Finally Taking the Big Step - Chicago, IL

Sort by:
*Treatment results may vary

When I graduated college, I told myself if I got a...

When I graduated college, I told myself if I got a good job, I would reward myself with the rhinoplasty I've wanted my entire life. Check.

A lot of my friends and family have called me vain for thinking about getting rhinoplasty. Nothing can be perfect, but much of my insecurity has come from having this larger than life nose. Anytime I'd see a picture of myself, my eyes would always hone right into my witch nose. I hated sitting in class and just barely seeing the bump in my line of vision, and I hated feeling unattractive.

I have gone back and forth about getting this procedure. However, after almost 5+ years of research regarding the benefits and risks and reading countless articles and reviews, I have decided now is the best time for me to take the leap. I want to wear my nose. I don't want it to wear me.

6 weeks to go. My surgery is scheduled for...

6 weeks to go. My surgery is scheduled for November 9th and I am so freaking excited. I'm sure I will start getting nervous once I get a little bit closer to the day of the surgery, but for now...EXCITED. Anyone have any advice or tips about how to get ready for the big day (things to buy, food to eat, smoothie recipes)? My boyfriend bought me a nutribullet (that amazing blender/juicer machine) so I can still get some nutrition in after surgery but I wanna hear what all of the experts on here have to say.

Alright we are down to 5 weeks (on a side note i...

Alright we are down to 5 weeks (on a side note i just got back from Vegas so I'm in such good spirits right now!). I have kinda-sorta-a-little-bit begun preparing for the big day. I have to get my labs done two weeks prior to the surgery just to make sure nothing crazy is going on with my body so I set up an appointment for that and I got a couple of supplies (dry shampoo, a back pillow, frozen peas, tons of movies). Pretty painless stuff so far. I love juicing and making smoothies, so I am REALLY looking forward to the fact that I can just guzzle those down for a few days post-op. Detox, right? haha. Anyways, nothing nose-related to report as of yet so time to watch SNL!

Down to 4 weeks! Still feeling really good about...

Down to 4 weeks! Still feeling really good about this decision. Dr. Shah's office said the ball will really start rolling at the 2 week mark (getting my labs done, buying all of the post-surgery supplies, etc.). So far, they have been really great in terms of answering questions and being positive about the procedure. I have to admit that I have been looking at my nose in the mirror ALL THE TIME lately. I just can't believe come one month, I'm going to lose the bump. It's so interesting how a superficial procedure can really influence your ego and self-esteem. Confidence is something I have always struggled with, so I can't wait to start feeling like a better version of myself!

Oh and I apologize for my comments section. Anytime I reply to a comment, it posts at the top! So please know that I'm trying to super duper hard to reply back to all of your helpful posts. I really appreciate all of the support. Ya'll are so awesome and helping me to stay so positive!

Down to two weeks and I'm currently 90% excited,...

Down to two weeks and I'm currently 90% excited, 5% nervous, and 5% in disbelief that I'm finally getting this procedure done. Based on what I've read on here, most people seem to feel fine after 2-3 days, with the cast coming off around day 7. I don't bruise easily and I'm still pretty young so fingers crossed recovery goes well. I decided to take one week off from work (I'm pretty happy that I can work from home after that too if need-be).

I've got my week of recovery all planned out. I'll be sitting in my family room on the recliner watching How I Met Your Mother, Friends, and New Girl, probably guzzling down some smoothies, being lazy, and just living the dream. We'll see how much fun it is once I'm actually out of surgery though haha.

Side Note: I have to admit that I'm slightly nervous about having to breathe through my mouth after surgery. Especially when it comes to sleep, I am such a nose-only breather. I just never really keep my mouth open when I'm just breathing so THAT should be interesting haha. Any tips?

So I went out and bought a bunch of supplies for...

So I went out and bought a bunch of supplies for recovery. Here's what I have so far:

Frozen peas and Latex gloves for icing - I've read on here that frozen produce works better than just regular ice.
Lip balm - Dry lips after surgery will unfortunately be inevitable
U-Shaped Pillow - I think it will come in handy just to help position my head while I'm resting/sleeping during the first few days
Medication - I actually don't take meds unless it's dire, so I just have the arnica montana pills and other pain meds for now
Humidifier - We have one lying around our house. I figured it will be nice to have on during recovery
Dry shampoo, washcloths, mouthwash - Just in case I start smelling like a rhino
Gauze pads - for any excess nasal dripping

I wanted to talk more about my consultation as well (I remember that was one of the things I liked reading about on people's pages). My PS's office is in Chicago, and I work in Chicago so it worked out well when I scheduled my consultation (it was only about a 5 minute cab ride). I got to the office and was greeted by his incredibly friendly staff who helped me fill out some paper work.

