Rhinoplasty/Septoplasty/Turbinate Reduction & Alar Rim Reconstruction - 4mos post-op

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I'm 52 now, but I clearly remember being a...

I'm 52 now, but I clearly remember being a teenager and hating my nose. It was uglier than everyone else's in my family, because I somehow had not only a long nose, but it also had a big bump, a droopy tip, and huge nostrils. I was even called "Mr. Ed" on occasion. (A talking horse on TV... for those of you too young to remember him!) So as soon as I had my first job with a steady income, the first thing I did was schedule a rhinoplasty.

But I was young, and this was 1985. Nobody I knew had a nose job. I never heard anyone even mention the word rhinoplasty, but I knew it existed. So on my own, I saved money and found a doctor. It ended up being a waste! First, because my family was very conservative and they de-emphasized physical attraction, and because I somehow thought vanity was a sin... I was too nervous to make big changes. I only requested that the bump be shaved, and that the bulbous tip be decreased in size.

I guess because no bones were going to be broken, the doctor used local anesthesia. I remember it vividly because I was in so much pain. Two nurses had to hold my shoulders and arms down because I couldn't stop writhing. I hated hearing the grating of the bone, and can still visualize it even today. During the surgery, I could hear the doctor giving instructions to someone... as it turned out, he didn't even perform the surgery, he was apparently a teaching surgeon! When it was all over, even with the bump and tip decreased, I still had a BIG nose.

Anyway, the story continues... I married, had a child, built a career, and divorced. I never thought about my nose during that time. So when I divorced and went back out into the world, I was shocked that when I tried to catch a man's eye, he would quickly look away. I felt invisible. Even now, I know that might be partly to do with my age, but something happened this past summer to bring all those "low self-esteem because of the nose" issues back to the stage.

I had to take 8 flights in a four-week period. I was traveling alone. I dressed casually, but with style, hair done, a little make-up, etc. All the flights were full, but in all cases, I was one of the first to board the planes. On all 8 flights, the seat next to me was empty. And stayed empty. Passenger after passenger would glance at me and keep on walking. If was one one or two flights, I wouldn't give it a second thought. But by the 3rd flight, it crossed my mind that there might be a reason for it. By the 8th flight, I was convinced. And a little depressed.

When the flights were over, I took pictures of my face from all angles, to see if I could see what all those strangers saw. I had avoided the camera my whole life, and even avoided mirrors to a degree, so let me tell you, I was shocked. I felt like I was looking at someone I didn't know. Someone I too, had avoided looking at. Two or three days later, when I went to try on new eyeglasses, the owner of the store (trying to make a sale, mind you) told me I looked like a Hapsburg. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I didn't know what she was talking about. I went home, googled it, and found it they were a royal European family that inter-married and were therefore deformed. Where? The nose, chin, and forehead.

I couldn't get those scenarios out of my mind, and then a whole host of memories from my teens and early twenties surfaced... things I hadn't thought about in 30 years. Things I had just buried. Like being told I looked manly. Being told I looked better without makeup, because makeup made me look like a drag queen.

Truthfully, in other aspects of my life I'm quite confident. Other people's perceptions generally don't bother me very much. And no matter what anyone said, I am mostly content with my looks. They reflect my heritage, and I'm fine with that. The only problem now is that I can't look in the mirror without seeing my nostrils. They are as large as my pupils from the side, and from the side I look angry, even when I'm not at all. That's what I think the strangers on the plane saw. Someone who looked unhappy. I don't blame them for not wanting to sit next to me. I would pass me by, too!

So I began the research on rhinoplasty in earnest, and ended up choosing Dr. Grigoryants in Glendale, CA. I like him, and I like his work. I was pretty well-versed in what I wanted in a nose job, so my consultation went smoothly, in that he and I agreed on the areas of improvement. Namely, the columella needs to be raised, the alar rims reduced (a graft from the ear will be needed for my right nostril), the dorsal hump removed, the bridge narrowed, and the tip refined. Oh! And my deviated septum will be corrected as well. (Virtually no air passes through the right nostril.)

I absolutely can't wait for the big day. I think subconsciously, the feeling of being ugly and not worth approaching by most men is a deep and painful psycho-emotional wound. I feel confident in Dr. Grigoryants ability, and am not nervous about the surgery at all. On the other hand, I don't know what life will be like for me as a single woman in my 50's with a feminine nose. For this reason, I have been doing a lot of soul-searching so that my expectations are as realistic as possible:

Ultimately, I am doing this for myself. I'm a woman, and I want to look like one. I feel feminine on the inside, and want to look it on the outside. I don't feel like this surgery will bring about a new me, so much as it will reveal the real me. This nose feels more and more like a mask every day, and I can't wait to take it off.

