For as far back as I can remember, I've never been able to breathe out of my nose. I was always known as the mouth breather, and the girl who constantly blows her nose amongst my family and friends. I had wanted to have my septum fixed forever, and simultaneously alter the shape of my nose, but I was terrified. I did a MASSIVE amount of research, and finally found Dr. Miller. (Please see more on Dr. Miller in my Doctor Review section..) I decided to take the plunge, because I had nothing else to lose. Needless to say, I wouldn't have gone in just for cosmetic work, but I figured since I was already going under, I might as well fix some small issues that have bugged me for years.
Now, I say "small" cosmetic issues, because I wanted a very slight change, but the method of achieving that change is extremely difficult. I'm certainly no professional, but from what I've read and seen, this is no easy feat. Unlike normal people who usually want to raise a dropped tip or flatten a bump, I wanted the opposite. I had a very upturned nose naturally and I hated it. If you looked at me straightforward you could see right up my nostrils. To me, I looked like Ms. Piggy or like a resident of "Whoville." Plus, this made my nose project out rather far, which was very unsightly. All I wanted was to bring down my upturned tip and de-project. Almost like if I had a bad nose job, and I wanted it revised. **This is NOT easy to do from a surgical standpoint, trust me I've done the research and been to countless consults.
In the 5 days leading up to my surgery I had terrible headaches, due to extreme anxiety/nervousness. So bad that I would just cry each night, which of course made it worse. And, pre-surgery you're not allowed to take ibuprofen which is the only thing that helps me. The source of my anxiety was mostly because I was terrified of looking like Michael Jackson, or coming out with a pinched look, or a nose-job look. I was pretty confident that my septum would be fine, but like most women, I was more concerned about vanity. (ugh)
The day of my surgery I arrived in NJ around 7am, was prepped by a few very lovely nurses, and finally brought in. Next thing I know I'm on my way home. That day wasn't as bad as I had anticipated, pain-wise.. I just rested and slept and made sure to take the meds. I'd have to say that the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th days were the worst. I had every side effect in the book.. Insane migraines (still not allowed to take ibuprofen after surgery), constipation (didn't use the bathroom for 7, YES 7 days), yeast infection (from the high dose of antibiotics), and for some reason I could not pee. I had the urge constantly, but nothing would come out. I think the combo of antibiotics/pain killers really didn't agree with my body at all. What's funny is that the thing that hurt the least was my nose! The worst was definitely the migraines though. So bad that I couldn't see straight and I got nauseous. They were made worse by the fact that your head is so stuffed up you feel like it's gonna explode. The pressure in your face is pretty bad.
I think it was day 3 that you can take out the inner gauze packing (I didn't have any splints), with a tweezer. This didn't hurt as much as it sounds, it was mostly just awkward. That definitely alleviated some of the head pressure, because at least some "stuff" could come out. The one thing I learned to do (out of sheer necessity) was hock phlegm through my mouth. I've never really done this because all my life i've been blowing out mucus through my nose. It sounds stupid but you MUST learn to do this effectively or you will literally choke. I trained myself to kind of suck it in and gag it out (sorry this is gross, but reality). The first few days you do this you'll see giant balls of blood (don't be alarmed, this is apparently normal). Slowly but surely it'll just be regular mucus. You are not allowed to blow your nose for a few weeks, so get use to this being your primary method of purging out all the crap.
During the 7 day recovery period you must make sure to keep your nose very moist inside, so keep the saline spray close by. Also, you should keep applying bacitracin with q-tips to keep the scabs moist and help the stitches heal. You will become very swollen in the face, and you'll have to eat very soft foods. I couldn't open my mouth too wide to eat or talk for a while. Luckily, my surgery didn't require the Dr. to break my nose, so I didn't have to experience that pain, nor did I have any black and blue at all. Only my septum was broken inside, so nothing really hurt outside. Where I had my cosmetic work was on the very tip of my nose, so it was just numb cartilage. There's a cast on your nose though, so you can't see anything.
Exactly 7 days later I returned to Dr. Miller's NY office to have my cast removed and the stitches taken out. I was pretty scared that was gonna hurt, apprehensive/excited to finally see what the outside looked like, and embarrassed because for the 1/2hr or so that I walked around the city everyone stared at me. But, who cares I guess. The lovely Vanessa was the one to help me that morning. Now taking off the cast, which is literally glued to your nose, was definitely painful, but bearable. However, I can imagine that those who've had their bridge bone broken must go through the roof during the removal. I shutter to think of the pain, and I would probably pass out. I was told that people actually cry. Cutting out the stitches was definitely tough. it's only 4 little stitches, but it's a very tender spot and each one pinched like hell. When it was all said and done I looked in the mirror and almost ripped my face smiling. I could not fathom that Dr. Miller actually achieved EXACTLY what I'd asked for. Although I was very swollen, I could already see how perfect it was.
Now, 3 months later, I still feel as if it's swollen, and slightly sore but I'm still absolutely elated. Best money i've ever spent. Dr. Miller did the impossible. He brought down my tip considerably and gave me a perfect sloped look on top. You no longer see nostrils when looking straight at me. Let's not forget about the breathing though (lol).. I definitely can breathe clearer, and I think this will also improve over time, as I still have some hard scabbing and scar tissue inside. If I had only one recommendation, it would be to NOT do this surgery over the winter months. I didn't think it was possible, but I actually breathe a little too clearly now. So much so that the cold air really affects me, and I've gotten 2 colds since. This is most likely because I'm still very raw inside so the cold air feels like fiberglass breathing in. If I had to do it again i'd choose a warmer month, so that it can fully heal before the NY winter.
I thank RealSelf SO much, because I definitely relied on the reviews I've seen here. That's mainly why I'm writing one, to help others in my position, and to hail Dr. Miller for his fabulous work. I'm sorry that I cannot post more pictures (for personal/professional/privacy reasons), but I'm more than happy to answer any specific inquiries via private message. Thanks for reading and I wish you all the best of luck :)