Long Time Coming – Chicago, IL

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Background: I have wanted to fix my nose for as...


I have wanted to fix my nose for as long as I could remember. I had went and spoken with a Dr. about 5 years ago maybe and just recently it began to bother me so much I decided to go through with it. I naturally went back and spoke with the same Dr. He spent about 5 minutes talking with me about my nose and then wanted to talk about other things, seemed very cocky and over confident. My dad who had come with me to the appointment had convinced me that this was a good thing. About a little over a week before my procedure I did a little more research on this Dr. online and was horrified at what I was finding. Multiple people saying that he had ruined their lives, 10+ cases of being sued for malpractice, and not one single review on rhinoplasty even though he assured my dad thats what he had specialized in. I called up the office right away and cancelled my surgery. I remember doing a lot of research online prior to seeing that doctor and finding a doctor in the city who had a lot of great reviews, Dr. Shah. I called his office that afternoon and was able to schedule a consultation for about 4 weeks later. I was pretty bummed out that I had to wait so much longer to even speak with a doctor but I knew that it was worth it to find the right doctor.


I got to Dr. Shah's office a little early and surprisingly didn't have to wait really at all. I filled out some information on a tablet and then was asked to come on back. I was then taken to a room where they took about 30 pictures of my face and nose at multiple angles with and without flash. Then I was able to speak with the doctor. He first wanted to tell me what he noticed about my nose then asked to hear my thoughts on what I didn't like. Everything he said matched up with what I wanted to change. Then he looked inside my nose and was able to show me with a mirror my deviated septum and some other functional problems I was unaware that I even had. The doctor then was able to pull up the pictures they had taken a few minutes ago and show me the changes we had talked about on the screen. The doctor was very patient with my dad and I, answered all our questions and I didn't feel rushed at all. I felt very good about this doctor so we scheduled the surgery before I left.

Following the consultation:

I was sent home with a folder with a packet or pre and post op instructions, things to do, not do, things to expect, things to stay away from, ect., as well as an order for blood work. I got my blood work done right away and had the information faxed to their office. Following my initial appointment I received multiple emails from his office with the morphed pictures we had talked about and more information. I was very impressed with how frequently they kept in touch with me and responded back right away via phone and email. They also helped my dad book a hotel downtown right across the street from the surgical center for the night before.

Preparing for Surgery:

I was getting very excited about my upcoming surgery and luckily had found a lot of good tips from people on this site, so I will pass on their recommendations on what to stock up on:

Travel neck pillow - great for car ride home post op as well as days after recovering to keep your neck elevated
Aquaphor- a must for your lips since sleeping and breathing only through your mouth will leave your lips very dry and cracked.
Benadryl- to help you sleep
Arnica Montana- to take before and after surgery to help with swelling and bruising
Quercetin with Bromelain- to again help with bruising and swelling
Ricola- for dry mouth
Hats for after surgery

and everything else on the list of things the doctor tells you you need post surgery.

Day Before Surgery;

I had to work so that kept me busy for most of the day. After I got off I came home and showered quickly, since this would be the last time I could wash my hair for awhile.. : ( I then got some comfy clothes together and got on the train to go downtown since my surgery was scheduled for 6am, with an arrival time of 5am. I got a call from the surgical center as well as Dr. Shah that evening wishing me a good night sleep and that everything was going to go great the next day. I wasn't feeling nervous at all about my surgery, just ready. Actually got some sleep even though I was very paranoid about my multiple alarms not going off.

Day of Surgery:

Got up at 4:20 and put on some yoga pants and a zip up and headed across the street, got to the surgical center which is across the hall from Dr. Shah's office which is really nice. I filled some paperwork out and then did some waiting before a nurse came and called me back in to a room where I was going to be recovering post op. She had me pee in a cup and then change into a gown and put my Iv in. I was pretty anxious about her putting the iv in my hand but it wasn't as bad as I thought. My mom and dad were then able to join me in the room where we waited. The nurse who put my iv in and everything else was very sweet and comforting. I then spoke with another nurse who was going to be in the surgery room with me and the anesthesiologist. Then all that was left to do was wait for the doctor to get there. At this point I still wasn't really feeling nervous at all. Finally Dr. Shah came in and spoke with me and we went over the plan one last time and he showed me all the morphed photos and what we were gonna do then he went and got changed. They then rolled me into the surgery room which wasn't as cold as I expected. A bunch of other nurses came in and seemed very happy and excited to be there, they introduced themselves and were very welcoming. They then rolled me onto the surgery bed and I could feel myself feeling very warm from the anesthesia. I closed my eyes as they put on oxygen mask on me and before I could figure out what song was playing in the background I was out.

