So, I decided to join this community to share my...
So, I decided to join this community to share my upcoming rhinoplasty experience. I broke my nose in 2001, and didn't have it properly set at the time. I have been living with a huge (in my opinion), crooked downward-sloping nose ever since. Finally decided to get it fixed. I'm excited about my soon-to-be new look, but nervous (like most people) about the general anaesthesia experience and long recovery. Any comments would be appreciated and help ease some of the anxiety I'm feeling. Have you had the same or similar procedure, and shared my anxiety? I know the chances of anaesthesia-related complications are extremely rare, but there's always the "what if" questions that freak me out. I'm a healty guy - no previous medical conditions, eat very clean, and work out daily. Hoping those factors will contribute to a safe procedure and fast recovery.
Deep down, I know everything will be fine and I will be satisfied with the results. I don't expect a perfect nose, just a much improved one. Just hoping to receive some kind words of encouragement from those who have been in my situation before, or who are going through the same thing at this very moment.
I will post some "before" photos soon.
4 good nights of sleep, and then it's showtime!
Thank you all.
Decided to add some before photos. As you can see, I have a pretty crooked nose. When I smile, my tip curves significantly to the left. Also, notice the large hump on the bridge of my nose. That's where the break occurred, and it obviously didn't heal right. The goal: basically to straighten out my smiley-nose, get rid of that hideous hump, and replace the downward slope with a much straighter slope. Dr. Stompro will raise the tip just a touch. I have and will again raise my concern to him that I do NOT want a pig snout. That won't be a very appealing look on me. As I mentioned before - I'm not expecting a perfect nose, just a better and more appealing nose that will complement my face.
phone call relief
Just got off the phone with my pre-op nurse. Super sweet and friendly. She asked me some general medical history questions, walked me through the check in and preparation process, discussed recovery "homework," and answered a few of my questions. Told me general anesthesia is nothing to be worried about, yet that's still the part I'm most anxious about. Not excited about "being under." I've never been given anesthesia before, so I have no idea how I'm going to react. I'm sure I'm going to make a complete fool of myself lol.
Anybody have any suggestions on how to overcome this anxiety... other than xanax. Lots and lots of xanax :-)
Some more pre-op photos...
Just posting additional photos, not taken from my camera phone. I honestly hate taking photos because I don't find myself very photgenic... primary reason - my nose. Hope I'll be more interested in photo ops after this procedure.
Going to squeeze in a quick workout, since I know it will be a few weeks before I can get back to the gym. That's going to be the most depressing part of my recovery. I workout religiously (6-7 times a week), so being cooped up at home is going to make me stir crazy. I joked with Dr. Stompro and told him that I'd be running a few miles and doing some push ups the day after surgery. He laughed, since he knew I would obviously be completely unable to do that. He eased my mind a little by telling me that I could do some light exercise when the stitches and cast are removed. Anybody in my similar situation? How long did it take you before you were able to workout again?
Feeling a little stuffy
I have some congestion in my nose. Hoping it's just allergies. The weather changed dramatically in California over the past few days. I better not be sick on Friday. Taking my Emergen-C as I type this out. From what I've read, surgeons will not operate on a sick patient. Last thing I want is to drag out my wait time. The anticipation is already driving me crazy… I'm an emotional roller coaster - excited, anxious, happy, nervous, scared, relaxed, super excited, super anxious hahaha. I have a feeling these fluctuating emotions are quite common.
Just received a call confirming my check-in time tomorrow morning - 6 AM. I love it. I won't have all day to sit there and think about everything. Just wake up, roll out of bed, get to the medical center, go back to sleep, wake up and done! Well… then it will be recovery mode. Definitely feeling more excited than nervous right now. We'll see how I feel in the morning.
Distraction - hunger games
Going to watch the new hunger games movie. Need a good distraction. Plus, I hear it's a pretty good movie. Nice to know I'll be at the medical center in less than 12 hours.
Bed Time Night Before
Xanax - check! Shower - check! Hibiclens wash - check! Humidifier - check! Snuggled up in my heating blanket - check! No food since 8:00pm. Need to snack, but will power is strong. Finally ready to knock this out. Good night realselfers, I'll update you in the morning.
the day is finally here!
