At This Point, Jumping on the 5-star Bandwagon - White Plains, NY
- updated 1 year ago
To all who are interested: I have been...
- 10 Jul 2012
To all who are interested:
I have been looking for a rhinoplasty surgeon for a very long time. I have lived in many of the major cities on the East Coast, as well as in the Toronto and Chicago area. There is an abundance of surgeons in all these cities, and I was willing to have surgery in any one of these location, if I found the right person. I have literally spent the past several years amassing information on which surgeons would, and which surgeons would not, be professionals worth considering for my rhinoplasty. (So...after copious amounts of research on the subject —we're talking YEARS — I'm trying to say that I had very high standards for my potential surgeon's expertise, even though I was not expecting "miracles" from the rhinoplasty itself. Overall, I desired a small narrowing of the tip from the frontal view, as well as an improved lateral and oblique view. I had a small bump and a slightly asymmetric, relatively bulbous nose. I am of celtic background, and so, I have the traditionally thin, fragile skin and wide nose associated with this type of ancestry.) Now, let me explain the following crucial information: as my husband and I live in Boston, this rhinoplasty required long-distance trips in the car to work Dr. C. Thus far it has been totally worth it.
After having read the reviews on RealSelf about Dr. Ciardullo, I decided to meet him in person, look at his portfolio, etc. I brought my husband, as well, who has been enormously supportive of this entire enterprise. Both my husband and I knew, immediately after speaking to Dr. C, that we wanted him to perform my rhinoplasty. He was incredibly personable, talked to us for quite awhile not only about rhinoplasty but his other interests. (He did an undergrad in cognitive science, and was interested in the relationship between the mind and brain. This is interesting to my husband and me, as it relates to our own subspecialty in a doctoral program we are both in. Apparently, Dr. C. originally wanted to be a neurologist or neurosurgeon, though I can't remember which one ... He changed to plastics because, as he stated, "It seemed a far more diverse and interesting specialty, actually. I loved that I could such varied things..." Did you know that he even does reconstructive surgery on patients that truly need it — burn patients, cancer patients, etc. —while not running his "traditional" plastics practice? He shard this information humbly, almost reluctantly in some ways, but passionately. Now really, how cool is that?) I note these details in order to give a you a sense of who this man seemed to be (at least to me), as it was crucially important to me (and my husband) to be able to click intellectually and aesthetically with the surgeon I was working with. He just seemed... really human. (I mean that as the highest compliment.) He was compassionate, sincere, and wildly interested in everything.
Okay, but, while I think that being a genuinely good person is a pre-requisite for being a good surgeon, I'm not sure that being a good person entails that one is a good surgeon. (I don't care who disagrees with me about this....patient care, even if the care is an elective surgery, is always and fundamentally an ethical matter!) But, after viewing Dr. C's portfolio, and speaking with him about his expertise, I was bowled over by his work. In my opinion, he possesses a really refined artistic sensibility. This matters to me, because surgery — particularly cosmetic surgery — may be a so-called game of millimeters, but it is also not reductively so. Moreover, his aesthetic sensibilities really matched my own, and though he could articulate "why" one person looked better in a before than an after picture better than I could, it was clearly evident to both me and my husband that, within the constraints of own's personal anatomy, general laws of physics, and patient compliance, he could deftly turn a duckling into a swan. We *knows* a woman's nose. Moreover, he has the capacity to know it particularly and as a particularity of a particular face. As he mentioned to me, he doesn't slap the same nose on everybody, and yet, all of his patients seemed to turn out beautifully. (He may know a "man's nose," too, but honestly, I didn't really focus on these pictures with as much interest or detail.)
Overall, then, Dr. C seems to genuinely love his job, to be genuinely proud of what he does. And d*mmit, in my estimation, he really deserves to be. He said 80% of his practice is rhinoplasty; he does them almost every surgery day. It is not the usual "I do 4 in a month..." BS. He did, I think, 3 other rhinos the day I had my own surgery.
His staff has been excellent. His anesthesiologist was very, very good. I woke up with no pain, no nausea, no recollection of what had happened, no shivering, no general awfulness. My mother was a post-op nurse forever, and according to her, this is the mark of great anesthesiologist. Also, the rest of his team — Bobbie, Loretta, and a few others I didn't meet directly — were all fantastic. Loretta, in particular, was so wonderful to me the day of surgery that I gave her a hug after she walked me down to the car!