Next thing I can remember is someone waking me up out of a dream and feeling pretty annoyed that they were waking me up. I had an icepack on my face which they took off and It felt like my eyes were glued shut. My nose had a lot of pressure and was burning like when you breathe in really deep on a really cold winter day outside. I felt pretty nauseous and tired. I sat there for awhile and talked to the nurse and she gave me some water and animal crackers. She then helped me get dressed and go to the bathroom. My parents then came back in and I sat there pretty uncomfortable as I was trying not to throw up. After about an hour I just wanted to get home so the nurse gave me a bag for the way home and they wheeled me down to our car. The ride home was pretty long, I wasn't able to sleep but I kept my eyes closed and just tried to relax. When I got home I took a pain pill and I was able to fall asleep for a few hours, when I woke up my nose no longer burned and I really had no pain. I started my icing (20 mins on, 20 mins off) and tried to watch some tv. I felt pretty okay the rest of the day and started taking the rest of my medication as planned. I had some oatmeal and a lot of water. That night was pretty rough though. I woke up about every 20 minutes. Everytime I would start to fall asleep my body would go back to trying to breathe through my nose and I would wake up feeling like I was choking.

Day 2:

I woke up feeling exhausted with a really dry throat. When the doctors office called that morning I told them about my trouble sleeping and they suggested buying some Benadryl. The rest of the day was fine, I started to eat normal again, had some more oatmeal for breakfast and some soup from Panera for lunch. I noticed a small amount of bruising on the corner of my eye lids starting to occur, but nothing terrible. I tried really hard keeping up with the icing all day long and walked around in-between icing. I changed my own dressings and got my own ice and was feeling pretty well. The second night I took two Benadryl and a pain pill and slept a lot better.

Day 3:

I woke up feeling a lot more rested and pretty good. Today I started having more pain in my nose, I could feel my stitches stinging. I'm not sure if I had pain in my nose from it swelling under my cast, but thats what it seemed like, since the rest of my face has gotten pretty swollen at this point. I have kept taking the pain pills today even though I could probably do without. It is not so much painful, I just don't want to feel the stitches and the pressure on my cast. I decided to take off my mustache dressing which has made things a lot easier, especially eating! Icing has gotten pretty annoying at this point but I know it's important. I'm getting very anxious to see what my nose looks like, all I can see is my nostrils at this point. I can tell my nose is a lot smaller and a lot shorter, just hope it doesn't look too small for my face.

Cast Removal day!

Sorry that I went MIA for a few days, I got caught up in watching two seasons of Orange is the New Black on Netflix for two days. Not much happened the past few days besides my brother accidentally hitting my cast which I'm very nervous about and a stitch coming out : /. I got pretty upset and I'm praying it didn't do any damage. I also taped gauze over my cast and then seran wrap and showered on sunday, felt a lot better after that.

BUT... today Is 6 days after my surgery and I go downtown to get my cast taken off. I really don't know if I'm ready to get it off yet. I wasn't nervous at all about surgery, even moments before but I am kind of terrified about getting it off and getting my stitches taken out. I slept horrible last night and had nightmares. I know to expect it to be turned up and very swollen but I am very worried it either won't look like me, won't look natural, or just isn't the right shape for me. I have been waiting so long for this to happen it terrifies me that now it's over and theres no going back. I will update later tonight once I get back. Also, I will try and edit my photos so I can post some on here. I would rather not have my personal pictures up here but I know how helpful they were for me to look at, so if anyone knows a good editing program so I can block out my eyes, please comment below.

Cast is gone!

