Typical Asian Nose - Chicago, IL

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My first PS, ever! I am excited about making this...

My first PS, ever! I am excited about making this big change, but nervous about communicating my expectations well to him since I know communication is key in a successful rhinoplasty. I am seeking the typical asian nose job with alar/tip/bridge changes. I am getting less busy and hope to speak with him more soon :)

A week till my surgery! Preop wise, I think I've...

A week till my surgery! Preop wise, I think I've covered my bases. I cut out the social drinking, the caffeinated drinks, and I've tried to limit down my sodium intake. Tomorrow, I am picking up the prescription needed after my surgery, as well as postop food/medicinal items so I can settle in for a week in after the surgery and not have to get into my car.

However... today, I started getting pretty nervous. Before. I was preoccupied with finishing out the semester, and now that classes has ended for me, I've finally had time to think about what I'm doing. I'm the type of person to obsess over things and analyze everything to death so it's not surprising that I've been researching success/horror stories with rhinoplasty and I'm wondering what my rhinoplasty will fall underneath :/ I believe I possess realistic expectations of what I want, but I'm worried about what next week will bring. I'm a firm believer of doing things right the first time, so I really do not want a revision rhinoplasty afterwards. I'm looking at my nose right now and I don't hate my nose, I just really want an improvement. It's way too bulbous for me which disrupts the features of my face. I'm not seeking perfection, but I am seeking a nose that will tie in well with the rest of my features and make me less insecure. I am worried about rib cartilage absorption, undesired results because of miscommunication or possibly a horrible recovery period. I just want to get the surgery as soon as I can, and be HAPPY with my results. Ugh, so stressful. My family and friends think I will be fine, but they know I'm the type to nitpick and worry until all is said and done.

I scheduled an appointment to speak with him more about my concerns and doubts which hopefully he can ease so I calm down a bit before the surgery date next week. I'll update within a day or two!

About two days away

I have to say, as the day looms closer and closer, my anxiety is growing. I feel like I possess realistic results of my nose and what I would like it to look like but so many people have told me that the person who has the surgery is the one who freaks out the most about it afterwards. We notice such a significant change while others barely notice at all! I keep telling myself that it will turn out okay but I don't want to jinx myself. I just can't wait for the 20th to get here already so I can recover from the surgery and move on from my fix up about my nose. To make things worse, a lot of my family is starting to tell me that they don't understand why I want to fix my nose. They think I look fine now, and it's so frustrating. I guess it's just me being negative. I really believe in Dr. Shah and his ability to do well with my nose, I'm just hoping the communication translates well to the final result. I've already planned to get a pretty drastic hair cut after my surgery to divert attention away from my face. I'm just hoping that the results are so fantastic my family will stop doubting me!

Now, I'm more concerned about the postop recovery phase. My family will be driving me home almost immediately after the surgery, and I'm really afraid of getting sick. It's a couple of hours to get home, and I get car sick enough already. Any thoughts about it anyone?? I've spoken to the surgicenter and they told me that they will have something in the IV to reduce nausea, but it's different for each person. As of now, my nerves are getting to me and I'm trying to enjoy the last few days with my nose and outside. I know I'm going to be a complete recluse after my surgery and a week after my swelling to look a bit normal. I have thick nasal skin so I'm afraid I'm going to be swelling a LOT and it's going to be very noticeable. I can't wait to have the surgery so I know exactly what I'm doing with instead of investigating a million different scenarios in my head! I'll update closer to the surgery date. Hopefully, my anxiety and my nervousness gets better :)

The night before...

Wow, guys. It's the night before my surgery. I've been looking forward to this since I decided I wanted to do it - but now that the night is here, I'm feeling really overwhelmed. The surgery is tomorrow at 5AM, but I am trying to get there around 4:30AM just to be a little earlier and mentally prepare myself. I've been eating all of the solid food I can today before this week where I'll most likely only be eating liquids and fruits/veggies. I'm taking a nap in an hour and waking up around 1AM and making the three hour drive out to Chicago. I've been really sleep-deprived this week, so I hope I can relax and just sleep for my recovery phase. I'm still nervous about getting car sick so I would love to just pass out all day tomorrow lol.

