Life-changing Rhinoplasty - Sydney, AU

My rhinoplasty experience has been life changing. ...

My rhinoplasty experience has been life changing. At my two appointments with Dr. Nettle we agreed a very subtle change, so subtle in fact that he assured me no-one would know. He was quite pleasant but overconfident and although he went through the risks, was quite flippant about rhinoplasty being a very minor procedure. I stressed many times wanting a very natural result and explained the importance of keeping as true to my original nose as possible - I am very private and also liked many aspects of my nose and wanted to maintain them. This was not a problem, he assured me. When the cast came off, I was distraught and mortified that my nose had been altered, overhauled and pared down so dramatically - there was not one aspect of what we discussed that had been fulfilled. Things were changed that we had never even discussed. My nose is now asymmetrical, arches to one side, thin, pointy and artificial looking and the scar underneath very obvious. Life has not been the same since that day. Whilst I could write pages and pages on my experience and how terribly something like this affects someone and their family, my motivation for writing this is not to spite him, upset and angry as I am, but to just ensure others are aware that this is a huge decision and to be prepared if it doesn't turn out as expected.
Sydney Plastic Surgeon

Unfortunately, I have not one positive thing to say about my experience. I am utterly devastated by what he has done and gave him my honest feedback on the situation(why it happened? how it happened? its affect on myself and family). Although he has apologised, he blames my overdone, botched result on the 'vagaries of surgery' rather than anything he has done. He did not like my feedback or assessment of the situation and will now not revise what he describes as a 'difficult case'. I'm not exactly sure what a surgeon expects when a patient gets such dramatically different results to what was agreed but he says I have been derogatory so he will not revise my nose - though he created this nightmarish situation for me. I feel such aggressive excising of cartilage by a surgeon of this level of experience has most likely been due to miscommunication, carelessness and adding his artistic licence in surgery, regardless of our conversations and my wishes. The kindness described by others, I have not experienced - his behaviour and lack of care and empathy after his mistakes have been very upsetting. It is all too easy for surgeons to blame bad results and unhappy patients on unrealistic expectations, body dysmorphia or some psychological issue but I am just a normal, every day person hoping to have had a small change and have been left utterly broken by what he has done to my nose - I wish I had never stepped foot in his office.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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I don't understand what rhinoplasty operation you have undergone. Was it to remove a hump, narrow the bridge or add cartilage to it? As in, did he have to reduce your nose bridge or increase it? If he increased it, what did you have done e.g. Implant or cartilage from ear or rib? I don't understand what it looks like, could you post a photo or similar please? You don't need to show your face, just your nose. If you don't, we all won't know what your really are talking about because words are words but if you show us we will understand better.
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Can you post pictures of your nose?
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Hi Foxyboxy, I am so sorry but I won't post pictures for privacy reasons but also I don't really want all the comments from people about my before/after pictures. My reason for sharing my story was really just to make people aware of what a big decision this is and that even great surgeons have bad days and things can go wrong. Undoubtedly, any surgery carries risks but a surgeon doing what THEY want, not what YOU want is unforgivable. There is a difference between something going wrong in surgery and a surgeon deciding to create and chisel a nose that THEY like. Sadly, removing cartilage/bone is quite easy...but adding it back means taking cartilage from your ear or rib. Revision surgery is a much more complex undertaking and this upsets me greatly as all I wanted was a subtle change to a nose I quite liked. The emotional impact has been devastating. I would probably find it easier to accept had he given me a nicer nose but I've been left with an unnatural and unfamiliar appearance that is decidedly less attractive than my original nose. My self-esteem and self-confidence has been affected so terribly and I am very embarrassed and depressed - it affects nearly every facet of daily life. In addition to cosmetic issues, there are some functional ones - my breathing, which was perfect before, is worse and I now snore. My sense of smell, which was excellent before, is also diminished. There are all the emotions of anger, disappointment and regret to cope with, all whilst starting to think about looking for a surgeon I trust enough to rebuild my nose back to what we agreed. Ultimately, successful rhinoplasty should mean a happy patient - not a patient shocked with the outcome, looking back at a total surprise nose/face. There is no one set aesthetic standard that can be applied to all patients. There were cultural and familial aspects of my nose that were so very important to me, that have literally been wiped off my face. Even if my request differs from Dr Nettle's views, it is up to him to gage a clear understanding of my specific desires and not over-ride them with his aesthetic goals. Of course computer imaging is not a guarantee, and there will probably always be some degree of variance between the imaging and the actual result, but to get a nose so dramatically different to what was agreed and discussed is inexcusable. My view is that the best nose jobs are ones that make you look better, but that no-one can pinpoint that it's your nose that is the difference. My overaggressive rhinoplasty is very noticeable. Most disappointing to me, is that the person I read about, who seemed so conservative and kind, was so different to the person I dealt with post-surgery. There is always that thought before surgery that if something did go wrong, at least I have an ethical surgeon who would deal with the situation professionally and empathetically but this has not turned out to be the case. A true test of a surgeon's ethics and character is their actions and behaviour when things go wrong. Choose your surgeon wisely, communicate well, go with your gut, and remember that you are interviewing them. Any doubts, don't do it.