Just got back from getting my cast and stitches removed. I don't think I realized just how stuck on that cast was, he had to rip it off which, not gonna lie really hurt, that and the stitches. I started to pass out ( which i do a lot) and I think was just a little freaked out about all of it. The Dr. said my nose is very swollen and my bruising is worse than it still should be (even though I didn't think it was that bad). He seemed upset when I told him my cast got hit and said that there is no way to know if it did any damage until the swelling goes down. They took some pictures and gave me some arnica gel pads and tape to tape at night for 6 weeks until my next appointment. I'm trying to not really look at my nose, I know it is very swollen and has a long way to go, so I will be patient. I think I will just be happy when the bruising and purple glue are gone from my face! : ) I planned on taking a pain pill before my appointment and forgot since we got there pretty early, I would recommend taking one just as a precaution.

I will keep updating as I notice changes, but as of right now my nose feels like it's 5 pounds and I still can't breathe out of it so I feel kinda funny.

Hardest Part

okay so this has definitely been the hardest part of this whole experience. The day before my surgery I was excited to finally think to myself, " this is the last day i'll be unhappy about my nose and feel self conscious". It's hard that I am still feeling this way. I am a day shy of two weeks post op. and my nose looks and feels like a balloon. I am trying so hard to be patient because I know the swelling is only temporary and that this is not a reflection of the Dr.'s work, but it is really hard. Whats frustrating to me is reading other people's reviews where they take off the cast and they love their nose... i can only hope that within a few months I will start to love my nose and feel that this is all worth it and what I have been waiting for. Almost every day for the past week I have felt very depressed and am getting very emotional and upset about things that I normally wouldn't. I have read that depression can be a common side effect that comes with this surgery, so I am just trying to stay positive. I just do not feel myself and It is hard for me to be around other people. I think I will feel a lot more comfortable once I am able to smile normally again! My nostrils are pretty swollen shut still at this point and have been kind of worried about everything. Dr. Shah has been great throughout this whole recovery process. I had emailed their office some pictures of a problem I was concerned about and Dr. Shah called me on the holiday weekend to talk to me about it, I have since talked to him again about some other concerns I have been having and have made an appt. for the 18th of this month just to get some piece of mind. It was very comforting to me that he is making the time for me to come in and see him and having him tell me, " I think you coming in will make you feel better, even if I shake your hand and tell you that everything is fine." I will update after my appointment next week!

A little over 3 weeks

It has now been a little over 3 weeks from my open rhino and septoplasty. My nose is still very swollen at the bridge and very much at the tip. The only swelling that has really gone down is inside my nostrils. I'd say my breathing is at about 50% through my nostrils at this point about 50% of the time. I am starting to be able to smile now, but still kinda awkward looking and feeling. The things if have to say that is bothering me the most is how crazy oily my face has gotten. I have read that this is common but just on people's noses. My whole face is very oily and it is making me feel disgusting :/ I have my appointment in a few days with the dr. So maybe he has another suggestion for that. I still have a bump on my nose and have also notices two bumps above my nostrils on either side... I'm sure it is just swelling but will ask the dr. About this as well on Friday. I am hoping to see my progress with swelling soon!

Month and a week p.o.

I saw the doctor a couple weeks ago for the second time since my surgery. He took one look at it and said it was very swollen, he cleaned it out inside which hurt pretty bad and then injected it 5 times... Ok this hurt a lot! He said that I would notice a doffernec in the swelling from the injections either within 15 minutes or within two weeks. I saw a huge difference within 15 minutes but left pretty freaked out. A few days later I feel like my nose is pretty swollen again on the tip. Everyday it is different. I am getting more comfortable with it and don't look at it every chance I get like I used to. I have an appt with him 8 weeks out now which is in September.
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon

I feel extremely fortunate that I found Dr. Shah. He is very knowledgable and well practiced. Everything about my experience with him was very comforting and professional. I never felt rushed with him and he made me feel like he truly cared about my specific case and understanding my concerns and needs. He has an excellent bedside manner and overall helped me stay very calm during this whole practice. With not knowing exactly how my nose was going to turn out, and still not knowing it was very important for me to find a doctor who I completely trust, and I can honestly say I went into surgery without any worries knowing that I can trust him to do what is going to be best for me and my face. I would recommend Dr. Shah to anyone who is thinking about getting a Rhinoplasty, he takes his time and truly cares about his patients.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 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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