Sorry, I keep going back and forth on whether or...

Sorry, I keep going back and forth on whether or not to post photos... I think it's really helpful to others going through the same thing, but the lack of privacy sort of creeps me out!

Time has been passing so slowly in anticipation...

Time has been passing so slowly in anticipation for this surgery! But FINALLY, the months have passed and my surgery is 2 weeks from today! Went to my pre-op appointment today - the worst part was paying for the surgery - ugh! But we only have one life, and don't like to have regrets, so now is not the time to worry about the money! There was one patient before me with her cast on. She was there to have it removed. I saw her leave, and her nose looked so nice, which was encouraging.

Then it was my turn to talk to the doctor. I had my computer with me, and I showed him a file I had been working on of pictures of me, along with some pictures of Princess Mary of Denmark, whose nose I love! I am having a revision rhinoplasty, and I know all our noses and faces are unique, so I'm not expecting the PS to give me her nose, but there are features of her nose that I like, and I wanted to show him those. I also had a list of concerns for my nose which I brought with me... 13 concerns to be exact! But the doctor patiently listened to and commented/discussed each one. The plan is for the nose to be de-projected and shortened; the columella will be pulled up; the nostrils lowered as much as possible, the deviated septum corrected; the hump removed, and the sides of the noses evened out. I asked him about my deep-set eyes, and he said yes, they will appear less sunken once the bridge is decreased in size. He also said my nose will look much more feminine and cute, which is what I want. He said that my chin also appears very large because my upper lip is short. Now I know that "upper lip" means the length of the space between the upper lip and the base of the nose. But he said that the tip work will result in a longer upper lip, which will make my chin appear more in proportion. LOVED that !! Finally, I have what's apparently called an "inverted V", where part of my nose has collapsed as a result of my first nose job. I know he'll fix it, but I can't remember now exactly how...

I feel calm now after meeting with the surgeon again. I'm really prickly about people and environments, and I have to say this doctor made me feel so comfortable. Talking to him is like talking to an older brother that you admire for his expertise. He's friendly, has good eye contact, body language, etc. He seemed intuitive to my goals (but everything was discussed explicitly) and artistic in his explanations of what he would do and why.

I don't feel excited yet, probably cause I still need to have my EKG and blood work, and I still have 8 more work days before the big day. Plus I won't be able to have any alcohol for 10 days before the operation, which is a bit of a drag, as I love to have a glass of wine in the evenings. So for now, it's life as usual 'till the big day!

Oh! My son says nobody sits next to me on planes...

Oh! My son says nobody sits next to me on planes because I always have my "Don't you dare sit next to me!" face on... he might be right, because I do always hope for an extra seat to stretch out (-blush- yes, I am one of those travelers). I guess if my nose makes me look mean PLUS I want to look mean, it's probably pretty effective!

Surgery is one week from tomorrow - thank...

Surgery is one week from tomorrow - thank goodness! I'm feeling very impatient. The only thing pending is making sure the blood work results - I had it drawn 2 days ago - get delivered to my regular doctor, who in turn has to fax it, along with my EKG report, to the surgeon. I also have to fill my post-op prescriptions. That's it... now it's just a waiting game... which I am very bad at... this is going to be a very long week... Definitely, one of the bummers about this whole experience is how long the process is. And after surgery, starts the whole healing process, which sounds like it lasts a long time as well, what with the swelling and all. I just want it all over already!

Hello all, just want to start by saying thank you...

Hello all, just want to start by saying thank you to all the people who posted their reviews, their worries, their desires, frustrations, and successes on this site. Even though my first rhinoplasty was 25 some odd years ago, I think one thing hasn't changed since then, which is that for a lot of us it's still a very personal and somewhat private undertaking. This website has provided so much support for me, and so thank you very much! My nose has been on mind almost constantly since I decided to have this surgery. Some days it helps to express myself here; other days it's enough to read about others' experiences. Truly invaluable. That said, I'll be preparing to go to the hospital exactly three days from right now, and I hope after that to be able to focus better on other things in my life (though I'll post throughout my recovery, for sure!!). It's funny, cause my job as a teacher can be really stressful, but throughout this process I've been so happy to have a job where I'm surrounded by youngsters who need my full attention. For the past few weeks especially, I would leave work and realize - wow - I haven't thought about my nose in 10 hours! Teaching has been a lot of things for me, but this is one of the few occasions where it's actually been therapeutic. Sweet : >)

Yeah, this is my big-nose symbol: : >) Here's hoping that'll change soon!

