Primary Rhinoplasty - Beverly Hills, CA

I found patients sharing their experiences on...

I found patients sharing their experiences on RealSelf very helpful when considering my surgery and getting an idea of what recovery would be like, so I want to return the favor and share my experience.

I have been waiting about 6 years to change my nose. It looks hawkish when I smile (the tip droops) and there is a deviated septum with breathing problems. I took most of 2014 to casually interview surgeons before making my selection. I settled on Dr. Ben Swartout for my primary rhinoplasty.

I had consultations with the following surgeons: Dr. Andrew Da Lio, Dr. Rawnsley, Dr. Roostaein, Dr. Grigoryants, Dr. Frankel, Dr. Groth and phone inquiries with Dr. Teitelbaum, Dr Toriumi and a couple of others that I am not remembering at the moment. All of the surgeons had their strengths. If anyone has questions about my consults with these doctors feel free to message me.

The surgeon I selected was referred to me word of mouth by another patient. He does not have extensive reviews on Yelp or Real Self so that is another reason I think it is helpful to share my experience.

**I will eventually post before and after photos. I know how helpful the week-by-week photos can be for other members but I feel in my case it wouldn’t be healthy to focus on minute changes, I think a lot of anxiety can be caused on focusing on little adjustments during the healing process when it is best just to wait for when the results settle in a couple of weeks. Thank you for your  understanding!**

More about why I choose Dr Swartout

Dr. Ben Swartout specializes in head and neck surgery (ENT). It was non negotiable that my rhino surgeon have this specialization. He tends to be known as the revision specialist and gets referral patients from surgeons like Kanodia (Kanodia won’t do revisions). He also trained with Dr Toriumi which was a selling point for me and also works along side Dr. Joseph Sugarman who is himself a very well known ENT – Swartout and Sugerman’s office is constantly SLAMMED but Swartout gave me multiple consultations and I never felt like he had to rush off somewhere and I felt we had ample time to chat. What I liked about Swartout is that because he fixes other surgeons work he knows what techniques go wrong and what approach works well in the long run. I get the impression that many surgeons take way too much material away from noses preventing room for adjustment in the future. He conveyed and showed with photo manipulation that his work would be subtle and that he would not do a cookie cutter approach. He won’t do a Grigoryants nose – but this can be a good thing as that kind of nose surgery doesn’t leave a lot to work with should adjustments be needed. I went into this surgery knowing that the changes to my nose would be conservative and that there would be a possibility of adjustments in the future which I am ok with. Swartout said that if I wanted to talk about adjustments after surgery he would be happy to explore that option. I don't think many rhinoplasty surgeons have that attitude.
He also did my friend's nose, so I was able to hear about her experience and she herself works in the cosmetic treatment industry. I met many great doctors and ultimately made a decision I thought was best to meet my aesthetic goal as well as feel confident the medical side of the surgery would be done by someone with the right credentials.

Surgery- Finally!

I checked into Linden Surgery Center at 5:45 AM for a 7:00 AM surgery. It quickly became very busy there. I hadn’t realized that it was a center that does many surgeries for different doctors at the same time. My first experience with cosmetic surgery years ago had been at the Surgeon’s private facility so I was the only one having surgery hence everything very calm and quiet in that scenario.
However, the staff at Linden was top notch. The nurses were great and the anesthesiologist made me feel comfortable. My Surgeon stopped by and double confirmed with me the plan for my nose, it wasn’t a long conversation and was to the point.
I was wheeled into the surgery room, the IV started the drugs and I was asleep immediately. I woke up from surgery surprised to discover that Vicodin wasn't working for major pain (I felt it acutely in my columella, the portion of the nose between the nostrils, and in my ribs which was probably just some stitching from another procedure done at the same time) because the pain freaked me out in addition to experiencing claustrophobia due to my nose being bandaged as well as having access to only one air way (mouth) I experienced upsetting anxiety and started hyperventilating and the nurse put some sedative back in my IV– of course I loved her for this, I felt like somebody understood it wasn’t a joke. She then put me on liquid Vicodin before leaving (fast acting) but it didn’t work as fast as I would have liked (maybe an hr later?). I think being in an emotional state like this I wanted instant gratification, which couldn’t really be catered to, which I understand now looking back.

I think I was kept at the surgery center for an hour, maybe two hours, but I remember feeling a little upset they were discharging me without having the pain and anxiety solidly managed –I think once a patient is on one pain med it isn’t a good idea to suddenly switch to another so there wasn’t a lot to be done, and it wasn’t as if I was in cardiac arrest over the pain – it was just distressing and unexpected and I was panicking about the idea of going into a panic attack with only one airway available (psychological distress) , I had not encountered this with previous surgery experiences. It is possible that I had used Vicodin with my last surgery almost a decade ago and now my body just reacts differently to it. I wonder if anyone has any input on this....

I have seen other comments on real self about surgical centers kicking patients out prematurely in the patient’s opinion, but ultimiately surgical centers are only obligated to keep you and hour or two they don’t have to keep you when you decide you’re ready otherwise they would have a back up of patients. A private surgical center where a Surgeon is only having one surgery that day could accommodate this. But it doesn’t feel great to be moved so soon after surgery and I think many people feel that way. That is why I highly recommend using a professional surgical after care facitlity. I used Peal Recovery Retreat enough as an alternative to going straight home or to a normal hotel after surgery….to be continued in next post.

Happy With Results

My breathing is improved, and the changes were subtle but really effective I think. I love my rose from the right, it came out way better than I would have expected! Still not a fan of my nose from the side when I smile, like it threatens to be "hawkish" still but I am not too stressed, if it bothers me in a year I will talk to the surgeon about it. From the front it looks like the columella might be askew, but I have been told that happens and that it might straighten out on it's own. Over all had a great experience with the surgery, recovery and happier than expected with the results, would highly recommend this surgeon to others. Life Pro Tip, don't write rambling reviews while on pain meds, take notes and write later ;)
Dr. Benjamin Swartout

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