After 10+ years of contemplating a nose job, I...
Lets start with my search for a doctor. I went to 4 consultations total. After a few days searching the internet, I got a consultation with a Dr. right away in Newport News. I won't say his name, but I think all his google reviews were fake! I was rushed during the consultation, the staff was borderline rude, and he didn't seem to enjoy his job. Um, yeah... not the kind of people I want cutting into me and having complete control while I'm asleep!! Next, I tried Dr. Carraway. Super knowledgeable guy! The consultation was rushed (I talked to him a total of 5 minutes before he was told another patient was waiting, and he left), and his nurse was extremely rude, but the surgery scheduler was friendly and answered all of my questions that the Dr. didn't have time for. I hoped that the Dr. and his staff would have more time for me at the next appointment because when I found out I could actually afford him if I took a cancellation, I was excited! As far as I can tell, he has a good reputation, and I was impressed with his knowledge. I was told I was first on the list for a cancellation appointment. She made it sound like cancellations happen all the time, so I waited a few weeks. Then I tried calling, but of course the scheduler wasn't in. I tried emailing and calling a few more times with no answer from anyone. I waited about 2 months, but never heard anything. So, I stared my search again. All I can say about Dr. Caraway is he is expensive, but they have all these discounts that make it easier (like if you get it done in the summer, or if you take a cancellation apt.). I think if they called me now and offered to do it for free I would turn it down. Who wants such a flaky and rushed office to do such a life altering surgery?! Not me!! They totally wasted my time. I could have recovered from a nose job by now. Also, the few before and after pics that the assistant showed me were very old. That made me a little uncomfortable. I want to know that my Dr. has done this surgery for years, and has done it recently. Anyway, I then searched this site for reviews on doctors because I was overwhelmed with all the options in the Virginia Beach area (and no longer believed the google reviews I was reading). I found one girl's review on Dr. Siegel from realself, and decided that was a good place to start. Dr. Siegel seems like a very nice guy. The staff was friendly, and he seemed knowledgeable. He has an in office surgery center that is certified just like the hospitals around here. I don't know all the technical terms, but I did learn from all my consultations, that in office surgery= a great way to save money! When you compare anesthesia costs for hospitals to anesthesia costs to the in-office surgery centers, it is about half the cost for the exact same job. Anyway, I did like Dr. Seigel and I was going to go to him, not just because of the amazing price, also because a friend of a friend knows him personally, and assured me he is a good guy. I went back to Dr. Seigel a second time and really had a hard time deciding what to do! I finally decided to see an ENT specialist as my last consult to compare what he said to the general plastic surgeons I had seen before.
Dr. Deutsch is the doctor I decided on in the end. My consultation was not rushed at all. In fact, he talked to me long after all my questions were answered. He personally showed me before and afters of old and recent surgeries he preformed. I could tell he enjoys his job and cares about what his patients feel and think. Everyone on his staff has been wonderful so far! Dr. Deutsch does cost more than most the other doctors I saw (Note: this is not because of the surgeon fee, as his fee was very reasonable, this is because Dr. Deutsch's surgeries are done in a hospital and hospital fees are crazy!). It was a very hard choice because I have saved up for 4 years, and it was tempting to have some money left over, but in the end, I decided I couldn't let money sway my decision. I went with the Dr. that I felt the most comfortable with. Also, the Dr. did his best to get quotes from local hospitals and find me the lowest estimate. I really appreciated that as otherwise I wouldn't have been able to use him unless I wanted to go out of my budget.
I have one more appointment before the surgery, but I feel completely at ease. I wish I could do this tomorrow. Luckily, l only have to wait a few more weeks!!
1 Week to Go! Still deciding if I want the profile to be straight or slightly sloped...
I like a slight slope on other girls, but I am not sure if it will look right with my face shape. While watching 24 the other night (the older ones, as I am just now jumping on the 24 bandwagon!), I was telling my husband how cute Kim's aka Elisha Cuthbert's, nose is. He laughed and said he was just thinking how strange it is, and that the new rule is... he has to approve the nose I am going for, since he also has to look at it the rest of our lives. Fair enough. I wouldn't want him to drastically change anything about himself without my opinion on it either. Anyway, I know its not your typical barbie nose, but I like the slight piggy/ski jump look on her. I believe she has had a nose job since the show as her nose is more narrow and less slope like in recent pics, but either way, I would gladly take her old or new nose.
