I have known that I wanted rhinoplasty for the...
I would try anything to attempt to hide my nose or at least downplay it. My hair has kind of become my security blanket. I usually wear it down and always have some kind of bangs. I have also tried contouring my nose with makeup to make it appear smaller which suprise suprise is not very effective. When I was a teenager I always tried to avoid people seeing the side view of my face (Easier said than done!) To this day I fear that cars will drive by me and see the side view of my nose. High school was probably the worst. I was made fun of for my nose. I had people tell me that my nose is crooked and one of my coworkers at a job had asked me when I had broken my nose. Not even if but when! You do get past these comments but you never forget what it feels like when someone draws attention to the very thing that you hate most about yourself. For me it just kind of amplified how I already felt about my nose.
I recently turned 30 and decided that it is the perfect time for me to do this. Everything is happening quickly and it is very exciting and scary! I will be posting more regarding my consult and the surgery.
Rhinoplasty consult and surgery date
Beforehand I kind of wrote up a list of things that I didn't like about my nose and questions I wanted to ask. The day of the consult I was terrified! It was weird because it is simply a time to get to know the doctor and and ask questions (Just on a side note ask questions! I felt bad thinking I was asking too many but it is an important part of the consult) Anyways I think I was so nervous because the consult makes it feel so much more real and you've really taken the last step before the surgery itself.
The consult went really well. I had many photos taken from different angles of my nose. When I met with the doctor I told him the things I didn't like about my nose. For one the hump, the crookedness, and how when I smile the tip drops down a lot towards my upper lip. I told him that I had no qualms about having an open rhinoplasty. I know a lot of people prefer closed because the scarring is less but I actually prefer the open and from what the doctor said in my case it would be necessary for the changes to be made. I also stressed that I wanted to have a general anesthetic. I read a lot about having a local with sedation which is apparently called "twilight sedation". From the sounds of it a lot of people do the procedure this way and they are fine. For me its a personal choice for this operation. I want to be knocked out, asleep, not aware of anything. It does cost more money because they bring in the anesthesiologist but for me it is worth it just for the peace of mind.
I have to say that I found it fascinating to go through the the photos with the doctor. They take many different photos of your nose from different angles(I found when I looked at them I kind of shuddered and wondered why I hadn't done this sooner!) The doctor sat with me and went through the images with me asking me questions about my nose. I had read beforehand that apparently it can be hard to straighten a crooked nose. There can be improvements but it usually won't be perfectly straight. Dr. Buonassisi did confirm that. He also explained that they would actually have to do a septoplasty to straighten the nose, which would be combined with the rhinoplasty. I loved his approach because he said what he is able to do and what he is unable to do. He didn't downplay the risks at all and the best part was doing the computer digital imaging. He showed me what changes he could make and how it could look. I was blown away. It still looked like me but with a nicer nose! From researching this doctor I read a bit about his technique. He focuses on small changes to the bridge and tip of the nose for the most natural looking result.
It was weird when I saw how my side view looked with the digital imaging I loved it but when I saw the front view I hesitated a bit. It looked better but different. I wasn't sure if I liked it but then I realized that we are probably so used to seeing our noses everyday and when any change is made it looks "off" because you are not used to it. Even though I hate my nose its different to see it look a little more normal!
After the great experience at the consult I decided I wanted to do the surgery. I felt completely at ease with the doctor, his approach, and his honesty. It seems so surreal still. I booked the surgery for June 11th which is only 5 days away!
I've been reading a lot of posts on here which has been really helpful. I am also trying to prepare myself with a lot of books, magazines, and movies. Still have to buy one of those U shaped travel pillows. I've heard that these are helpful. Oh and lip balm! Does anyone have anymore advice on things to have to make the recovery easier/more bearable?
Seasonal allergies and rhinoplasty?
I did talk to the office staff and they were helpful. They said that it is a common concern. I did get some Reactine Extra Strength 24hr from them. Usually the allergy meds don't seem to help me. This does seem to alleviate the symptoms but not fully.