Anyway, left work yesterday to the sad news about the shooting of school children in Connecticut, and it's taking my mind off my surgery a bit. How meaningless my concerns seem in comparison to the people who lost their little darlings yesterday...
So easy to see how it could have been my classroom, or kids on a field trip, or in a park... Wow, I guess that's on my mind more than my nose! Okay, back to business...

My PS finally got all my blood work and EKG results faxed over from my personal MD. THAT was stressful actually, and when this is all over, I will probably switch MDs. If I have any advice for anyone in this site, it would be to make sure that all gets done as early as possible! I tried actually... I had called my PS office to ask if I could pick up the paperwork regarding bloodwork & tests that would be needed, so that I could get moving on it. She said, "No, don't bother, don't worry, just get it at your pre-op which is two weeks prior to surgery. That'll be plenty of time." I wish I hadn't listened to her! I was very nervous getting those details taken care of just 7-10 days prior to my big day, and SURE ENOUGH... my MDs office did not fax the blood results to my PS as they were supposed to! It was only when I called them asking what the holdup was, that the office clerk said she would do it, asking me for the fax number of my PS (which I had already given them a week before). So she faxes over the blood work... and the PS office clerk calls me to say she got it, but where's the EKG? So I called back my MD, and the office clerk tells me they CAN'T FIND IT, and schedules me to come in and do it again! I don't live very close to my MD, so that's not as simple as it sounds. It would have taken a minimum of 3 hours. Well, I might live in sunny California now, but I was born in the Bronx, and I can be very formidable when I "get my Bronx up"! So I was not happy and I let them know it. Not in a mean way, but in a direct, you guys gotta fix this kind of way. Sure enough, they called me 24 hours later, just prior to my heading over to their office, to tell me they had found it. So yeah, I need a new MD...

I also had to get from the MD a written statement saying that I was physically fit enough for surgery. I did get that, and will drive it up to my PS this morning. Also have to pick up the prescriptions from the PS. I don't even know what they are. I think it's just a painkiller. I keep reading about Arnica and Bromelain to help in bruising and swelling. My PS didn't mention either. When I go there this morning I will ask about that. But my neighbor who had her surgery done by him, said she used butter to reduce the bruising! I was so surprised, but she said it's what is done in her culture. I googled it, and sure enough, plenty of people use butter. Wow. I'll make a decision today I guess, about butter vs arnica! Then I'll settle in for recovery prep. Thank you again for everyone on this site who has shared their recovery tips and tricks, their photos and their advice. I'd be lost without it. Will post later...

Picked up arnica montana cream today for the...

Picked up arnica montana cream today for the bruising. Tomorrow I'll get pineapple and pineapple juice for some natural bromelain to hopefully help with swelling, frozen peas, and some Fruit & Protein smoothies. I don't eat soup often, but I guess I'll browse the soup aisle for inspiration. I wonder how to eat veggies the first few days if it's hard to chew?

Wow, all these months, and it's finally here......

Wow, all these months, and it's finally here... I'm meeting my ride outside in 8 minutes. Holy Moly! Slept fine last night, no problems. Haven't eaten in about 13 hours. I hate the feeling of being showered with no moisturizer or hair products on. I feel like a frizzy-haired lizard. Gosh, how did they do it in the old days before these things were invented? It doesn't bear thinking about - LOL ! I guess I'm just trying to entertain myself at this point, with now - gasp - 6 minutes before departure.

Well okay, I left a whole bunch of stuff that I wanted to do until the last day, which was great because it kept me very busy this morning! I made soup for later, went to the post office to mail Christmas gifts, even did a load of laundry. I did't want to be sitting around WAITING. Okay, time to go! Will post later...

Made it home in one piece. Eyes are purple and...

Made it home in one piece. Eyes are purple and almost swollen shut. /will post tomorrow.

So surgery was yesterday. The hospital part was...

So surgery was yesterday. The hospital part was easy. Everyone was very nice. Not scary at all. In fact all the staff I encountered were smiling, laughing, and telling jokes. I felt very comfortable. Then I went into the pre-op/post-op area. Again, super nice and funny nurses. So they got me all settled and ready. I thought the I.V. thing they put in my arm was kind of cool. It's just a tube with a metal screw thing sticking out. It's ready for the real anesthesia to be screwed into it, I guess.

