Rhinoplasty with Ear Cartilage Graft

I originally had a septoplasty performed in August...

I originally had a septoplasty performed in August 2008 by a plastic surgeon that was recommended to me by another doctor. Let me just say that the left side of my nose caved in or collapsed, which caused signifant breathing trouble, It's debatable as to whether my nose was already experiencing "valve collapse" prior to my surgery in 2008 - however I do know that the septoplasty left me both breathing and looking worse than I had prior. Also, at no point during any of my pre or post-opp visits was I told my problems were due to any type of collapse. I was told it was just swelling and a deviated septum.

As for my rhinoplasty on April 7 2009 which this review was intended for: I want to stress to anyone considering rhinoplasty, septoplasty or anything to the nose. Please seek out not just a cosmetic/plastic surgeon but a facial plastic surgeon who specializes in this particular area. It's serious business. Fortunately I found a facial plastic surgeon who is also a very prominent ENT in the city who could perform a revision. I am only 4 days post-opp so I will have to update my progress.

The surgery went rather smoothly, though it took about four hours. I had a functional rhinoplasty which included cartilage grafting from my left ear to prop up the side of my nose that collapsed. I also had my turbinates slightly reduced and a hump shaved down. (I figured it's my second surgery so why not!) I did not expect it to be as painful post-op as it has been the past few days. My orginal septoplasty was a bit irritating as I felt stuffed up, but not painful. This time, my ear hurt terribly as well as pain in my nose and upper lip/teeth and gum area. Now on day 4 I've reduced drastically my use of pain medication and ice packs. My swelling and bruising was horrendous at first but has reduced as well.

I am so relieved to finally have this procedure, but it is so much better to have it done right the first time. It will save you money and emotional stress in the end if you do your research from the beginning! I have learned a lot from this experience and am hoping for the best at this point.

Updated on Apr 13, 2009: Hardy any bruising or swelling beyond the tip, which I'm told could take a while to resolve. I discontiunued any pain medication including tylenol on day 5.  Although I'm a bit weary to due to my previous experience, I must admit I do breathe 100% better even on day 6. My surgery appears to be a success. No further instructions except a follow-up visit in 6 weeks.

Updated 6-9-09: Nose still seems a bit swollen or maybe it's larger than I'm used to.  IMO it looks much worse in pictures than it does in person. I'm still being told not to judge a rhinoplasty - certainly not one that was reconstructive -- until a full 12 months has passed since the surgery.

This exerience has been a roller coaster and I'll say it again : Please do your homework and make sure your doc has the experience, reputation, credentials..etc to do what you desire. Ask for pictures. Ask tons of questions. I do, and maybe that's annoying, but it gets us all on the same page. Anyhow, my revision Rhinoplasty has been a success. I will wait till a full year to judge too much on the appearance. However, it is amazing to be able to breathe through my nose now. Even the silliest thing - I felt bad that I couldn't give my husband a nice long kiss because I'd be gasping for air!! Now that's all changed!

It's been some time and I still have swelling and...

It's been some time and I still have swelling and width to my nose. Overall, I can breathe - this is paramount. However, I paid (out of pocket) for a cosmetic procedure as well as functional and cannot say I'm satisfied.

I personally do not believe the surgeon listened to my concerns and was frankly belittling most of the time. I believe a physician who performs cosmetic procedures should work with the patient to be on the same page - this is not heart surgery and he was not saving my life in the ER. As the patient, my input or concerns should have been addressed or at least acknowdged.

Instead, I was actually insulted on a couple occasions. And yes I still went through with the surgery and paid him because I believed he was the best in the area. Note to self...

I consulted a different facial plastic surgeon on...

I consulted a different facial plastic surgeon on 9/17/09 and he gave me the bad news - the width in my nose and the bulbous tip aren't likely to resolve to my liking. Therefore, I'll probably go for my third (and hopefully last) surgery and revision. Honestly, I feel what was once a functional issue is now making me feel "less pretty" due outcomes of my surgeries. It's not like I was born with a bulbous nose w/ a slightly droopy tip. It's hard to accept when you pay out of pocket for these things and they are unsatisfactory. I'm not looking forward to forking over another several grand, but instead of letting it eat at me, I'm just going to take action and go forward.  I've come this far so I'm not about to settle for mediocre, and hope my revision will finally put my face in balance. Wish me luck & good luck to everyone as well  :-)

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