Fifteen Years of Waiting! - Boston, MA

My nose was not feminine at all. It was over...

My nose was not feminine at all. It was over projected and long with a straight-ish bridge. It would have probably been a great nose .... if I was a guy! My nostrils were too large and I had a very slight hanging columella. There wasn't much about my big potato of a nose I did like.

I made a 12 hour trip to see Dr. Gallico in Boston, MA. His office is in the beautiful back bay area and is lovely and the staff is wonderful. Immediately I could tell he understood what my nose should look like! His sketches and computer imaging were spot on. Because I traveled so far my surgery and consult were scheduled on consecutive days. I also paid an additional fee to stay overnight in the surgical suite (well worth it because I panicked after I woke up and it was helpful to have reassurance)

I've read reviews of people remembering the rasping or bones breaking and was terrified of that. But I don't remember a thing other than laying back in the operating room and seeing the ceiling. Then I woke up to a nurse telling me surgery had gone really well and asking me to take a sip of water.

The packing ... I feared the packing somewhat. But I should have considered my own issues a bit more. Head colds make me panic. It may be related to severe childhood asthma. But I have a fear of suffocating. I handled the packing well for a couple hours then the claustrophobic feeling started. I was convinced that when I swallowed I would accidentally be strangled by the packing that was in my nose or somehow or other suffocate. Completely unfounded and practically impossible by the way. But I panicked nonetheless. The nurses were excellent and did everything they could to reduce my stress. I refuse pain medicine because I didn't want to sleep and accidentally choke to death (again ... not going to happen ... but there was no convincing me.) So I sat up all night long sipping water, walking around distracted me so I paced the hallway of the surgical suite quite a bit. Morning came and I was still completely freaking out and exhausting myself. Dr. Gallico came by to check on me and ended up removing the packing because I was stressed. Yes, it was a mental thing, but immediately I felt better and like I may actually sleep sometime within the next week.

The pain itself was tolerable. the pressure and not being able to breathe is what was miserable. I left the surgery center thinking I had made the biggest mistake of my life.

DAY 2: Back at the hotel I slept in 10-15 minute intervals and sipped water. Nothing can prepare you for the level of dry mouth. Paced the hall some to distract myself. I slept at a 90 degree angle after surgery and all week, It's very uncomfortable but it keeps me from panicking and Dr Gallico has been impressed with how little I bruised. I think it may have to do with never having my head down all week.

DAY 3: My eyes were swollen and my jaws started to swell also. The bruising showed its colors the most this day turning purple but still not bad. I was warned my eyes may swell shut. They didn't at all. Just a little puffy. I finally ate a few pieces of chopped up banana. This was my only food since surgery. I was still panicking that I would choke to death if I ate. Saw Dr Gallico again and he okayed me for the 12 hour trip home. I finally gave in and asked for some pain meds because this day and the previous night seemed to be more painful than the others.
Headed home after the appointment but we drove about 8 hours then stayed over and continued the following day.

DAY 4&5: Now I am able to sleep for hours at a time. I wake up and feel like I ate an entire bag of cotton balls. But I feel sooo much better now getting some sleep and being able to eat even though I can't taste anything.
Made it home and left my husband there. I turned around a few hours later and headed back to Boston with my daughter. We drove Saturday & Sunday and my follow up appt is Tuesday. Stitches hurt that weird pinching pain stitches can have. I also have some stitches at the bottom of my nostril. Dr gallico uses a closed procedure. But I opted to have incision made to make my nostrils smaller and tuck them in a little.

Although I haven't see the final result I am already happier with the little bit I can see! Can't wait to get the splint off!

Photos - Day 3-5

Major improvement in my will to live since day two haha! I just want this thing off! It itches so badly and obviously cant be scratched. Torture. So excited to see the final product tomorrow!

Day 6

Today's the day for the big reveal lol! I'm so excited and nervous!

Swollen

As expected a lot of swelling so it looks pretty bad in front view. However I think I'm going to LOVE it in a couple months! I already love it in a side/profile view without the over projection! Can't wait to watch the swelling go down and everything settle into my permanent "new" nose!

Day 8

The most annoying thing is the swelling right between my eyes. My nose is so wide there (and I know it's temporary) but my husband and kids have had way too much fun with this. Things we've compared it to so far:
Disneys Beast
Planet of the Apes
A lion
Baby Grinch from The Grinch movie

I'm so impatient. I want to see the final product already lol!

