Journey to Self Acceptance - Coral Gables, FL

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Dr. Bustillo is a doctor I would trust to care for...

Dr. Bustillo is a doctor I would trust to care for my friends and family. He is extremely knowledgeable, patient, and answers every concern/question with sincerity and a comforting demeanor. Because he is double board certified and only specializes in face/head/neck surgeries, he is truly an expert in his field (not just self proclaimed like so many others). I'm so glad I didn't go with just the first doctor I met, but waited many years to find the right fit for me.

By the age of 15, I hated my nose. Mostly, I hated my profile. I could never see a picture taken of myself from either side. I couldn't even sit at a traffic light without wondering if the driver one car over looked over and saw my huge "witch" nose profile. Now, I've always been a fairly self confident woman in all other areas, but I've never felt comfortable in my own skin when it came to my nose. My first plastic surgery consultation was about 6 years ago, but I didn't quite want to spend $10,000, and the doctor's consultation with me felt more like a "marketing" pitch. I waited. Being a medical professional myself, I knew that someday, I would find the right fit for me in a doctor.

Years later, I heard of Dr. Bustillo through a patient of mine who had done septo/rhinoplasty with him. The exact same procedure I needed. Both she and her mom sang Dr. Bustillo's praises with great sincerity. I wrote his name down, and finally made an appointment with him, about 3 years later. :-) (I don't just jump into decisions like these.) I had admired how natural her nose looked, and how well it fit her face.

First consultation was in January 2014. I needed my ears pinned back too, so I went to talk to him about both procedures. At first, I contemplated having both done at the same time. But something inside told me to wait. He performed otoplasty on me in June 2014. That recovery was quick, but not painless, and though I knew I wanted him to perform my nose surgery, and was happy with my results, I asked for a second consultation in April 2015.

Dr. Bustillo remembered me! He was very gracious, and so patiently answered many of the same questions I had asked him a year before. He walked me through exactly what he would do, and re-took before pictures to make an updated computer generated "after" picture. He even printed it out for me to keep. I booked with him that very day. From the moment I walked into the waiting room, to the day of surgery and post-op follow up the next morning, everyone I came in contact with was sweet, professional, and genuinely helps you feel "taken care of." They do this with sophistication and consideration. I never felt like I was buying in to a marketing scheme, or being "sold."

Come to find out, Dr. Bustillo had also performed nose surgery on some of my colleagues, including other doctors and nurses and their families. Even the nurse who prepped me for surgery was a former patient of his, and she was very comforting to talk to as well. She helped me stay "zen" through the prepping phase the morning of surgery even though I had nothing but happy "butterflies" in my stomach. I had waited since age 15 for this day, now I'm 42.

My surgery was Monday June 15, and today I am 4 days post-op. I feel better every day that passes. I have not needed my pain prescription after the first 24 hours, and have already contacted Dr. Bustillo with a few concerns once by email and once by phone. Both times, he got right back to me, and comforted me with his calm demeanor. I tend to freak out a little too easily, and I should mention, I have a very low pain tolerance, to the point of being hypersensitive to pain. This has been a very manageable surgery, and I have Dr. Bustillo and his wonderfully trained office and medical staff to thank for this.

Pics and Recovery Tips

I didn't have the energy before to download and get pics up, but here are some so far. Today is Saturday, 6/27. I'm officially 12 days post op and feeling great. My recovery has been wonderful overall. So far, I have followed Dr. Bustillo's instructions without a single deviation, and I have had no complications thus far. (I don't expect to, either.)

My personal recovery tips: 1) Follow your doctor's before and after instructions word for word. My surgical prepping started about 6 weeks pre op with my weaning myself from all caffeine. Dr. Bustillo does not allow caffeine 48 hours before and 1 week after surgery. Also, he had me start Vitamin C supplementation 2 weeks prior to surgery. Be willing to plan and prep yourself for as long as you need to have the best outcome. 2) Enlist the help of your loved ones for EVERYTHINHG for the first 48 hours minimum. I was lucky enough to have my mom visiting from Texas for the whole month of June. This included having her 2 weeks after the surgery to help me with my 2 young kids ages 7 and 9. My mom cooked, drove them to camp, picked them up, cleaned my house, and did my nursing care post op. She was so important in helping relieve my stress so that I could have maximum rest and minimum stress. If you can't have someone for 2 weeks, then I recommend at least 1 week. 3) Gather all your post op supplies before surgery. I had all my prescriptions filled 2 weeks in advance and kept them in a bag ready to go. I made a care basket for myself that included ultra soft Kleenex, ocean spray nasal saline, chloraseptic throat spray (you will have dry, sore throat for the first few days after surgery), Vaseline for dry chapped lips, Afrin nasal spray, bactroban ointment and q-tips, Thera-Breath mouth wetting lozenges, extra-strength Tylenol, and of course, my prescriptions medications to take at home post op. Buy frozen peas to use as your cold compresses for the first 48 hours as recommended. I put mine in small zip lock snack bags and wrapped them in gauze to protect my skin and keep in dry. Also, keep a writing note pad and pen close by, so that you can keep track of your meds, and to communicate, if you can't speak loud enough to make requests. Keep a trash bag and vomit bin nearby just in case you become nauseated (I never did, but I've read some patients do after anesthesia). 4) I used Arnica montana cream and applied them to my bruises 1-2 x/day and I really believe it helped my bruising not be so severe. I tend to bruise easily and a lot, but you can see from my pics, the bruising was minimal for the amount of work that was done. I had septo/rhinoplasty. 5) Meditate/pray healing positie energy and breathe deeply. Be patient, and avoid all the things your doctor tells you to.