Has anyone had a similar experience to this? If so what measures were taken to help? I'm terrified that I will be sneezing like a maniac after surgery because I know that if you do sneeze you have to do it through your mouth( Isn't that how most people sneeze anyways though?)
Only 2 more days. Very scared and excited!
Rhinoplasty/Septoplasty surgery done!
The surgery itself only took 2 hours. I was really tired afterward and out of it and i remember asking if it was over about 4 times. They said the surgery went really well. My throat was a little sore after and I was coughing because I had a general anesthetic.
I only looked in the mirror once or twice that day because I feel like it can be upsetting to see yourself looking so different and you don't realize at the time that it is temporary and will pass. In my case my face is very bruised and swollen and my nose as well. It is worse today(day 2) and I think that day 3 might be the worst but hopefully it will go down a bit after that. I'm also very congested. It kind of feels like a bad head cold.
I have been taking pain meds which help me. I find that my nose is stinging a little bit which may be from the splints and
just the tip feels a little sore. Sleeping is proving to be a challenge which is what I had anticipated. I usually can only sleep for about an hour at most.
Eating has been alright but my mouth does feel tender so right now it is mostly soft foods. I've been having soup, yogurt, smoothies, bananas, and pudding. Yesterday I was craving avocado so I mashed I up with some yogurt. It was actually really good. Does anyone know when it's okay to eat cold foods like Popsicles? I know day 1 it said no hot or frozen but what about after that? Also I want to make sure I am still getting nutrients. Does anyone have any go to foods that are healthy? I would kill for a coffee right now made with my Tassimo but I know that's probably not the best- besides it will taste so much better after being without it for a little while! :)
Recovery at day 5
I need to be honest that I feel like this septo/rhinoplasty has been really hard on me. I knew recovery would be very challenging but it has been more difficult than I expected. When I read other reviews it sounds like a lot of people don't have pain but more discomfort and a lot of congestion. So I feel like a wimp because I have found recovery to be painful at times. I did have rhinoplasty and septoplasty and maybe that is partly why.
The congestion is definitely there in full force. I can feel it everywhere in my face including my throat and my ears. I can handle that part though. I was expecting it. What has kind of caught me off guard has been the sensation in my nose. It's like an intense stinging feeling. Almost like if you accidentally were to breathe in some salt water from the ocean. Similar to that burning feeling you get in your nostrils after. I haven't noticed many reviews talk about this or read about this problem after surgery. Has anyone experienced anything like this?
I think the bruising and swelling got the worst yesterday. The swelling actually caused the cast across my bridge to extend close to the inner corner of my eye which irritated it. I found it more comfortable to close my eyes because they felt like they were stinging.Thank goodness that subsided this morning. I still get headaches but not as bad. My teeth are still quite tender so I am mostly sticking with soft foods. On a positive note all the bruises are mostly yellow now.
I tried switching from T3's today over to extra strength Tylenol so I will see how that goes. If need be I can take the T3's when I am going to bed. Sleeping has definitely gotten a lot easier!
I took off the gauze pad last night but I've noticed over the past couple days that I have this scab of built up dried blood that comes out of one nostril. Sorry it's kind of gross but I keep trying to gently dab at it with a washcloth but its not loosening. In my instructions it does say not to pick at scabs and to let them dissolve on their own otherwise you can disrupt the stitches. What if it is lower than the stitches though? Then I worry that if it comes off on a washcloth that my nose might start dripping and I may need the gauze again.
It's funny because I am so congested that it sounds like my nose is kind of making a bubbling noise sometimes when I am drinking, talking, or sometimes just breathing. I am used to it and fine with it now but in the beginning it creeped me out. The doctor said it is just air making its way in.
So I don't know if anyone else has been the same as me but when I got my scheduled for surgery I knew I would need some entertainment to get through the first little while. I bought a bunch of magazines, brought out some books I'd been meaning to read, had some movies handy. I even bought this book of crosswords because I am a sucker for them. Oddly enough I didn't start reading or watching much tv until yesterday. In the first few days I just kind of laid down. I didn't feel like doing much of anything. So just realize that those things will likely come in handy but during the first few days you may just end up lying down or just not feel like reading at all. And that is fine too! Just listen to what your body is trying to tell you.