6 Dec 2013
Day of treatment
On my way to the medical center. My friend is flying down the freeway. If I can survive this drive, I can survive anything! I've been waiting for this day for so long. Glad it's finally here. I can't wait for the happy drug cocktail. The sooner the better. Not super nervous any more, but I'll glady accept something that will help me relax.
Thank you all for your kind words, wishes, and support. I'll try to take and upload some post-op photos asap.
Good bye old nose...
All done, and relaxing at home!
6 Dec 2013
Day of treatment
Just a quick update - I'll post a more detailed update when I'm not so medicated lol. The procedure was a breeze… and a truly amazing experience. From the moment I walked into the medical center to the moment I was wheeled out, everybody was so awesome and incredibly sweet. Anesthesiologist - Dr. Radhika Annadata (MAC). Wow, I loved her - she answered all my questions, helped keep me super calm, and was overall a very wonderful woman. I knew I was in good hands. In fact, while in recovery, I was told that I proposed to her at one point, but I honestly don't remember. Like everybody said - you're awake, you fall asleep, you wake up again in recovery. Very weird, but amazing feeling. Here's the BEST part. I asked the staff to do me a favor, and they happily agreed. I asked them to play "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke on the sound system in the OR. Then, I asked them to play the same song as I was waking up in recovery (I made these two requests before any medication had been given). I remember moving to the operating table and hearing the song playing…then, out like a light... next thing I know, I was opening my eyes to the chorus. IT WAS REALLY COOL!!!! Thought I'd share that fun story.
No packing, which is nice. Just a hard cast to protect my new nose, and some gauze for the first 24 hours to catch any bleeding - there hasn't been much. I can actually breath perfectly through my nose right now. Again, we'll see how long that holds up.
Oh, the tiny bandaids on my forehead and eye… I had a few moles removed as well. No extra charge. My doc is awesome!
Obviously too early to report any results, but the overall experience was a piece of cake. No nausea or pain upon waking (it is only day one, so we'll see how I feel over the next few days). I'm home watching Netflix and eating some broccoli and cheddar soup from Panera. Good times!
I'll keep posting as I work through recovery. Oh, my first post-procedure meal… Krispy Kreme donut (see photo). Figured I'd reward myself :)
Follow Up Phone Call
Just got off the phone with Dr. Stompro. He is such an awesome guy. He coaches a local high school football team, so we chatted a while about the game last night. Kinda funny… he performed my surgery in the morning, then goes off to coach a football game in the evening. Very cool. He was just calling to check in and see how I was feeling. Told him I was feeling terrific. He let me know that everything went very well in the operating room, and he believes I will be happy with the results. I can't wait to get the cast, stitches, and tape removed on Thursday. Seems like it's a century away, but I waited so long to get this done in the first place, what's another 4.5 days?
1 Day Post-op Update
It's funny to go back, read my previous updates, and remember how scared I was about the procedure. It truly was a piece of cake. I was in and out of the medical center in what seemed like less than 30 minutes. Modern medicine is something else. I did have some VERY SLIGHT nausea from the anesthesia, but it didn't hit me until they got me up to try using the bathroom. I couldn't urinate, so they put me back in bed. I started feeling nauseous from the walk back to the bed. I told them I wasn't feeling very well, so they put something in my IV. I was good as new within 5 minutes. Then I felt like I was on top of the world. I wanted to go outside for a run… obviously they wouldn't let me. WTH did they put in my IV? I had so much energy. I was sitting there drinking water and ice for quite some time. The nurse finally told me, "If you can't urinate, we will need to put in a catheter before we can discharge you." I got the sudden urge to pee as soon as she said that. Apparently my body and I were not fond of the catheter idea. I used the bathroom, they signed me out and wheeled me to the car.
I don't remember much about the drive home. My eyes were covered with ice packs and I was resting. Never fell asleep, just relaxing. I got home and started to get a headache. Again, VERY SLIGHT discomfort from the headache. Took a Vicodin and have had zero discomfort since.