I just spoke to Dr. Shah, very briefly, for a bit before the surgery tomorrow. He seems like a very no-nonsense confident doctor, and he made me feel a lot more relieved for the surgery tomorrow. I hope I can come in more relaxed. Me and him will talk even more tomorrow and hopefully I can see the actual visual changes he is hoping to implement. I'm more of a visual person and having to see how things are, as opposed to just talking about it. Will update more when I'm home tomorrow! :)

Two days postop

Hi guys! So it's the second day after my surgery. Yesterday was surprisingly, really easy and comfortable. I went to the surgicenter around 6am, and had my IV inserted in (probably the most painful thing I felt all morning) and then woke up a few hours later very woozy and nauseous. I puked up blood a few times and was shaking walking to the car, but I was able to make the three hour drive home well. I just sat in the front and passed out the entire way back. Dr. Shah said he felt that my rhinoplasty went really well and I'm hoping that's the case. Thankfully, my nose had enough cartilage that he didn't have to resort to my ear cartilage or rib harvesting. It's a pretty pleasant surprise since asian rhinoplasty patients generally have very little cartilage. He raised my radix a bit and elongated my tip and took out some of the roundness of my nose. I'm looking at my nose from the side and from the front and it looks really pointy - but I'm hoping that's the swelling! I had tomato soup yesterday which I was not able to keep down at all. It's really recommended that you eat bland food, very clear and NO color! My mom made me a plain rice soup afterwards which I was able to keep down.

Today is much worse. I woke up this morning with a crazy neck and backache since I'm not used to sleeping on so many pillows, and my throat is really dry. I've been sipping water all day which helps a bit. My nose is really swollen and I can feel the incision sites and it hurts a lot. To overcompensate, I've been changing out the gauze and putting bacitracin on it. I'm also trying to be more aggressive with the saline spray since I always seem to regret. I feel a little more swollen and a lot more stuffy and congested today, but I am happy to say I didn't have any bruises after my surgery! I've been a hermit all day today, I've barely left my room besides to get food and use the restroom. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better!

Second day...

I'm starting to get a little bit of soreness in my neck, stomach, back. My throat feels really tight and it pains to breathe very deeply. I'm not sure if this is common after rhinoplasty, but I'm hoping it subsides by the end of tonight. If not, I will probably call the office tomorrow to see if this is all normal... this soreness around my entire body is a bit alarming to me though, because for the most part, my surgery healing has been moving along quite normally.

Nose two days in recovery

My first day after recovery was pretty smooth. I think because I knew what to expect, it made me more comfortable to me. Today, my nose is a lot more painful than what people usually say, and the pain medication is making me nauseous which makes me want to stop taking it altogether. My nose is really blocked and I feel really stuffy and uncomfortable. It has not been the most pleasant recovery, and my body soreness and chest pain only makes me more cranky and irritable. Here's hoping that tomorrow's recovery is a bit better, and that my body soreness turns out to be nothing!

Third day postop

I hope the constant stream of updates doesn't bother anyone :) I've been driving myself nuts holed up in my room for the past few days, I feel like I've definitely developed cabin fever. And of course, it would be absolutely beautiful this week. I miss the outside world ;(

My chest pains and my body soreness subsided! It got really uncomfortable last night so I emailed the office about having someone call me. One of the medical assistants called me this morning and said that my symptoms were a bit unusual and she would talk about it with Dr. Shah. A few hours later, she said that he thought it might be a muscle spasm and said that they could prescribe me Valium. I'm not really down to take any more pain medicine, so I declined because the pain subsided a lot. I was sleeping on three pillows before, but I started sleeping on two which helped making me more comfortable.

My nose doesn't hurt as much today - it just feels dry and uncomfortable, and my nostrils have cleared up a bit so I can at least sniff. I'm still mouth-breathing but it wasn't as hard to adjust to as I originally thought. When one of your modes for breathing has been cut off, it's not hard to make to switch and make an adjustment :) The sides of my splint has been kinda itchy and my appetite has returned for the most part. I'm still trying to greatly limit my food intake though, and stick mainly with fruits and veggies.

My swelling today was a lot worse. I still have little to no bruising, but the swelling underneath my eyes are insane. After the rhinoplasty is over, now I'm worried and hopeful about the results. I keep looking at the mirror and I am really not used to the pointiness of my tip - mine was so bulbous. I feel that I did talk about it at length with Dr. Shah about what I wanted and what he could actually achieve, but I don't know if it translated well to the end result. Five more days until the cast is off though - hopefully the next few days fly by quickly!! I'm ready to get my recovery under my belt already ;)

Day four.

I feel a lot better today! I'm still constipated, and uncomfortable - but this is probably the easiest day to recover thus far. I've been able to sleep with two pillows which still keeps my head elevated above heart level - and it's helping me get through the night. Side note though, my sister came into my room last night and said I was snoring loudly - which is something that I've never done before. I'm hoping that that's a fluke from the surgery while I'm still wearing my splint and my nasal passages are so blocked I can barely breathe.

My swelling gravitated under my eyes last night and is kind of annoying right now. My face has a lot of pressure and it feels uncomfortable to blink - the splint is also starting to itch around the edges and on the nose, so I've been lightly tapping at the itchy areas and touching the edges to soothe the itch. I just want to take the whole thing off of my face right now!