I was taken to a consultation room where one of the employees checked my blood pressure and took my before photos. Dr. Shah came in soon after and we kind of went over what I wanted (a smoother nose but something which still looked natural). I had a deviated septum which needed correcting as well. We went over my morphs and he created something that he described as a mediterranean look and I really liked it. It's hard to actually imagine what the nose will look like in reality since the photos are just 2D images, but his portfolio, vast knowledge, and attention to even the smallest details made me choose him.

My surgery's in less than a week so I definitely plan to start going over things in real time. Oh and btw if anyone wants to start praying for me, that would be much much much appreciated. My nerves are starting to give me that hummingbird heartbeat. SIX DAYS.

Tomorrow is the DAY. I just picked up cutips and...

Tomorrow is the DAY. I just picked up cutips and saline solution to apply on my stitches after surgery along with topical ointment that I apply 2-4 times daily for the first three days. I spoke with my PS's office and the surgery center and they confirmed all of the details and went over what the day of surgery will be like (can't eat after midnight tonight, have to wear a button down shirt to surgery tomorrow, and guys have to make sure to shave). I also have to pick up my prescriptions from the pharmacy later today (an antibiotic and vicodin) and bring with to the surgery center tomorrow. I wasn't really feeling nervous this week (I was in Houston for work so my mind was elsewhere) but now I am really taking a moment to step back and realize that I'm doing it FINALLY. This is awesome. I have to be at the surgery center by 6AM tomorrow and the surgery will start at 7AM. The PS is definitely a morning person.

Hi everyone! Just wanted to give a quick post and...

Hi everyone! Just wanted to give a quick post and say that surgery went well! I'll put up a review sometime tomorrow (or during the week). I've been going in and out of sleep since yesterday and I can already feel another round of sleep coming on haha. Thanks for all of the well wishes! I put up my day 1 pic as well.

Hi everyone! The surgery went perfect the other...

Hi everyone! The surgery went perfect the other day. I remember how much I appreciated people who gave in-depth reviews on surgery day so I'll start from the beginning.

M dad and I woke up around 3:30AM on surgery day. We live in the suburbs of Chicago so we had quite ride ahead of us. I had to be at the surgical center at 6AM (surgery scheduled at 7AM). I filled out some last-minute paperwork and sat in the waiting room. They took me back around 6:30 to change into a lovely gown and slippers. Not gonna lie, I tied my gown wrong and the side of my butt was showing. WHOOPS. I said bye to my dad and he got to hang out in the waiting room.

We locked my clothes and other items in a private locker and I got to relax in my room where I signed some more paperwork. The nurse checked my vitals and hooked me up to the IV. The nurse left the room and I was sitting by myself for a while. It was around this time I started to really reflect on what was about to happen. I remember my leg shaking and thinking is this really happening? Am I making the right choice? And when I thought about all of the years of wanting this and going back and forth, in that moment I felt so ready.

I remember the last time I checked the time, it was about 7:15 so I think things were running a little bit behind. Dr. Shah came in and went over my morphs one last time, and I had to sign some more paperwork (they really love their paperwork). The nurse came in soon after and took me to the surgery room. I tried to take in as much of the room as I could. I remember being really cold, but the nurse and anesthesologist were so friendly and personable which made me a lot more comfortable. The nurse wrapped some leg warmers around my feet. The next thing I remember was blinking like 4 times and then I was OUT.

When I woke up, they had ice over my eyes so I couldn't see a thing. In my natural haziness, I tried to take the ice pack off so I could see. The nurses said I could take it off for 5 minutes, but they'd have to put it back on. My contacts were out so I couldn't really see anything anyway except that I was back in my room. I only felt like I had a really bad sore throat and a sore back. The nurse came in and got me some water and juice. My dad came in soon after and said he got a chance to talk to Dr. Shah about the surgery while I was out. I think It was about 11:30 and I thought holy moly, how long was I out?? The nurse said I had been sleeping for about 45 minutes which means the surgery must have gone longer than expected. I didn't see Dr. Shah after recovery, but in all honesty I just wanted to go home and sleep anyway lol. The nurse helped me get dressed and I got in my wheelchair and we were off to the parking garage.

I didn't feel nauseous on the way home, however I was feeling a little bit irritable from all of the bumps and turns on the road. Once I got home, I had a glass of green naked juice, went right to bed and passed out. I remember waking up every 1-2 hours and then falling back asleep again. First day, I would say the pain level was definitely a 5. I just remember my back being sore, my throat being dry, on and off pain in my nose, and my stitches itching and burning. My nose was also pretty stuffy. I think the best way to describe the feeling was kind of like a really bad cold. But in reality, I have to admit this was WAY EASIER and less painful than I had imagined. When I woke up around 7PM, my dad brought me some chicken noodle soup from Panera and I DEVOURED it. Good thing my appetite was already back.

Day 2-3 Post-Op: Still not in any major pain...