They wheeled me into another room where I met the anesthesiologist and the O.R. nurse. They also made me feel that I was in good hands. The surgeon also came in and talked to me for a few minutes about what he was going to do. He has told me from the very beginning that my nose won't be perfect but it'll be a lot better. That's because my main problem, and his main challenge, was my nostrils which apparently are really difficult to fix.

He shaved down the dorsal hump and fractured the nasal sidewalls. He fixed the tip and leftover bad cartilage work from my rhino 25 years ago. He explained that he would be cutting "pockets" from inside my nose to open the alar rims (aka sides of the nostrils), and would be putting septum cartilage into the pockets to try to lower the retracted nostrils. Of course he lifted the columella, too.

When I was back in recovery, I had a very hard time waking up. The anesthesia really kicked my butt !! I was in recovery for an hour, and then wheeled in to pre-/post-op room again for another hour. The nurses told me the surgeon was absolutely adamant that no drip pad be attached to the base of my nose! I'm assuming because of all the nostril work. So instead they taped a drip pad to my upper lip. It doesn't touch my nose at all, but works fine at catching the blood.

I think I was only home for 30 minutes when I vomited a lot of blood. The nurses explained that it is normal to swallow blood during surgery. They said not everyone does, but a lot of people do, and that I would feel better once I vomited. I'm glad they told me about it or I would have been frightened to see that.

So I'm on a liquid diet right now, just fruit & protein smoothies, and pineapple juice. I did have to take a pain pill for my lower back which was the only problem I had sleeping elevated. My nose under the cast hurts now though. It must be the nose is trying to swell but the cast won't let it, so it's a lot of pressure. Icing it was a bit tricky too 'cause I wanted to ice the eyes and cheeks, but not get the cast wet, but I finally got that sorted out.

I'm very tired, so will update later....zzzz.... Oh, my pics... well, let me tell you that I have always bruised extremely easily, so don't let my bruises scare you!!

Day 2 Post Op: Luckily I am sleeping a lot, but I...

Day 2 Post Op: Luckily I am sleeping a lot, but I am also taking the pain medication the doctor prescribed. Otherwise the throbbing of the nose and head would keep me in misery. (Had about a 24 hour headache.) Have also been icing often, which relieves a lot of the pain. I don't look much better in my Day 2 post-op pic, but I feel much better than I did on Day 1. I even drove my son to school today! It was too early in the morning for many lookey-loos! One thing that concerns me is that I coughed up congealed blood today. I will email the doctor about it. I think it happened because my nostrils are so swollen that blood that should drip out perhaps can't. Other than that, no health concerns. I know I just need time to rest and heal. Re food, I'm not particularly hungry. I'm just drinking juice, eating a little quiche and avocado because I know I should, not because I want to.

I've been keeping the home on the cool side, so my nose doesn't dry out, but am very warm under a ton of blankies. I think it's helpful that the air feels cool and fresh.

As far as how the nose looks, I really can't tell. I figure it's swollen, and I'm tired, so I can't really make even a reasonable assessment. And the last thing I want to do this week is upset myself, so I'm just focusing on getting better. I'll look more closely at it in a few days. Time for another nap... !

Day 3 Post-Op: Can't seem to get rid of the...

Day 3 Post-Op: Can't seem to get rid of the headache. I'm going to make sure I eat plenty today, just in case that has something to do with it. Even though I've been drinking, it's not nearly what I normally would, so maybe it's partly dehydration. I can feel my cheeks starting to get puffy, and I'm glad about that... it means the swelling is moving down away from my eyes. Having really swollen eyes is very uncomfortable, I must say. On the bright side, I'm catching up on missed episodes of MONK and GLEE, and I get to wear my robe all day without feeling guilty. On the other bright side, my teeth and lips don't hurt at all, which I read might happen, so that's a relief, and I can move them enough to eat a sandwich. Just finished breakfast... off to nap now. Will post again later...

Day 4 Post-Op: Every day I feel better, thank...

Day 4 Post-Op: Every day I feel better, thank goodness! My sleeping is way off, so I'm writing this review at 4am. I don't mind being elevated (I actually kind of like it in a weird way) but I've had to take pain meds every 5 hours, so when the meds wear off, I wake up. My problem was a persistent headache and throbbing. Ice really helps, but not enough. I thought the headache might be from dehydration, but yesterday I drank a ton of water and juice, and still had the headache. Last night I had another thought... could it be I was experiencing caffeine withdrawal? I do love my coffee... So this morning same thing... woke up with a headache. I re-read my surgeon's post-op instructions, and he doesn't mention caffeine (I know some doctors say not to have it) so instead of the pain pill, I made myself a warm cup of not strong coffee. Voila! Headache gone!

