I used realself a lot to help inform myself about...
I used realself a lot to help inform myself about rhinoplasty, particularly the recovery process and results. Ever since I was about 12 years old I have disliked my nose. I have the typical larger German nose and I have a "dorsal bump" that I refer to as my ski slope. One of my best friends is getting married this summer and since I am a bridesmaid, I really wanted to get rid of the bump before the wedding. I wanted to love looking at the pictures and not grimace every time I saw myself in one. I've chatted with friends and family about getting the surgery and most said that they didn't see anything wrong with my nose but said I should do what I want to. I graduated last December and have a good job, so with the financials in place I began to start researching surgeons and reading rhinoplasty blogs. I decided on a surgeon in Denver, Dr. Weber. After two consultations, we set a date for surgery. I went through mixed emotions of excitement and anxiety, but I was committed to the procedure the entire time. I am still healing, so I cannot say that it was worth it, but so far it has been a great decision for me. I get the splint off in two days and will be able to see the results more clearly. Here is my journey so far:
Day of Surgery:
I was very very nervous. I have never had surgery before, so I was kind of freaking out about electively putting myself through it. I was the most anxious about the anesthesia, which is very common. I did a lot of research about it before committing to the operation. After signing a pile of paperwork at the surgery center, I was taken back into pre-operative care. There was a desk of nurses to my right, a row of beds and curtains in front of me, and a small room to my left. I was taken into the small room where I got undressed and put on the very fashionable surgery robe and crawled onto the bed. A very sweet nurse came in who set up my IV and gave me a nice heated blanket. I was a little freaked out from all of the medical equipment and monitors that were hooked up to me. The anesthesiologist came in next and calmed my nerves. He explained how the anesthesia works, and the process they use during surgery. He was also very nice and reassuring. My surgeon came in next and we talked about the procedure and my expectations again. I think that all of the staff could tell I was so scared that I was shaking because they were all so incredibly kind and calming. Next, two more nurses came into my room and gave me something like valium. It called me nerves, a lot. So much to the point that as they were carting me to the OR, I asked if we could race the beds through the hallways. I don't remember much after this. I didn't see anything after they started pushing me, and the last thing I remember hearing is a nurse telling me to think of a family vacation and then I was waking up in recovery.
Post-OP: Days 1-4
I remember about 40 minutes of recovery and then I was on my way home with my DD. The ride was perfectly fine, I remember everything, and felt fine. I slept on and off for the rest of the day. The next couple of days were relatively the same. The pain was very minimal, I switched to Tylenol in 3 days. The tap and splint are making my face itchy, and the swelling doesn't help. If I move the tip of my nose, I get a little bit of pain from the stitches so I have been trying to stay still and nap. I've decided that I will wake up every 3 hours during the night to drink water, walk around, and ice. This has perhaps helped minimize the swelling. The first four days I've had very, very little bruising and swelling compared to some of the blogs I've read. I had just the faintest blue in the corners of my eyes, and a little swelling there as well. Day four this was gone. I iced A LOT during the first 48 hours. I also stayed hydrated with water and lots of green tea. I took a multi-vitamin, arnica Montana, and bromelain. I think that getting up and walking helped with the swelling and bruising too. Day 1, I began the routine of cleaning my nostrils with peroxide and q-tip. As well as using saline spray and Vaseline. The only thing I skipped out on was taking stool softeners - pain meds make you constipated apparently. A little TMI, but this by far and away was the most painful part of recovery, so take those softeners!!! I very much regret it. By the end of day 4 I had very minimal swelling, no bruising, and could easily move around. My recovery has been surprisingly easy!
Got the Splint off YAY!!
So yesterday was day 5 Post-OP and I had the splint removed. My surgeon was incredibly careful, and it was only slightly painful, more just uncomfortable really. It took him a couple of minutes to do it because he was being so gently about, thank goodness! He handed me a mirror right after and I started crying the minute I saw my new nose... it is soooo beautiful!! I'm so excited to see what it looks like once the swelling goes down and it is all healed. I am 110% glad that I made the choice to go through with the rhinoplasty. I absolutely love my nose now, and it's not even healed!! He warned me that the next few weeks will be challenging. This is because now that the splint is off, my nose is allowed to swell. He said that there will probably be days that I love my nose ( like today! :D ) and there will be days that I hate it because the swelling is increased and/or uneven. He said now it's just a game of ultimate patience. I also have a new massaging routine that I get to begin Post-OP day 7 that will help reduce the swelling. I also have to apply pressure to the left side of my nose because it apparently wants to heal crooked. We're hoping that by applying the pressure it will help convince it to heal more straight. I've also noticed that my skin is acting weird, most likely from the anesthesia and perhaps the tape. It has a weird texture and is really shiny, not oily, just shiny.... thank goodness my surgeon gives a complimentary peel series with his surgeries!! The inside of my nose has also started itching, right now I'm taking that as a sign my stitches are healing... I'm hoping that is the case! Oh and I also was able to eat a slice of pizza tonight! Whoo for solid food! My journey has been amazing so far and I am completely satisfied with my results. choosing to go through with the rhinoplasty, especially with Dr. Weber as my surgeon, has been one of the best decision I have ever made!
Two Weeks Post-OP
So today is officially two weeks post-op and I feel awesome! My stitches are nearly all healed up. The front incision is still a little discolored and swollen, and the stitches in my nostrils are taking a little more time to heal. The sutures that were protruding from my skin have dissolved and fallen off so I no longer have short strings in my nose, which is nice! I've kept up a regime of cleaning with peroxide and using saline nasal spray. I have greatly decreased the amount of vasaline I use since I no longer have wounds for the most part. My swelling hasn't changed much which is both good and bad. I'm glad it hasn't increased or become too uneven but I'm so anxious for the swelling to subside!!
I am getting a little bit of pain . . . two days ago, I would intermittently get a sharp stinging pain right beneath the outer incision. I panicked a bit when it was still occurring the next day so I called my surgeon. Apparently my nerves are growing back . . . kinda creepy to think about . . . and that can cause some pain. I won't lie, this is quite uncomfortable but it is short burst of pain so I'm dealing with it pretty well. I haven't had any so far today, yay! But my surgeon warned it me it could take a couple of weeks.
Other than that all is well. My nose is still fragile so I'm still extremely careful around it. I've noticed that when I attempt to sleep without being elevated my nose is more swollen and uncomfortable the next morning so I've just continued sleeping as upright as possible. My recovery has been a wonderful journey so far; There are no words that can describe how happy I am that I went through with the surgery. If any of you who read this has questions for me, please feel free to ask under the comments section! Thanks for reading!
Side by side comparison time!
I realized I have forgotten to put up a some good side by side comparison pictures so here they are. Keep in mind that my new nose is still swollen; I'll post new comparison pics in the coming weeks/months as the swelling goes down :)