Rhinoplasty on 17 July - Dundee, Scotland

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Hello all, I've been following this site for a...

Hello all,

I've been following this site for a wee while and it's been a source of useful information and reassurance to me. Now that my rhinoplasty op is just a few days away I'd like to return the favour and participate.

I've only told three people about my upcoming op - my boyfriend, a close friend and my dad. All have said, "You don't need a nose job. I didn't even know the size of your nose bothered you that much!" Yup, they haven't ever heard me moan about my nose, because I've kept my hatred for my nose private for the last 18 years.

I remember the moment that I first became aware that my nose was on the large side - a friend commented on it in the school library when I was 14 years old. Funny how these moments stick in your mind! That was 18 years ago and I still remember the embarassment! I've had a few negative nose-related comments from people over the years since then. These have mainly been flyaway comments...nothing deliberately cruel, but still, these comments make me cringe and feel ugly and self conscious. I hate my nose so much - it's so unfeminine and horrid. I can't even participate in a conversation about noses because I feel that everyone is thinking about my nose and is about to say something that will really embarass and upset me!! I want to stop feeling like this!

I do forensic work for the Police and that means I'm meeting new people every day - both within the Police service and the public. I also sing in a rock/pop covers band so am regularly performing on stage in pubs and at parties and weddings. Everytime I meet new people I feel like they are just focussing on my nose instead of the great fingerprint I just found at a crime scene, or the fact I managed to hit the high note in Livin' On A Prayer!

I often dreamed of having a nose-job but I never imagined in a million years that I would ever have the money to do it. Well I recently paid off my massive student loans and have been saving like mad so I finally have the money to do it!

I'm well aware that having a nicer looking nose will not make my life perfect - I've had to work hard for everything I've got, and I'll have to keep working hard. But I'm willing to pay for the experience of improved confidence, peace of mind and self-esteem that a rhinoplasty can give.

I'll upload a couple of my pre-op photos - forgive the lack of make up and horrid hair!

Surgeon Consultation and Pre-Op at BMI Fernbrae Hospital, Dundee

OK folks, I'm now at about 80 hours post surgery but just going back in time for a wee minute to explain what was planned for my surgery!

Following the advice of other RealSelfers, I did my research before meeting my surgeon for the first time (on 15.04.13) so that I could explain to him exactly what I wanted to change about my nose. Good thing I did, because although I've hated my nose forever, I didn't actually know what I didn't like about it, which would have made me look really unprepared and a bit silly in a consultation. As I learned more about different noses and different rhinoplasty techniques and what was possible, I was able to tell him that I felt my nose was too big for my face and projects too far out. I also felt my tip was too bulbous and my nostrils too large. My main objective was to have a nose that was proportionate to the rest of my face and that looked feminine. We discussed the options and he said he could perform a reduction rhinoplasty. This is what he proposed:

"The reduction rhinoplasty will require an overall global reduction in dorsal and tip projection to maintain congruity with reduction in the nasal spine to reduce the obtuse nasolabial angle. Bulbosity can only be reduced by performing a standard tip plasty involving a cephalic rim strip which runs the risk of increasing upward rotation (i.e. miss piggy!), however there are counter measures with respect to the septoplasty and nasal spine reduction that can counteract this".

Ermmmm...to put it a bit more simply, it's basically it's a rhinoplasty, septoplasty and turbinate reduction to bring my nose into proportion with the rest of my face!

Mr. White was very clear that rhinoplasty is about improvement, not perfection. I asked him if he could produce digital morphs of my nose and he said that he did not offer this service as given the huge number of variables in the healing process, morphs aren't representative of the final outcomes... I also asked him to show me examples of his work and he said he couldn't because of patient confidentiality! Grrrrr...I was starting to doubt him at this point. Then he told me that 10% of his clients request a revision rhinoplasty, mainly due to the fact they haven't seen a significant enough change in their nose. He admitted that he would rather 'under-cook' a rhinoplasty because he has immense respect for the structure of the nose and will favour function and structure over the aesthetic result demanded by the patient. As soon as he said that I KNEW he was the surgeon for me. Yes I want to change the shape of my nose but I don't want to do anything that may compromise the function of my nose! So to me personally, it made more sense to choose a reputable ENT surgeon. I did not feel the need to meet with any other consultants after this.

