*UPDATED* 15 days post op! LOVE IT

I'm 24 and have disliked my nose since I hit...

I'm 24 and have disliked my nose since I hit puberty. I feel like it suddenly got too big for my face, and has a round, bulbous tip. I work in the film industry in Los Angeles and always find myself getting my picture taken. I especially hate the way my nose photographs since it has a deviated septum and seems to slant to the left. I feel like I look witchy in pictures.

I started seriously considering rhinoplasty about one year ago when I was finally in a good place financially. I consulted with a surgeon in October, but then chickened out. I'm glad I did though, as I don't think I had done enough research yet.

Through real self and a very thorough search of the internet I landed on Dr. Stoker. I'm surprised there aren't more reviews of him on here! From what I can tell from his before/afters and reviews he seems to have a natural approach and is just what I'm looking for.

I was super anxious about the consultation, but Dr. Stoker was so cool and put me immediately at ease. He asked me a lot of questions about myself, and we just chatted for a while. That made me feel like he really cared about my well-being. He looked up my nose and identified that I had a deviated septum, really bad allergies, and an enlarged turbinate on one side of my nose. He showed me how all of these effected my nose's appearance and breathing capability, and how he could correct them.

Then we got into the cosmetic stuff, he said he would straighten the septum to the best of his ability (though he said the muscles in that area typically have a good memory and want to pull back to the side) but it would be much straighter. I'm ok with that, as perfection isn't possible. He would rotate the tip just slightly upwards, assuring me I wouldn't have the dreaded pig nose, and he would refine my tip. I have the tiniest dorsal hump, which I asked him about possibly taking down, and he said NO! because he thought it was actually cute. I wasn't sure if I needed that done anyway, and I'm glad he said no, because I think it will add to the natural look of the nose. Never once did he try to upsell me to any other procedure.

He even pointed out a girl in his before/after's who he said was a similar case to mine, and said I would probably have a similar result to hers. This was great, because as I looked at his book while in the waiting room, I had identified this case as someone who I thought had a similar nose to me. This made me feel like I wasn't crazy and my goals are realistic.

Dr. Stoker prescribed me some nasal sprays to help with allergies and I scheduled my surgery for April 23!! I'm nervous, but I feel so confident in Dr. Stoker I can't wait!!

I'm also currently in therapy, and my therapist has started talking to me about the effect a surgery to my face might have on my identity. I think it can only improve my confidence (unless something goes wrong), but I will share what we talk about in future posts as I embark on this journey, since I know many people don't know how to deal with the psychological effects.

Had my pre-op today. Reality is starting to set in...

Had my pre-op today. Reality is starting to set in. This is actually happening!!!! I went to Dr. Stoker's brand-spankin' new offices in Marina Del Rey instead of his Beverly Hills location. All I can say is WOW. Everything is so fresh and clean and beautifully decorated. I filled out a bunch of paperwork in the waiting room, which is when I started to get really nervous. I'm basically signing my life away!! I know that there are risks with surgery and very rarely does anything bad happen, but having to read and re-read this information is definitely unnerving. I pushed that out of my mind quickly and went in to meet with Dr. Stoker's nurse, Tami.

Tami is so sweet. I was shivering in the air conditioned office and she brought me a blanket. We went over my medical history, she took my blood pressure, my weight and height, assured me that anesthesia these days is very safe (like I said, I was very nervous!!!) and handed me over to Dr. Stoker. We went through my surgery plan again, and I asked him every single question that I had.

I'd spent the weeks after my consultation creating this list, which I strongly recommend that everyone does so they don't forget anything!!

Another thing I was relieved at; Every time Dr. Stoker and I discussed a cosmetic change to my nose, he wrote it down so he would remember during surgery. I know my surgeon is intelligent, but sometimes you wonder how they remember what YOU want when they see so many patients. So I was glad to see him writing it down.

Nothing too exciting after that, got my 'before' pictures taken, met with the patient coordinator and paid. My insurance company covered a good amount of he medical work, so my total came to 6100. Then I was sent across the street to the hospital for the necessary blood work. I received all of my instructions for pre and post op care. Now all that's left to do is wait!!

Just went on Amazon.com and ordered a bunch of...

Just went on Amazon.com and ordered a bunch of stuff for post op recovery. I gathered this list based on what my PS recommended, and what I've learned from other members of Real Self!