Feeling more like myself at day 7!
I still have quite a bit of bruising under my eyes and am swollen but just really happy to be feeling so much better today. I read a lot of reviews and blogs about others experiences and was starting to feel like something was wrong with me because I didn't really bounce back . I know they say that you can be doing normal activities usually by day 2 but I have found doing anything can be very tiring. I get exhausted easily and have been laying down a lot. I also found that sometimes I would feel dizzy or like I was going to faint. I've been trying really hard to get enough fluids. Today has definitely improved.
Tomorrow I get my cast off and my splints taken out. I am excited and nervous. Not looking forward to the splints coming out in one way because it sounds very painful and unpleasant. On the other hand it sounds like the congestion improves once they are out so that is a bonus.
Just wanted to add that while I haven't posted any photos I am more than happy to answer any questions that anyone has. I am very open to that so let me know if I can help in any way! :)
Cast is off and splints are removed!
So before I say anything else I do wanna share about the splint removal. I took a T3 before I went to be on the safe side. From my understanding there was a stitch holding the splints in place and this is cut and then they are pulled out. I have to say that it hurt a little bit but nowhere near what I expected. It was more of a unpleasant and uncomfortable sensation. I don't know about you guys but I kind of like to know what is going on and to know what it may feel like. So the doctor just said he was going to cut the stitch and then gave me some kleenex. Then I realized he was taking the splints out because I felt the pulling and pressure. What I was completely unprepared for was the sensation. To me it felt like a gush of fluid coming out of my nose. Because I didn't expect this(or maybe because I was out of it from my T3)I thought it was blood and was a little freaked out. The doctor said there was no blood though so I assume it was just mucous. I don't know if this is how it feels for everyone but it really isn't as bad as it sounds. In fact if I had known that I would experience that weird sensation of fluid coming out of my nose I probably would have been more prepared and calm. So if I can offer some insight to anyone going through this it would be this:
1. It is not going to be anywhere near as bad as stories you might hear.
2. I would describe it as an unpleasant sensation again. You may feel some pulling, some pressure, and maybe some fluid come out of your nose. This is normal.
3. I had someone recommend that I close my eyes while they are being removed and I think that definitely helped.
4. In the end know that once these are out things feel SO much better. You feel like you can breathe so much better, have less congestion, and less discomfort. I've found it so much easier to talk since they have come out too.
Anyways the cast came off as well and I was so apprehensive about looking in the mirror after. I knew that I should expect swelling and bruising but I was scared that this would be all I could focus on. Thankfully I was able to see it and realize that it was still swollen from the front and bruised but once I got past that it felt great. When Dr. Buonassisi showed me the side view of my nose in the mirror I almost cried and feel like I literally lost all ability to form words. lol. It was perfect. There was no bump. It felt overwhelming and shocking in a good way.
When I got home I kept looking in the 3 way mirror at my side view. It almost seemed surreal. I do have to say that I don't love the front view right now but I know that is normal and I anticipated that. It is still swollen so it looks wide and the tip looks almost bulbous. This seems to be very common based on other reviews I have read. I'm trying really hard to be patient and just give it time. I know the swelling will go down and it will look better. I'm trying to focus on the fact that I love the side view.
Before photos of my nose
2 weeks post op
So about 2 days ago my left nostril started feeling really restricted and kind of plugged and then I kind of noticed that when I breath through my nose I think the air is only coming out of the right nostril. It almost feels as if something is obstructing it. I kind of took a flashlight and tried to look inside my left nostril and something is definitely blocking my nostril and the passage looks very narrow. It could be many things though...swelling, stitches, or maybe snot (sorry lol) Possibly all three? I do know that my nose veered off to the right so with the doctor trying to straighten my septum I imagine he had to do a lot of work on the opposite nostril to try and bring it into the middle. I'm no expert but I'm wondering if doctors maybe "overcorrect" the straightening so that when it has fully healed it ends up with the right placement. I know this can be done with work on the tip of the nose since it drops over time anyways. I'm just kind of pondering but it might make sense as one nostril feels completely fine and the other feels blocked and congested. I realize too that it is likely that I am very swollen still. It's just kind of weird how it is only in one nostril! Anyways I emailed the office and they were excellent. They said it was probably okay and just swollen but Dr. Buonassisi is going to take a look at it tomorrow to help ease my mind.