Now, a disclaimer: I should note that I am only less than a week out of post-op. This may invalidate my review in some people's eyes. Thus far, however, both my husband and I can tell my tip is GREATLY improved, in terms of symmetry and overall shape. (It's no longer bulbous, but this beautiful triangular shape — at least in the cast. Of course, it will swell when it's removed!) The recovery has not been painful. It's felt like a horrific cold (which, in itself, is understandably miserable while going through it). But from a long-term perspective, I think I will be ecstatic I did it. The cast come comes off in 2 days (so excited!). I will update again afterward.
Overall, an incredible and incredibly comforting experience. I have absolute confidence that, so long as I do *my part* in taking good care of myself, my face will turn out beautifully. (Again, I'm not striving for perfection here. But, in the cast, the base profile view already looks more aesthetically pleasing than it has ever looked in my life!) I thank my lucky stars (and obsessive researching) to have found Dr. Ciardullo!
(P.S. — don't be turned off by his lack of website. Honestly, I was weirded out by this, too, at first. However, I think he is nearing retirement age — though he looks as if he should be in his mid-40's! — and his practice is so bustling that he said to me, in all honesty, "I was too busy doing the surgeries to worry about promoting them. I build my practice by word-of-mouth. I have a website now, but still, I wasn't the one who thought about it or created it." So, I'm trying to give peace of mind to whoever asked that question about Dr. C's lack of web presence, or those who feel similarly perturbed by this issue.)
(P.P.S. I am willing to share photos, but I am shy about this. PM me if interested. Or even better, just go make an appointment and look at Dr. C's portfolio. He doesn't even charge for an initial consultation like most surgeons do.)
Sorry for the above typos and occasionally...
- 10 Jul 2012
I just wanted to say that my cast came off...
- 13 Jul 2012
My nose (after the cast came off) was really cute and petite. Of course, it's swollen like crazy in the past day, but I knew that was going to happen. As everyone says, it will go down in the next few months, and continue to improve over the next year.
I'm so happy! I will continue to update and answer questions, if anyone has them.
Ugh, to anyone who is (still) interested in the...
- 17 Jul 2012
I experienced a freak-out earlier this weekend, accidentally having put (what I thought was) a lot of pressure on my nose right after the cast was removed. I was nursing a migraine (these are not unusual for me), while I was having an intense conversation with someone else, so I wasn't being — um, let's call it — "kinesthetically aware." Attempting to alleviate the pain of the migraine, I was pushing hard on the glabella above my eyes (I think it's called that?), something I do habitually during these episodes. It was like I forgot I just had surgery, and magically, that I was totally healed and didn't need to exercise any caution whatsoever about the ways in which I wanted to contort my body. (Cast off = I am invincible!) Um, no. Unfortunately, I was placing so much pressure on my forehead that my hand slipped down and hit the root of my nasal bone pretty hard. My husband and I both heard this slight "pop" sound, and we just stared at each other with our eyes widened, each of us thinking in tandem, "Nooooo!"
I really thought I had (re-)broken my nose. Since it was about 1am on a Saturday morning, I couldn't really call anyone, so my husband and I decided to watch it and see what happened. No bruising, no swelling, no *really* noticeable change (though it seems like my nose keeps changing on an hourly basis this week.) Monday arrived, and I called Dr. C. Even though he said I *could* drive down to his office and that he would be happy to examine my nose, he also said that I probably didn't do anything detrimental, given that there was no new bruising or bleeding or swelling. He was really, really nice about answering my questions and taking my call. Still, I can't shake the feeling that I probably ruined the whole operation, even though I've been trying as hard as possible to be a really compliant patient!
Anyway, I thought once the surgery was done, all my anxiety would melt away. Nope. Now I'm paranoid that I'm messing things up left and right! (For example, as I was typing that last sentence, I just, ummm, bumped my nose slightly against my coffee cup trying to take a drink. It hurt. Rhinoplasty is probably ruined. See what I mean...?)
I bought a softball mask that was really cheap online — one that you doesn't touch any part of the nose and protects your face from flying objects. My husband was like, "Seriously? You're just going to wear that around the house for the next month? You're nuts." Yes I am, and yes I am. But at least I know myself well enough to know that I cannot NOT be a klutz.
Anyone else experience anything similar or feel the same way?
Explained above. But, again, we'll see how my nose heals.