I recommend anyone seeking rhinoplasty to GET DIGITAL IMAGING. It is so important in terms of reaching the same goal together, and will keep you sane during the recovery period. Or at least it has for me. For my doctor, he did all of the angles of my nose through a morph, but none of it really produced significant results. The most significant was seeing my side profile. I'm looking at my nose right now and it's taped up really high, making it look like my nose is really short. It looks thick and really bad altogether - ugh. I just want for my face to feel like my face again. Now that I am in the right state of mind, now I'm thinking about all of the things that could have gone wrong with my surgery. I was looking for the typical asian rhinoplasty - built bridge, augmented tip, less roundness of the alars, but I don't know how it's going to look on my face and how dramatic Dr. Shah went. After going through rhino though, I've decided that I really don't want any more ps in the future. The recovery is such a pain and the anticipation of knowing if the realistic expectations are going to match up to the results is crazy.

And NOTE, even though my review seems mostly negative and nitpicky, it's really because this is my only outlet to speak about my surgery. I can slightly sniff through my nose now and my chest pains have subsided (I feel like I need to take deep breaths in now, probably because I'm taking shallow breaths from my mouth), and my nausea and loss of appetite have gone away. There's been a lot of positives from recovering, so I am just going through the negatives to make the next person considering rhino surgery more knowledgable - especially with Asian rhinoplasty. There are hardly any lengthy posts with my particular ethnicity, which I wanted to help make up for with this :)

Here is what my nose looks like now... looks really similar to the first day when I first saw my cast on. It's getting really oily underneath my splint so I can't wait for Tuesday to get here already so it can be taken off, I can see my results, and I can finally CLEANSE my face! :)

5 days post!

It's five days post! Yay, three more days. I was able to take a long bath this morning and wash my hair so that was really great. When I smile or laugh, I still feel like my nose is really tight but the bleeding has stopped. I stopped wearing the drip pads two days ago I think. I'm still taking the antibiotics but I stopped taking the pain medicine after the second day. All in all, I'm feeling a lot better. My sleeping has been pretty good over the last few nights, but my lips are so cracked since I'm breathing through my mouth. I'm doing the saline drips 4x a day, and washing it with wound wash and applying bacitracin whenever I get the chance.

I tried eating some BBQ chips today and that was not a good. My heart hurts a bit now. At least I was able to satisfy my craving and know that I should stay away from those for a long time since the sodium intake cannot be good :( The itchiness underneath the cast hasn't decreased and I feel that my nasal skin is getting oilier and oilier - I feel like the splint is going to fall off at any second. I've been spending my days watching television and googling about other people's rhinoplasties and how it all went - RealSelf has kept me so sane. I've read a lot more good outcomes than bad, so I'm hoping it looks good! I examined my nose a bit ago and I really don't like how short it looks. I hope the bridge is a bit thinner and shows definition - I don't want a big and bulky nose.

I'm going to spend the rest of my day today relaxing :) too bad I can't do anything this Memorial weekend, ugh. Hope you all have a better one than I do! Speak to you guys soon!!

A week already in recovery

The last two days of recovery! It sucks that the office isn't open for Memorial tomorrow because I have to have another day in the dang splint. As for the pain, it's pretty much gone away completely. My nose is the only thing left - my nostrils feel dry which I try to moisturize with the saline quite often, and there's this significant pressure I feel with my nose. A weird note, I haven't really yawned over the past week. Whenever I do, I feel like the stitching is going to break so I close my mouth :/

I've tried to clean my nose with the dry blood inside of my nostrils, but it hurts every single time I do it. I'm afraid of pulling out an incision which is why I stop, and I think that might be why my nostrils look a bit uneven in the uploaded picture. One nostril has more blocked up blood than the other I think.

My nose has definitely dropped quite a bit, before it was really upturned. I can tell because before, the tip of my nose was able to touch the tape at the top of the tape, but now it doesn't touch anymore. I'm really not sure what my nose is going to look like... I'm hoping a LOT better with definition, but I'm not sure if the bridge is really built up, or if it was just the radix? I feel like I'm going to like my results, but it's going to be very conservative with not a lot of significant changes, which is a bit disappointing. I'm waiting for Tuesday, but I'm not expecting much which is sad. I really don't want to do another rhinoplasty after this...