Day 9

Swelling gets a little tiny bit better each day. I'm having trouble with one stitch. Either it became infected or I had a reaction it (which I've done with other brands of stitches.) so the incision opened up a litte under my right nostril. If it does appear less infected looking today I will go back to see the doctor :o

Day 9

Day 10

My alar base incision has dehisced. So it's prett gnarly looking under my right nostril. It's open and infected. But dr Gallico said its best to get it clean and healed up and we can deal with the scar a bit later. Otherwise things are going great! The tip is Still swollen and between my eyes. But the bridge is great! I've learning about the weird smile thing now. In case no one warned you, your lip will cover all your upper teeth when you smile after surgery (apparently this is normal and temporary for several weeks).
I'm getting even more excited for the final result! Falling in love with it more each day as the swelling goes down!

Day 10

Day 11

I can wear a ponytail! I always felt like it made my overprotected nose even more noticeable. I am loving my new nose! Best thing I ever did!

Can't believe this is my nose !

When I look in the mirror now it feels like this is the nose I was always supposed to have! Swelling comes and goes.
Had some issues with infected stitches. Breathing is still frustrating at times. Very sore to touch the bridge. I'm only wearing makeup when I have to. My upper lip is still very stiff and numb so I can't really smile yet (without mAking a stupid face lol)

Getting better every day!

Each day the swelling gets a little better unless I get too hot it seems. Then I see a bit of it return. I'm so happy with what I'm seeing. My daughter laughs at me because I keep staring at it in the mirror. Standing in the bathroom, turning the reverse camera on my phone, sitting in traffic haha! It's just surreal that the thing I hated so much is fixed. I'm itching to get my upper eyelids and a brow lift done even more now. I'm so happy with my nose but it's kind of like when you replace one door knob in your house. Then suddenly you realize how crappy everything else looks in comparison lol.

Another thing I meant to mention is that I lost quite a bit of eyelashes that first week. I still have plenty and Dr Gallico said its not that uncommon and nothing to be concerned about. But I thought I would mention it because I was a little scared when I lost several in one day. I don't typically lose many.

Three weeks

Sorry for the weird camera angles. Waiting in my car and thought I would update. But I'm trying to be discreet as not to be noticed as that lady in her car taking a bunch of selfies.
I'm feeling better every day. Minor things here and there. But I'm up and running, back in the swing of things now.

One month

One montg post op:
Still can't breathe like before
Swelling improved tremendously in the past week
One side has a defined nostril flare on the side. Other is still swollen and its all one big solid shape still. Loving the look of the side that's healed quicker!

Smile

Almost forgot to mention that my smile is close to normal again. That weird thing with my upper lip covering my teeth was super obnoxious and bizarre looking. Although it feels a little funny, visibly it's pretty close to the way it's always been at this point. :D

Good & bad days

I have those days where I'm swollen and I'm like "omg I'm piss piggy" then others when I'm in love with my nose. Just giving you a heads up that swelling can come and go a little. Over the long term it's definitely healing and definitely worth it! One side of mine has healed and isn't nearly as swollen as the other. Can't wait for them to match lol!

2.5 months post op

loving my new profile! Having some minor scar tissue issues or swelling (still too soon to tell) in my right nostril. Despite those concerns, runny nose, and diminished sense of smell ... It WAS worth it!
Another thing no one tells you ... When you shorten your nose dramatically, nose hair still grows on what used to be deep inside your nose. So basically it hangs out. Gross. Be prepared to rip
Out with tweezers or trim :o
Nonetheless, STILL would do it again!

Forgot to mention

Not a big deal compared to the happiness your new nose will bring, but ny glasses bi longer stay on my nose. Have to replace with the kind that have little
Rubber nose pieces

One year

It's been a year and I am SO happy I did this! If you feel like I did about your nose go for it! Beg borrow or steal lol! I'll get some updates pics soon. But I think the swelling in the tip came down more in even in the last few months.
Dr Gallico retired several months after my surgery. I am so thankful I had this done just I time. He's amazing
Boston Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Gallico is wonderful! His bedside manner and personality are great! He made me feel at ease and like I was in very capable hands right away! He's a talented artist and sketches your face as well as uses the computer generated imaging. He understand my vision for what my nose should be without me explaining it well at all. He explained how each change would effect other parts of my nose and how to balance that. He took his time. I didn't feel rushed through the consult at all. During my recovery he was so understanding and accommodating that even though medically it was going very well, I was emotionally freaking out. He did everything he could to make me more comfortable and reassure me.

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
4 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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