The Things I Wasn't Expecting -United Kingdom, GB

So I had my surgery 5 days ago, alar base...

So I had my surgery 5 days ago, alar base reduction, hanging collumellar, septoplasty and tip plasty, and straightening of the profile. With one of the UK's best (if not the best) Harley Street surgeons. I don't know if I will be happy with it yet as my nose is very swollen and hidden under the plaster, but I wanted to share the things I wasn't told for people who are going into having this op.

Firstly, the day after, I felt horrendous - not in that much pain, but my mouth and lips were so dry, I felt groggy from the anaesthetic, and not being able to breathe through my nose made me feel very claustrophobic. I regretted it and I felt embarrassed at how much had gone into me feeling a bit better about my nose. Each day got better and better. The cast is annoying, and my nose is extremely itchy. I'm getting odd twinges and sharp stinging pains, as well as tickling from the stitches, which is crazy. It's very difficult to sleep when you can't breathe through your nose. I woke up every two hours on the second night - I think the anesthetic was wearing off so I slept OK on the first night. I'm also terrified that my husband will elbow my nose, so I've tried to sleep holding his hand so I'll know if he moves. I'm also scared to sneeze. My nose is constantly leaking discharge or blood and it can only lightly be wiped away as you can't blow your nose into a tissue and squeeze everything out as you might usually. Cabin fever is setting in as I don't want to go out - I've kept my rhinoplasty a secret. Unfortunately, I once told a friend that I wanted it done. They invited us out on Sunday, and my husband replied that I couldn't come because I have broken my nose and have a cast on...now they've worked it out of course! Although my main motivation was aesthetic, I've barely thought about that since the surgery as I think I have more been in shock at how big an operation it is. I had researched this all my life but until you actually go through it, it's easy to underestimate how awful it feels. It does ache, constantly but not much. What is worse are shooting pains and itching that comes and goes. I stopped painkillers after day 4. I have some recommendations of things to buy/do before rhinoplasty that I wish I had done:

- Finalise all dental work (now can't go to dentist for months incase they touch my nose)
- Get picked up from hospital in a 4X4 - the road was bumpy on the way home...it didn't help
- Wash hair and pluck brows before.
-Moisturise your lips before surgery...your mouth is kept open with a tube...stretches your lips
- Buy:
straws
dry shampoo
cotton buds (loads)
plastic cup (less likely to bump and injure your nose)
a wedge cushion to sleep on - multiple pillows is not comfortable
loads of the softest tissues, and cotton pads, to soak up blood
soft food and drink that can be cut up small, no pepper so you don't sneeze
books - you'll be in bed for 3 days minimum (docs say you don't have to be, but there's no way you'll want to be up doing things)
Vasalene, to put in your nostrils to soften blood and on your parched lips and the skin around your nose, which will get chafed from tissue use.
Another medicated lip balm, because vasalene stops working after using it so long.
Ice lollies, to eat, and help with swelling
Dry (sealed) ice packs that wont get the plaster / tape wet - VERY important not to get it wet as it's stopping your nose swelling. I didn't have this but wish I had. I think it's best to use these in the first two days and not after, from my personal research. They stop you bruising but I think *maybe* can slow the bruise healing once it's there. My bruising didn't show until day 2/3, so I should have iced on the op day and the morning after, if my theory is right. Don't take it from me - research how bruises heal...
A small 'bullet' vibrator to use carefully under your eyes to help break down the bruising and reduce swelling. I did this without checking with the doc, but did it 2 days in, very carefully, only on bruising. I think it helped. Your doc may say no.
I was recommended the following vitamins, which I believe helped a lot, as my bruising was very minor: Arnica 30c, 2 tabs, 3 times a day, started the day before but should have started earlier. Bromelain, 1 tab 3 times a day, started the day before but again, should have been taking it for two weeks before. Finally 1000mg Vit. C in an effervecent tab once a day. After the op., I was prescribed: hydrogen peroxide 3% to clean my nose (such a relief...it's like your nose is frozen in blood), antibiotics, antibiotic ointment called polyfax, and strongish painkillers. It's day 5. I feel OK, except for bunged up, and tired due to disrupted sleep. But I could go out if I wanted. I could do the housework at my own pace. If I wanted.

Update on day 6 and 7

Hey, So I felt good yesterday and today. Noticed a new pain in the tip of my nose when someone told me something surprising :-) and I have managed to clear (after HOURS, yes HOURS cleaning) the blood clots in my nose so I can breathe properly. I also have a tooth infection so am on another course of antibiotics. That's causing a headache and stuff but as far as the rhinoplasty goes...I feel normalish.

Cast off today. It's not how you think.

So I went in to have the cast removed and stitches out today. The stitches are like having your nose hairs plucked. The cast coming off feels odd but doesn't hurt. I expected to look and gush at how much I loved my nose. That's not how it works! FIRST, for a good 20m, I needed to keep looking in the mirror at different angles, smiling, noticing new proportions, etc, to see IF I was happy and get over the weirdness. Then, I was able to say I like it. Before that, I was just in shock I think. But it looks amazing and given what I HAD...my surgeon is a genius.

3 weeks later....

Excellent result, very natural. Still scared and numb in places but no one - no one at all, can tell. I'm happy :-)

6 weeks on

Well, I am pleased to say that my nose looks great. It's not perfect, but it's as close as I could realistically hope for. I have a few badly blocked pores and light scarring, but nobody has guessed. I still have a swollen tip but the feeling is back. My nose is also still running badly but it is slowly getting getter. My nose feels bruised if I pinch near the bone but mildly. I'm still taping as there is still minor swellling.
Rather not say before cast comes off!

I trust my doctor because he is well known, has done plenty of surgeries, and because he knew exactly what needed to be done before I'd told him. He wasn't as consultative as I would have liked. I always felt a bit rushed in appointments, but this could be partly down to my own nerves.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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