Thought I'd share my checklist:

- Chapstick
- Oasis Mouth Moisturizing Spray (artificial saliva) biotene is another good brand.
- 4x4 Sterile Gauze Pads (to change the dressing)
- Reusable, Spill Proof Plastic Cup with lid and straw (like the kind for iced starbucks drinks)
- Memory Foam U-shaped neck pillow
- Q Tips
- Afrin 12 hour nasal spray (recommended by PS, also must bring on day of surgery)
- Halls Vitamin C cough drops
- Bromelain Capsules (to reduce inflammation/swelling)
- Bacitracin Ointment (recommended by PS)
- Suave Dry Shampoo (since you can't take a full shower for a while. It's a cheapo brand, I'll let you know how it works out!!!)
- Rice Paper Blotters
- Medical Tape
- Arnica Cream (to reduce bruising)
- Simple Facial Cleansing Wipes

I'm also going to pick up some hydrogen peroxide next time at the store. I'm also going to keep a pen and paper handy to write down when I take my medication. I read that somewhere on here and it is TOTALLY something I would forget to do. I might have gone a little overboard with this list, but I'm dead set on healing as fast as possible!! Hopefully someone finds this list helpful. =)

Updating my post with pictures! Sorry for the...

Updating my post with pictures! Sorry for the blacking out, but I really am not super comfortable posting my pics on the internet! I just really want some of ya'll to comment!!!! Reading everyone else's stories has helped me so much and I really want to go through this experience with this community.

As you can see, my nose is super bulbous and has no shape. It also slants to the left (your right in the pics) which drives me craaazy. It's so difficult for me to get a good 'angle' on it in pictures. It looks even worse when I smile, it just takes up my whole face! Hoping all that changes when I get surgery in THREE DAYS!!! Wish me luck!

Okay guys and gals!!!! I'm starting to kick into...

Okay guys and gals!!!! I'm starting to kick into overdrive now. I just had my pre-anesthesia call. I'm still young and spritely so I didn't have much to discuss with my anesthesiologist, I wish I had more questions to ask her but she seemed confident and put me very at ease, she told me she would be in the operating room monitoring my vitals the whole time. I'm guessing thats a normal procedure, but it still felt good to hear her say it and know that someones entire job while in the OR would be monitoring me!!!

Other than that, still weirdly not that nervous. Keeping myself busy and scrubbing my apartment from top to bottom so I don't have to deal with cleaning while recovering. I'm OCD like that! I can't believe at this time tomorrow it will all be over with.... woohoo! I'm so glad I have everyone on here to go through this with!!

Hi everyone! I did it!! I swear I updated this a...

Hi everyone! I did it!! I swear I updated this a few hours ago before I took a nap... I guess I hit a wrong button or something... Oh well, pain meds will do that to ya!!

So as you can tell I'm in pretty high spirits after my surgery, so let me recount the days events:

So last night the surgery center moved my appt from 8am to 830. That wasn't great for me because my boyfriend had to be at work at 9, so I told them I would plan to get there at 8:15, but I got there at 8 anyway!!! woops. So around 8:15 my BF left and they brought me in to prepp for opp, i got undressed and put a robe on and stuff. Like I said, my surgery was sked for 8:30 so I expected to be waiting just a few more minutes. However, I ended up being in that waiting room for TWO HOURS! I didn't really mind since I took a xanax that morning so I wasn't very nervous. I also figured the Dr. was just taking his time with his other surgery, and that can't be a bad thing! So by the time they called me in for anesthesia I was like LETS DO THIS THING!!! I didn't go into anesthesia until 10:30 am, They finished my surgery at 3pm and my boyfriend picked me up at 4. My surgery definitely ran over what was expected (they initially said about 2 hours), but thats ok as long as aI have a great result. I would rather have him take his time while operating on my FACE!!!!

Didn't remember falling into anesthesia at all, last thing I remember was Dr. Stern (the amazing anesthesiologist) saying "just like you don't remember when you fall asleep, you aren't going to remember this either." I never woke up during anesthesia (have read horror stories about that) and I didn't get sick from anesthesia at all either.

When I woke up in recovery I was in PAIN!!! I don't know if maybe I'm just a baby but I feel like people on here sugarcoat this part!! The first thing i did was tell the nurse she needed to give me more medicine. She did and that definitely calmed stuff down, but not completely. I had to wait to go home to take my painkillers since I hadn't eaten.

The next thing I remember was asking for water. The nurse got me a cup and let me sip from little straws. My mouth actually hasn't been too dry besides that.

Then I asked to use the restroom as I really had to pee. Note for all: when the nurse asks you if you need to use the restroom before surgery, just do it. Then she got me dressed and wheeled me out to my boyfriends car. I made him bring my neck pillow to be more comfortable for the ride, I definitely recommend that, too.

Once we got home, I ate some chicken noodle soup, took a painkiller and antibiotics, and put ice packs on my eyes, held in place with a scarf. Since then I haven't been feeling that bad at all. I can make it through this!!! Will update you all after my follow up tomorrow.

I also just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who wished me well last night, It really meant a lot to me. I don't have any family out here in Los Angeles to support me through this and have found you guys to be such a caring bunch!

Also, real self is making me rate dr. stoker right now, I'm giving him a 4 just cause I haven't seen the final results yet. Just please know I did find him to be an excellent choice who took his time with me and made me feel very comfortable.

