33 Years Old, African-American Rhinoplasty - Boston, MA

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You know that moment when it hits you that you...

You know that moment when it hits you that you actually have the power to change something you don't like? I'm 33 years old, and I've never liked my nose, but it didn't occur to me that I could get it fixed with rhinoplasty until last year. I've never met anyone who has had plastic surgery, so it never really crossed my mind as an option. I knew it was something that celebrities and rich people did, but normal people like me? Inconceivable! But last year I was looking in the mirror thinking, "Wow. My nose is really not sexy. And my profile is just awful. I wish I could get a nose job." And then, that moment. "Oh, my God... why CAN'T I get a nose job?!" And the decision was made.

The first thing I did, after finding this web site and reading tons of reviews, was get a copy of "Men Are Stupid and They Like Big Boobs" by the late Joan Rivers. I downloaded it onto my Kindle and read it in one day. You may not like what Mrs. Rivers had done to her face, but you cannot deny that she knows a heck of a lot more about plastic surgery than you do, and in this book she lays out everything you need to know about plastic surgery: how to choose a surgeon, red flags to look out for, etc. So right now, before you go any further, go get that book and read it. I'll wait.

Welcome back. The next thing I did was lay out a list of surgeons to visit, based on their profiles. I was willing to visit any office that I could reach by MegaBus in New England (I don't have a car). My first and only visit was to Dr. Del Vecchio at Back Bay Plastic Surgery in Boston. I kind of knew he was the surgeon for me before I even met him. Why? Because he had a lovely African-American receptionist manning (womanning) the front desk. I know that's completely superficial, but hear me out: how many black people were coming in to get plastic surgery on Newbury Street in Boston? I know every office claims to know all about ethnic rhinoplasty, but I had a lingering fear that no matter where I went my rhinoplasty would be the surgical equivalent of the first pancake. At Dr. Del Vecchio's office, I was calmed by the knowledge that his staff was ethnically diverse, and very professional. When Dr. Del Vecchio came in, he was dressed, in a word, sharp. That made me feel good-- the man has an eye for aesthetics! Excellent!

We talked about what I wanted, but I had a feeling he already knew: A smaller base, a pointier, more refined tip, and the all-important nasal "flip" (otherwise known as the tilt). I have a narrow face and my nose not only seems large in proportion, but I believe it adds a heck of a lot of masculinity to my face. At least a couple times a year, someone will slip and call me "sir". It doesn't matter if I'm in heels and full makeup. At that point I'm guessing they think I'm a drag queen. But it has happened again and again throughout my whole life, and I'm sick of it. I want a small, feminine nose, stat!

We made the appointment for March 11, 2015. I ended up changing it to May 18, 2015 because as March rolled around I was still $1000 short.

The next thing to do was lie to my family. They live in another state, but eventually I would have to visit, or they would see a picture of me and demand to know why I looked different. I had to head that off at the pass right away because telling them the truth--that I was getting plastic surgery for vanity and vanity alone-- would set off scoldings about messing with God's creation, accusations about trying to become Caucasian, and general shaming that would last a lifetime, believe me. So back in December I told them I had a deviated septum that I was saving up to have corrected. I know, not very original, but I doubt that they read Us Weekly enough to realize that that is the de facto bullcrap excuse for getting a nose job.

I also anticipate getting a lot of flak from my coworkers. I work in a holistic environment so I'm sure I will hear everything from "You looked fine the way you were" to "How could you do that to yourself! We're so disappointed!...But you look great" and everything in between. If the change isn't drastic, I'll tell them I just had a really good facial. If it is quite obvious that I've had work done, well, I'll just cop to it and deal with the flak.

My date is set for May 20! I'll put up some "before" photos (shudder) and wish pics. I know that doctors aren't going to carbon-copy some celebrity's nose onto my face, but there are characteristics of certain noses that I would like to see in my new nose. Wish me luck... will update in May!

Pre-Op completed!

Pre-Op is done, money paid! And now I play the waiting game. I can't believe that it's May already...

When I met with Dr. Del Vecchio after signing all my consent forms and receiving my prescriptions, I showed him the wish pics in order of importance: 1) The nasal tilt with a "ski-slope" on top. If you forget everything else, I said, please don't forget this. The thing I want the most is an improved profile. 2) The sharpness or "pointiness" of the tip. I want that ultra-refined look! Lastly, 3) The overall size/width of the nose. After studying my wish pics for hours, trying to figure out why certain noses looked more proportional on a narrow face, I discovered that a nose was the most proportional when it was the same size as the width between the eyes. Seriously. I even made a chart. You will notice that the two wish pics on the bottom of the chart have noses that fit almost entirely within the "safe zone"-- that white box that I drew marking the space between the inner corners of their eyes. Notice how my nose and Kelly Rowland's nose are nowhere close to fitting inside the "safe zone", and thus our noses look wide in proportion to our faces.

