Septorhinoplasty and Balloon Sinuplasty. Baxter, MN

Fixing my deviated septum was first suggested to...

Fixing my deviated septum was first suggested to me by a doctor back when I was a preteen, and getting my nose cauterized because of frequent nosebleeds.

I was first told I need a nosejob by my grandmother when I was 16. I had inherited her witch-y bump, which she, and all her daughters, had gotten removed.

Fast forward to the winter of my 34th year. Horrible allergies -beyond my typical ones- are so bad, I find myself seeing an allergist, just to find out if I've developed an allergy I never had before.

When I tell her about the constant headache I've had my whole life, and the fact that I can probably count on my fingers and toes the number of days in my whole life that I've had airflow through both nostrils at the same time, she suggests I go to an ENT.

After talking to me and a CT scan of my skull, ENT suggests fixing my deviated septum, trimming the turbinates inside my nose to increase airflow to my narrow nasal passages, and doing a balloon sinuplasty to fix a little minor narrowing of my sinuses.

Remembering what my grandmother said, I ask if he can also trim down the wicked bump of the west.

He said he is only an ENT, and doesn't do cosmetic stuff, but refers me to Dr. Waters, a local ENT AND plastic surgeon who can help me.

Dr. Waters collects my information and submits to my insurance, and lucky enough, insurance decides to cover the whole surgery, even the rhinoplasty portion.

Surgery was 4 days ago. I am still quite swollen, though bruising has been minimal, and right now it just looks like I'm a fan of the smoky eye.

Month-after update and photo

It's been a few days short of a month since surgery.

I was quite nervous for surgery, since I had talked to a friend who had the same surgery, and she told me, in exriciating detail, that it was agonizingly painful.

Either my pain tolerance is waaay higher than hers, or she was grossly overestimating how much it hurt. Compared to every other surgery I've had, this was the least painful.

I didn't even end up finishing the bottle of narctoics they sent me home with. I switched to Tylenol only a few days after surgery.

The bruising was very minor. Attached is a picture taken the second day after surgery, the one day bruising was even visible. That picture was as bad as it ever got. If any darker bruising happened, it must have come and gone the previous night, and I missed it.

Taking the cast off and the splints out was an interesting experience. I was overly eager to see them go, since the splints had clogged shortly after surgery, and I had had to breath only through my mouth for about a week.

Removal was painless (but felt really weird). I had done some research, so I knew what to expect of the splints. If I hadn't done that, they would have seemed impossibly huge. Even having researched, and even watched a video of someone having theirs taken out, it was surreal seeing something that big emerge from my tiny nose holes.

The doc confirmed what I've read online by saying that swelling can last 6 months or more, so my follow-up appointment with him isn't for a long while. That may seem like a ling time for swelling to be an issue, but it's also true what I've read online from others: the swelling goes down enough by two weeks after surgery that pretty much only the patient can still notice it. My wife and parents say it looks like my swelling is gone, but I still see (and definitely feel) it.

I had the baloon sinuplasty as well, and I have noticed an increase in the severity of my headaches post-surgery so far. I'm also suffering from worse allergies than normal right now (I just got a new puppy. I knew I was allergic, but I love dogs more than I hate my allergies, so he's worth it). I don't know how, if at all, the surgery will affect my headaches.

I do know that pre-surgery, in an appointment with Dr. Waters, he suggested I see the allergist about treatments to more effectively control my allergies, since he can create more space in my nose and sinuses, but that won't stop my runny-nose allergies from stopping me up.

Not only was my septum badly deviated, but I have unusually very narrow nasal passages, so Dr. Waters told me that, if this surgery doesn't open me up enough, a more extensive surgery including a cartilage graft from somewhere else in my body to make my nostrils themselves wider would be an option.

I'll just have to see.

The very base of the my septum is still completely numb, and the rest of the underside of my nose, from the bottom of the tip toward my face, and even streatching to my upper gums right where my top two teeth are, is partially numb. It feels weird to floss those top teeth.

The only other issue I've had is I'm not supposed to wear glasses for 3-4 weeks after surgery. I'm practically blind as a bat. In the week after surgery (the week in which I still had the cast on), I just used medical tape to tape the bridge of my glasses to the middle my forehead so that they hovered above rather than touched my nose. Not only was this not an option for leaving the house, but the tape didn't hold all that well, and the glassed kept falling. It wasn't a problem with the cast on, but I knew that once the cast was gone, they would be falling right onto the most painful part of my nose, right where my bone and cartilage were shaved down.

The day I went to get the cast and splints removed, I put my 30-day continuous wear contacts in. I don't wear contacts often, because dry eyes are an issue for me, and the dry air-conditioned air of my house in the summer exacerbates that. It's incredibly nice not having to fumble on my bedside table to find my glasses when puppy wakes me up to go out in the middle of the night, but...well, lets just say, I'm considering buying stock in whatever company makes these rewetting drops I use. Their profit margin must be way up this month.

I would post before/after pictures, but I so hated my nose bump, it could be tricky to find adequate before pictures. I wonder if I can get copies of the before pictures they took at Dr. Water's office.
Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Waters has a professional demeanor and doesn't talk down to his patients.

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 times
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