Day 1 Post Op Had a super quick follow up...

Day 1 Post Op

Had a super quick follow up appointment this morning. No complications so far. Still wearing the little mustache gauze, but the doctor said I can take it off whenever the bleeding seems to have stopped and start cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and putting ointment on.

Sleeping last night was actually not to bad for me!!! Maybe because I have four pillows, but it was fine. I woke up almost every two hours on the dot, at which time I would drink a glass of water and then close my eyes and fall back asleep. I know a lot of people complain of super dry mouths and sore throats on here, but that didn't happen to me! I am generally a well hydrated person (8 glasses of water a day) so I think that helps. I've been making sure to drink even more while recovering. I've been breathing through my mouth and I don't find it to be too bad, but apparently my airways were super blocked from my deviated septum so I probably have been used to breathing this way for a long time.

A few times I've accidentally inhaled through my nose and WOW! what a difference surgery has already made. I have never felt like this before. A big inhale in with no blockage. Before I thought I was always just stuffed up. I'd say surgery was worth it just for that. I'm so grateful to Dr. Stoker for helping me be able to breathe for what feels like the first time in my life!!

I can't really see much of the cosmetic work done to my nose between the splint and the gauze mustache, but I can tell my tip is definitely raised. My doctor listened to me too because it doesn't look piggish and is just slightly raise, not super upturned which is what I wanted to avoid. The tip also looks a little smaller, but not pinched. Other than that I don't really know what's under there, but I'm definitely liking what I see. I'm so happy I went through with it and am on my way to recovery.. Now I'm just trying to get back on a regular sleep schedule!!!

I also added a beautiful picture of me one day post op lol...

Post Op Day 2 - 4/25 I feel like everyone here...

Post Op Day 2 - 4/25

I feel like everyone here on real self is so tough!! Like I've commented in a few posts, I've pretty much been in constant pain since surgery, but it's starting to let up now. I'd been taking one pain pill every 6 hours since after surgery, and this morning I started taking 2.. I definitely need 2 pain pills every 6 hours and not 1 to be in comfortable place.

I think my Dr. definitely did a ton of work in there!! It's so weird, I feel like I can actually FEEL my septum straightened out. He said it was deviated all over the place and had to use a lot of spreader grafts to get it to stay straight, I feel like I can feel that pressure inside... but it's probably just normal pain and I'm being crazy!!

Not much has changed appearance wise so I'm not going to post a new pic. The bruise is a little less dark, but I'm still REALLY swollen. I've been icing like crazy, but that only seems to combat the swelling for an hour or so.

I feel like I'm getting a very very slight sense of taste back, I've actually found it to be pretty interesting eating food without taste!! It kinda makes it easier to eat since I can just force anything down regardless of what it is whenever I take my meds. I've been eating a lot of yogurt, puddings, and soups.. tonight I'm going to make a kale smoothie for dinner since we all know that the pain pills make you constipated.. TMI!

I think I've made it through the worst part of recovery (fingers crossed!!) and it's going to get better from here... I'm now at the place where I want to get this dang splint off my face and see whats under there... My nose looks quite upturned right now, but honestly I'm not worried because I know from reading everyone else's stories that I just have to be patient and let the tip drop. I can already tell my nose is so much smaller just in proportion to my other features and that makes me so happy! Even though I'm swollen, when I look at my self in the mirror I know longer feel that all I see is NOSE!!!

Hope you all are having relaxing recovery day as well.

Post Op Day 3 - 4 / 26 Guys, I think I made it...

Post Op Day 3 - 4 / 26

Guys, I think I made it through the worst part, I really do! I slept through almost the ENTIRE night last night on only one pain pill! I woke up early (like 7am) but I still did wake up every 2 hours! Awesome!

Bruises are fading and swelling is going down a little bit at a time. I'm up and about a lot more. Can't wait to get the splint off my face, it's starting to itch. Not too much to add right now, I may update later, just glad my life is getting back to normal!!

Post Op Day 4 - 4/27 Okok! Made it through...

Post Op Day 4 - 4/27

Okok! Made it through the storm. I have graduated to only taking extra strength Advil every 6 hours or so!!!!! I'm SO glad the worst of the pain is behind me. My boyfriend told me I was back to my old self today. He was so relieved... he's so cute lol.

I posted new pics as you can see my swelling is starting to move down to my jaw area, and my bruises are yellowing even more. It shouldn't be a problem to cover them up once I get my splint off. I'm really getting annoyed with the tape and it's itchiness as well as the fact I feel like I can't SEE what my nose looks like! So excited for it to come off on monday. I hope my tip drops a tad, if it doesn't I can live with it as it's much better than my old tip, but I think it will drop a little. Then it will be perrrrffffeecct!!