I am liking the front more as the swelling seems to have gone down but it is definitely still very wide. I am just thrilled that the hump is gone. All of the stitches on the external incision have come off or dissolved except for this one annoying one right in the middle. I also still have a bit of a yellow bruise under my right eye only. Oh and I sneezed 3 times today. I was so scared of that happening, but I did it through my mouth as instructed and I was fine.
I am posting my before/after photo that was done with computer imaging at my consultation. I am not very good at the selfies but will have more pics to post within the next few days.:)
Follow up with my doctor
It was great to see everyone during my visit because they have all been so helpful and supportive. Dr. Buonassisi said everything looked really good. I was thanking him for doing such an amazing job and saying I loved it and that it looked great. He agreed that it looked great and then thanked me for being thorough and doing all of my research. He told me we were able to achieve the result because we worked as a team. To me that was so nice to hear.I had never really thought of it that way before but its true in that you as a patient have responsibility as well. It's important to do your research, to know what you want, and to ask questions.
I am posting pics of my nose and how it looks so far. The front is still quite wide and swollen but I am gradually getting used to it. It seems bigger in front of the camera versus the mirror though. Not too sure why!
Almost one month post op!
I have started using the sinus rinse daily after seeing my doctor in the last visit. I am still having a really hard time breathing through my nose. I have had allergies though as well so that could be part of it. I've been sneezing a bit but making sure I do it through my mouth. You kind of have to force it out like you are going to cough. At least that whats works for me. My brother says when I sneeze it sounds like a cat coughing up a hair ball though! Swelling seems to be going down very slowly. I still have a little bit of a bruise under my right eye which seems kind of weird because its been so long.
So last night I kind of discovered that you can see much more of one nostril than the other on my front view. The left nostril is visible and the right one isn't. It seems to be only in pictures though so maybe it is at a certain angle. I don't notice it in the mirror. My tip is still quite swollen so hopefully it will even out with time. It's nice to have my smile coming back to almost normal. I also am able to "smush" my lips together to spread my lipstick/gloss. Up until a week ago I couldn't do that. It's the little things right?:)
Thoughts on the past month and a few more pics
I have a few questions regarding the recovery at the one month mark.
1) At one point did you stop sleeping with your head elevated? I have continued to sleep with 3 pillows under my head so my head is fairly propped up. I worry that the swelling will persist if I don't.
2) With regards to sun exposure do you always wear a hat? I have been really careful about applying a high spf and trying to wear a hat but is wearing a high spf enough?
3) I've been breaking out around my nose a lot and been wondering what I can do to help with that? Usually I use the clarisonic but my nose is still way to tender.
4)For those of you that have had an open rhinoplasty did you continue to put anything on the external scar? They said to put polysporin on it for a month but what about after that?
5) I still have some troubles with my breathing and my nose gets really dry. I know it is still early on but was wondering if anyone has tried using a humidifier at night. If so did it help?
If anyone could help me out with any of these questions I would appreciate it:)
Have a good weekend everyone!
More before pics!
I have my 2 month post op appointment in just under 3 weeks. I am really excited for it! I can't wait to wear sunglasses again. My eyes are really sensitive to the sun so it's been harder than I thought going without (small price to pay for a nicer nose though). I am going camping tomorrow so will be loading up on sunblock and probably wearing my hat all weekend. Will post more after pics next week!
About 7 weeks post op and more pics.
