I am a 44 year-old, African-American professional...
I am a 44 year-old, African-American professional female who is 10 days post-op of having a septo-rhinoplasty procedure, which was to repair a deviated septum and cosmetic surgery to reduce nostril flare and elevate the tip of my nose. I've always wanted to have rhinoplasty since my teens, but that wasn't an option. Paying for college, establishing a career, saving money, etc. was a first priority. I felt that at this stage in my life I could afford to have the surgery, and my level of confidence has improved over the years. I decided to have the surgery for me, and no one else.
The surgeon I chose to perform the procedure is a well-known cosmetic surgeon in his field, Dr. Rod Rohrich, who has the credentials for ethnic rhinoplasty. Dr. Rohrich felt that my bridge was fine, it just needed to be pushed in a little. Therefore, I did not have my bridge elevated. I had my splints removed after 6 days. The first week following surgery was uncomfortable because I had to breathe out of my mouth, sleep upright, keep my head in an elevated position, not resting my glasses on my nose, and I had congestion as a result of the surgery. I was directed by my surgeon to not sneeze or blow my nose. The pain of the surgery itself wasn't bad, therefore I didn't have to take pain meds often. However, I had bruising and swelling under my eyes, (black-eyes). I bruise easily anyway and read that this would be my new normal for a while. I took the prescribed antibotics daily. I dabbed hydrogen peroxide on a Q-tip to clean the inner edges of the nostrils and around the sutures. I felt so much relief when the doctor removed the splints out of my nostrils. I could finally blow my nose! Now to continue the routine, I have to use a nasal spray to cleanse my nasal passages and to keep the lining from getting dry.
Sometimes pain comes with beauty and function, so be prepared for it. Having ample time to heal from surgery is a must. I wouldn't have elected to have the surgery performed if I couldn't take at least 6 weeks off from work. Insurance will cover the cost of repairing a deviated septum, but not cosmetic work.
They jury is out as to what I think of my final results. I can't make a decision right now because my nose is swollen and it usually takes up to a year for the nose to completely heal. I have a red button nose at the present time. I can say that the swelling decreases as each day passes....I will post before and after pictures at 4 weeks, 6 months, and at one year so that others can see the results.
Before and One Week After Rhinoplasty
In this before photo you can see the wide nostril flare and how the tip dips down.
Four Week Update Photos
This is how my nose looks at four weeks. The swelling has decreased, and I am pleased with the profile view. I wish the bridge was elevated a little, but I am still swollen, so it should look better in a few months. You will see the scarring from the alae reduction, or alarplasty along the sides of my nose. I am using Mederma scar cream three times a day, but if you have any recommendations for other methods I can use to diminish the scars, please let me know. I can cover them with concealer, but I can still see traces of the scars. My surgeon stated they should eventually fade.
The nostril asymmetry does bother me some, however, the nostrils were asymmetrical to begin with. Maybe this is the best the surgeon could do to correct it. I am not sure what else can be done at this point to make the nostril openings look symmetrical.
12 Weeks Update!
27 Sep 2015
3 months post
My nose is healing well. The alar base of my nostrils aren't stiff, however the tip is. The scars from the alar base reduction are noticeable without makeup, but with the help of a concealer brush and MAC concealer you can hardly notice the scarring.
My three month appointment with Dr. Rohrich is coming up soon in October. I will talk to him about getting a laser procedure for the scarring. Can't wait!
At my three month visit, Dr. Rohrich stated I was healing well, and the swelling will continue to decrease. He said my nose will look different once it hits the year mark. I expressed my concern with the scarring from the alar base reduction. He stated that if the scarring is still obvious after the year mark, then he will laser the scars??
I love his office staff, everyone is professional, kind, and complimentary. I have posted pictures taken at his office.
One Year Update!
What I know for sure:
1. Plastic surgery should be a decision you, and only you make. You should feel confident about your decision, regardless of what friends and family think. If you have doubts, perhaps it isn't time to have surgery.
2. The healing process takes time; don't feel discouraged when you look in the mirror and don't see what you expect. The results you see when the bandages are removed won't be the same weeks, months, or even a year later. You will look better.
3. Be prepared to address comments such as, "You look different." Remain tactful with your response.
4. Plastic surgery is an improvement, not perfection. My rhinoplasty has improved the symmetry of my face, yet my nostril openings aren't symmetrical. They weren't before the surgery, and they aren't after. I have accepted this.