Psychologically, I feel pretty good. I feel like I still look like 'me'.. I guess I'll really know about the results when the tape comes off, but I don't see how I could be disappointed in it from what I see. I just feel like my old nose aged me and made me look mean, and this one captures my inner spirit more... ok... getting too deep with nose talk!

Anyway a word to the wise I took my stool softener every night but today I was CONSTIPATED!!!! Glad I'm not taking those pain pills anymore. It was absolute hell getting through my BM today... Seriously, I'm only eating green foods for the rest of this week to prevent that from happening again!!! I know this is way TMI but if you can handle the pain without the painkillers (I know I'm a wimp and I couldn't) But you really should try... I would not want to go through that again.

I'll update tomorrow.. off to send love to all of my fellow new nosers on here =)

Hello Everyone! I realize I've been MIA for a...

Hello Everyone! I realize I've been MIA for a couple of days, was super tired over the weekend and then had my cast taken off on Monday!

Well, I'm finally over the initial shock of it...I honestly couldn't bring myself to post yesterday because I was so confused. I don't want to say I was disappointed, but I guess I just thought I would be the one lucky person who didn't have any swelling! A girl can dream!

So let me break it down. The nurse cleaned out my nose really well with a variety of tools: hydrogen peroxide, q-tips, tweezers and whatever else she needed to get the scabs out of my nose. It wasn't too bad, just basically a deeper version of what I was doing myself every day. Then, the stitches came out. That wasn't bad at all! I was pretty nervous about that part, just because I'd never had stitches before and the idea of pulling plastic thread out of my skin just skeeved me out. I guess I thought it was one long thread, and I would feel the plastic zig zagging out of my skin! But that's not what it was, she just clipped each knot individually and pulled it out. Then she pulled out my splints, which were about 2 inch long plastic tubes. This was probably the worst part, just a really weird sensation. Not painful though, and it felt awesome once they were out.

I was sitting far away from the mirror and immediately checked out my nose, it was a profile view and it looked great. Then the Dr. came in and said I was healing well and handed me a close up mirror. That's when my slow building freakout started. My nose just looked so different. I had a deviated septum, so it was first and foremost just odd to see a symmetrical nose on my face. I know that's a good thing, but it's still hard to adjust to! Then I felt my nose was too turned up and when compounded with the swelling of the tip, I felt I had a pig snout! Although I'm typing with so many exclamation points, I didn't have a moment of 'OMG, I ruined my nose!' just shock, and then a weird day and half of getting used to it. So I've realized I actually don't have a problem with the profile and how upturned it is, it is actually what I discussed with the Dr. He also said I had a lot of swelling because he did so much internal work done, and that it will probably last longer for that reason :-/

It's really just the swelling of the tip that is driving me CRAZY! I feel like it's a clown nose at this point, seriously. It's weird in that I still feel like I look like me, but now I have a new insecurity with the swelling. I'm just hoping it goes down some.

I now understand what people mean when they say that some days their nose looks great, and other times it looks horrible! I keep catching different angles/lighting where it doesn't look so swollen and I'm happy! Other times I have a big fat shiny nose taking over my face!

For now I'm trying to concentrate on the positive. My profile is cute and feminine, My nose is SO STRAIGHT (my biggest frustration pre-surgery), and I can breathe SO WELL!

I know this blog is kind of mumbled up, forgive me I just have so many mixed emotions to express!! Thanks for the support!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~15 days post op~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ok,...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~15 days post op~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok, so I'm finished being dramatic ya'll!!!! I absolutely LOVE my new nose now. I think it was a combination of swelling / getting used to my new nose that caused the freak out. Seriously, the day the cast came off the swelling was so bad and I looked like a little piggy. That was last Monday, and I really have to say by Friday I was looking and feeling so much better!

So note to all, seriously DON'T freak out when you get your cast off!! I love my PS, but I think a lot of my feelings of WILL THIS SWELLING EVER GO DOWN OR WILL I LOOK LIKE A PIGGY FOR EVER could have been avoided had he been a little bit more understanding. I get that surgeons probably think this is all so normal by now, but a little comforting would have gone a long way. I hear some of you talk about how your doctor assured you all the swelling was going to go down when the cast came off, and mine just didn't do that. He seemed to already think the result was great!!! I have a theory though, that since surgeons are used to working when people are asleep, they might not exactly be the most social people. Either way wall is well now since I am so in love with my new nose.

I went out this weekend and NONE of my VERY GOOD FRIENDS noticed! I hadn't told anyone, but I was planning on it, but since no one noticed, I guess I'm not going to bring it up. So weird! I love that I still look like myself and have exactly what I wanted, a cuter, smaller version of my nose. I added pics so everyone can see how much the swelling has gone down. I suspect there is still some swelling in the tip, since I had a lot of work done there, and I can't wait to see it get even better!
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
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