When I shared all this with the doctor, he was honest with me. Points 1 and 2 would be no problem, but my eyes were too close together to apply my "Inner Eye Theory". He would make my nose smaller for sure, but it most likely was not going to fit within that small space. That was okay with me, as anything smaller is bound to be an improvement. I also showed him some images I had made using a free plastic surgery simulation app (great fun to play with) and by the end of the meeting, I was 100% sure we were on the same page.

I left the office with a shiny black folder of pre-op and post-op information. One of the things I found to be interesting was that three separate entities were each owed a fraction of the $7500 fee: the doctor, the hospital, and the anesthesia. The latter two I had to call and pay over the phone. The phone number for anesthesia was disconnected for some reason, so next week I will contact Dr. Del Vecchio's office to see if they can give me another method of contact.

The second thing I found interesting was that I was not allowed to take a cab home from the hospital. This was tricky, because I didn't have anyone to pick me up. Well, that's not true. I could have asked my boyfriend, but I have no intention of telling him about this surgery until it's over and I have even less of an intention of letting him lay eyes on me until my cast is off. I am in awe of the RealSelfers who unabashedly let their boyfriends nurse them through the recovery stage while their faces are swaddled in bloody bandages, mucus, and face grease. I mean, that's sweet, but do you think Beyoncé allows Jay-Z in the room when she's getting fresh weave put in? Not a chance. Our lovers do not need to witness us looking crazy on the road to being beautiful. If any of your boyfriends/partners live with you, consider sending them far away for a couple weeks.

Anyway, the issue of transportation was solved before I even left the office. JaVonica, the lovely assistant, gave me the contact information for a private car service that they regularly use for getting patients back and forth from the hospital. The ride would be at my expense, of course, but I'm glad they were prepared with that information. I would have to be at the hospital by 6:00am, surgery would begin at 7:00am and finish around 8:00am, so it was suggested that I schedule the car service to pick me up at 10:30am (to allow a little recovery time).

I should also note that I regularly take about 6 different vitamins every day (women's multivitamin, vitamin c, fish oil, d3, b12, and fiber, ALL IN GUMMY FORM) so I'm hoping it will help with the recovery. I plan to stop taking the multivitamin the week of the surgery, because it contains vitamin e and vitamin e is on the "do not take" list along with like 100 other things, including aspirin.

I plan to purchase a neck pillow next week to help with sleeping upright, a first aid kit so I can change my own bandages, and some saline solution for gently cleaning the inside of my nose (I read from another RealSelfer that cleaning her nose regularly helped the stitches not hurt when it was time to take them out).

I took two weeks off from work, which is hopefully enough time to get the swelling down a little. I purchased some TheraPearl cold packs and they are chilling in the freezer as we speak.

I think that's all for now... I'll be back as the 20th gets closer! Wish me luck!

Just ordered some good-looking supplements!

Just thought I'd share that I discovered the online shop Make Me Heal, and I ordered their Plastic Surgery Healing Supplements & Vitamins Kit (Pre & Post-Op Formulas). It's got great reviews... I'll do anything to have a more successful recovery!

...Aaand still buying stuff

I just purchased the arnica tablets that Make Me Heal recommends. I really wish I had found that site weeks ago. They have literally all the stuff you could want for your surgery, ANY surgery... It's even got the stuff categorized by treatment (rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, facelift, etc.). I could have bought everything I needed and been done in one shipment, rather than this hunt-and-peck thing I'm doing now. Oh, well, live and learn.

Last Known Photos of MimiBB's old nose

Well RealSelfers, I am here at the hospital waiting to be taken in. I am definitely oscillating between nervous and excited! Word of advice: bring an old photo of yourself with you to the hospital, one where your nose is front and center and ruins the picture. I guarantee that photo will be a cure-all for any last minute doubts. You'll be all,
"Oh God... I'm scared to death... This is major surgery. What if this is a mistake? Am I really going to go through with this?!"
*Looks at picture*
"Yes, I jolly well am."

See you on the other side!

First (But Definitely Not Last) Photo of New Nose!

Hi gang,
I'm all done! Wow, I still can't believe I went through with it!

I had the doctor take this photo before he put on the cast, for the simple reason that I did not want to wait in suspense for a week to see what I look like. But from what I see, I think I am going to be one happy woman! I mean, check out that slope! That tilt! The sheer size difference!! Air-fives to everyone!

Post-Op Day 1

So far, so good! Mostly I've just been in bed, eating soft foods and taking my meds and vitamins. Dr. Del Vecchio even texted me yesterday to see how I was feeling! He really is the best surgeon ever.

