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After Years of Considering.... Not Fun but Glad Its Done - Seattle, WA

In my fifties, I have never been able to breathe...

In my fifties, I have never been able to breathe deeply through my nose and had severe allergies all my life, living in various parts of the country. The past few years it seemed like my nose shape was changing; the slight profile bump getting bigger as nose seemed to be pushed up. So went to an ENT Dr. who confirmed what others had said over the years; that I had a partially deviated septum, infected Turbinate’s in my nose, and the structure was more cartilage and less bone (ended higher on bridge than norm). He said the surgery would be more complicated than his norm so recommended an expert at OR Health Science University Hospital which was my first consult. The Dr. was nationally known and very thorough when I visited. He felt surgery that included building a graft to open my nose, and reduce the Ts, could improve the situation. However, I did not feel like our personality was a great fit and OHSU would not split bill the case if I wanted have a very small cosmetic change included; removing the slight bump. So the ENT Dr. recommended Dr. L if I was willing to travel outside the area; I made a consult appointment with him and one other Seattle board certified plastic surgeon who has among the most 5 star ratings on this site (and claimed to do reconstructive as well as aesthetic nose surgery).

That Dr. had no bedside manner, was condescending, and told me there was nothing wrong with my nose structurally; he handed me a mirror and said since I could see my breath on it, I could breathe. I said of course I can or I would be dead but I would actually like to be able to breathe in to my diaphragm (never can when ran, exercised and/or did yoga and needed for better posture). I found Dr. L to be warm, caring and of course he had the expertise like the OHSU Dr. Thus, while having the surgery 3 hours away was not my first choice I went for it. His staff was very professional and organized and the 2.5 hour surgery went well (average cosmetic procedure is 1 to 1.5 hours).

I was told to expect at least 50% improvement in my breathing which has been exceeded and its probably closer to 90% when I am laying down. l was also told the procedures might not have any effect on my allergies but they have improved (perhaps due to turbinate reduction). The first week after the surgery I had a cast on my nose and had a LOT of blood drainage and was on heavy prescription meds (two weeks actually given my procedure was more invasive than most). The second week things were much easier but I was more black and blue (and yellow) than most including all the way down around my jaw line so when I was out people looked away (assumed I was beat up). Tried buying cover-up makeup but my skin was so dry from going off flax seed and fish oil weeks prior as directed (effects blood clotting) that my skin was too dry.

The staff was happy to answer questions anytime; went back twice; once to get cast off 7 days later and then for follow up at 30 days (then was permitted to start lifting weights again). My last visit will be between 6 months and a year when I think best; my nose is still tender if the tip touches something with more than feather light impact but it has been lessening. As for aesthetics; I know it’s a bit wider due to the cartilage and tip bridges but no one else does as when people see me they ask if I changed my hair. Thus, no material change in appearance though I wish I would have ended up with a more delicate nose (may get a bit smaller as can take up to year for all swelling/trauma to subside). People in my family do see the change in the profile as bump is gone but don't notice unless I bring it up; probably because the front seems the same. In closing I certainly learned that its best to have at least 3 consults and not to just rely on internet recommendations as while Dr. L is world renowned, I would not have known that from viewing this site or a couple others as the online reviews are limited. Some of the cost noted below was paid by my insurance.
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rare to find a renowned expert that does not have an ego so big that he or she trips over it and/or has not lost some of their compassion and patience. Why I chose Dr. L.

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
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (2)

Thank you so much for sharing your experience on RealSelf. Reviewing doctors online is relatively new and hopefully, as more and more doctors embrace social media, we'll have more and more reviews so you can make very informed decisions.

Going on at least 3 consultations, I think, is key. You really learn a lot by meeting a doctor in person that you can't get just from reading about him or her.

We'd love to see your photos (even with eyes blurred out) if you'd be willing to share them.

Thanks again!

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Great review, I wish I had been able to read your review prior to my having my surgery. You bring up some great points to consider when choosing a surgeon, artist.
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