I go back to work on Monday after a 2 week hiatus, and although I'm still swollen and stuffy at times, I feel well and strong enough to transition back into the real world. :-)

Hope this helps anyone else contemplating or scheduled for nose surgery.

Best wishes, V


I forgot to add this pic in the first group. This if post op day 10 left.

Post Op Week 4

Today marks 4 weeks since my septo/rhinoplasty with Dr. Bustillo. I am very pleased with the shape so far, and know that it will continue to change. I do not notice daily changes as some patients report, but every week I do feel improvement in swelling both internally and externally.

The most frustrating and bothersome feeling has been the nasal stuffiness, crusty, dirty feeling from having what I call "gunk" in my nostrils. I followed the saline nasal spray instructions, ointment instructions, but still had difficulty being patient for the inside to clear out. Just this past weekend, I was finally able to have my first productive gentle "nose blowing" after long hot shower to loosen things up. (Doctor's instruction sheet tells you to start trying a gentle nose blow as soon as 1 week post op.) I feel like during the day, I have wet, cold nose, and my nostril openings feel sensitive to the strong AC at my workplace. Sometimes, the nostril openings feel irritated, so I carry a small saline nasal spray with me, and Neosporin ointment, which I apply very gently to the nostril openings with a cotton swab. I do not put the cotton swab up my nostrils! Very important!

Overall though, I feel well and breathe well at night and during the day (despite the gunk). I keep reminding myself every day that I'm still healing, and this dirty nose feeling is only temporary.

On a positive note, the swelling between my nose and upper lip and gone down considerably, and I can finally smile again! One never realizes how much your nose moves and stretches with every facial expression until one undergoes nose surgery. The swelling initially makes facial expressions such as smiling very difficult. Luckily, I'm over that part of the healing phase.

Thank you to all who have followed and commented on my journey. Please feel free to keep the conversation going. Happy to answer any questions or read comments. This website has given me great support, and I look forward to continuing to share our experiences together.

10 Weeks Post Op

Tomorrow marks 10 weeks since my septo/rhinoplasty, and I certainly feel the healing changings progressing. I have experienced intermittent swelling that comes and goes, and seems to be directly related to days when I don't eat & drink as healthy as I should (i.e. saltier foods, alcohol, being outdoors too much). But the good news is that within 1 day, the swelling comes back down as soon as my diet habits improve again.

I continue to be extremely happy with how my nose looks. We were recently on a family vacation, and for the first time, I was able to share pictures that had captured my side profile. I actually liked the pictures. Pictures, that before surgery, I would have automatically deleted at the sight of my nose in certain angles. It is an amazing feeling! Honestly, I've never felt prettier in my life, and I'm so happy that I finally had the courage at 43 to fix my nose. I wish I would have done it in my early 20s, but then again, I wouldn't have had the right surgeon for me back then.

There are 2 minor annoyances I'm still dealing with...the first is the increased oiliness on my nose, which still hasn't improved. I'm using oil blotting paper throughout the day, usually once every 2 hours or so. The second is that my nose is still difficult to clear. The natural secretions seem to stick to the inside of my nostrils despite my daily use of nasal saline spray. I try gentle blowing at the end of every warm shower, and sometimes things clear easily, but I can go days with no clearance. Overall, though, I know that these annoyances are temporary, and a small price to pay for the new nose. My happiness with the aesthetic far outweighs the annoyance of extra oil, and inside crustiness.

This week, I get to see Dr. Bustillo for my 2 month follow-up and am looking forward to discussing these issues with him. Two weeks ago, I had concerns about going on vacation to mountains of Colorado and emailed Dr. Bustillo with my concerns about higher altitude, physical activity, drier air/climate, etc. He emailed me back the same day, and was very helpful. He continues to communicate promptly and sweetly whenever there is concern or questions.

If anyone is still considering Dr. Bustillo for nose surgery, I continue to feel strongly about recommending him without reservation. He continues to care for his patients even after the acute phase of healing. It's so rare to find such a highly talented, skilled surgeon who is also so caring and compassionate. As trivial as my concerns are, he never makes me feel like I'm asking a "dumb" question.

Until the next time, fellow 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
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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