The area under my eyes and my T-zone are very swollen today, so I applied a bit of arnica gel and aloe. But other than that, I feel great! No pain, no nausea. In two days I can remove the packing from my nose, and then maybe I will be able to breathe a little better. Being a mouth-breather isn't difficult, but it is extremely annoying when your entire mouth, throat, and tongue dries out every ten minutes.

Post-Op Day 2

I've got chipmunk-level swelling going on today. I look like I've got mumps!

Post-Op Day 3

Today I removed the packing from my nose and did a bit of clean-up using Q-Tips, hydrogen peroxide, and Neosporin. The lower half of my face is still extremely swollen.

Overall, I can say that I am very pleased with my experience so far! It's almost to the point where I think I'm dreaming, and that I'm going to wake up and find that my new nose never happened! Sometimes I have to reassure myself that yes, this is all real!

I get my stitches removed on Tuesday... Can't wait!

Post-Op Day 4

I must be really good at entertaining myself; I haven't left the house since Wednesday evening and I'm still not bored. Well, that's not totally true-- I ran to the corner store last night to pick up some saltine crackers and ginger ale, and told the clerk that I broke my nose in a volleyball game.

I really hope all this swelling comes down by Wednesday! There is no way I can keep my boyfriend at bay longer than that, and I look like a stranger with chubby cheeks! He's going to freak out!

Now, back to my Scandal marathon...

Post-Op Day 5

Tomorrow I get my splint and stitches removed! I can't wait!

The swelling in my face has gone down considerably, but I still don't see much definition in my tip. I know that I must wait a few months or, at maximum, a few years to see the final result, so I'm trying to be patient and not care so much that I look like a little piggy!

I thought I'd take this opportunity to highlight two of the unsung heroes of my recovery so far: sore throat spray and saline nasal spray. Let me tell you that the first few days post-op, your sore throat will be the bane of your existence. You want to have a cup of water and some throat spray within arm's reach at all times. And after your packing is removed, the saline spray is a really great way to irrigate your nasal passages. Just stick the nozzle up one nostril and spray until the solution runs out the other nostril (and maybe your mouth; I know it sounds gross). Then do the same on the other side and finish cleaning with Q-Tips, hydrogen peroxide, and Neosporin. I have been doing this every day since I took out my packing and my nose is clean, clean, clean!

Splint is off!

Today my splint and stitches were removed! I heard that this can be a painful process, so I took a pain pill a couple of hours before my appointment. It didn't hurt too much at all, just little pinching sensations here and there.

What I saw in the mirror didn't do me justice, because my nose was still so swollen that the real shape was imperceptible. I am really, really glad I asked for a photo of the final result before my cast was put on; if I hadn't, I may have been concerned that what I was seeing was what I was stuck with, and I might have freaked out a little. My bridge was straight, slim, and perfect, but my tip had the piggy thing going on. Doctor Del Vecchio to to rescue! After taking out my stitches, he taped up my nose to help with the swelling. Even though my nose is covered in tape, I can still make out the final result... And I LOVE IT!!!

I got EVERYTHING I WANTED! I got the ski-slope top, the nasal flip, and-- hear me when I say this-- my nose is small enough to pass my "Inner Eye Theory" test! There is only one thing left to do: go to Victoria's Secret, buy the most expensive bra and underwear set, and STRUT.

I have another week off until I have to go back to work, and I intend to keep the tape on the entire time. I don't think the tape is as embarrassing as the cast, so I can finally go outside. I am only slightly disappointed because I have a week's worth of crud built up on my nose and I can't get at it with soap and water for a whole 'nother week! Oh well.

You heard it here, people: Dr. Del Vecchio is the master of ethnic rhinoplasty! Just be as clear as possible about what you want and he will deliver. The whole experience was pretty much painless. It sounds weird, but when I look in the mirror now I think "Finally... I look like ME."

I will update again when the tape comes off!

I Love It!

So, I caved and took the compression tape off. And even though I'm obviously still on the swollen side, I'm really liking what I've got here!

I'm going to try to remember to tape up my nose every night before going to bed because it helped a lot with the swelling. I legit looked like a creature from Avatar after I took off my splint, so if it happens to you, don't freak out! YouTube has great tutorials for taping your nose after a rhinoplasty.

When I took off the tape this afternoon, I went at my nose with my ClariSonic, a toothbrush, and Biore nose strips to get all the crud off. And I don't know if this is TMI, but picking my nose is nearly impossible and I NEED TO PICK IT. There is junk in there that needs to come out. Whereas before, my nostrils were so wide that I could reach up there with both hands and a crowbar, now the only way I can clean the inside of my nose is with Q-Tips. Like, even when my nose is running, Kleenex doesn't get in there. It has to be Q-Tips. I have never used so many Q-Tips in my life. I now must carry them in my purse.

