Nervous -- Please Help - Solana Beach, CA

I haven't liked my nose since I was a child. I...

I haven't liked my nose since I was a child. I have found ways to take photos from certain angles that are OK, but if I don't hit that exact angle, it looks too long and there is a small hump. It is too masculine for my delicate face. I am a small woman. Bottom line, I feel self-conscious about my nose. I always wonder how others see it when they are looking at it because I can't give them that "perfect photo" angle every time! Also, my chin is receded. I will also be getting a chin implant to balance everything.

My question is: My surgery is at the end of the week. As the day approaches, I am becoming more and more apprehensive that I won't like the rhinoplasty. The doctor sent me computer images and I was quite shocked. They didn't look like ME. However, after looking at the photos for a while, I have decided that the projected "after" photos are a big improvement except for the tip of the nose. My current tip is round and the new tips is a bit angular. I am going to express this concern to my doctor and ask whether he can keep my round tip. I do not know whether this is possible because of the other work on the nose he has to do -- it might affect the tip shape when he reduces the bridge. All I can do is express my concerns. If he can't keep the tip round that will not cause me to back out. The rest of the changes are worth it.

My question to you wonderful people who have been so helpful to each other -- well, basically I just need some moral support. Did any of you freak out when you saw your computer images -- or your nose after the work was done? Am I alone in freaking out? I have been tempted to call it off, but I really do think the predicted changes are improvements -- I'm just a little thrown off by how different I'll look. Has anyone else felt this sense of fear/dread/excitement? I am feeling a lot of different emotions and would love to hear from anyone else about their emotional roller-coaster ride. Thank you!

P.S. I'm sure many of you would find photos helpful. I am pretty shy about putting up photos but maybe if I can find a photo editor online that will help me obscure my identity I can post some later.

Hello again! I'm three weeks out from my surgery...

Hello again! I'm three weeks out from my surgery and happy to report I am extremely pleased with the results. I am writing this post to reassure everyone who is having a freakout as their surgery date approaches. Also, my doctor sat down with me before the surgery and went over the photos with me that I had found alarming. He asked me what I didn't like, I told him my fears, and we talked it out. The clear communication calmed me. I felt certain that he wasn't going to make my nose too skinny, which is what I felt the photos were showing.
I even asked a psychologist I know whether it it normal to feel stress build as you near cosmetic surgery. She said it is absolutely normal and even happy events such as job changes, moving and weddings cause such stress -- not just negative life events such as getting laid off or a death in the family. I view my surgery as positive.
The best advice I can give about the emotional turmoil is to do your homework in selecting your doctor! This is the primary calming thought I had: I spent a lot of time selecting my doctor, reading his website and looking at photos of past patients; I trust the judgment I had when I was in a more settled emotional state.
FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCT WHEN CHOOSING A DOCTOR! Most of the horror stories I've read about bad cosmetic surgeries contain tales of patients who had a bad feeling about the doctor for various reasons but went ahead with it anyway -- much to their regret. Unless you feel totally comfortable with your choice of surgeon and his or her business, think twice. This is your body and you have to live with it for the rest of your life -- plus you're paying a lot of money.
Also, if you are a perfectionist, this surgery might not be for you unless you can relax your expectations. Doctors are people, not robots. They likely can't get everything 100% perfect. One side of my nose (surrounding the nostril) is SLIGHTLY smaller than the other. Only I notice it, I'm sure. Is it perfect? No. Is it better than it was before? OH YEAH!
Be prepared for a shock when the nose cast comes off: Your nose will use this freedom as a chance to swell. So at the critical time when you want to admire your new nose, it looks freaky! Calm down and let it ride. Within a couple days the major tip swelling should subside. Remember, the swelling is really bad for the first 30 days, and the nose may not settle into its true new form for up to 12 months. My chin is really swollen too. My smile is crooked, and the left side is more swollen than the right. But I'm not upset -- thanks to posts by others on this site talking about their chin implants. This seems to be normal. The crookedness of my smile has gone down a lot, and my lisp is mostly gone. I still feel some tingly/numbness in my nose tip and chin, but that has decreased with time.

My tips: (Please keep in mind that I had not only a rhinoplasty but a chin implant and chin lipo, so my advice may not apply to rhinoplasty only.)

If you do have the chin implant/lipo like I did, you might want to take off at least two weeks from work. I was in considerable pain from the chin work (especially the lipo!), but not the rhinoplasty. I could imagine going back to work after the cast was taken off my nose at 10 days, but I needed to stay on my pain meds for about 2 weeks for the chin. Plus I had a slight lisp, and since I didn't want all my co-workers asking me about it, I was glad I had taken more than two weeks off to heal.
I bought a cool-mist humidifier to move moisture into my nose and that felt wonderful! I sleep with mine next to me. I also used it during the day when in early recovery. Remember that heat can exacerbate inflammation, which you will likely have after surgery, so a warm-mist humidifier might not be a good idea. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Saline spray feels awesome too! Of course listen to your doctor regarding using this. My doctor advised it. I went to a health-food store and found a brand that also contained aloe vera.