Otherwise, recovery seems to be on course. My cheeks and jaw are swelling, and the bruising around my eyes is slowly decreasing. It's really hard to clean the nostrils because I've got 3 sets of stitches and I'm just worried about bothering them, but I'm doing my best. I realized only yesterday - I mean I knew it, but I guess I suddenly had an ah-ha moment, that my nose tip is taped. There's all sorts of tape under the cast, actually. So I can't really judge at all what my nose will look like, because I'm assuming when everything de-swells and settles, the appearance may be very different from what I see now. That's why I haven't rated the doctor or changed my post to "Worth it !" The only thing I can see for sure now is that the columella is lifted, which makes my upper lip slightly longer, which in turn makes my chin look slightly less large. Those are all really excellent outcomes for me.

I have been hiding from my neighbors because I don't want them to know my business, but it's getting annoying feeling locked up. Once the swelling is completely gone from my eyes I may just get back to my life and not care. Right now though the corners are still swollen and itchy, as well. I can only see one tear duct. One eye is partially bloodshot also. It really hurt on the 1st night, and when I woke up it had become partially bloodshot. Hopefully that doesn't get worse.

Thanks for reading everyone, and posting your support and encouragement. It's amazing what a difference this website makes. Even though it's virtual, it's still very much a support group, and I thank you all

Day 5 Post-Op: Recovery continues... it's...

Day 5 Post-Op: Recovery continues... it's getting boring! I'm happy to see the bruising around my eyes is slowly fading. They're still swollen, but not as much as before. My forehead and upper cheeks feel less swollen too. My jaw has a bruise now and is swollen, and I feel like my neck is swollen too. I had the same sore throat as everyone else, but suddenly last night it got really intense. Somehow though I just feel like it's the swelling moving south that's irritating it, so I'm not concerned.

My eyes are really dry and sensitive, which I read is not uncommon. I first noticed eye irritation when I applied arnica montana to my cheeks. The gel was at least an inch from my eyes, but still, right away they would burn. So unfortunately, I'm not using it anymore. My neighbor suggested butter, which I tried, but I've never been a fan of butter, and was just too psychologically grossed out by it to continue. Anyway, I can't even turn on the heat in the house or within minutes they start to burn. So it's kind of cold, but I'm just bundling up and not thinking about it. (Only reporting it here to share the experience!)

On the plus side, I noticed something interesting: My medicine cabinet door is a mirror, so that when I open it, I see my reflection in the wall mirror, and a different angle of the reflection in the cabinet mirror. I've always hated catching my reflection in multiple mirrors, because I felt like I was looking at multiple people, not the same person from different angles. My nose was so asymmetrical that I looked completely off-balance from certain angles. Anyway, so it's a really positive sign for me that since my surgery my face seems more symmetrical, and the multiple angles of the mirrors doesn't completely change the image like it used to. My surgeon knew I was bothered by my asymmetry, and he made no promises of perfection, but said yes, it could be improved. We'll see down the road... but so far, it looks like he improved it a lot !!

Not sure if I ever said this, but I had...

Not sure if I ever said this, but I had rhinoplasty, septoplasty, and turbinate reduction.

Day 6 Post-Op: Christmas Eve - My highlight is...

Day 6 Post-Op: Christmas Eve - My highlight is that I washed my hair in the shower today. The holidays just ain't what they used to be... - sigh - Anyway, I just aimed the water low and draped a facecloth over my nose when rinsing hair. Cast stayed dry. Small accomplishment, I know, but it felt major! Other than that, no changes. Oh, yes, there was in a way... my surgeon said to clean the dried blood in/around nostrils with hydrogen peroxide, right? Well, a) it was taking forever, and b) it was stinging. My eyes also were driving me nuts with swelling in the corners and itching. So I asked myself, WWGD? What would grandma do? And I knew then that at some point common sense has to take over. I switched to warm water to clean the nose, and warm compresses for the eyes. Both felt much better.

Day 7 Post-Op: Cast off tomorrow night. So...

Day 7 Post-Op: Cast off tomorrow night. So relieved. This has been a very, very long week.

