Septoplasty / Rhinoplasty in Less Than a Week! - San Diego, CA

Cost is after insurance btw, my portion after...

Cost is after insurance btw, my portion after deductible and other words, my total out of pocket for the procedure.

I had surgery for a deviated septum when I was 15 due to breathing troubles. Now at 37, it's become clear that my surgeon back then botched the job and failed to fix it (which was confirmed by my new surgeon) and I swear that my nose became bigger since that surgery too...maybe my nose was over-packed after the surgery or I dunno. It just seemed bigger; more bulbous, and has only seemed to get bigger over time. Some of you will think I'm blowing this out of proportion, but when you only have one person to look at in the mirror your whole life, you become quite the critic of yourself, and sometimes the worst enemy to your self esteem.

A combo of my decreasing patience for my breathing issues combined with the onset of Asthma 3 years ago finally drove me to start looking into it in the wee hours of the morning a month or so ago. Now less than a week away from surgery and getting nervous as I type this thinking about it! lol.

I'll post some post Op pics as they become available, and for now, here's my before as taken by the doctor last week =)

Updated on 19 Dec 2011:

12/19/11 11:04pm Had the surgery today! So easy to try to 2nd guess the work and look for perfection on day one through the swelling and bandage, but reading plenty on here prior to surgery let me know not to even bother getting too worked up at all. Surgery was quite lengthy. Went under around 11:30am and was under until about 2:30 or so. Since it was a setpo/rhino combined with a fracturing of the nose and cartilage graft from my ear.

Anyway, my ear is a little sore, taking my meds and just watching tv. Oh, and plenty of internet/facebook! Really wish I could push the fast forward button on my recovery, but I know it's going to take some time. Wish me a speedy recovery and of course, your prayers are welcome!Updated on 21 Dec 2011:12/21/11 3:40pm

Definitely deep into the regret phase of the recovery. Starting to nit-pick the minute details and overplay every minor imperfection. But, as I've read on here before, this IS normal. Looking forward to getting the stitches out and getting a few more days into the healing process. I think not wanting to go out looking the way I do is a big part of my poor mood at the moment, a minor bit of nausea, you name it...just feeling blah. I'll update after the stiches are out on friday. Hopefully by then I'll feel better as well. Supposed to go to work that evening too where I work at a liquor store. May make a little paper sign so I don't have to tell everyone the same story ;-)Updated on 22 Dec 2011:12/22/11 10:22am 3 days post op.

Yesterday evening I finally started to feel better. Decided that being a people person, I'd rather go out and chat with my neighbors outside rather than hide inside the house. Turned out to be a great call. Enjoyed their company, got some free sympathy out of the deal, got my mind off myself for a while and got some fresh december air here in San Diego.

With the ear cartilage graft, not only am I limited to sleeping on my back, but also must keep my head tilted slightly to one side to keep any pressure off the ear. Finally found a pillow setup combination that works for me last night. Sleeping at night was measured in 15-30 minute spans at most the last few nights, but last night was able to get a couple 2 hour stints in as well. I decided to have a snack and take the vicodin in order to help me sleep and dull the minor ear pain and it worked. Feeling somewhat more optimistic now on day 3 regarding my recovery, but will prob feel even better after my appt with the doctor tomorrow morning.

12/23/11 12:00pm Just got the stitches out and...

12/23/11 12:00pm

Just got the stitches out and bandage off and now, the LONG recovery really begins! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. Right now, hard to see any difference due to the swelling. It of course looks worse for the most part than prior to surgery. Must wait for swelling to go down over the next few months/year until a final verdict can be made about the overall procedure. For now, feeling relieved that all the "scary" parts are over with!

December 28th, 2011 9:50am - 10 days post-op.....

December 28th, 2011 9:50am - 10 days post-op...

Slow recovery. Don't expect big gains day to day...just small increments. Woke up feeling pretty decent this morn. At this point, my columella is still pretty numb due to the "open" procedure I had done. Wondering WHEN my nose will start to feel normal? I know it will take a year to get the permanent look, but my nose is still feeling sensitive and delicate where I can feel it, and curiously numb around the incision and upper lip below the nose.

Starting to really look forward now that majority of the discomfort is behind me. Looking forward to better breathing and seeing my nose take shape!

2 months, 10 days post-op. Sorry to say I can't...

2 months, 10 days post-op. Sorry to say I can't give a "Worth it?" rating yet. Still need more time to see how things settle.

Had some up and downs emotionally and to a lesser degree physically since surgery. But overall, I think it's an improvement. Cool thing is, the girl at my doctor's office had a "rhino" done a couple months before me I assume, and from the time I had my first consult until now, her nose looks much better(swelling subsided).

Nose is still sensitive, and tip and columella partially numb. Seems the sensation coming back will take quite some time.

