A 5-year Dream to Come True - Chicago, IL

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Hey there RealSelf family, My journey starts...

Hey there RealSelf family,

My journey starts 5 years ago, when I was at the age of 15. It was the ripe age for puberty to take its toll, and aside from the nice growth spurts in my height, I also ended up with a growth spurt in my nose. It didn't bother me until it caught people's eyes, and the nickname of "Big Nose" was slapped onto my name. Having sibling that were born with normal sized/face-fitting noses, I really felt alone in this struggle. As I grew older, I was able to accept what I considered a flaw, but it never left my mind. I was always thinking about my positioning whenever I was talking to someone so that my nose appeared normal, but of course that could only work for so long. I also went to the extent of getting a "Nose Huggie" which COMPLETELY failed. I hated the fact that I was so self-conscious and wanted to change.

I come from an Indian background and on top of that I'm a male, so having a moderately large nose is quite common and is nothing to be ashamed of, but my case is slightly different. My nose is bulbous and asymmetrical (more bulbous on one side of my tip than the other). I also have deviated septum, causing me to be a one-nostril breather/mouth breather. I'm not sure if it was due to a traumatic event when I was little or if I was genetically predestined to have the nose I do, all I know is that in 5 days I'll be doing something about it.

Convincing my parents was probably the hardest part in beginning this process. A cosmetic change was something they looked very down upon, and having their own firstborn male to undergo such a procedure was out of the question. Of course they told me I was handsome the way I was and things of that nature, but it was something personal to me that I felt I needed. I felt my nose drew me back from attaining a solid confidence in myself, and without a change I wouldn't be able to reach my potential. I still don't know how I did it, but my parents budged and I was able to get the okay to begin my consultations. I was finally able to begin talking with plastic surgeons that I have had my crosshairs on for years.

Dr. Shah was someone that stuck out for me for his vast knowledge in the art of rhinoplasty. Keeping updated by his website, his youtube videos, and his blogs, I had a real good feeling about Dr. Shah's skills in the field of facial plastics. I began the steps of consultation through emails with his secretary around the end of May, and she was very helpful in taking care of most of my questions and giving me my first date for a personal consultation with Dr. Shah. on July 24th.

After entering into Dr. Shah's suite, reality started to hit me. I'm on my way to bringing a dream into reality and it was kinda surreal for me. After doing a little paper work to get my info and insurance down, I was set and ready to go. My parent and I were called in after about a 5-10 min wait, and we were seated in a different room. My pre-op pictures were taken, and shortly after that, Dr. Shah came in.

Dr. Shah examined the exterior of my nose and gently stuck those cone-shaped pliers into my nostrils. He gave me a small mirror to let me see what he was seeing, and explained to me how my nose was quite deviated. After that, we went into his office, where he opened up the pre-op pictures that were taken earlier. He used Photoshop to morph the profile of my nose. He gave his take on what he felt would look nice and allowed for me to adjust it to my liking shortly after. I felt Dr. Shah and myself were on the same page in what I wanted my nose to be, although I did alter his view of my tip slightly. We went to the front-view picture and made another morph, but I feel it wasn't what I saw my desired nose to be and it was probably due to the limitations of Photoshop. I had a small sense that we were in a hurry, so I brushed off tweaking the front-view. After this, Dr. Shah talked about the method he would take on this procedure, which he said would be open rhinoplasty. This is so he could get a better view of the cartilage and bone structure of my nose. I had a couple other questions, but Dr. Shah nailed everything I needed in one shot before I could ask. After our brief talk, we were taken to another room, where we were able to talk about the financial part of the procedure with his secretary. My parents were still on the fence of allowing me to have this procedure, so I was very nerve-wrecked over what the cost would be. Fortunately, the cost was acceptable in the eyes of my parents and I was able to schedule my procedure for Aug 16th. A couple days later I scheduled to have an online consultation with Dr. Shah through Skype to be taken place on Aug 14th to clear up some questions I hade prior to the procedure. Any input on questions I could ask?

In the past two weeks, I was able to get my hands on multiple supplements that are known to have properties that decrease swelling and bruising: Arnica Montana, Bromelein, Quercetin, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Zinc, Calcium, Beta Carotene, B-Complex...I think that's all of them. I found these on Dr. Shah's website under his "Guide to Bruising".

