Write a review

At This Point, Jumping on the 5-star Bandwagon - White Plains, NY

To all who are interested: I have been...

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...

Sorry for the above typos and occasionally strained sentence constructions. (i.e., "and though he could articulate 'why' one person looked better in an AFTER SHOT AS OPPOSED TO A BEFORE SHOT than I could, it was clearly evident to both me and my husband that, within the constraints of ONE's own personal anatomy, general laws of physics, and patient compliance, he could deftly turn a duckling into a swan...").

I just wanted to say that my cast came off...

I just wanted to say that my cast came off yesterday, and I was so incredibly happy with my results. My profile is GORGEOUS. My eyes look bigger, my lips look bigger, my cheekbones look higher. It's amazing.

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...

Ugh, to anyone who is (still) interested in the nitty-gritties of my life and anxieties post-op:

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?
White Plains Plastic Surgeon

Explained above. But, again, we'll see how my nose heals.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
Was this review helpful? 2 others found this helpful

Comments (8)

Hey! So happy to hear you are happy with your results. How long after your consult were you able to schedule your surgery? I have a consultation tomorrow with Dr. C, and was hoping to get it done ASAP! Thanks in advance :)
  • Reply
Great to hear from you! Looks like I will be back for more music August 8th for a follow up hahaha.
I was so in love with the out come when the cast came off. Since then I have swollen up especially my tip :( My tip looks a bit bulby again. However, I don't believe the bridge of my nose is as swollen. . So I can certainly relate to you on the swell. It is definitely better than what I had before though.
I'm sure you still look great, you looked amazing moments after your cast came off! Would you want to share some of your post op pics with me? I can send you some of mine to check out as well via email. I will message you my email =)
  • Reply
hey! i also had my surgery with Dr.ciardullo and had my cast removed on july 12 my surgery was july 5. looks like we may have had it done the same day. I'm very happy for you and to hear that you love your results im sure you look great.

Also he does have a recent website if anyone is interested ! I literally stalked it before my surgery while looking looking for the perfect surgeon haha

http://robertciardullomd.com/#/HOME-01-00/
  • Reply
i actually just recalled something from the review you wrote. I spoke to you while in the waiting room. very happy for you!
  • Reply
Hi Lavida (not sure I caught your real name),

I'm posting this as a reply to you, as well as on your review wall.

I hope your surgery went well! How are you coping thus far? Are you healing well? Do you like it? Have you been able to get the sound of music out of your head? (::grinning:: I haven't yet.)

Are you happy with how things have turned out? Are you swelling a bunch? I know I am. I think the tip of my nose looks larger than before! And so does the bump on the bridge. The only thing I really love, post-surgery, is my profile. But...I'm assuming this is all swelling, or at least, I hope it is. I feel like I keep bumping my nose left and right — like I'm a walking magnet for doors and coffee cups and my husband's arm. I hope my clumsiness doesn't mess things up, or hasn't messed things up. Time will tell.

Keep me updated on how you're doing. It helps to know someone who went through the same thing, an who is healing at the same time I am!
  • Reply

Thank you for posting your experience so far on RealSelf! Do you have any recovery tips for others who've just gotten through surgery?

  • Reply
This is a hard question, because there are so many varying opinions on what you should or should not do. If you look up any question you have, it seems like you could find contradictory answers to the question! My main "issue" was dryness. My face was dry, my eyes were dry, my nose was dry. So, for me, the following things were incredibly helpful:

1) Saline rinses! My nose was so dry (because of the air conditioner in my bedroom.) These felt (and still feel) amazing.

2) GenTeal Gel Eye Drops. For whatever reason, it helped to put them in before laying an ice pack on my eyes. I think it alleviated some of the irritation associated with my bruising around the eye socket.

3) LOADS of vitamin c, either liposomally delivered or with bioflavanoids to promote absorption. (You look up both these things on amazon.) I was taking this 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery. I'm taking around 2000mg a day.

4) This is ridiculous, but using one of those "chair pillow" things helped a lot (link to follow). I kept sliding down off my pile of pillows at night, making it such that I was not elevated appropriately. So, I got a chair pillow. It's been easier to sleep upright as a result of using this product (plus it's just awesome to lounge around with!): http://www.amazon.com/Brentwood-Originals-Poodle-Bedrest-Lilac/dp/B002NGN9O8/ref=pd_sim_hg_14

5) This one is the most important, I think! Decrease your level of anxiety about how your post-op healing is going. My surgeon told me that, in all the years he's been doing this, he's only seen one case where someone really messed up their post-op healing — and it was an extreme case. There are lots of questions on RealSelf like "I bumped my nose a little bit. Will my rhinoplasty be ruined?" Honestly, I drove myself crazy looking these sorts of questions up during my post-op week. I realized, though, that while the doctors who answer questions on RealSelf can be reassuring, they are not *your* surgeon so they will probably feel uncomfortable saying anything confidently. I thought to myself, even if they can give opinions and suggestions, these other doctors cannot confidently say "You'll be just fine..." without adding "But make an appointment with your surgeon right away if you are concerned" — and that last caveat just made me even more anxious! I don't know if this helps, but Dr. C said that the recovery tips given to you, in addition to the splint, make certain that the process is, well, pretty idiot-proof. Your nose is fragile, but it's not going to fall apart with a tap or nudge or the wind blowing. Realizing this helped me a lot.

I really hope this helps! Good luck!
  • Reply
Congratulations! You must be very excited for 'cast off' day!
  • Reply