My nose already looks better post op at 2 months than it did prior to surgery since I had a bulbous type nose. So for me, that is a plus. Someone with a skinny nose that was just trying to remove a hump may feel dissatisfied for a longer period of time as their nose would look wider for a long time until the swelling completely went away.

Overall, it's been a rollercoaster of emotions, hiding inside the house while my nose is taped even now...I think if I knew what I'd be going through again, I may have seriously re-thought going through the process, but now that I'm this far into it...feeling better about things.

110 days post-op. Added a pic I just took with...

110 days post-op. Added a pic I just took with the webcam. Doing ok. Haven't been obsessing with my nose for a while now. Breathing has been better, although there's been some details about that. My nostrils have smaller openings than before making it harder to clear blockages if you know what I mean. So, fairly often, theres a temporary obstruction until it can be blown out or tweezed out.

A higher nostril arch on one side is noticeable, but not killing my social life or anything =P Also, Also, the center portion between my nostrils isn't directly in the center...but still going to wait that out. And on the pic that I've leaning back on, you can see that one nostril opening is a bit larger than the other. Is was more pronounced several months ago, but things are evening out.

I've learned that even if many of our noses aren't the way we'd like them to be prior to the surgery, that many of them are very symetrical. Being that a doctor is human and leaning over the operating table for hours, it may not come out as symetrical as it used to be even if there are improvements to the overall size and shape.

I went in on the basis of breathing difficulties and was diagnosed with a deviated septum. Insurance usually covers these type of procedures. Although there are some details regarding that...I had orig been planning to have to shell out approx $2k for my portion.

9 1/2 months post op: Insurance is looking like...

9 1/2 months post op:

Insurance is looking like it's not covering near what I'd expected or was led to believe. More on that in the future when it all shakes out.

Feeling ok, other than my nose has been itchy since having the surgery. I'm guessing that all the hairs (i know, gross) that used to grow in their natural direction since being operated on have grown into areas inside the nostril which is causing the itching. And so, I have to tweeze them out on occasion as they irritate me.

The nose is looking better and making slow but steady progress towards it's final shape. I think I may be on of those that takes longer to heal. I've been told by my doc that I'll be getting a revision most likely. He indicated that the arches of my nostrils are uneven in their height. I notice it too of course. Solution is to do a short 20 min. in office cartilage graft from my ear and stich it into my nostril arch or do a short series of 2-3 permanent injectables (as he calls them) to reshape the arch of my nostril on the side that is higher. Not looking forward to that.

Anyway, To those that are considering this surgery, REALLY be honest with yourself and ask people to give you honest opinions...preferably people who don't know you that well. This is a good site for that btw. People who know you cannot be objective. Their opinion can be valuable, but really need to get an unbiased one. Also, fully explore the costs of the procedure in advance. It's easy to avoid looking into it completely because it's scary frankly. The recovery time is LONG, at least in my case.

I dunno, I'm having doubts as to whether it's worth it. My wife and kids still love me, my family does, employers could prob care less if I had a less than perfect nose. Women don't seem to care (which is a good thing being married!). And so, just really think it through.

I'll try to take some fresh pics for you guys since it's been a while. =)

Just had a revision done to correct a nostril arch...

Just had a revision done to correct a nostril arch that was higher than the other. Freaking out a bit as now I am worried about how it will heal. Find myself walking over to the mirror quite often looking at my nose and critiquing the surgeon's work and being doubtful. Although, I know's only been 1 day since the revision and it's pretty swollen and I just took out the gauze that had been stuffed up the one nostril pushing it over to the other side. Other thing that sux is that I won't be able to exfoliate my nose for a few weeks while this heals up, even though the incision and stiches are on the inside of my nostril.

Anyway, so easy to worry about these things when you're home with a few days off, in discomfort, and 2nd guessing the surgery and/or the revision. Time will tell, but one thing is for sure...I can breathe easier than I did before, but still have some unsolved breathing related issues due to some sort of allergy, and, my nose looks better than it did prior to a year ago before the surgery.

Still to soon to give a "worth it" rating. I suspect that will come in 3-6 months. Looking at some old pics of myself, my nose's shape prior to surgery was really starting to look smashed like I ran into a wall. Of course I'm exaggerating, but in 5 years, it went from being a bit blunt at the tip to looking a bit smashed and droopy. I do have a pre-op side view pic, but frankly it was so unflattering, that I didn't post it! Lol

So, I guess I just need to trust the doctor. Everything I know and read tells me "rhino" is the most difficult to execute surgeries out there. And yet, part of me thinks that considering that and that the results prior to the revision were better than pre-op, and the asymmetry so unnoticeable to the unaware observer, that maybe I should have declined the revision. Time will tell if my fears were or were not unfounded.