The only thing left to figure out is if I can get away with lying about my nose job when I go back to work. Honestly, I look different. Don't mistake me, I look better and I wouldn't go back for anything. But I think I might have to put on my big girl pants and tell the truth... On the other hand, it's none of their business... But they'll probably interrogate me... I just don't know! And you know that there is no such thing as telling one or two people in confidence; the news will spread to the entire staff and all of my clients by the end of the week. What to do?!

Best Decision of My Life ????

RealSelfers... I cannot tell you how much happier I am with this new nose. I realized it this morning when I was putting on makeup.

Usually I never leave the house without the whole shebang: contouring, highlighting, five shades of eyeshadow, everything. I was a Sephora addict and I'm not ashamed to admit it! But today, I picked up the $7.99 CoverGirl compact, one shade of eyeshadow, and a smidgen of blush before doing my eyelashes and eyebrows... And I'm satisfied! I don't believe it! Ninety percent of the makeup I used every day, I don't even need anymore.

My nose made me look so masculine that my subconscious defense was to become a makeup junkie. And because I have super oily, OILY skin, the effort was usually futile; the oil would emulsify the thick layer of makeup and basically dissolve it, so by the end of the day I would just be a walking smear of grease. I still love makeup for sure, but I'm just so relieved that I can leave the house without SO MUCH of it and still look like a female of the species.

Quick Tip: Tape your nose every night before going to bed! I do this, and it's like the swelling never happened. My nose is sharp and crisp in the morning! The one time I didn't tape, I woke up looking like I had been hit in the nose with a football, Brady-Bunch style. Stock up on tape!

Co-Workers Have Begun to Doubt Reality, And It's Hilarious

I went back to work a couple days ago, and I was inwardly cracking up over the quizzical looks on the faces of my coworkers. I could see that they could tell that something was different but they could not for the life of them figure out what it was. No one said anything, but I think it actually got to the point where they were questioning the validity of their own memories. Like, "Maybe she always looked like that, and I just never noticed! I must be tripping!" Lol.

I should mention that I've been putting Mederma Scar Gel on my scars every night along with taping my nose. The scars weren't too noticeable by themselves, but I wanted to play it safe.

Nose-taping tutorials on YouTube:

The Family is Way Too Observant

I went home recently for a family event. My sister met me at the airport, and within hours: "Uhh, what's wrong with your nose?" Dammit!
Luckily, I had left myself an out. "Remember, back in December, I told you I was saving up for a septoplasty?"
And that did it. She bought it. "Oh yeah! It's good that you can breathe better now." She asked genuinely curious questions, like how long the swelling would remain, if it was painful, etc. At the family event, everyone wanted pictures with me, like I was Mickey effing Mouse at Disney World. I'm not sure if it was because most of them hadn't seen me in years or if it was because I looked AWESOME... Perhaps both? After the family event, my Mom reported to me that one of the aunts inquired as to whether I'd had a nose job. Dammit!
Sister to the rescue! She jumps in, reminds my Mom about my septoplasty, and then proceeds to answer all her questions about the procedure. Little White Lie for the win!!
As for the state of my nose, everything is pretty much back to normal now. The tip is still a little hard and numb, and sometimes the incision sites itch, but I am no longer taping, no longer applying Mederma, and I didn't even finish all of my post-op vitamins from MakeMeHeal. I do have to use Biore Pore Strips every other day to keep my nose-pores clear; God knows how long that will continue. I also still use Q-Tips every day to get rid of the things that a good nose-blowing won't clear.
All told, I'd get the surgery done again in a heartbeat if I woke up one day to find that I'd dreamt the whole thing! In fact, now I'm thinking a good pair a boobs would be a stellar addition... We shall see!

Starting The New Year Right!

Hello lovelies! Forgive me for not updating in a while. But I am still loving, LOVING this nose! I have not been called "sir" since May 2015! Let me tell you, that is something!!
In the mornings when I wake up, I am mildly swollen. Zero being no swelling and ten being chipmunk-level, immediate post-op swelling, every morning I start at a one or two and it fades to zero by the end of the day. I'm quite sure I am the only one who can tell.
The daily oiliness has decreased significantly, and now I use Biore pore strips maybe once a month, if I remember to.
Zero regrets!! Ladies, 2016 is your time to shine. If you have been researching for over a year, it's time to stop stalling and take a leap of faith! I highly recommend coming to Boston, renting a cheap AirBNB for a week, and having your rhinoplasty done with my doctor. He ENJOYS doing ethnic rhinoplasty, so seriously consider it!
Other than that, nothing new to report! I really tried to get a close-up of my scars, but even if I didn't have makeup on, you can't really notice them, as they are concealed by the natural folds of my nose.

My experience with Dr. Del Vecchio and his staff was excellent! You can tell that he really enjoys doing ethnic rhinoplasty. If you live in the Northeast, there is no reason to go to anyone else!

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
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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