for it to end. But hey that is me. Avengers was WAY better. I mean who doesn't like seeing all those hot actors with awesome super powers in weird costumes? Yes.... even black widow was hot. =D I'm getting carried away again...

I go back for a follow up visit in 5 weeks and I will post more pictures up again soon. I apologize for my lame camera. It has sucked ever since I lost my smart phone in the snow for two days. Yes... true story. I backed my tracks and found it and i soaked it in a bag of rice and miraculously it still worked. Ha. It's not easy posting horrible pictures of myself online for the world to see while I am recovering, but I think it makes for a more realistic story for people to see what really happens during such surgeries. I will have to get all prettied up soon enough in time with swelling has gone down and my nose isn't as tender so I can apply makeup properly to post more pictures. Perhaps a better camera too? =D

OVERALL EXPERIENCE:: I am SO pleased with my results and could not of asked for a better doctor or nurse staff to be by my side the whole way. My doctor was very experienced and does SO many rhino. surgeries. If anyone is on the East coast or near Raleigh, North Carolina... I highly recommend Dr. Stein. I also encourage people who are considering Rhinoplasty to really think about it and do your homework and research. Talk to people about your concerns and know your not alone. Hell I'm here, and there are plenty of nice people on this website. There was a while before I got the surgery where I felt guilty for paying for such a thing, because there are people who are less fortunate, or because you know... the whole " You were born the way God made you", but I came to realize I am my own person, and I worked my butt off for so long for something I wanted and why not treat myself for something I earned? As far as the way God made me... I think God would be pleased to know I am more confident and happier to have a more natural look that brings out my other features more. Either way... for people who are dealing with parents or peers.... it's YOUR life ultimately.
Truth::: My dad didn't want me to get the surgery, and my mom did, but they are my parents and should love me regardless. Truth::: I didn't tell my coworkers, but I will admit it if anyone asks. What are they going to do? Talk smack? Let em. People will always criticize and make people feel horrible for pursuing such things such as plastic surgery. People get bored and want to gossip because they can and it's entertaining. But hey if it's you that is the topic one day... it's someone else another... and maybe you talk smack about someone else. It's the human in us all and at the end of the day... we all die one day and it's best to live your life the way you want and you should live it happily. So in my conclusion.... I appreciate people who have the balls, or lady balls =D, to do such risky yet rewarding things to improve themselves to add more happiness to their lives. Just don't go overboard. Too much of anything is a bad thing! These are my opinions of course and make out of it all what you wish. I only want to pass on some hope and knowledge.

Thanks to everyone for being so supportive and for sharing stories.

If anyone has any other questions, feel free to ask or message me in private.

Thanks Again Dr. Stein and staff for the improved me!

SECOND DAY AFTER CAST BEING OFF::: So all day...

SECOND DAY AFTER CAST BEING OFF:::

So all day yesterday and today still I am having breathing problems. I asked around a bit and I guess it is to be expected to not be able to breathe perfectly for weeks or months even. I freaked out a bit, because I hear horror stories of people breathing significantly worse afterwards.

Anyone have any stories or want to share how long it took for them to breathe good again?

FUN FACT::::: (sort of fun?) :::: Did you know that throughout the day the human nose breathes in and out one nostril at a time and then switches to the other nostril? Okay, maybe some of you BIO wizards knew that, but I didn't and was like what? NATURE YOU CRAZY.


Also, my doctor said it would be two days or so before stitches dissolve, and to put sunscreen on them when I go out in the sun for too long. Am I supposed to keep lotion or anything on them to speed or help this process? My husband said let let be.


AS some of you may have noticed I switched some pictures around for my before pics since the ones I had previously of me before were ones of me taken with my broken IPhone and I had not slept in two days with no makeup LoL. I will be posting more updated better pictures when I can find my actual camera. I recently moved into my new house with my husband not too long ago and it's in a box somewhere in the underworld (the dark scary basement).

CHEERS!

November 2012, All swelling except te tip is...

November 2012,

All swelling except te tip is swollen still a tad. Somedays it feels more swollen than others, but it's barely noticeable. To me I think it should be smaller, but when I try to picture it... Any smaller and it wouldn't look right on me. Either way...

I still have a few months to see the "full" results.

Ultimately I just love it. I really can't believe I didn't do it sooner and I feel like I would have been forever regretting it if I didn't do it.