All in all, I'm nervous, excited, and can't believe this is coming true. I'm praying everything works well in the end. I'll post pictues of my Pre-Op and Morphs as soon as I can. Thanks for hearing me out guys!

God Bless,

Alright I had my Skype consultation with Dr. Shah...

Alright I had my Skype consultation with Dr. Shah yesterday and all I can say is that it went GREAT!
When people say that Dr. Shah can really ease your nerves about the coming procedure, I now understand why.

I asked him things like:
-A recap of what will go on during the procedure
-Supplements that I could take
-(And the dreaded question) Complications that could arise

He was very meticulous when explaining to me how the procedure will go, which was really comforting to hear since a procedure like this needs detailed work.

When it came to asking about complications, he did a great job at keeping me aware of things that could arise without instilling fear. I feel everyone that should be going through this (or actually any procedure) should consult their doctor about the complications that could arise. Especially those specific to you since everybody is different in their own way.

Well tomorrow is my procedure. I'll keep you all posted on how it goes.

God Bless,

Sorry it's been a while guys, I'll start from the...

Sorry it's been a while guys, I'll start from the time I was about to enter the O.R.

So I was a introduced to a kind nurse, who told me to change into my surgery gown and then I was placed into a room with my parents. They had a hospital bed for me to hop into and that was where I waited till my anesthesiologist showed up. I sat there for another half hour to hour because Dr. Shah was taking more time on his previous patient. At this point, I started getting anxious and paranoid if I covered everything I needed to get across with my doc. The anesthesiologist eventually came in after the previous surgery was done and introduced himself. He set up my IV and assured that I was in good hands. Dr. Shah came in 10 minutes after where we went over the game plan, and everything was set to start moving. What I remember was being lead to the O.R. by the nurse, being laid onto the surgery bed, seeing Dr. Shah walking back and forth (like he was getting in the zone, it was actually comforting to see him do that haha), and then the nurse placed some massaging wraps on my legs to help with circulation during the surgery. Next thing I know, I'm in the process of waking up. It was like trying to get up from a really deep sleep. I knew I was back in the room with my parents because I heard their voice but my body was being stubborn on waking up. I eventually made my way back home. On the ride back, my parents told me that the surgery went for a little over 3 hours (estimated time was 2 hrs) Dr. Shah informed my parents that everything went well and things he did in my procedure (Open Rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, and Turbinate Reduction). I was also supposed to have a Alar Base Reduction, but Dr. Shah said that it wasn't needed after he corrected my tip.

Once I got home, I was still tired from the anesthesia but luckily I didn't have feelings of being nauseous or vomiting. On the other hand my left eye was really irritating for some reason, it was really red, it felt like I had a jalapeƱo in my eye. My mom was nice enough to get an eyewash solution, because it appeared I had some crud stuck in my eye from the surgery. Besides my eye, I was practically pain-free, also probably due to my pain meds. My sleep wasn't too bad, but it wasn't like it was the best sleep of my life. I'd occasionally wake up and go back to sleep for no reason and it's actually been like that for the past 4 nights. Dry mouth is no joke. It can get really annoying especially when you wake because of it. Drink your fluids people!

Pain: The worst pain I had was just the feeling of pressure on my face. My face felt like it was ballooning even though it didn't appear that way.

Swelling/Bruising: I actually didn't swell except slightly under my eyes and when it comes to bruising, I had no sign of it. I don't know if it was because of the supplements I was taking, or Dr. Shah's gentle care during the surgery, but I'm happy to say the least. My face as a whole became really oily after the surgery, so I've been coping with that by using a facial cleanser and a damp cloth.

Breathing: I wasn't able to breathe out of my nose till Day 4, and it was one nostril at a time if anything. It's definitely still swollen to solely breathe through my nose, but it's nice being able to taste food again.

Cosmetic Changes: From what I can see, my profile looks different from before. Although it's appreciable, I personally feel like it's a bit more rotated up (piggish) than what I see in the morphs that Dr. S and I made. From what I read on RealSelf, it's normal for it to appear this way since it is so early in my post-op and I also still have my cast on. Did anyone else experience this that could shed some light on it?

I get my cast off this Thursday, so I'll post my pictures then to give you guys something to compare.

Thanks for the support guys!!!
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Shah has been so great. I'll continue to update as my procedure goes along

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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