Soft food was necessary at first -- not so much for the rhinoplasty but because my neck and chin felt sore. Because I don't like eating sugar, I found frozen fruit pops and ice cream that didn't contain sugar. Lots of soup, mashed potatoes and applesauce. Also, some people find they are constipated after this surgery, especially since they can't eat solid food. I stocked up on some fruit smoothies that contained oatmeal, which added fiber to the drink.

Stock up on beverages that you enjoy. Since you should stay well-hydrated and solid food is hard to eat, at least treat yourself to yummy beverages. I bought some vitamin packs that dissolve in water, so not only was I staying hydrated, I was getting vitamins.

After your nose cast is off and the doctor OKs blowing, take a hot shower and blow while bathing or right after. The hot water loosened some nasty gunk in my nose that felt wonderful to expel!

I hope this helps somebody. I truly appreciate the support of everyone on this site. Hoping to pay it forward.
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Comments (8)

Hi there. Which surgeon did you go to?
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Hello! My doctor was Maurice Sherman. Check out his website for lots of before and after photos. They helped me make my decision. www.drsherman.com
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Omg I'm so happy for you!!! : ) you seem like a really nice and genuine person and I'm so glad you are pleased! If there is anything you want to ask or share please don't hesitate o message me! I like the tips you gave too. Wish I would of used a humidifier. Hehe

Take care and enjoy life! : D
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Keep in mind the doctor can only work so much with a person's personal nose features. And because everyone is different... you should explain you want change, but a natural change that still looks like you if that makes any sense.

You will look a bit different.. but to help alleviate some shock... try picturing yourself of how you want to look... and try to explain that. It's normal to feel anxious... I felt like backing out at times, but I am glad I did it. I am a little apprehensive afterwards just because the front of my profile looks the same if not worse, but that is because of major swelling. Keep that in mind too, because after surgery, people freak out with their results, not realizing swellling last for up to even a full year to see the ultimate results which kinda sucks but if it's something you have thought about for a LONG time like I have... why not? It's always a risk, but we are young only once... be happy with your decision. If you need to call it off and take a couple months more to decide... do it. No one is rushing you, and who knows... maybe it was a phase and going through your hang ups made you realize you appreciate your natural nose. Either way, I hope you don't stress TOO much. Talk about it more, and I'm glad you are communicating about your story! Let me know if you have any questions!
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I have not had any surgery, yet but I would think that any change we do to ourselves is going to be a bit off putting at first. It is not what we have grown up seeing and are not accustomed to it. I am saying a prayer for you and your surgeon!!
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I know! It's a very big deal. I'm glad you communicated with your doctor! It's hard because you need to follow your heart and ask for what you really want, but at the same time instill some trust in the surgeon to do his job correctly.

If you'd like to post photos, I'd be happy to alter them for you to block out your eyes. Send me a PM if you want to do that.

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Hi there!

I totally understand your emotional rollercoaster. It can be quite startling to see images that don't look like you. And you're smart to consider that before surgery, because it comes as a shock to a lot of people post op and can lead to depression.

Make sure that you communicate with your doctor about what you want and that you still want to look like you (just improved). Also, make sure your doctor is board certified (ASPS/ASAPS) and a rhinoplasty SPECIALIST.

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Hi, thanks for the reply! I emailed the doctor after looking long and hard at the photos so I could tell him exactly what I didn't like. Though the chin seemed really big, I decided it was only because my current chin is so receded and the new chin is actually an improvement -- though I did tell him that if anything, I'd rather the implant be a bit too small than overprojected.
I told him that I liked the profile of the computer-imaged nose, but that the front seemed too angular. I asked whether we could keep my current tip. He told me that we would have time to talk about my hopes before in go into surgery. I think part of my nervousness is not knowing what to expect and how much time I would have to talk to him before. So I feel better knowing that he will chat with me before getting down to business. Also he said that the front images are the hardest to project in an imaging program, so it isn't exactly accurate.
I feel better knowing that I have communicated my desires to him and will have more time to do so before the big event.
I wasn't expecting this emotional roller-coaster ride. After booking the date, I didn't think it could arrive fast enough! I was so ready to do it. Now as the day gets closer, I am more nervous about the outcome. I hope I can keep in mind that the first month especially I will be swollen and my nose will change maybe up to a year.
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