I'm excited to finally start my own review as I...
I'm excited to finally start my own review as I have been gently stalking (to put it lightly lol) all of you who have shared your journey here on Real Self and have ultimately convinced me that I can actually go through with this!
I surprisingly never considered a rhinoplasty growing up (besides maybe the brutal pre-teen years) because Ive always been happy with how I look and probably too distracted with everything else that I've been blessed with in life but now that I have graduated college and I've found a great job as an RN I find myself thinking about the possibility of a rhinopasty. I know that objectively speaking I have a large, crooked Italian nose but in some ways I have come to embrace it and I can't believe I'm actually going through with this! I know this will definitely be an emotional journey for me however after reading all of the reviews and before/afters on Dr. Grigoryants work I am so excited. It seems like he not only fixes one aspect of someone's nose but he actually magically just transforms the whole thing and to me every single one of you has had beautiful results! I mainly decided to write about my experience so I can hopefully ask you all questions (God knows I have MANY) and then return the favor to those who may seek a rhinoplasty in the future :)
So I have told all my relatives, cousins, close friends and co-workers as I am definitely very comfortable and open about the whole thing. I am ultimately doing this for myself and my own confidence and everyone has been very accepting of it and excited for me. I had my email consultation with Dr G. and he basically would be giving my the whole package including narrowing my bridge, deprojecting the nose, shaving the bump and reducing the tip/nostrils. I am definitely nervous about not having an in person consultation until the day prior but I really couldn't find any surgeons around me who I would have the same confidence in. So my surgery date is scheduled for April 27th 2016 I wanted to make sure it is over and done with before the summer months since I'm a new nurse and don't think it would be easy to take too much time off in the summer. One of my first questions actually is how much time do you all recommend taking off of work? I scheduled 10 days and since I work 3x12hr shifts in a week I'm only requesting 4 shifts off. Hopefully that will be enough time.
I'm also traveling to Cali from Boston, Ma so if anyone has any recommendations of a great place to stay or any fun things they included during their stay feel free to share! I'm dragging my poor boyfriend along with me so I still want to fit in some sightseeing and fun activities (nose permitting of course)
Anyways! Here are some photos of what I'm working with and I would love to hear from any of you (questions/concerns/advice) and also I just want to thank those who have shared their journey so far :) April can't come soon enough!
Postponed until October..
Hi sorry about not updating sooner unfortunately a day before we were supposed to fly out for Ca my boyfriend went through a pretty scary health emergency so we had to postpone the trip so I could care for him (he's doing much better now thankfully). Hopefully I can get a date in mid July if there are any cancelations but if not I have a date set in October. Il keep you guys updated :)
A few more days...
Hi guys so I'll be flying out to LA in just a few hours and my pre-op appointment is scheduled for later in the afternoon. Im leaning towards asking for a straight bridge instead of a sloped one but I'm hoping he'll be able to give me an idea of what would look best and most natural on me. Does anyone have any advice on questions I should ask? I feel a little underprepared for this lol I can't believe how fast time flies! I have been taking pre-op vitamins (multivitamin, Esther c and zinc chelate, no vitamin E) daily for about two weeks now and will start taking bromelain and arnica post op. I've done my best to avoid garlic but wow that was the hardest thing to avoid!! Also, my surgery is on Wednesday and my boyfriend and I bought tickets for universal studios for Sunday and Monday so I'm hoping 3-4 days is enough time to rest before going out and walking a lot (no rides or anything crazy). We will also be near the LA zoo and the Griffith park observatory so I'm really hopeful that I'll be able to get out and do stuff while I'm in LA. Any advice on good eats would be appreciated!