Going ahead, should things turn out looking good, I would say that it was worth it, and yet, doing the surgery in my late 30's...I can't help but think that most of the visual benefit to the surgery due to achieving a near perfect nose, has been wasted on somebody close to middle-age. Lol

Oh well, such is the life of a septo/rhino patient.
Name not provided

I'll withhold rating my doctor until final results can be verified. Would not be fair to do so until healing process is complete =)

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Comments (28)

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Honestly, it is not fair how most men I see who are unhappy with their surgery still manage to look really good! I am not trying to make light of your situation whatsoever, but I just feel men can get away with more "flaws" and those flaws can actually make their nose look good and add an appealing character.... so I feel it is unfair that these flaws on a woman's nose are often considered to be distractions. I understand it bothers you and I hope it has now healed to your liking after your revision... but if you can breathe right, maybe leave well enough alone because you do not look bad or botched in any way.
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Looking good! Loved reading your review, you have such a fantastic attitude. Thank you for sharing, please keep us updated and good luck
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I can really relate to your story:)..had my second surgery with ear and scalp graphs over a year ago. Its been a long recovery and I'm am only now beginning to see results that I can live with. I don't think doctors really give a clear picture on the recovery process with this type of surgery.
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What is difficult is from going from something that almost seemed good enough to being disfugured again. Time will tell as the swelling goes down as there is still more than a bit of swelling at the incision site that will take more time to subside. But, aside from that, I think I can see areas where the doc will want to use some "permanent injectibles." I kinda fell like I traded one flaw for another with the revision, but really, it's too soon to tell. And, I'm sure every effort will be made to assure an acceptable outcome.
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Welcome.. it's true I'd tap that lol ! K sounds like you might have had the spreaders : ) if you are breathing better. Can you PM the docs name? If not no worries. Take Care.
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I'll PM the doc's name after I get all the billing figured out. That will be part of my "worth it" rating as well.
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K thanks ! ; )
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I dunno on the spreader grafts. I tried to not ask too many details. I think years ago I was watching a tv show where a doctor was getting ready to break someone's nose with a hammer and I had to look away. I decided I didn't want to know anything about my surgery so I didn't have to envision it before I had it done. I suppose now I could ask some questions, but the how is not all that important to me...just happy I can breathe much better now.

Thanks for the compliments btw.
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Did you have spreader grafts?
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You look very cute. Totally hot.
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wow you're not happy with it, Dave? I just want to say you look hot- you really look amazing. i'm sure lots of women look your way both now and before
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Last thing - deff ask if they'll do a cortisone shot!! It like fast forwarded my healing to weeks' worth in a matter of a day!
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Ah Angie hit the nail on the head - handsome indeed :)
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It's not absolutely perfect, but it looks great. Truly, it does. You're a handsome guy and now your nose looks more refined. As long as you can breathe, I think you should take that and run with it. :0)

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Hey Dave how's your healing coming along?
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Ok I guess. Got another post op in a week. One of the arches on my nostrils is a bit higher than the other, and everything isn't quite symetrical, but been doing ok with the taping averaging about 3 nights a week.

I've refrained from posting a "worth it" rating or mentioning my doctor's name until everything shakes out. Biggest worry right now is insurance. Anesthesia was covered, but insurance still dragging their feet on the procedure after 3 months and 3 weeks! Thanks for asking. Hope you're coming along good as well.
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Ugh insurance covered you? Not fair!! :P Please post after pics when you can :)
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Updated with after pics =)
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Wow and you're not happy with it? I think it looks considerably better!! Also I did some research on the uneven nostril thing - was your rhinoplasty closed? Because if so, the dr chooses one nose to put a sort of telescope into and the other nostril is where he fiddles and does his work through. The nose also heals in "sections" which is why nostrils often heal unevenly.

My septum (the part attached between the nostrils) was crooked before and now that the work was done it is more evident. But like I mentioned in my post he'll be fixing that come 1 year :)
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Mine was done "open." Thanks for the compliments =)
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Thanks for your updates! Do we get to see your "after" photos?

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I think you can expect numbness for a while yet. If I remember correctly, mine stuck around for several weeks to several months. It's a bummer, but still worth it.

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I totally get that.

And the sore ear is worse than the nose. At least in my opinion! I hope you're able to get out and about soon.

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Thanks for asking Angie. My ear is sore from the cartilage graft, but not so bad that I feel the need to take any Vicodin. I feel trapped more than anything. I'm a very active person with regards to surfing, skateboarding, biking, it's hard to adjust to life on the couch.

Also will be somewhat difficult after undergoing this much discomfort and expense to have to wait so long for the final result. But at least I'm moving forward. Had I known it was going to be so debilitating, I may have gone out for a nice dinner the night out before the surgery! And yet the closer I got to the surgery, the more my nose started to bother me and I felt even more self conscious about meeting any new people pre-op. You know what they say about only getting 1 chance to make a 1st impression!
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