It is my opinion that the slight slope makes one look more youthful. I think if I had a slight slope I would be very happy about it when I am older, but I am not sure if I want that for this decade. I am 30, and was recently asked if I had my parent's permission to take a sample at Costco lol! Granted, I am fair-skinned with acne, and I wasn't wearing any makeup, but still, do I want to look even younger? Do you think a sloped nose takes a few years off your appearance?
I will add some more before/after computerized photos and maybe you can help me decide. Again, I am not an expert at photo editing, so I hope my nose turns out much better than these photos, but if just focusing on the bridge and ignoring the nostrils and tip, does the computerized image look too sloped? Not enough? My husband says it looks pretty straight and he wouldn't call it sloped, so now I am wondering if my idea of sloped is also different than the Doctor's.
Opinions are welcome!
One. More. DAY!!
Day 1. You don't even "nose" how happy I am right now!!
I've been home for many hours, I have had a variety of food (avacado, hummas/chips, juice, popsicle, and lentil veggie soup. I feel like I could eat almost anything right now, but I am trying to take it easy and eat mostly soft food because again, I am on pain meds so I can imagine I am not helping my nose heal by eating crunchy, chewy, or hard food. If I was not on pain meds I am sure my nose would hurt with each bite!
Cons: I am still coughing up blood. My upper teeth hurt. I don't know if it was from the tube or from the surgery, but all of my top teeth are sensitive and feel a little loose. When I get up to use the bathroom or eat, my nose starts bleeding again (apparently normal, but still... not fun!).
Other than all that, I feel almost normal. This is not nearly as bad as I expected. Unlike some people on here, my Doctor ordered the packing be taken out while I was in recovery, and I am glad he did. I am easily able to breathe and I can taste just like normal. This is surprising to me, as I expected I would be unable to taste food and lose a few pounds, but oh well. I am just happy I don't have to breathe through my mouth while sleeping!
I am not a medicine person. I hate taking meds and usually avoid taking them if I can. This is mostly because I am very in tune with my body and I like to experience my symptoms so that I do not over exert myself thinking all is fine. It may also have something to do with childhood memories of being forced to take yucky medicine. Also, I do not like taking pills. I am a baby when I have to swallow big pills, so I asked for my prescriptions to be in liquid form. The hydrocodone/ bitartrait stuff is easy to take. I have not started the antibiotic yet, but the pharmacist told me it is going to taste awful, so maybe I should have gotten the pill form of that, but too late now!
My splint comes off on Thursday, but I will probably update on here once before then. I just "nose" this is going to be worth it! Hahaha
Still very little bruising and swelling. I am putting the arnica gel on every few hours and I have been really good about icing when I'm awake. For ice packs, I bought some little sponges (found in the cosmetic area of walgreens/walmart/rite aid type stores. I got them wet and put each one in a plastic bag. They work perfectly because as they defrost on your face, they don't drip all over, they just suck the water back up. When done with them, I just throw back in the freezer and they refreeze really fast!
From what I can see of my nose, the nostrils are very uneven. Thanks to all the blogs I've read on here, I know that is normal and that I should not worry. Things are going much better than I thought they would. Mostly I just miss my dog! He had to go to a sitter for the week so I could recover with out having to worry about him. He is still very young and likes to jump and be playful at times, so I thought it would be easier on me if I didn't have to worry about him. I do wish he was here to cuddle with and entertain me though! Reading would be my normal choice of activity when sitting around the house, but I find it difficult because I am supposed to keep my head raised and when I read I tend to bend my head down which causes the bleeding to start up again.
I have been using neosporin on my stitches multiple times each day, but I have not yet started the saline solution because I don't know how. I am supposed to squirt it up my nose, but how do I do that if my nose is bleeding? I imagine that it is going to be all bloody and full of saline solution, and I will want to blow my nose, but I am not supposed to. Any advice about the saline solution would be helpful!
Ill add a pic. I can't believe I am not all black and blue, but maybe because my eye sockets are normally very dark and hallow looking, so as they swell, the dips are being filled in.