So I had my pre-op apt with Dr G today and I gotta say I was very impressed with how professional and knowledgeable he is regarding what he does. As soon as we sat down to talk about my nose he objectively told me what we could and couldn't fix and what results I could expect. Because one side of my face is slightly lifted (eyebrow, nose, lips, jaw and all) compared to the other half of my face, one of my nostrils sits higher than the other which can't be changed so as to protect the overall balance of the rest of my facial features. You can definitely tell he knows a lot about facial symmetry because I've looked in the mirror for 23 years and barely ever noticed that! He also told me I have thin skin which from what I've heard means that imperfections/cartilage will be more visible as swelling goes down. Again, I'm not too concerned as I'm not a perfectionist in any way and I think a lot of natural noses have bumps and imperfections. He did say that we could drastically improve the overall structure and appearance of my nose by removing some of the excess tip, decreasing the width/size of the nostrils, deprojecting the nose, narrowing and straightening out the bridge as well as opening up the airways. He pointed out that my nose curves to one side and said my septum is definitely c or s shaped I can't remember which but that it ultimately does impair airflow which should improve after he inserts some type of graft that will keep the valve from collapsing. Anyways, he went into more detail and showed me some diagrams to help explain what the plan was so I felt really reassured. I definitely agree with a lot of people in the sense that he is very personable, professional, and easy to talk to. He answered all of my questions thoroughly and never seemed rushed. That being said I'm all set and ready to go for tomorrow :)
Post Op day 1
Woohoo everything went really well yesterday! I got to Verdugo Hills around 10am and filled out paperwork, got an IV put in, and then waited about an hour to briefly meet with Dr G again. At around 1230 I met with anesthesiology and I relayed my concerns to him about easily getting nauseous with most meds and he assured me I would get anti-nausea and Benadryl to help with that. He then gave me a dose of IV versed and I was rolled into the OR around 1pm. Last thing I remembered was talking to the OR nurse about Boston weather before drifting off. I woke up immediately feeling nauseous, lightheaded and dizzy so the nurse had me remain lying down with ice and a face cloth over my eyes and she gave me two different anti nausea meds which really helped. After about an hour I got up and ate a cracker, took a pain pill and was on my way home! I felt pretty weak and tired most of the day and my boyfriend was helping me switch out my drip pad about every 30-45 minutes. I felt like it was a lot but I believe that is normal for the first day. I'm also an easy bleeder/bruiser so I expect have some pretty good black eyes. Right now pain is minimal just tender and stiff and it obviously hurts if I try to wiggle or move my lips around. I've been taking the Norco every 4-5hrs along with a stool softener twice a day. I've been applying arnica topical to the bruising and also keeping an ice pack on throughout the day and even a few times overnight. I stuck to a mostly liquid diet yesterday with the exception of a banana, crackers, a fruit pouch or yogurt just to put something in my stomach with meds. This morning I'm gunna start with some scrambled eggs since my stomach feels fine now. The biotene mouth moisturizing spray and soft & lush blistex for my lips we're life savers overnight. I used it every time I woke up and I have to say my mouth and throat don't feel dried out yet. I believe I get my cast off around 3pm Monday so for now it's just a waiting game!
So I'm now on day 2-3 of recovery (procedure was on wednesday) and I am super swollen especially around my eyes and the top of my bridge. I also feel like my ears are clogged almost as if I'm underwater if that makes sense. Basically my whole head feels like a balloon! I haven't been able to breath out of my nose at all either so I called the office this morning and they said that this is all normal. I was wondering if I should start using saline spray or vaseline to start loosening stuff up but she recommended I leave everything as is and just wait for my cast removal appointment on Monday. For now I just cleaned the outside of my nostrils and applied a dab of that antibiotic cream they gave me. I wanted to ask how long it took for most of you to switch over to Tylenol? I feel like a lot of the reviews I read people didn't have too much pain during recovery but I can't say its been the same for me. Yesterday I took the Norco every 4-5 hours which took the edge off but I could still feel some throbbing and tingling. I tried holding off on the pain medication yesterday evening but the throbbing got so bad I couldn't take it. My whole face pretty much feels like its going to explode because of all the swelling. I'm wondering if i'm having more pain due to the fact that he had to fix some functional components of my nose with a septoplasty/turbinate reduction. I've been taking senna/colace to prevent constipation however I feel like I should just switch over to Tylenol and see how it goes because the Norco does make me feel really drowsy and weak. Icing definitely helps and I'll continue to do that often. Hopefully this is as bad as it gets and the swelling and pain will go down soon!
Cast removal later today
Okayy so after day 3 I have been feeling soo much better. I also had more energy once I switched over to Tylenol. The norcos definitely managed the pain a little better but they made me feel very drowsy and somehow anxious at the same time and I'm not an anxious person at all so I wasn't a fan of those lol. Saturday we went out and visited the wax museum and got gelato and yesterday we went to watch the pats game at a sports bar (no beer and burger for me unfortunately). It's been nice to get out of the house and off the couch for a few hours but I definitely didn't feel up for a full day of activity just yet. I'm excited to get this cast off today and I'm kinda hopeful I'll be able to breathe a little bit better since right now I'm still mouth breathing. My face is still very puffy my boyfriend and I were laughing at how much I look like a chipmunk last night! I'll post a few before/recovery pictures and then some without the cast later today once it's off :)
Cast is off!