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Lotusleaf, I feel like I am reading words from my own subconscious! I am thinking of you as you go through this x Have you been researching surgeons for a revision? I am going to see Dr Pincock in December. I am hoping that we can plan a revision that will restore the tip of my nose. I am so nervous I have asked my Dad to come along on the day. My surgeon recommended a dermal filler for my alar rim retraction and all the research online says it is a big no no, and can be detrimental to the skin, and will not fix the problem. It is very disappointing and I was upset for a few days after seeing him but I have resolved to move on. As you said I will only undergo a revision if I truly feel the Surgeon and I are on the same page as to my preferred nose. It doesn't have to be perfect and as you said, I will most certainly be going with my gut! x
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I am actually considering seeing him, i was referred to him by another surgeon any chance you can inbox me a picture of just your new nose. I am now scared to see him after reading your review. I hope you heal well and things get better for you!
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What is your ethnicity?
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From what I have read, Gerarchi and Pinnock are the only ones you should see. Gerarchi is very experienced and good but make it clear what you want to achieve before the op. Otherwise fly to Texas and go to Gunters clinic.
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Hi Lotusleaf, You're not alone. Myself and another young lady in Sydney are going through the same thing (of course the scale of errors varies from minor to serious errors from our primary rhinoplasty). We are both looking into revision in December 2014-Jan 2015 (1 yr post op). I am now 7 months post op and the issues that I was unhappy about at day 1 are still present, and my surgeon has discussed revision. I am booked in for a second opinion and will probably go with another surgeon simply because it took my surgeon so long to acknowledge there was something not right (even if it was due to the healing process), it puts the patient at ease acknowledging that something undesirable has occurred due to the surgery, rather than dismissing the patient. I can honestly tell you at 7mths you deal with the emotional side much better. It doesn't change the fact that you're unhappy with your surgical outcome or that you will do whatever you can to seek out the best revision rhinoplasty surgeon and plan, your mind simply just accepts that there is nothing that can be done until 12 months. My biggest recommendation is stop taking photos of your current nose and do not look at photos of your previous nose. I stopped a couple of months ago and it is much easier to deal with it. You also have to tell yourself that you will go into the revision with more education on what you want, what you don't like, you will ask about the risks and you have to be 100% comfortable with your surgeon. Even the most experienced surgeon should listen to their patient and work with the patient to ensure that the patients wishes are carried out during surgery (if possible). At the end of the day there is no point in creating a nose that the surgeon personally likes if it is completely the opposite to what the patient wants. It is without a doubt one of the most traumatising experiences. For me it felt like I was in an accident (e.g. like loosing a hand and knowing you will never get it back again - obviously a hand is much more serious). It changes you a lot emotionally and words cannot describe the pain you are going through. I understand. The lady I am speaking with is going to see a psychiatrist and says that really helps with dealing with the emotions in the meantime. I hope you are doing well. Please do some research for a revision in your spare time and in the interim try to accept you just have to wait until something can be done (that is the hard part), and know that you're not alone and 2 people in this world are currently going through what you are and completely understand xxx
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Thanks for that. I'm sorry to hear you are going through similar. Good advice about not looking but easier said than done but I'll try. Yes, it is indescribably traumatising to look in the mirror (like you say, almost like having had an accident). Also, so hard to go from someone so sociable and happy to reclusive. That is the hardest part for me. So glad to hear you are at least a little better at 7months. My issues worsen the longer recovery goes on - warping and bumps more obvious as swelling goes down - quite the opposite of what surgeons tell you - that over time issues resolve themselves. Can you msg me who you will get your revision with? Thank you for your msg and I'm happy to hear you sound quite positive under the circumstances. Thinking of you knowing what you are going through. xxx
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I want to give you guys a big hug. Xxxx i see my surgeon in nov, he is head of some ENT board, and he told me about a few surgeons in Sydney, i'll ask him who he recommends. Xxx
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Hi Robomac, Thank you very much xx I hope your outcome is far more successful than ours! Did your surgeon recommend any Surgeons in Sydney? I have been doing some research to determine who I want to consult with but I try not to dedicate too much time to it because it makes me feel terrible thinking about the whole situation. I have found not looking at old photos helps x
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Lotusleaf, I am so so sorry, I didn't message you with who I am planning on getting a revision with. I have a spreadsheet with all the revision surgeons names and have listed the positive, and negative reviews from online research. Currently I have only booked in one consult with Dr Pincock in December (close to my 1 yr mark). Another Realself member who had the same Surgeon as I is seeing Dr Gerachi. If you'd like to private message me, I am more than happy to exchange email addresses and I can email you the spreadsheet I have so far. I understand if you do not want to for privacy reasons. I hope you're doing well and the time is going quickly for you. The sooner this is all behind us, the better xx