Also I knew that a significant part of Mr. White's work is to undertake revision rhinoplasty for patients who have had bad outcomes from other surgeons. This is a doctor that I knew I could trust putting a scalpel (and file and chisel) to my face!!!

Mr. White pencilled me in his diary for July 17th and I set about getting some time off work. He'd said that I would need about 4 weeks off from singing to make sure I heal properly so I had to cancel a couple of gigs :/

I paid £120 ($180) for my initial consultation and then had a second consultation (£60 / $90) a month later. The second consultation was a bit unnecessary as Mr. White was more or less checking that I had done all the rhinoplasty research he had asked me to and that I was still sure about going through with it - which I was after the first one! Never mind...at least I'd had my time off approved at work - I managed to get 3 weeks off due to the way my shifts worked out, so I figured this would be enough time to recover, rest and get back on my feet after the surgery before being launched into the whirlwind of crime scene work.

I then had an excrutiating 2 month wait for my Pre-Op with a nurse on 10th July (the week before the surgery). It was very straightforward - just checking my height, weight, blood-pressure, medical history, and a blood sample was taken. As I walked out of the building I had butterflies in my stomach thinking that the next time I would be here would be the day of the surgery! Eeeeekk!

And that butterflies feeling stayed with me nearly every minute of each day in the week leading up to the surgery. I was definitely more nervous than excited - just really anxious about the thought of having the surgery and how challenging the recovery period might be. During the night I would wake up in a bit of a panic and reach for my phone to have a read through the Real Self reviews to calm myself down!! Just reading everyone's stories reminded me that I totally wanted to go through with this procedure, so thank you everyone for giving me the support and re-assurance that I needed!

The First 72 Hours Post-Op - Right Profile

Right profile from before surgery to 72 hours post-op

First 72 hours post-op...Left Profile

Left profile from before surgery to 72 hours post-op

First 72 hours post-op...from the front (yuk!)

A few views from the front...horrible!

Made it through to the other side...

I had hoped to be able to update this each day after surgery. However, for the first 72 hours I've been pretty weak, woozy and lethargic, choosing to entertain myself watching the entire first season of Cougar Town instead of checking in with you guys. Forgive me!! Seriously though, I did not expect to be feeling so tired for so long - I haven't been able to lift anything heavier than a cup of tea for the last few days (can't even hold a book up).

I'll provide a more detailed update later, but the brief points from my experience so far are:

1) I was totally freaking out the whole week leading up to the surgery, just so nervous about the whole thing. I was almost certain that just as they were starting to administer the anaesthetic I would leap out of the bed and run out of the building, shouting 'leave my nose alone, you bastards!' However at the last minute I decided to just man up, put my trust in my surgeon, anaesthetist and the theatre team and let them do their job. And I'm so glad I did!

2) Other than some very mild pressure discomfort on my nose for the first couple of hours after surgery, I've had NO pain whatsoever. However, I've hardly had any sleep, as my nose is blocked, I'm breathing through my mouth and my throat is incredibly dry, leading me to wake up in the middle of the night gasping and in a wee bit of panic. The recovery has been very similar to having a bad cold, except you can't blow the boogers outta your nose :P

3). My boyfriend has been AMAZING by waiting on me hand and foot since the moment I came out of surgery. I simply could NOT have got through this week without him.

4). 48 hours post-op has definitely been the low point of my recovery. For the first time in my life I passed out and it was a truly horrible experience. Thankfully my boyfriend was there to take me to the doctor's (turns out my blood pressure is just a bit low after the surgery, and I just need to rest more). And THANKFULLY I did not hit my nose.

So am now taking things very easy, just getting up and moving around in slow motion.

Now it is about 80 hours post-op and I am feeling so much better. My breathing is better, my swelling has gone down and I have more energy.

4 weeks post-op

Will be adding photos soon
Mr. Paul White

Mr. Paul White is my consultant ENT surgeon. In addition to purely cosmetic work he also repairs noses that have suffered trauma after road accidents and violent assaults, and is also widely renowned for doing revision rhinoplasty for people who have had an unsuccesful outcome with other surgeons. He trains other surgeons in rhinoplasty techniques at the Cuschieri Skills Centre in Dundee. He is President of the British Rhinological Society.

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