Day 8 Post-Op: Cast came off! I am so happy to...

Day 8 Post-Op: Cast came off! I am so happy to lose that pressure, and to be able to breathe through my nose! Stitch and cast removal hurt, but the doctor talked while he worked, so I just focused instead on his words as much as I could. It only lasted a few minutes, anyway. Like everyone else, I do have the usual swelling in all the usual places, which I completely trust will go down over time.

Dr. Grigoryants has a lot of patients, but he still took the time to talk about my surgery. I asked if it was challenging, and he said yes, and I said good, and he laughed. He told me why he made some decisions that he did... such as the minute degrees of angles or scoops, etc., and he explained the facial features in terms of face shape and relative size of other features. I told him I felt like I was talking to a great doctor and sculptor.

I don't know if it's true, but the buzz in his lobby was that he just finished filming on 3 episodes of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (spoiler alert: someone on the show must get a nose job!! ) (I've never watched it, so who knows who? Not me!) Anyway, if anyone is considering him, don't be put off if you see him on TV. He is the most down-to-earth, approachable doctors I have ever met.

So to wrap it all up, I just want to send it out to the internet world that today, I feel very blessed. The nostrils are very difficult to correct, and I am so very thankful that in my search for a surgeon, I chanced upon the extraordinarily talented Dr. Vladimir Grigoryants. I had a guardian angel on my shoulder that day, I tell you.

So, I think my pictures of extreme bruising are...

So, I think my pictures of extreme bruising are really the exception... not the norm. I've always been a quick bruiser, and my skin is very thin, so it's prone to bruise easily, and de-swell quickly. The bruising part proved true. Let's hope the de-swelling does, too. But anyway, because it's not the norm, I decided to take those pics down. I wouldn't want them to influence anyone into not having this surgery because of fear of bruising.

Hello, Just a little update... I totally feel...

Just a little update... I totally feel fine now, just a few stubborn bruises still hanging on. All the swelling has left my face and neck. Yes, even my neck was swollen. In my case, my nostrils were 100% blocked when my cast was on, so everything dripped to the throat. My lymph nodes in my neck felt very tender. I couldn't clear my throat for a week, but was finally able to starting yesterday, and began to goob up lots of mucos-blood globs for the past 24hours. I think it's over now. I was prepared for it by the way, because one of my surgeon's office staff said it happened to her when she was finally able to clear her throat. It feels really good to have my throat all clear and hydrated!

Tonight I was tidying up my post-surgery supplies, and realized I had gathered items along the way that I needed, so I thought I'd pass a little list along just in case :)

1) a small flashlight to help keep the nostrils clean, so you're sure to stay clear from any stitches
2) a paper and pen to write down the times I took meds
3) not one, but 2 boxes of 500-count Q-tips (and I know I'll need probably two more boxes) for cleaning the nostrils
4) vaseline for lips and nose, which worked much better than the two lip balms I had
5) cotton rounds for soothing and/or cleaning the eyes
6) 2 small bowls that I used for hot and cold water when soothing or cleaning my eyes or nostrils
7) small scissors for trimming the gauze used on my drip pad
8) different sized cotton cloth strips for wrapping the frozen pea gloves in, to keep them off my skin
9) a small bucket for odd bit of trash
10) a long scarf to tie around my face = under the chin & tied on top of head = to hold the ice in place

I had also prepared gloves with peas for icing, but they wouldn't stay put until another realself member suggested tying the gloves together. That was great. Then with the long scarf, everything was thoroughly kept in place without my having to hold it.

The one thing I wished for, but didn't have, was one of those little collapsible tables that are normally used for eating in bed. I wouldn't have eaten in bed, but I often wished for a place in bed to elevate my arms, and to have things in super-easy reach.

Other than that, there is nothing unexpected or unusual to report, which feels good actually! Today I had a very full and active day, and wasn't slowed down by the nose at all. I just keep getting the shivers though, thinking that I'll do something really clumsy, like trip and fall. So even though I can do a lot now, I still kind of want to be super cautious!

Wow, unexpectedly I got quite a few "private...

Wow, unexpectedly I got quite a few "private message" requests to put the photos of my bruising back up. A few of you said, hey, they were real, and that's what the realself is about. Others said they were encouraging to show how quickly everything sorts itself out, despite the incredible bruising. Others said, it's good to share with people that this isn't a decision to be taken lightly. So, I'm putting them back, despite how horrid I look in them :( and how scary they are!

It's been 14 days since my surgery, and with each...