Day 3 and 4
The splint on top of my nose is lopsided, as are my nostrils. I was not worried about this originally, as I read about many other people who had lopsided nostrils and then as they healed they became symmetrical, but I am starting to worry about the splint. I do not know why the doctor would put it on lopsided. I wonder if the splint is helping to form the shape of the nose or if it has nothing to do with how the shape will turn out. Anyone know? I tried to call my doctor's office today and ask about if this is normal, but the lady in the office sounded confused, and was basically no help.
The pain meds really upset my stomach, so I have found that I have to eat something each time I take them. Since I can taste just like normal and my appetite is very normal, I can tell I am going to gain some weight (if I haven't already). I do not normally care much about my weight, but it seems strange to sit and lay around for days at a time. I feel so unhealthy. Still, this is all worth it!!
My dog comes back home tonight! I will not be able to move around enough to play with him or take care of him, but at least he will be here to entertain me and snuggle. My husband has been so sweet through all of this, and I am extremely blessed that he has had time take care of me. He went back to work today, but I have been fine on my own.
I can't stop yawning! I worry that it is ruining my nose when I yawn because it makes my nose get all wide, but I am sure it is not as bad as I am picturing. Today I have been laying in my own bed (still propping myself up on extra pillows). Even though my reclining couch is comfortable, there is nothing like your own bed! I took a bath yesterday and that helped me feel a little more like myself. I feel drained but I am just so happy that I can walk around and do things all by myself. I can do basically anything I used to do except I do everything very carefully and slowly. I know my husband will be happy when he gets home from work as I have been so needy the last few days.
I still cant really smile and my face is a bit puffy, but if the cast was off my nose, I could probably go out into public today with a little make-up and not feel self conscious. Tomorrow is an exciting day! Just like most other people on here, I realize that it is not going to be perfect and it will be very swollen, but I figure it can't be any worse than it was before. Basically, it feels like there is something heavy resting on my nose and my nose feels dry and cold (inside and out). I hope that helps give some of you an idea of what day 5 is like ;)
By the time I woke up this morning, I could not wait to get my splint/cast off. It started to get annoying yesterday and the stitches were ready to come out as well. I got to my appointment 20 minutes early, but sadly, I waited 40 minutes past my apt time before I got to see the doctor. I have to say, getting the stitches out was the worst part. It seemed each stitch embedded into my nose. I used lots of neosporin over the week, but apparently not enough to make the removal of the stitches an easy process! Next, the doctor removed the sticky part under the splint, and that felt pretty good. Removing the splint as he went, I thought it was simple until he got to the tip of my nose. It was so stuck that when he pulled it off, it was like my nose grew like 3 inches. My eyes watered, but again, it was nothing compared to getting the stitches out. I would say the stitches were the worst part of this whole process (aside from when I was nauseous after the surgery), so all things considered, I would do this again if I had to.
When he handed me the mirror, I thought I had prepared myself for the worst. I pictured a very swollen and very uneven nose, but as I looked, I had to hold back some tears. I was surprised! The tip was like a balloon, and to make things worse, there were some large red zits and my nose was all shiny from just being cleaned. I think that is what threw me off. I wasn't expecting so many changes all at once. I looked for a few seconds and then gave the mirror to the doctor. I did not want to see it anymore. I decided I would avoid mirrors for the next few days while the swelling went down lol. But, that idea didn't last long because I really wanted to see what side by side comparisons would look like, so I started taking pictures and staring in the mirror when I got home. After looking past the thick, swollen, zitty, skin, it's growing on me!
When the splint first came off, it felt like I had a Rudolph nose. It was throbbing and hot and sore.
It still throbs off and on.
It feel very sticky and dirty even though it has been gently washed 3 times now.
I already like the profile.
I can tell the hump is gone because it used to kind of obstruct my vision at certain angles.
Even though it is far from my dream nose at this point, I think it already looks like it could be a nose I was born with, so even if the swelling doesn't go down, I could live with it :)
Not Much Change :(
I know I need to be patient and yes yes, I know the swelling will go down with time, but I have to admit, I did not think I would be embarrassed to run into people I know at this point. Maybe I set my expectations too high, but I do not want people to see my scar from the stitches and notice my swollen nose as I look very different than usual! I am worried someone will figure out what I did (only immediate family and a few friends know... And anyone who is reading this haha).
I guess I am starting to feel more like myself but it is really strange to wonder what my nose will look like every time I walk by a mirror. I mean, I did not like my original nose, but emotionally, things were better when I always knew what I would see reflecting back at me, even of I wasn't happy with it. I don't look like me and I look different every day, and I have found that difficult to deal with. Guess I'm getting all deep and negative lol... I probably just need some sleep!