Day 2-3 Post-Op: Still not in any major pain (probably a 3-4). I have been really bad with icing. Icing 20 mins on and off is a real pain in the tookus. On the bright side, I have no real bruising. So am I onto something here?? Probably not haha. But in all honesty I think the most important thing after surgery is just getting your nutrition in. I wanted to give my body the best tools for recovery and what I consumed I thought was most important. I've pretty much been rotating three smoothies (1. strawberries, blueberries, banana, and flax seed. 2. kale, spinach, kiwi, pineapple, 3. carrot, mango, cantaloupe and orange juice). It's doing the trick so far and they all taste really good.

Also I have been religiously applying saline solution and ointment on my nose and stitches. The saline solution is great at breaking down dry blood and scabs in your nose so they just ooze right out (grossed out yet?) and the ointment keeps the stitches and nose well lubricated so they don't itch too much. I'm happy to say I am breathing out of my nose at Days 2 and 3.

I put my contacts in today as well and it feels so good just hanging out and watching TV all day. I kind of wish I didn't have to wait until Friday for the cast removal, but I'm sure it'll be worth the wait. Other than that, no other real news to report yet. Still being lazy and drinking a lot of smoothies. Pics for Day 2 and 3 are also up. Over and out for today.

Day 4 - It's crazy how quick and painless this...

Day 4 - It's crazy how quick and painless this journey was. All of those years being terrified of going under the knife, worrying about how I could pay for a cosmetic surgery, thinking about all of the consequences (positive and negative). And here I am - it was such a great experience. I wish everything could be this easy.

The biggest tips I have for this journey are the following:

Figure out finances ahead of time - Once you get the ball rolling, it's surprising how much money you're going to splurge not just on surgery fees, but things like prescriptions, toiletries, labs, heck I've probably spent $100 solely on soup. I made sure to save enough money for all of that in my "rhinoplasty piggy-bank" and I really encourage others to do so as well. Always over-estimate.

It's important to research different PSs (realself was such a big help in all of this) and find someone who can accomplish exactly what you are looking for. They don't necessarily need to be well known to be a good PS, but a strong portfolio will let you kind of see your result ahead of time. I only consulted with Dr. Shah, but his portfolio and all of his reviews on here played a major role in my decision to ultimately choose him.

Get all of your supplies ready - recovery week is different for everyone, but I think the most important things are the saline solution to break down dry blood in the nose, ointment to lubricate the stitches, vaseline for dry lips, and tons of pineapple and mango juice. I didn't really ice just bc I never bruised but I would've probably gone the frozen peas route for that. The U-pillow, humidifyer, washcloths, and arnica montana gel/pills were nice to have, but I definitely would've been completely fine without them.

A good blanket, cardigan, or robe - if you take a week off of work like I did, make it the laziest most awesome week ever. Rent tons of movies, read a couple of good books, and do some holiday shopping online. I check my work emails like once or twice a day just to keep up, but I mean enjoy the time off. Honestly, the lazier you are, the more your nose can rest and heal.

Day 5 Where did the time go?? It's already DAY...

Day 5
Where did the time go?? It's already DAY FIVE. Besides the cast, everything is pretty much back to normal today. No pain, no aches, able to eat solid meals like a pro. I'm continuing to take my anti-biotic but I have been splitting the vicodin in half (also been sneaking in soda at dinner).

The only gross thing at Day 5 is even if you have been able to cleanse your face or take a bath, the inside of your cast will start smelling awful from all of the grease and oil cooking up in there. My skin's never been greasy in my life and believe you me when I say, when you wake up in the mornings your face will feel like you slept in a tub of crisco. Can't wait to get this cast off and scrub down with some facial cleanser.

I haven't stepped outside yet mainly because it's so darn cold, but I'm excited to maybe go out for a walk tomorrow. My body is craving some fresh air.

Day 6 - Cast comes off tomorrow, and I couldn't be...

Day 6 - Cast comes off tomorrow, and I couldn't be happier! Day 6 pic is up.

Cast came off on Friday! Sorry for the late entry,...

Cast came off on Friday! Sorry for the late entry, but I wore this sucker out and about this weekend =] Going in, I was pretty nervous I was going to have a Michael Jackson kind of moment, but everything went really well. Dr. Shah said cast off day is typically the hardest for patients because they expect to see their perfect nose once the cast comes off, but that it's never the case, since it can take weeks or even months for all of the swelling to go down.

So with that said, I was expecting the worst, but as soon as the cast came off I was so surprised. It looked REALLY GOOD. The hump was gone! My nose is still pretty swollen, but I can already see the shape it's going in and I couldn't be happier. I was also a little bit nervous about the stitches coming out. I've heard people say it's painful, but it was absolutely quick and painless.

My only responsibility now is to put medical tape on the bulb of the nose at night to keep the swelling down and then meet with him again in about a month for a quick follow-up. I'll put up another pic update in a week or so too.
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 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
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? {{ voteCountOthers + ' other' + (voteCountOthers == 1 ? '' : 's') }} found this helpful