: )

---- UPDATE 11-11-12 ---- Hello everyone! I...

---- UPDATE 11-11-12 ----

Hello everyone! I posted some new pictures last night in response to the requests to see my progress and to just keep giving a good perspective to anyone who might be looking to get this procedure done. As of now I am still EXTREMELY happy with the results of my procedure and very thankful for the job my surgeon did and with the look of my new nose.

I am now 6 months post surgery. If you look at my before and current pictures, you can easily see the differences in my nose. The only thing that I still see as a current symptom of post-surgery recovery is that the tip is still a bit swollen. Dr. Stein has assured me that this should continue to see improvement and that a nose is not completely recovered from surgery (meaning that the swelling will not completely subside) until a full year has passed since the procedure.

One other note, I realized (as of this update) that I had incorrectly listed the price of my procedure. I had forgotten to include the $500 deposit into the final price (my husband remembered, but I didn't) so that's why that has changed since my previous updates.

So, that's about it from me for this update post. Thank you for all the support and encouragement and positive interest that everyone has been expressing. Surgery--especially cosmetic surgery--is often not an easy choice, but it's great communities like this full of caring people that make it possible for those of us who are scared or feeling alone to make the best choice for ourselves. Thank you again!!

: )

Almost a year after surgery!

So it's been almost a year, and I figured I would update some photos so people can see me without the swelling and what a year's worth of time looks like. Again, I don't have many pictures but here are a few.

The only things that bother me in which I have noticed now that I didn't have before my surgery are:

- I have developed worse allergies and sneeze more. That may or may not have anything to do with the surgery but its noticeable.
- the doctor told me to wait three weeks to wear my glasses or sun glasses to prevent indentions in the bridge of my nose that would become permanent... Which I did.... And yet I now feel an indention in the bone of my bridge from wearing my glasses and take them off (it's always there, but not that noticeable on the surface, but I can deff. Feel it if I rub the bridge).
- the tip of my nose never feels the same since the surgery. It's not a totally freaking out bad sort of thing, but it just never fully regained all of the feeling like it did before the surgery. It doesn't interfere with my life or anything and I never notice it unless I fiddle around with it or press really hard trying to feel all up on it. Lol

That is it though!
Raleigh-Durham Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Adam Stein has a lot of 5 star ratings and good reviews. I am 23 years old Rhinoplasty patient during their second week post-op and already please with my results, even with the swelling I still have. This doctor not only has good ratings, but I went with him because he does so many Rhino. surgeries a year, which made me feel safe and secure that I am dealing with a professional who knows how to do things right THE FIRST TIME. His nurses and front desk employees are so nice, attentive, and always in a good mood every time I saw them which made me feel special and not just another customer. Going through surgery can be scary, and I am the nervous type, and they were good to answer any concerns or questions I had, but mainly made me feel comfortable and explained exactly what would be done to my nose. When I got my cast taken off, the doctor and staff were a bit aloof, but that was more from their own confidence and self assurance in their ability and the job they did, rather than being indifferent. I can't WAIT to see my full results over the months! 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
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 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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Comments (41)