Good night fellow rhinoritas!
My nostrils are still very uneven and I don't want to post a pic of them because it makes me sad, so instead, I will post pics that hide the nostrils and show the parts of my nose that I do like. It's getting smaller each day and that is exciting!
Im Freaking Out! Help help!
I've already paid my surgeon fee, hospital fee, and as far as I know I only have the anesthesia fee left to pay. I called the hospital today to pay it off. I assumed it would be close to the estimate my doctor gave me (so I'm thinking it is going to be between 1k-2k). The automated billing machine tells me my balance is over 37K. What. the. F?! I break down into tears, and start frantically trying to reach an actual person. I finally do, and she basically tells me this is the itemized total and that this sounds normal for a rhinoplasty, but that I should calm down because I havent even receive a bill from them yet. What? I thought the average cost of a rhinoplasty is like $6k. Second, I can't calm down because now I might owe the hospital almost 40K dollars!! I asked her to read me the name and costs of each item because something must be wrong, and she tells me that she is not a medical specialist and she will not try to pronounce these medical terms. UGH :( I don't understand. So, Im in tears trying to talk and figure this out... maybe someone stole my identity... maybe they mixed my account up with another persons? Again she tells me it looks right to her, and that I can apply for assistance if I want. In the end I really didn't get much help.
My insurance will not cover any of my surgery since it was only for cosmetic reasons. Why would my bill be so high? I don't think my dr/his billing department would quote me wrong, and his original estimates sounded very normal compared to the other consultations I went to. Will the cost go down when the hospital sees that this is self pay and insurance will not be helping? I saved up for the last 5 years just so I could pay this off all at once and not go into debt. This is scary. I no longer care about my uneven nostrils, nor do I care if my nose ever looks cute again, I just don't want to owe that kind of money!
Old Nose, New Nose
As for my nostrils, I have to wait it out. I agree with my doctor that I should wait and see what happens as it is still so early. He mentioned I could try a steroid shot in the future if things don't balance out naturally, and if the shot doesn't work, he will have to do a touch up by taking a small chuck of skin out between my nostrils, stitching it up, and then as it heals, one nostril will get smaller and one will get bigger. I do not want to do that, so I will be walking around with uneven nostrils for probably the next few months trying to wait on things to heal naturally. I still think this nose (even if the nostrils stay like this) is wayyyy better than my old nose.
There were a few dissoluble stitches inside my nose still, so he removed them. I didn't realize that was what was tickling my nose this last week. It felt great to get them out. I swear I could breathe even better! Also, the scar under my nose where the non dissoluble stitches were taken out 1 week po, is a bit bumpy and swollen. He suggested I use a silicone cream to help smooth it out. I just got some, but it says use for 6-8 weeks, so I'm not expecting fast results.
Not much has changed from the front view, but I did not want that to change much anyway. I look very much like my old self from the front, except my nose might be a little more narrow (and will be even more narrow in a few months). My profile was the main thing I couldn't stand and now I love it. Hooray!
Ill post some front view pics. You can see the difference between my nostrils, but luckily, I am short, so most people don't really see them unless I look at the sky or something hahaha.
BEFORE YOU GET A RHINOPLASTY, READ THIS! TIPS FROM ME <3
1. Some doctors give free consultations and some don't. Do not waste money going to a consultation unless you are already pretty sure that is the doctor you want. Look at the before/after photos and research the doctors education and experience first if at all possible. Sometimes before the consultation you can ask what the doctors average cost is to give you a better idea of what you are in for (this was always embarrassing for me, but why pay for a consultation just to find out you cant afford the surgeon?!). You will be surprised to find out the differences between each doctor and some of the silly charges they come up with to make money. One doctor wanted to charge an extra $800 mandatory fee to stay in a hotel next to the surgery center for one night and be monitored by a nurse. When I explained I live about 10 minutes away and would rather be taken care of by family, they said I would have to pay this fee even if I didn't stay in the hotel! Don't put up with crap like that. If there is any kind of pressure or something that makes you uncomfortable, don't settle! There are so many options out there!!
