So Far So Good - Dallas, TX

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I'm not usually an online sharer, but this site...

I'm not usually an online sharer, but this site has helped tremendously. I feel like I owe it to you guys to share my experience. In high school athletics, I was always told that I should have my nasal airway checked. The deviated septum and constricted airway are genetic in my family. I've always been a mouth breather, so I drool a lot when I sleep. :) And I have always had post-nasal drip - so much that it is very noticeable to friends, family and patients. I had my tonsils and adenoids removed the summer before college, but it didn't help much in the way of breathing. And lately, my left nostril runs and bleeds constantly at night. I've gone through 12 boxes of Kleenex in the last few months!

I've never really thought twice about my nose esthetically until pretty recently, when I noticed that it points down a lot in pictures while smiling. I'm almost 40 now, so some of it could be attributed to aging I guess. Being an orthodontist, I'm really observant of facial features and profiles, so it seemed like a no brainer to take care of the plunging tip while correcting the airway problems.

My best friend had been looking into having his septo/rhino due to a broken nose. He had done a ton of research and was talking to all of the best docs here in Dallas. He referred me to Dr. Cochran at the Gunter Center. I immediately set up a consult and was very impressed. He is down to earth and not pushy in the least. The 3D imaging is extremely helpful as well. I was confident that he was the surgeon for me and decided to schedule over Labor Day weekend, which was a little over a month away. My friend encouraged me to seek out a 2nd consult with Dr. Rohrich (Dallas plastic surgery guru) for confirmation. I was reluctant, because I didn't want to be totally confused. But Dr. Rohrich was extremely accommodating and validated the treatment plan that Dr. Cochran and I had agreed on. I respect Dr. Rohrich and am confident that he could do an immaculate job, but my gut told me to stay with Dr. Cochran. My best friend came with me to a 2nd consult with Dr. Cochran and was much more relaxed and confident about my decision.

I read this site for a month and was extremely prepared mentally and physically. The only little bump in the road was the reaction of my family, which is to be expected I guess. Eventually, they came through. They were not thrilled about the cosmetic part in the least, but supportive.

When the day finally arrived, we went to the surgical center at 6:30 am. The nurses were really sweet. Dr. Cochran came in and spoke to my Mom. She said she just didn't want him to make me look weird. He assured her that he wouldn't want that either, because people might ask who my surgeon is! Then she said that she had a friend who looked terrible after her nose job. He said "Did I do hers?". She said "No". So we laughed. And the anesthesiologist (Leslie) is the bomb. Seriously. I've had several bad experiences with anesthesia, such as vomiting and waking up during surgery. With her, I was out before we got into the hallway and awake and eating pudding and peanut butter crackers the next minute. The one thing that was annoying was all of the vaseline over my eyes. I couldn't open them or see for a while. I hadn't heard anyone here mention that, so I guess that can be my contribution to the list of things to expect. :)

On the way home, we sat in traffic on 635, which is no surprise here in Dallas. But I felt fine. Just a little sleepy. Got home and ate some oatmeal. I couldn't believe that I was walking around talking and getting situated. My friend came over to take over for my Mom. Mainly just to keep me company, feed my cats and clean their litter boxes. I was able to eat egg beaters, spinach, oatmeal and lots of Greek yogurt.

This has been SO much better than I ever imagined. I only took 2 hydrocodones yesterday in halves. I wasn't sure if my amount of bleeding was normal - approx 1 teaspoon every 2 hours. I hadn't shut up since I got home. Everyone was calling and I was talking to my friend here, so I was worried that I was overdoing it. I text Dr. Cochran and he said it was normal. I was thrilled with the prompt response from him.