Like most people, I had a rough time sleeping last night. Not so much from the inclined positions, but more from the severe dry mouth. My goodness! It's like the Sahara desert. I woke up every hour just to drink some water and moisten my lips with vaseline. My nurses recommended vaseline over chap stick, as it seems to keep your lips moisturized for a much longer period of time.
Today has been pretty easy. Being very disciplined about my medication. Eating normal food, although the congestion in my nose makes it difficult to chew for very long before opening my mouth, still full of food, for more oxygen. Sorry for the visual. Replacing the drip gauze under my nose every couple of hours and cleaning inside my nostrils with a q-tip and 1/2 water 1/2 hydrogen peroxide. The drainage has pretty much stopped. My congestions is pretty bad from all the dried blood, but it's no worse than having a head cold, sinus infections, really stuffed up nose, etc. If you can handle that, you can handle this congestion.
Unfortunately, I can NOT use my humidifier… which would help immensely with the severe dry mouth at night. I have so many bandages on my face (holding numerous stents in place to correctly shape my nose throughout the healing process), and I can't get them damp at all.
That's it for now. I'll post a photo soon, although you can't see much of the bruising with the tape all over my face.
I'll update soon.
So much tape. Can barely see the bruising/swelling. I'm sure there will be more over the next few days. No blood on the drip gauze. Good sign, since it's been there for almost 2 hours.
easy dry mouth fix
So, just waking up day 2 post-op. Already took my Arabica and Bromelain (30 minutes) apart. Swelling around eyes has gone up just a little from yesterday. Not too bad. More icing on the agenda.
Discovered an easy fix for my dry mouth. Before I went to bed last night, I smothered a pretty thick layer of Vaseline around my lips. My thought - it would help keep my lips moisturizer and somehow moisturize the dry air that I was breathing into my mouth. Just an experiment... and success. It totally worked. Woke up around 3am with a mildly dry mouth, replied vaseline, and went back to sleep. Woke up this morning feeling much better than yesterday morning, as far as dry mouth is concerned.
Hope that helps a bit.
Have a good day, realselfers.
Damon auto correct.
A few edits from the previous post. I really hate auto correct sometimes:
- Arnica* and Bromelain (30 min apart)
- Vaseline kept my lips moisturized*
- re applied* vaseline at 3am
That update should make more sense now... I swear it was the auto correct and not the meds ;-)
Damn* auto correct, NOT Damon auto correct. That's it... no more updating from my stupid phone!!
Excited about post-op follow up
Received a phone call yesterday from Dr. Stompro's office. Post-op follow up appointment has been moved forward one day - hooray!!! I will be getting cast and Hannibal Lecter tape job removed tomorrow. Can't wait to see the wary results. I made the mistake of watching Tosh.O a couple nights ago…couldn't stop laughing. So uncomfortable to laugh, but I couldn't contain it. Hoping that didn't mess with structural integrity of my nose. I'm sure I'll be fine. Anywho - nice to know that my face will be cast free in just about 24 hours. Good times!
Update - 4 days post-op
So, I've read many reviews on this site and others. Everybody seems to have a tough time on days 3 and 4 post-op. I must be one of the lucky ones. I haven't had any discomfort, pain, nausea, etc. since I got home from surgery and had to take a Vicodin. Yesterday (day 3 post) was a breeze, and today has started off well. Swelling and bruising is actually starting to disappear. I have so much tape holding my face together - I wonder if that helped with swelling/bruising. Bruising barely reached beyond the tape under my eyes. Swelling has been very minimal, but it's interesting how it moves in a downward motion with gravity - started around my eyes, then to my cheeks, now down around my jawline. Very weird. I'm sure I had/have some swelling around my forehead and between my eyes, but I've been unable to see or feel it with all this tape. I'll post a photo of my worst condition, which was yesterday - 3 days post. Even with all the bruising, I never had a second of discomfort. Recovery has been a breeze. I've been taking my meds and supplements religiously, and been cleaning my nose 3-4 times a day. I'll write separate updates on both of those topics in just a bit. I wish my discipline stretched to my eating habits over the past few days. I've never had so many donuts in my life! But they are delicious, damn it! Oh… also discovered that melted Nutella drizzled over vanilla ice cream is one of the most glorious experiences ever. That reminds me, I need to get some food in my stomach and take a shower. These lukewarm showers are rough! I prefer hot water, but the steam will affect the bandages. First thing I'm doing when I get home from my appointment tomorrow - HOT SHOWER.
photo update - 3 days post
So, here's a photo documenting the worst bruising/swelling I had - 3 days post. Bruising has already retreated behind the tape as of this morning, so I can no longer see it. Looking at previous posts, day 1 post-op actually seems to be my worst day of bruising. Hasn't really been too bad since then.