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Great that you are starting to make plans for a revision. I am still only 5 months post op so too early for me yet. The far-reaching ripple effect from this whole mess of a situation has been so considerable that even if his mistakes are fixed by another surgeon, the emotional scars from this experience cannot just be wiped away with a revision. I am struggling just to get through each day right now. I would be keen to see how you go with Dr Pincock and please do private message me with the names of surgeons from your research, as at some point, I hope to fix this. Thanks and good luck. xxx
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Im so sorry it hasnt gone to plan. I have had revision surgery done by a surgeon in Adelaide. After my first op i really couldnt tell any difference and two years on i had breathing difficulties and a droopy tip. Its so frustrating, you think you'll get this op and everything will be great. Im 4 months post revision op. My nose looks heaps better, not perfect though, i could email you photos if you like. i dont think rhino surgery ever results in a perfect nose ive decided. My dr - dr stephen floreani specialises in revision surgery. Stay positive xx
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Thanks for your msg. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you too but glad to hear your revision was quite successful. Yes, my philosophy is now that unless something is really quite deformed, don't try to perfect what is already perfectly fine - bit too late for me now but hopefully others will take note! I think people underestimate the complexity of this operation. Thanks again and I might be in touch by private msg re revision. X
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I totally agree that people under estimate the complexity of this operation, and even thought it might look good in the first 12 months, things can still go wrong down the track. I am really happy with my revision. Most importantly i can breathe. My dr said he has seen and fixed some bad rhino jobs. Good luck xxxxx
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Thank you for sharing your experience on RealSelf!
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Happy to share. It's important for people making a decision on this to realise the terrible consequences if things to not turn out as expected. It can happen. I never ever expected to be in this situation.....this is not some trivial decision. I was a very happy, sociable person and never expected this to happen to me. It is heart-breaking to go through and my whole family is suffering as I am in a deep depression. My advice - unless you have a real deformity, stop looking at magazines and the unrealistic images they propagate, cancel your appointment, cancel your surgery, and stop worrying about how you look. Enjoy your life and be grateful for what you have. Hug your kids, hug your partner and forget your nose or whatever it is you are obsessing about. We'll all grow old and wrinkly eventually. Be grateful for the nose you've been given. Love who you are. Once something is changed/altered you won't recognise yourself - it's terrifying. I was promised this would not be the case but I look ridiculous. I had such a blessed life but am now so desperately sad and embarrassed - it really is not worth it. I can only hope that my sharing of this experience saves someone, and their family, from the heart-ache that I am going through . I wish every day I had a time machine to take me back and stop myself going through with this.
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Welcome to RealSelf, Lotusleaf ... although I wish it was under better circumstances. I was just reading a stellar review of this doctor, and then came across yours. I'm so, so very sorry for what you're going through. Many of us here on RealSelf have gone through similar, and this is a wonderful place to connect, share, support & be supported, and heal ... and even - perhaps - find "the one" doctor who can perform a revision! We all understand that this is not just a physical recovery, but a mental & emotional one too. We're here for you.
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Thank you. That means a lot. I realise I will never go back to what we agreed and I must accept that but I would love some recommendations for revision rhinoplasty specialists to start making plans to fix this. Yes, he does have mostly amazing reviews which is why I went with him. The lesson learned is that things do not always go well, even with supposedly amazing surgeons. I have learned a very harsh lesson and unfortunately for me it has affected me so terribly. My family has suffered mostly as I am not the person I was and am so desperately depressed now. I have gone from a very happy, sociable person to a shell of my former self and at this point can really not see any way forward. Anyone who has had this experience and can tell me if you can get over this would be greatly appreciated as I feel so terribly hopeless, humiliated and guilty for making this decision.
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I think everyone that goes through an unsuccessful surgery feels - more or less - hopeless, humiliated and guilty ... at first. You can & will get through it, but you have to be proactive about your mental & emotional healing, and you can't let it consume you. Easier said than done - I know ... but that's where the 'proactive' work comes in. Take baby steps first. It is all to easy to knee-jerk into finding someone that may fix things, but it could also turn out much worse. Take your time finding someone suitable in Oz (or Thailand, or the US!), and meanwhile see about getting temporary fillers to disguise the issues until you're fully healed and ready. Scar revisions can be performed later on too! :) Lotusleaf, try also keeping a gratitude journal, and write down 5 things every day that you are grateful for. It's miraculous for changing one's mindset ... and that can attract even more blessings to you! Be kind to yourself as well ... after what you've been through, you deserve it! You're in my prayers.
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Thank you. I'm trying to put your great advice into practice but everyday is still a struggle. Hoping to turn a corner sometime soon. xx
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