Love my Family, Never Wanted the Nose! - Chelmsford, MA

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This'll be short for now! Like many others who...

This'll be short for now! Like many others who have undergone this procedure, I've always been self-conscious about my nose. The front view is all right, a bit shapeless, but acceptable. My profile? Oh goodness, I've never been comfortable with it. What's worse is in trying to hide my discomfort I just draw attention to it (awesome, right?).

I love my father, but I never wanted to inherit his nose. Honestly, the hardest part of this whole undertaking so far has been telling my dad what I planned to do. I went back and forth on how to present it until one day I just blurted it out. End result, he was a little worried, but ultimately he understood.

Anyhow, I've got my surgery scheduled for October 2nd bright and early in the morning. My mom has used this doctor for a couple of procedures and he's does wonderful work. While I'm not entirely psyched for going under the knife, I am happy to be going under with a doctor I trust to do an excellent job. Now all I have to do is mentally prepare myself for the whole "the swelling will fade", "the tip is high so it doesn't droop later", "that bruising is a flattering shade of purple-y yellow!"

Surgery Day and Recovery Begins

I had my surgery this morning at 7:30. The ladies at the office are always a joy to be around and were particularly bubbly this morning. They and the doctor walked me through all the set up, we talked about what I really wanted (shape, length, etc.) once more, and they answered all my questions about recovery. The anesthesiologist talked through my medical history and made sure I had some anti-nausea stuff due to my propensity for vomiting after waking up (ow).

Despite all the care and kindness, I could not stop shaking from nerves. They put me under and I woke up in what seemed like moments later, warm and comfy. I was groggy and my nose hurt, but it wasn't searing pain.

One pain pill, a bottle Gatorade, and a few animal crackers later I was home and in bed. I slept hard, but woke up refreshed (for the most part). I don't have a drip pad, but I'm really not dripping anything anyway. The pain pills and all have made me a bit dizzy, but not nauseous (Yay!). Now if I could just blow my nose, haha. I can feel some fluid coagulation, but there's not much I can do today.

Overall, yes there is pain both in my nose and my throat from the breathing tube, but the pills are helping and so is lots of sleep. Drinking from a straw out of the side of my mouth keeps me from pursing my lips and tugging on the stitches. I didn't have any bruising initially, but it is sure setting in now! I look forward to that going away soon. All in all, it has been better than I expected.

Aw Sweet Swelling (Day 2)

First things first, I knew this site was a great resource, but it has also become a great source of encouragement. Thank you all for being such an awesome community of shared experiences!

On day 2 of recovery I woke up swollen and bruised, as to be expected. I was hoping to switch to Tylenol today, but I found I'm still in need of the heavy duty painkillers, oh well. I got up and, with my mom and husband, drove out to get some papers notarized (we just sold our house, yay!). I thought I would be embarrassed with all my bruising and such, but it really was no big deal.

Walking around really seemed to help the swelling around my eyes, but I can still feel a lot of pressure under the splint. My greatest, and probably grossest, accomplishment of today was removing a large blood clot from the left inside of my nose. It was very freeing to be able to breathe again.

Tuesday I get the splint off and I am just counting the days. Sleep helps pass the time!

Stay well all!

Maybe this is as bad as it gets?

Just a short update. I wasn't going to post anything, the bruising has started to subside already, but this swelling! My eye swelling settled down after the morning, but the splint on my nose feels so tight. I've got 4 more days and then it comes off. I think my nose is getting cabin fever.

I hope I haven't been laughing or smiling too hard lately. It hurts and I don't want to prematurely drop my tip. I'm also worried about how uneven the nostrils are, but I know no have to wait at least a few weeks/months to see where it's headed. Okay, done for the night. Happy healing all!

Tomorrow, Cast Removal!

Just a quick update. Bruises have subsided, I have a little yellow under my eyes, but not much. My cast is driving me absolutely batty, but worse than that are my stitches. I have non-disolving stitches and it feels like a porcupine in my nose. My left nostril and I are not friends. It seems as though one of the stitches in the soft part of the columella is irritating the tissue, causing it to inflame, which makes the stitch even more annoying. It's a vicious circle.

Anyhow, this whole mess should be coming out tomorrow, which I greatly look forward to. I am setting my standards low (so as not to be disappointed), and I am expecting lots of swelling. I have already told my husband he is not allowed to dislike it or utter the words "it looks the same". Poor guy. Here's to hoping for the best and see you all on the morrow!

Oh no, what have I done?

Okay, I've gotten over the "dear lord, why?" feelings. When I first got the cast off my nose was (still is) very swollen and, with all the oil build up under the cast, had a bunch of whiteheads. Not a great look for reinforcing the past 7 days of pain, discomfort, and healing.

My doctor was very positive about the results, which was a bit surprising because he is typically very calm, reserved even, with his statements. I wasn't being very helpful either, because I just sat there with what I imagine to be a very strange look on my face, wondering if I had done the right thing by getting the surgery in the first place. After leaving the office I called my husband, told him he wasn't allowed to laugh at me or my new feature, and promptly broke down crying which included the words "I wish I had my old nose".