Regimented supplement and medication intake
7:00 AM - ARNICA - 3 pills dissolved under tongue
7:30 AM - BROMELAIN - 2 pills on empty stomach
8:00 AM - KEFLEX/CEPHALEXIN antibiotic - 1 pill w/ light food, banana
8:30 AM - VitaMedica MORNING supplement - 3 pills w/ full breakfast
11:30 AM - BROMELAIN - 2 pills on empty stomach
3:00 PM - ARNICA - 3 pills dissolved under tongue
3:30 PM - BROMELAIN - 2 pills on empty stomach
8:00 PM - KEFLEX/CEPHALEXIN antibiotic - 1 pill before dinner
8:30 AM - VitaMedica EVENING supplement - 3 pills after dinner
11:00 PM - ARNICA - 3 pills dissolved under tongue
The timing for each individual person will be different, based on your wake/sleep and eating schedule, but this is what seems to have worked for me to speed up recovery and greatly reduce bruising, swelling, discomfort, etc.
Happy to answer any questions over private message.
Cleaning and maintenance process
This is how I've been dealing with cleaning of my incision and nose, and how I've found a somewhat effective way to unclog all the congestion. Definitely get the OK from your doctor before doing this, as each patient is unique, and your procedure/post-op instructions may be completely different than mine. This is what happens to work for me.
3-4 times per day
What you need:
A LOT of Q-tips
1/2 water 1/2 hydrogen peroxide mix
nasal spray (my doc recommended Afrin)
Step 1: wash hands vigorously with Hibiclens, heavy soap, or whatever pre-surgical wash your doctor may have prescribed to you. Your hands are going to be all over the surgical site, so best to have them super clean before you touch anything
Step 2: Soak one end of q-tip in water/HP mixture. Use this end of q-tip to clean one nostril. Be very gentle with this. Avoid the area if you feel discomfort or tenderness. If you feel heavy resistance (most likely from clotted blood), be very gentle and rub the q-tip around the area to help break up whatever is causing the buildup. Soak the other end of the q-tip in water/HP mixture and repeat in other nostril.
Step 3: This step is completely optional, and get approval from your doctor before doing this… but I've found it helps A LOT with congestion. I'll soak a piece of gauze in the water/HP mix, twist it up to form a tight long gauze strip, and gently insert into my nose - NOT DEEP at all, only as far as comfortable. I'll do a soaked gauze strip in both nostrils and let them sit there for approx 5 minutes. I'll then gently and slowly remove the strips - I've noticed this clears up a lot of blood, built up mucus, and large clots. You'd be amazed how many gross things get soaked up and pulled out by the gauze. Makes you realize very quickly why you were having such a hard time breathing. I would have taken photos of some of my gauze strips, but everybody would have been completely grossed out… so I spared you the horrific sight. You're welcome! Again, make sure your doc is okay with this before doing it. Essentially, you are temporarily packing the nose, so you obviously want to skip this step if you already have packing or stints or anything else up there that was put there by your doctor to serve a specific post-op purpose.
Step 4: Use nasal spray in each nostril. I will gently breath in as I spray, and then very gently breath out to push any excess blood, mucus, buildup out of my nose. This gentle breathing should be no more than just that - a natural pushing of air out through your nasal passage. No vigorous breathing like blowing your nose… gentle.
Step 5: You may need additional gauze or tissue to clean up any remaining blood, mucus, etc. that may be resting on the tip of your nose, upper lip, or just inside the nostrils. I do this by gently dabbing the gauze or using another q-tip to gently gather the buildup.
Step 6: Use q-tip and water/HP mix to gently clean the incision area.
Step 7: Use q-tip to apply vaseline around incision area. I apply a very generous layer.