It's been 14 days since my surgery, and with each passing day I do feel like life is getting back to normal. From the front, I have an Avatar nose like everyone else, and it looks different all the time, which I guess is because it's slowing settling and the de-swelling is not uniform in any way. I had swollen bumps under my nostrils where my stitches were, but they went away with 2x daily antibiotic cream. I still have a large white bump right inside my nose which is also at a suture spot, so I know it is swelling and will go away soon. Most of my bruising is gone, just a few football-player stripes under my eyes are left. Part of my "healing" requires me to think less about my nose, so I'm planning on hanging around realself for a while longer to support you, as you have supported me! I also plan to post pics from time to time, and will definitely post after I return to work on Jan. 7th. It will be very interesting to see if anyone notices at all, especially my 23 eight-year-old students, who notice EVERYTHING!

Thank you again for all your support and kind words these past few months! It made what could have been a scary, lonely journey somewhat of a safe adventure, knowing I was part of a community who understood what I was going through. I hope I can continue to do the same for others! Happy and healthy 2013 !!!

Regarding the bruised pictures... I just couldn't...

Regarding the bruised pictures... I just couldn't leave them up. A girl's got to draw the line somewhere, I suppose. So, if anyone out there in realself land wants to see worst-case scenario bruising, please feel free to private message me. Otherwise, just assume that it IS possible to look like the losing boxer in a 12-bout fight after this surgery... just something to keep in mind. :-/

Gosh, time goes so fast and I haven't updated for...

Gosh, time goes so fast and I haven't updated for a while, so I'm not sure where to start. I'm in a work frame-of-mind again, so I think I'll go with bullet points...

- still sleeping just slightly elevated (my choice)
- still taping at night (I missed it one night and woke up with a slightly bruised eye and renewed swelling)
- nobody noticed my nose... but they did notice my bruises, so I ended up having to tell my colleagues, who were awesome about it, and one even privately asked for my surgeon's name
- the inside of my nostrils was where I had so much work done, and they are understandably very swollen still
- my nose seems very sensitive to heat and cold
- I took a massive amount of pictures at first - literally hundreds from every possible angle - but have since calmed down :-P
- the swelling seemed to change at first from day to day, sometimes leaning one way, and the next day leaning the other... which quickly became tiresome and useless to agonize over, only to have it change the next day! Now I mostly just ignore it. I absolutely LOVE my nose now in comparison to what it was, and I want to concentrate on the positive.
- my fingers felt swollen for a few weeks after the surgery, which was odd. Normally I type accurately and quickly, but for two weeks I kept hitting the wrong keys when texting or typing.
- I'm not so afraid to touch my nose now, but it is so swollen still that it feels like I'm touching a foreign object on my face, not a part of me. The nostrils are still extremely tender, but warm moist compresses 3-5 times daily help a lot.
- I still feel swollen in the forehead, eyes, and cheeks, even 4 weeks later. Headbands and my night-time eye shades still feel a bit tight for some reason.
- I knew I wouldn't be able to wear my glasses, and I'm managing okay... but I really miss my sunglasses! I've been wearing a wide-brim hat everywhere I go to protect my nose and eyes from the sun.

Well, that's all I can think of right now! I planned on updating on my one-month anniversary, and I wanted to stick to that plan... but I also have a terrible cold right now, and it's probably affecting my memory ! ;D If I can think of anything else that anyone might find useful, I'll be sure to update!

I added photos to show the Alar Rim Reduction. I...

I added photos to show the Alar Rim Reduction. I haven't seen any pictures of that on realself, so I thought it might help someone.

Ooops! Alar Rim *Reconstruction* .... not...

Ooops! Alar Rim *Reconstruction* .... not reduction! Alar Rim Reduction is a different type of surgery!

Hello everyone in realself land ~ haven't updated...

Hello everyone in realself land ~ haven't updated in a long time, sorry about that! My job and family have kept me crazy-busy, and I haven't had the time or need to think about my nose much (how weird, when you think about all the obsessing before this surgery :P Now I am at 11 weeks post-op, so I think it's time to check in!

First, I am still taping at night. A few days here and there I was too tired to do it, and I noticed a lot of swelling the next day, so I'm just going to continue it for now. Luckily, the tape doesn't bother my skin at all. I included a pic of my taped nose (don't ask me why!). Maybe someone will want to see what a taped nose looks like?? You never know...