I have stopped taking as many photos. I think it's really easy to start trying to monitor the swelling and how much it will go down with photos. I got a little overzealous though and was taking photos daily to see if the swelling was better than the previous day. I also tried googling "swelling after 6 weeks" etc to see how others looked at that point. lol It got a little excessive. So I figure for me it's healthy to take pictures weekly for the first 3 months and then monthly after that. I am a bit of an impatient person naturally but this surgery has really taught me that you need to have patience and that it will take time.
I was wanting to know if anyone has had problems with acne and breaking out after surgery? I've never had good skin and have had acne problems on and off since the age of 13. However I went on accutane and things seemed to really improve. I went off it a year ago and my skin has been doing well up until now. It started flaring up about 6 weeks post op and the weird thing is that it's not bad around my nose. It's the rest of my face! I was surprised that my skin was as clear as it was immediately after the surgery and especially after the cast removal but now it seems like it is back with a vengeance. Has anyone had anything similar? I will post updates after my next appointment.
2 month follow up appointment
I spoke with him about how it seems like my left nostril is visible from front view but my right nostril is not. He took a look and kind of studied my nose and said that the apex on one nostril is higher than the other but there was nothing that could be done about that. Which is completely fine with me. I would take this nose over my old nose any day! The doctor did say that this was something that other people would not notice. He said with his rhinoplasty patients they are looking at their noses constantly(then he said he would be doing the same if he had the procedure done) and they notice a lot of little things that they might not notice before or things that no one else would pay attention to. It's interesting because I looked at my before pictures and sure enough it looks like one nostril is higher than the other but I had never noticed. Probably because my nose was so long and big that it covered most of my nostrils.
Lastly, I mentioned that I felt like there was still swelling in the tip. He felt my nose and confirmed that and said that all of the swelling should dissipate within the next year, but he did say that the results will be very gradual and I would likely not notice the subtle changes over that time. I was hoping he would say 6 months but I have repeatedly heard that final results can be seen at one year so I wasn't surprised. Just have to keep being patient. I'm actually a really impatient person so I think this procedure has taught me the art of patience (at least in this case:)
I get to wear sunglasses again so I am excited for that! I missed them. I'm also finding that my breathing is a lot better. For awhile I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to breathe properly out of my left nostril but it has gotten much better. I still worry that I am going to bump or hit my nose-Does that worry ever go away? Sometimes I feel like I am being paranoid.
When I get the photos from the doctors office I will post them on here. For now I just have some front view ones that I took.
3 and a half months post op
Other than the people I have told about my surgery no one else has noticed the change. Even some of the people I told forgot about it. My mom's friend said I looked beautiful at a dinner we had and a few people have said that I am looking good but that's it. It's kind of a positive thing because it makes me feel like it looks natural. I did expect that as well because that seems to be the common reaction-people think that you look good but they can't pinpoint what it is. For me the change is really obvious(in a good way)but for others it isn't. A lot of times I think people don't pay attention to things as much as we think they will. Even with my nose beforehand. I felt like everyone was staring or making fun of me but it was me that paid the most attention to it because I was so self conscious. I just wanted to share this because for some people it may be disappointing if others don't notice but take it as a compliment. To me it means that it looks natural. That you still look like you but with a prettier nose:)
I'm posting some pics that I took the other day. Does anyone know what software/ program you would use to create a "collage" of side by side before and after photos? I tried using photoshop but couldn't figure it out.
I chose Dr. Buonassisi after extensive research online. His reviews were excellent, before and after photos looked natural, and the 8 West website was incredibly informative. I also just had a strong gut feeling that this should be the doctor that works on my nose. During the consult he was great with answering all of my questions. He told me what he could and couldn't do and was great at explaining things. I enjoyed his sense of humor, professionalism and honesty. He made me feel very at ease before surgery. The staff at 8 West are very welcoming and supportive as well. Mandy and Angie were more than happy to help with any questions or concerns I had. I ended up having Septo/Rhinoplasty and am completely amazed by the results so far. They have completely surpassed my expectations. This doctor is incredibly skilled in his profession. I am so happy that I chose Dr. Buonassisi and would highly recommend him to anyone considering a procedure like this. You will not be disappointed.