2. On that same note... Cost has nothing to do with quality. I have talked to (and seen) girls who paid over 10K and were very upset with the results. On the flip side, I went to a consultation with a dr who was only going to charge 4K and had great reviews, beautiful before/after pics, and a really happy patient on this website. You do not want to pick a surgeon based on cost alone, but don't pass up a doctor just because they aren't greedy! There are some skilled, honest, and inexpensive doctors out there, you just have to search!
2. The whole ENT specialist vs Plastic Surgeon debate is never ending. In my case, I decided to go with someone who was double certified to put my mind at ease. I have seen wonderful reviews for both, so I recommend you pick based on the overall education and experience of a doctor vs. just a title.
3. As I stated in my review, I was surprised to find out that surgeries in an in-office surgery center seem to be a lot less expensive than surgeries in hospitals. I found that most surgeons around here charge between $2K-6K for the surgeon fee regardless of where the surgery is done. Its all the other fees that really add up. Maybe the hospital costs around here are higher than in other cities, but my hospital fees were way more than my surgeon fee. I saw one reviewer who stated her anesthesia cost was $100.00 ish, where as mine was negotiated down from 2K! Anyway, at least around here, I recommend finding a reputable in-office surgery center over a hospital any day (if your surgeon gives you the option.)!
4. Decide what kind of packing/recovery style you want and pick a doctor accordingly. After reading hundreds of reviews and talking to other rhino-ritas in person, I've discovered each surgeon has their own style as far as how they like to tape, pack, splint, and bandage you up. Some doctors put splints inside your nose, some put a splint on the outside. Some doctors tell you to tape for weeks or even months and some doctors think taping is pointless. Some doctors want to check on you often after surgery (like day 2 PO, 1 wk PO, 2 wk PO...), where as some want to see you to get the cast off and then you are on your own for a month or two.
My doctor had my packing removed as soon as I woke up from surgery. I had dissolvable stitches inside my nose and non dissolvable stitches outside my nose. I had only a hard splint on the outside and some tape. I know all of that is not the case for everyone on here. After the splint was taken off at week one, I was not told to tape. Of course, my nostrils are not even, and I can't say if that has anything to do with tape vs no tape or not having splints inside the nose, but I'm just saying, figure out what you want before you pick a doctor. I am really happy my doctor took the packing out right away as sleeping up-right and drugged up was hard enough. If I had to add breathing only through my mouth to my recovery, I don't know if I would have made it through the week! Ask about this stuff!!
5. You may hate your new nose for weeks (or according to some, MONTHS!) before you love it! I must have read all the wrong blogs before my surgery because I was under the impression that when the cast was taken off, I would at least like my nose. I knew it would be swollen and that it wouldn't be perfect, but I really thought it would be close to perfect. I was shocked when I saw how balloon like the tip was, all the zits that had come up because of the tape, and how humongous and hard it felt in general. Had I known I would have to live life for almost a month feeling less than thrilled about my nose, I would have taken more time off work and I probably would have scheduled my surgery for winter so I could hide out easier. My nostrils are still uneven, I have a bumpy swollen spot where my stitches were under my nose, and the part in between my nostrils is a little crooked. Those things bother me, but I can say that I am still happier to have this nose than my old nose. Basically, just be ready to have a love/hate relationship with your new nose!
6. Every recovery is different!
Don't compare your journey to others or you will probably end up bummed in some way. Some of us don't get bruises, and some of us look like we were in a boxing ring. Some of us have a lot of swelling for a long time, and some have almost none. Some of us have crooked noses, and some get the cast off and already look like a barbie! You never know what your journey will be like, but I guarantee there will be ups and downs. It is an emotional process -much more than I expected. Sometimes its a very positive emotional process and sometimes a negative one. Just try to enjoy the roller coaster ride!
I believe this was the best doctor (for me) out of all 4 consultations. He is an ENT and board cert. plastic surgeon, and I could not find any bad information about him anywhere (and I love to research)! At the consultation, I got the impression that he is intelligent, really enjoys his job, and cares about each patient's satisfaction. My second appointment with him was a bit rushed, but he was more than willing to answer questions and look at pictures in the week before surgery when I contacted him. Now that I have had the surgery and first follow up appointment, I can say with 100% certainty, he is a great doctor. He is blunt and to the point, and that might turn some people off, but I recommend you don't let that sway you. He gave his opinions and advice, and he listened to mine. So far, I really like my results and I am very happy I chose Dr. Deutsch.