Two days after cast removal

The first week I had my splint on, I knew I was quite swollen but I didn't know HOW much by. The last few days of my splint being on, I could visibly tell that my nose dropped a lot since I wasn't able to see my nostrils from the side anymore and it wasn't as upturned. The last day I had my splint on, I took a shower and felt the little bit at the edges of the splint. It seemed to have a lot of give and I wanted to take it off immediately, but waited a bit... and I'm really glad I did.
The assistant warned me I was only going to like about 10% of the results that I saw. Dr. Shah took off my cast in the office and I saw my nose. On top of it being incredibly swollen, it was crooked. The top of my bridge leaned to the right, and the tip of my nose leaned to the left. The tip of my nose is very pointy and over extends by quite a lot, making it look really unnatural from my profile view. It looks awful. I knew my nose was going to swell and I was expecting that, but I wasn't expecting for it to be so crooked. I start working again next week, and my nose looks nowhere near ready to be out in public. I was counting on having a nice profile but a horrible frontal view, but it seems I don't have either of both. I've been wearing the tape at night so my family hasn't seen my nose yet, but I don't want to show them my results while it looks so bad. I will update again by the weekend and hopefully my nose will look better by Monday.

10 months in

Hey guys!

It's been about 10 months since my PS, and my swelling is still pretty bad. I've avoided the sun and I try to avoid salt, but my swelling is still my biggest enemy >_<

I've seen Dr. Shah twice since my rhinoplasty, and I've had a kenalog injection (the first time was standard, the second time was significantly stronger because of my thick skin and swelling). It's help a lot, but my nose is still asymmetrical and skews to the right more, which is obvious depending on the profile I show in photos. I still don't photograph too well. The tip is also still bulbous, thick, and droops down. There hasn't been too much of a change in the past few months and even though it looks slightly different than my old nose, it's not too much of a positive aesthetic difference. My family barely notices, and my friends haven't mentioned anything.

I would update my review with more photos, but my nose hasn't changed enough to really show a result. The changes have been too minute to really notice. Only my keen eye has noticed it, but I've been scrutinizing my face like crazy haha. I relocated out of the state after I had my rhinoplasty, so I've been talking to him via Skype once every few months. I'm going to schedule a Skype chat with him sometime next month. I'm also going back in town to visit my family and see Dr. Shah for another in-office visit sometime in July. Since we last talked, he told me that my nose should still go down by a LOT more and get smaller. I'm pleased that I didn't have any major issues with my rhinoplasty, but I'm still not super happy with my nose.My alars still flare out more than I want it to, and my profile isn't as raised as I want it to be but I'm not going to judge my results until May when it's been a full year.

Up until yesterday, I still had breathing problems and issues breathing out of my nose. I became a mouth-breather over the last 10 months :/ I used a nasal spray every night before bed to moisturize my nose and prevent slight snoring, which I never had before until after my rhinoplasty. Last night, when I was in bed, I felt a weird tingling in my nose and now my nose is cleared up! I can breathe out of it normally like I once was able to before my PS. So still reserving judgment until the end since I'm cautiously optimistic. My nose is still hard which is indicative that it still has a long way to go before the swelling completely dissipates.

Sorry for very badly structured review, just wanted to post an update! Rhinoplasty healing takes a very long time, which I was aware of before and during the process. Coupled in with the fact that my nose was just a giant ball on my face, I knew that creating a better streamlined nose would take a while... I don't want to jump to conclusions too quickly, or sign up for a revision rhinoplasty until after my healing is completely done and I can accurately gauge my results. Hopefully, my nose starts to really change shape and improve in the next two months. I'll remember to post an update when my healing has progressed further. I'm happy with Dr. Shah at the moment and trust his advice and judgment. Hopefully it gets better!

11 months postop - nose tip incredibly swollen

Even though I don't want to be too hasty in judging my rhinoplasty results, as the 12 months draws nearer, I can't help but feel dissatisfied with my nose. When I first had my cast taken off, it was incredibly swollen. The tip stuck out and skewed to the side dramatically. In the months since then, it has slowly improved but it doesn't look like much has changed. In photography and videos, I can clearly see the swelling around the bulbous tip. The entire tip is still quite swollen and numb, I can't feel anything. It's also not symmetrical. I will probably schedule a Skype consultation soon to see his thoughts but I can't see my nose getting that much better in just under one month. At this point, I'm worried that too much tissue scarred over and is preventing the healing... I don't know, I'm just not that happy with the progress so far.

A year postop

It's been a year postop and I can finally say with some certainty, I am unhappy with the results. My nose has settled in more, but it's still extremely asymmetrical, bulbous and the height change is very minimal. It's disappointing when I look in the mirror and I register very little change.

A note of caution for out of towners: I would seriously recommend finding a doctor in-town. I am finding that the cost of plane trips back to Chicago and annoyingly long waits (45 minutes+) for Skype check ups annoying since I have a full time job and an incredibly busy schedule to wait on the computer for long periods of time and schedule time way off in advance just to come back into the office. Since I am displeased with my nose, I am flying back into his office for a check up and in-office procedures which means coordinating time off work, cost of a plane ticket, etc.

Very frustrated at this point. I am still patient and optimistic and hoping for a better result this summer. Will post an update soon.
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon

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