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Looks Great!
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how was swelling 3 weeks after operation? I'm having rhinoplasty, and not one person knows besides my mom. I'm wondering if by 3 weeks the swelling subsides a lot? I'm trying to have a natural appearance by the time i start to see friends, boyfriend and other family.
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Swelling after 3 weeks was still very noticeable from my point of view, and especially noticeable looking back at the pictures compared to how it looks now, but honestly.... No one really noticed unless it's a MAJOR change you are doing to your nose. How many people actually stare at your nose you know? Be confident and don't worry or stress about it. The tip was the main part that will be swollen for quite some time, but it's not overwhelmingly noticeable. I'm glad you are going through with it! Let me know if you have any more questions! :)
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Thanks for replying. I'm just so stressed about the recovery period. At how many weeks do you think you saw the most improvement? I don't think I can wait 6 months like a lot of people say. The biggest part for me is I need to be able to go out in public 2-3 weeks after surgery looking okay and Unnoticeable. I'm having my bridge slightly narrowed and my tip slight refined, overall a very finesse rhinoplasty.
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What did the surgeon offer for post-op swelling? Kenalog, prednisone, etc.? I need a revision and am really scared to go through this again; I wish I'd appreciated my nose didn't look as bad as I thought it did.
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Wow girl congratulations! It looks nice.
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Hi! Did you have purple upper eyelids for too long??Thanks
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Thanks for sharing, i have my rhinoplasty in 1 week and i am absaloutly petrified, youre nose looks great and was the similar shape to what mine is so im hoping my outcome will be as amazing as yours, im also having breast implants at the same time so double the pain :( x
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Wow you look amazing!
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Thanks for your story! I'm getting my nose job next year and its funny cause I feel like we have a lot in common with being Italian and doing the whole hiding parts of our noses lol! Question: how long was it before you could wear sunglasses?
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This guy is good!!! Gorgeous!! Congrats girl
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I loved reading your story. You have such a positive attitude about it all and It's refreshing to read reviews like yours. I am now at day 5 post-op and I am hoping the worst of it is behind me! I have swelling still under my eyes and in my cheeks, and yellow bruising near my eyes. Overall the pain level wasn't too bad, just uncomfortable and time has been moving so slow it feels. I hear ya with the 'stir-crazy' thing- it can be boring just lying in bed all day waiting around. I have my family caring for me which is great. Anyway, thanks for sharing your story! The nose looks great and I'm happy you are pleased with the results. I keep looking at my nose in the mirror thinking it's still so big- I also got my hump in the bridge removed and cartilage taken out from my bulbous tip. I am hoping it's just because it's still very swollen. I am hoping I will be just as happy with my final outcome as you are. :-)
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Hi, I had open rhinoplasty about a month ago now, and I same as you, had the hump in my nose removed and cartilage taken from the tip to reduce size but although I can see change, the hump and tip are still noticeable. I've been reassured it's just swelling, but was just wondering how long it took for you to see the final result/ noticeable change and also whether you were happy with it? :-)
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Thank youf or sharing your story. I'm having my hump removed this Friday however, I am extremely nervous and scared. Any advice? I have watched how the procedure is done (which was totally stupid) which now I feel like I freaked myself out. All of the blogs that I have read do bring comfort to me because everyone who has gone through the procedure says its really not that pain. I appreciate any advice you can give me,
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Don't be nervous! If you are under general anasthetic you seriously won't feel a thing. You go to sleep, wake up, and it's done. The team of people working on you are skilled professionals and you'll be well taken care of. Recovery is easy - annoying or uncomfortable at most.
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I love the way you wrote everything - you're hilarious and your sense of humor helps lighten things up. I too am a little bit nervous about the pain of cast removal and reading your blog put me totally at ease. Hopefully your breathing problems have disappeared or will disappear... keep us updated. :)
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Great results! Your new nose looks beautiful, as do you. Your original nose in the hat picture is a crack-up!!
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I, too, hope you post recent pics. I'd love to see them! My surgery with Dr. Stein is in 4 days! :)
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Sorry I didn't post new pictures for a while. Busy with life, etc. Anyhow, I am glad you found a doctor! Especially Dr. Stein! Two more days! Looking back at the whole thing... the worst part for me still was having dry mouth from sleeping with my mouth open. Seriously... that sucked. Make sure to start taking Arnica vitamin supplements to help prevent bruising! I would start asap. Helped me a lot. Well, I know you will do just fine! Don't stress! =D Let me know how things go! -L
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Wow! Your nose looks amazing!! Really great results. Did it turn out exactly as you had hoped/expected? I've started taking arnica and now I'm just ready to get the surgery over with. :) Feeling very excited and anxious!
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Hey congrats! Thanks for sharing your story. Would you please post some new photos of the front and side? My nose is sort of like yours (long and skinny) and I'd like to see your result. I am close to NC so I will look into your dr more. Thanks!
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Hey sorry I didn't post pics for a while. I tend to forget to update as months go by. Anyhow, the side view is obviously very different where as the front I am not too sure about, but it's hard to tell myself. The tip of my nose is still swollen but I think it's not AS big compared to my before pics. As long as it's fits my face though right? I guess we will see. Let me know if you have any more questions or concerns and good luck with finding a doctor! =D
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You are a talented writer! Thanks for sharing your story in such a authentic, fun way. Will you put up recent pics? Would love to see the nose now!
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Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I have a consultation with Dr. Stein today and I hope it will be my last, I've heard great things about him. I've met with two other surgeons that I didn't like at all. Hope all is well with you now!
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enjoyed reading your blog ... thanks ... love your chirpy n positive personality ... good results so far ... looking forward to more pics and reports as you progress in your healing ... best wishes
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