This morning, the bleeding is negligible. I'm not needing the drip pads as much. And I'm just taking Tylenol. Also, my bruising/swelling is minimal. I've done really well taking the arnica and bromelain. Wasn't able to ice as much as I would like, because it presses on my nose. I'm feeling great though. Finally had some coffee! :)

Day 4

I'm still doing pretty well. Bruising has already started to subside and swelling is moving into my lower cheeks. Not really taking anything for the pain because Tylenol doesn't agree with me. Is it crazy that I'm counting down the days until I can take Advil again? And I'm obsessed with cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and using the antibiotic ointment. I was worried that I might be cleaning too aggressively when I pulled a little piece of red tissue (texture of sushi) out of my right nostril. I asked Dr. C. and he said it was probably some of the resorbable gauze from the surgery and that he'll never think of sushi the same way again. :) I also asked him about the hard objects running vertically on the lateral sides of my nostrils. I was worried that I had dislodged the grafts! He said those are just the splints. Let's just say that I threw my hat in the ring to compete for the title of his most paranoid and annoying patient! I'm just worried that I might mess something up. That being said, his responsiveness has been top notch. I've never had a doctor who follows through like he does.

Is it just me, or do straws make it more difficult to drink? I'm doing much better with a travel mug and bottles of water. Otherwise, I've been eating normally, except for the fact that I can't move my upper lip.

I finally slept in my bed last night, after a couple of nights on the couch. It's normal for me to sleep with several pillows because of sinus drainage and past issues with acid reflux. The little u-shaped travel pillow is a must to keep you from rolling over onto your nose.

I ventured out yesterday to meet one of my best friends for coffee. My Dad is big into hunting and fishing, so I happened to have a cool camouflage hat to wear. Today I'm headed to visit my Grandma. She knew I was thinking about doing the septoplasty, but we wanted to make sure I was doing well before we told her that I actually went through with it. Just didn't want her to worry. We'll see how it goes. :)

Day 6

The past couple of days have been normal for the most part. Saw a movie yesterday with Mom and nephew. In public, I forget that I have this silly cast and yellow chipmunk cheeks. I put a Hello Kitty bandaid over the incision site so that I don't gross anyone out. And I've been taping my sunglasses to my forehead. Better get used to that, because I can't function without shades.

Still sleeping relatively well at night. I decided to start taking DayQuil/NyQuil as if I have a routine cold. It takes the edge off of the sinus pressure and headache. The only pain that I've experienced is very slight stinging at the incision site, but keeping it moisturized with the antibiotic ointment helps. And I've been putting Burt's Bees lip balm on my lips and just under my nostrils to help with the irritation. The other annoying symptom that I'm having is sensitivity in my upper teeth and my anterior hard palate is sore - like a burn. I know for a fact that it is referred pain, but I've been using Prevadent and flossing a lot just to be safe. Hopefully this will subside pretty quickly as the nerves settle down. If not, I'm gonna be shooting myself up with lidocaine at the office. Seriously.

At this point, I'm on a mission to keep my mind off of this cast and irritating tape everywhere. Itching, what itching? Dr. Cochran's nurse is fitting me in tomorrow morning to take the cast off before I head back to work. Then I have a follow up with him on Friday. Right now, I'm off to get my hair done. Tempted to do something crazy with the hair as a distraction. Or not. :)

Day 7-9

Back to work already! Dr. Cochran's nurse, Jane, fit me in early to remove my cast and splints. I've never had a baby, but it felt as if I delivered twins through my nostrils. Yikes! I knew that my nose would be a swollen atrocity sitting in the middle of my face, so I didn't really waste time looking at it. Just put on my Hello Kitty bandaid and headed to the office.

After a couple of days at work, I had an appt with Dr. Cochran to check everything out. He said that my healing was exceptional. And he gave me some tape and "nostril retainers" - little blue cones - to use at night to help reduce swelling.

The swelling has already gone down drastically from Wed to today, but I still feel like a freak when I look in the mirror. Now the waiting game begins. :)

11 Months

I can't believe the surgery was almost a year ago! It's true that you have to be extremely patient while waiting to see the final result. Dr. Cochran did an excellent job addressing my concerns. My nose no longer drips all day, the nostrils are symmetrical and the tip doesn't droop. Most importantly - especially for my family - I still look like myself. It takes a true talent to reconstruct a nose from the inside out and accomplish all of that. The swelling is still going down, but I'm satisfied with the results so far.
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Cochran has been wonderful. He and his staff have been available and responsive. He is down to earth and not pushy in the least. I have been so comfortable with him. And the surgery was a breeze. His anesthesiologist is the bomb. Best experience that I've ever had with surgery and anesthesia. My swelling and bruising are minimal, which is no doubt due to his delicate surgical technique. So far, this experience has exceeded my expectations.

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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