I had a very bad rhinoplasty a year and a half ago that left me, not only looking funny, but unable to move air through my nose and unable to smell. On top of it all I was sick 7 times in the span of 15 months. Three months after my first rhinoplasty with another doctor, I had a downward spiral of regret and developed trust issues with doctors. I knew I couldn't live the rest of my life unable to breathe through my nose (it's more uncomfortable than you could ever imagine!) and I was unsatisfied with the aesthetic results after my first surgery.
I went to 6 different doctors before I met Dr Ridgway. 3 were on the east coast and 3 were on the west coast in the Seattle area. Out of these 6 doctors, Dr Ridgway was the ONLY one to not only carefully listen to the problems I was faced with after my first surgery, but he empathized with my situation. After meeting one jaded doctor after the next, I was completely shocked to have found a doctor who seemed sincerely empathetic toward my grief. He promised me he would be with me every step of the way and I can tell you he 100% has been there for me.
I am still on the mend, but I can tell you my experience with Dr Ridgway versus the doctor I had for my first surgery is completely different. The difference feels bigger than night and day. I've heard you can tell how good a surgeon is by how quickly you feel better and compared to before..um yes. I am feeling SO much better. I have been picking up the pieces of my life I stopped living a year ago and I'm moving forward. I'm not worried about how my nose looks, I can take a deep breathe in my nose (something I thought I would NEVER be able to do again) and I can smell bacon cooking in the morning (something I was also afraid I'd never experience again.)
If I were to give advice to myself the first time around, I would have told myself to go to a doctor who is not only a surgeon who specializes with the face (which I did the first time around), I would have gone to a doctor who ALSO specializes in the function of the nose! I PROMISE you, you don't realize how important and precious something as a functioning nose is until you loose the ability to breathe and smell properly. If you want a rhinoplasty, do it right. Go to a good surgeon. Go to someone who is of this century and uses the latest technology, understands the latest methods, knows how to use grafts and not make your nose look wider (Dr Ridgway put a graft in my nose and you could never tell! My nose looks slimmer and I can breathe so much better! I had so many doctors say they won't put a graft in because it would make my nose look bigger. What a bunch of crap...).
After reading this over, it is just the surface of this long journey. My first surgery started with wanting to get rid of a big bump on my nose and it resulted in poor breathing, smelling, and looking just awful. My second surgery was to repair what was lost and not only am I breathing, I look better than I ever have. I'm overly pleased.
Dr. Ridgway, if you ever read this, thank you for giving this 27 year old girl a second chance at life and for mending my trust issues with doctors. I'm beginning to finally move past all of this trauma and live my life again. I wish I found you the first time around. I wish you the best in the future.
**FYI The total cost doesn't include what my insurance paid. That's what I've paid out of pocket.