Fast forward to today (two days after cast removal) and I am doing much better! Mentally/emotionally, I have accepted my new nose. I can firmly say I do not want my old nose back. While my new one is swollen and still kind of big, it has a nice slope (yay no more hump) and the tip has been brought up to a decent level. I was told by my doctor there is no need for me to tape my bridge, so it's been kind of fun and strange to see the changes it's going through. The skin has gone from shiny and swollen to normal with something like crease marks while it shrinks down around the bone again. Weird, I know, but you should know!

I now keep Q-tips in every room so when I get an itch I can gently sooth it. Or when I sneeze I can, uh, clean up, since blowing my nose still isn't happening for another week or two. The stitches on my columella were removed and have healed for the most part, but the dissolvable stitches in my soft triangle are still very apparent. I keep Aquaphor on them throughout the day in an attempt to keep them soft. I wont lie, I've had a hard time keeping my hands off of my nose. I'll start reaching up and stop myself- I must look ridiculous from a third party view.

Pain is pretty minimal, my bridge feels broken (well, duh, it was) and sore to the touch. My skin feels like it has a bad sunburn, but that is soothed by gentle moisturizer.

All in all, I do not regret my surgery and look forward to healing...and hopefully seeing my previously narrow bridge again! It's been a great excuse to treat myself gently and get back to sleeping on my back.

My personal list of must-haves (aside from medications) for healing and recovery take from it what you will!:
- Ayr saline (non-medicated) spray, mmm moistures
- Q-tips, softly sooth your itchies!
- U-shaped pillow for neck support, didn't need it right away, but was good during the day
- Juice, because so much water got old after three days
- Many pillows to make bed as comfy as possible in one sleeping position
- Tylenol, Percocet -while great, gave me a killer headache for an entire day
- Chapstick or bag balm (love it more than anything)
- Aquaphor for some good internal stitch moisture
- Straws, if you use them out of the side of your mouth you don't have to purse your lips
- A good care-taker if you can find one! My husband would kill a pet rock (though I love him so), my mother, on the other hand, is a born nurturer.
- Happy food...mine was toast with raspberry jam. Easy to make, easy to eat, easy to digest

Two months Post

Oookay, it's been a long time since an update, but there really hasn't been much to report. I'm grateful I've had a boring recovery. I had some pain along the bridge and its sides for the first month and a half. Then one day, I noticed it had faded by a lot and now (two months post) it's virtually non-existent. My dissolvable stitches all fell out around a week and a half post. Okay, fell out is a lie, I coaxed the last ones out with some gentle...manipulation. I made sure not to tug, dig, force, or cause pain in any way though.

What I still think is funny is the way the inside of the nostrils feel now. They're bumpy and I think I can feel the scar tissue. Thankfully it doesn't affect my breathing at all. Some nights it swells and I get a little congested, but that's my biggest complaint. Everything is a bit stiff and blowing my nose is still a bit of a challenge. It doesn't hurt, its just weird to clean up after sneezing and not have the flexibility in the cartilage yet. My doctor assured me it would all soften up in a bit, especially since the skin on the tip of my nose was a bit thick. Bonus note: I use to trumpet like nobody's business, now I sound like a normal person, quiet!

The scar on the columella has cleared up nicely. It's not visible unless you are looking straight up my nose (...don't do that) and even then it's very faint. I was surprised because I usually scar noticeably, so I'm really satisfied with the way it's looking. The only bummer right now is the area immediately around the scar is numb/tingly to the touch. It's not at all noticeable unless I touch it and then it just feels bizarre. My doctor says that'll return to normal. Time will tell, of course, but it's not a huge issue.

Overall I'm happy to be recovering. The bridge, though a bit wide, is straight now and really helps to keep my face more feminine. My only irk is I wish more length could've been taken off of the tip. Seeing my before pictures right next to my current pictures have helped me see the changes, but sometimes I can't help but wish it more petite, with a shortened tip. I will say, however, that I am happy with the angle. It used to turn down (bleh) and now it's straight. I would hate to have a nice short nose from the side that is too upturned/piggy from the front. That would bother me 100x more than what I've got now!

In my mind my satisfaction with my current nose shape (doctor/quality/healing not included) is about a 7.5/10 Definitely not bad. My doctor, the quality of his work, and the excellence of his staff all make this experience completely worth it though. I would do it again in a heartbeat with his office behind the procedure!
Lowell Plastic Surgeon

Having had my procedure, I can say, with confidence, that this is the best doctor I have had the pleasure to work with. He and his staff are kind, welcoming, and exceptionally calm. Their information is to the point, but not overly simplified as to miss important details. Dr. Smith is not afraid to share exactly what he will be doing during the chosen procedure. He really is concerned with the patient's wants and needs above his office's desires and will take copious amounts of time to talk a procedure over until a comfortable consensus is reached. My follow-up appointments have been as great as the surgery itself. I never felt rushed out the door and all of my questions/concerns have been met with no jargon and plenty of patience. I can't recommend Dr. Smith and his staff highly enough.

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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