My nose is still swollen, and not always evenly. I am very happy with it, but some days the swelling just makes it look odd to me. I'm looking forward to it being a bit smaller too! I have a big chin, so I guess I can't have too small a nose or my chin will look gigantic, but a little smaller and more refined would look nice. I know... I just need to give it time!

It is still very swollen inside, and I still have to keep the nostrils as moist as possible to keep them clean. I am breathing better out of my nose since the operation, but not fully yet. I am sure it's the swelling though. It's easy to see the swelling inside the nostrils.

I think I've been lucky... I haven't had any significant bleeding (just one day, and it wasn't terrible at all). I haven't had any pain. I haven't bumped it, and it hasn't been hit with a football or anything. I still am seriously afraid of that because I work at a school, and at any given time there are a few hundred kids on the yard throwing and kicking balls (and the occasional backpack!). I'm always on the lookout for flying objects!

I have a lot of pairs of glasses, but I don't feel comfortable wearing them yet, except one very lightweight pair of sunglasses. Thank goodness they're prescription! I wear them driving, even when it's not sunny, just to be able to see clearly. My other glasses just feel too heavy on my bridge.

One thing I REALLY notice is that I smile more easily now. I really used to not feel comfortable in many face-to-face conversations because of my big nose and giant nostrils. Now I feel happier and more confident overall. Next step: grow out my hair! {*~*}

Even now, only one person in my family knows about my surgery. I will see everyone this summer when I'm roughly 6mos. post-op. It'll be interesting to see if anyone notices. Based on all the realself comments I've read, I don't think they will. But one thing I know for sure: it doesn't matter to me who notices or not, who thinks it's good I did it vs. who thinks I shouldn't have... I just know that it was the right thing for me to do. I'm still thrilled, and though I wish I had done it earlier, it's never too late to make positive changes in one's life. Yeah for rhinoplasty!!!

Just wanted to add a pic to show how slowly the...

Just wanted to add a pic to show how slowly the nose de-swells, since it can bring you down when results are slow in coming... It's so important psychologically, emotionally, and ethically to have realistic expectations. This is our responsibility as patients, especially since it's all over the internet: 1-2 years to fully de-swell. Nostril work and hump removal are more or less noticeable right away, but bridge width and tip work may take what feels like FOREVER to show their final version. The reason I say we patients need to be ethically responsible is because some of the comments on this site are confusing... one patient loves a surgeon, the next patient hates the same surgeon. It's confusing for prospective patients still on the journey to find the right surgeon. Then time passes, and perhaps both patients change their minds! So to anyone reading this... my advice it to educate yourself. Do not expect the surgeon to do it for you. Take these reviews - even mine - with a grain of salt... Going into this surgery with eyes wide open is your responsibility. * l * but by the way... I love my nose and my surgeon :)

Seems like swelling is starting to drop down from...

Seems like swelling is starting to drop down from bridge now. Yeah! One slow step at a time...

4.5 months now... and the nose is really...

4.5 months now... and the nose is really fascinating! It continues to change a lot, sometimes throughout the day. The swollen bits vary frequently! Yesterday morning I woke up and gasped when I looked in the mirror, because my tip seemed more swollen than it had ever been - it's just crazy! I really just ignore it for the most part though, since it's one of those "time will tell" situations. And the swelling seems to have a life of it's own anyway! On another note, I'm in California and the weather is very dry right now, so both nostrils are very stuffed and dry in the morning. If I blow too hard, there is blood. I think the inside environment of my nose is just super dry, and I have to put water-soaked gauze in them every morning as soon as I wake up.

Oh! but when I woke up today the tip seemed more...

oh! but when I woke up today the tip seemed more slender again --- so who knows?
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

I found Dr. Grigoryants on the internet. I think I was just really lucky to find him, and then to have him be right in my neighborhood was an added surprise, as that wasn't a priority for me. My mom was an Emergency Room nurse, so I grew up hearing lots of stories about surgeons. I think my expectations were from the perspective that surgeons aren't people persons (and why should they be? Their patients are always asleep anyway!). I wanted a surgeon who I felt would make the right choices when I was knocked out & couldn't be consulted, just in case anything arose that wasn't anticipated. So Dr. Grigoryants' before & after pictures sold me. My neighbor and his office staff both had rhinoplasties with him, and their noses are beautiful, so I was comfortable that he could consistently give his patients really nice noses that seem to fit their faces perfectly. He obviously understood the artistry behind the nose! I thought he was honest, forthcoming, patient, understanding, and approachable. For me personally everything worked out pretty much just right, so far.

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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