With this process, I'm at about 80-85% nasal breathing as opposed to mouth breathing.
Again, happy to answer any questions over private message or in the comments section.
Cast Removal - still very bruised and swollen
Sorry for the delay in posting my cast removal update. I've been really busy at work the past couple of days (that's right, I've been going to work despite my bruised and battered appearance), but I've finally made some time to sit down and write an update. Had my cast, stitch and tape removal yesterday. Interesting process the way they remove the tape and cast… very slow process. Took almost 20 minutes. Then the stitches - certainly an eye watering experience. Not painful, just uncomfortable. Imagine plucking out a nose hair. Now imagine plucking out about 10 of them. Not fun times at all, but I made it through. After everything was removed, they told me to look in the mirror. I was excited to see the new me. Then I looked in the mirror. I was a extremely shocked when I first glanced at my face. I didn't recognize myself at all - and I don't mean that in a good way. I was WAY more bruised and swollen than I thought. All the tape on my face hid the extent to which my face and nose had blown up. I literally looked like Rocky Balboa during round 15 of his epic battle with Apollo Creed… Clubber Lang… Ivan Drago… take your pick! I mean, I was a mess. The doctor explained to me that the swelling would go down over the next 2 weeks, and my nose would begin to take shape. I can already see that the structure is significantly better than it was before. No more downward slope. I have a HUGE hump of swelling and bruising on the bridge of my nose. The tip looks nice - no more hook to it. Despite the major swelling, I'll still take my current nose over my previous one. I know it's a waiting game, and things will get better over the next few weeks, months, years. I will remain patient. One weird thing is the suture/stitch line. There is a noticeable difference between the skin above and below the stitch line. The skin below is quite normal. The skin above is very tough, tender (almost numb) to the touch, and swollen. Again, this will improve over the next few weeks, and I need to apply vaseline to the stitch line and tip of my nose 2-3 times a day. Still cleaning the inside of my nostrils with the water/hydrogen peroxide mix. Icing every hour or two for 10-20 minutes. I have seen some improvement over the past 24 hours. Hoping I look somewhat normal in time for New Years Eve. The tip of my nose is quite bulbous right now. My doctor explained it to me like this: You know how the swelling in your face starts around your forehead and eyes, then works it's way down your cheeks and eventually works it's way "out" through your jawline? Your nose works the same way. Swelling and bruising starts at the top of the bridge, works its way down, and eventually exits through the tip. So, the tip will be round and swollen longer than any other area of the nose. Ahhh, gravity… you're a cruel SOB! All-in-all, still happy I went through with it. Nothing else to do at this point but wait and see how things develop. I know my doc does amazing work, so I'm sure I will be pleased with the results.
Oh, another thing I am experiencing that I've read about quite often on this site - I've lost my smile. Apparently, the fibers that connect the nose to the upper lip are torn or damaged during the procedure (or so I read in some of the doctor responses to questions regarding this subject), and it takes some time for those fibers to rebuild and bring your smile back to normal. Again, this could take 4-6 weeks or longer depending on the individual and the procedure. My smile looks fake, and all my top teeth are hidden. It's like my stupid lip refuses to peel back and reveal my pearly whites. Just need to remain calm, stay patient, and wait for progress.
My coworkers say I don't look too bad, but they are just being nice. When my father first saw me after the cast removal, he asked "does your face hurt?" I said no. He replied, "Well, it's killing me. You should have kept it covered up!" Gotta love his honesty. :-)
That's all for now. I will post some photos in a minute, and update every couple of days. Happy reading!
photos after cast removal - 5 days post op
These photos were taken about 5 hours after cast, tape, and stitch removal. Large hump of swelling on the bridge of my nose. Bulbous tip. Weird suture/stitch crest under my nostrils. Still very wide and swollen. Nostrils uneven due to swelling. A lot of bruising under my eyes. Positives: Straighter than before, tip stays straight/in place when I "smile" (no more hooking to the side) no more downward slope or hooked tip (I called it the Gonzo effect, and it's the one thing I disliked most about my pre-op nose). Only time will tell... I'll keep posting photos. Good night, Realselfers.