I'm soo happy right now! Even though my face is really swollen and the tip is really high right now it is such an improvement! Also for those of you who are interested he he did do a turbinate reduction and also used spreader grafts. As soon as he took the splints out of my nose I could instantly feel air moving through again so I'm relieved to start gently cleaning stuff out and using the saline spray. He did such an amazing job :)
Here comes the swelling!
So the same night that my cast was removed my boyfriend and I decided it would be a good idea to go out and enjoy a meal at a nice restaurant since it was one of our last nights in LA. Welp, I most definitely cheated on the whole no sodium rule! I woke up this morning, removed the tape, showered and by the time I was ready for the day my nose had blown up! I mean it is the day after cast removal I figured my nose would eventually catch up with the rest of my face without that cast on. Oh well it's temporary and also a good reminder to stick to a cleaner diet.
Today we spent the day at universal studios and then ended the night at Griffith park observatory. I had lots of energy and was so distracted I had no complaints of any real discomfort. Lots of funny Michael Jackson/whoville looking pictures though that made for a good laugh!
We fly back to Boston in the morning so I'm going to try to pick up some Afrin for the plane ride. Congestion is still there but I'm glad I can get at least a little bit of air flow. Ill post a picture of the swelling but if anyone has any questions feel free to ask!
So it has been 2 weeks since my surgery and some of the swelling has subsided since day 6 but it definitely fluctuates depending on my salt intake. My right nostril seems to be a tad bit more swollen but overall I am impressed by how much straighter my nose is! My breathing has been improving so I no longer mouth breathe at night. I would say my smile is almost back to normal but not quite yet as this is actually where people have noticed a difference on me saying that upper lip looks "longer". I read somewhere that the surgeon clips the muscle fibers between the lip and nose to allow for proper healing in the immediate post op period so the lip hangs lower on the face until those muscle fibers "re-attach" after several weeks. Not sure where I read that or if it's even true but either way I'm looking forward to smiling normally again!
As far as my daily routine goes I'm taping every night, flushing with saline every 2-4hours, applying the antibiotic cream and Vaseline a few times a day and then trying my best to sleep upright (2 regular pillows and a travel neck pillow). The taping helps with swelling but unfortunately leaves a gunky residue every morning so I've adopted a new little skin care routine that involves removing the tape with an alcohol dipped cotton swab, then I use another cotton swap with alcohol to rub off most of the big clumps of stickiness and then I use the neutrogena clear pore cleanser/mask. I leave it on for about 2 min and then gently rub it off with a soft wash cloth and that usually does the trick! Even sometimes throughout the day though my nose will still look a little bit sticky so I always keep calming make up wipes handy.
Some questions for you guys....how long did you sleep upright and tape at night for? Also when are the stitches supposed to dissolve? I read online that it usually takes about 2 weeks but I've seen people post about them falling out way later. I've lost 2 of them so far but they're so itchy I can't wait for them to all be gone lol. Anyways I am now back to work and a normal day to day routine (trying to take it easy still) if anyone has any questions for me let me know! I'm so happy I went through with this and although my nose is drastically different I still recognize myself and everyone says I just look like an improved version of myself! People at first don't notice a big change but after I show them pictures of my old nose they can definitely see the improvement! I'll attach some pictures :)
3 weeks post op
So just a quick update...since last week I'm noticing that the tip of my nose has started to drop and I can finally smile! The swelling has come down just a bit as well. I had a few drinks for the first time this past weekend for my friend's birthday and I honestly didn't see much of a difference in swelling. I also felt I couldn't tell any difference from taping vs not taping so I stopped that altogether! Maybe I'm just not paying as close attention as I was a few weeks ago who knows. I am still sleeping on my back (about 75% of the time) and using a neck pillow to keep me from rolling over onto my nose. I think I'll go back to side sleeping in about another week or maybe two just to be safe.
The stitches are the only annoyance for me at this point because they have yet to dissolve and are now constantly tickling me. I trimmed a few so they aren't poking out as much and I'm using Vaseline daily (and occasionally bacitracin) to keep them soft. They also have a distinct unpleasant booger smell idk how to describe it lol but they are a pain to keep cleaning so hopefully with the saline spray and the daily Vaseline they'll be dissolving sooner than later!
Here's a progression picture that shows how the tip dropped over the past 3 weeks and then another before/after now that my smile is almost back to normal
So a few things since I last updated I'm back to my boxing classes (bags not people lol) and this usually leaves me with a stuffy nose for a few hours and then resolves. I also noticed I have super oily skin on my nose now which I read is expected and will resolve with time. I also noticed there is a squishy bump on my right nostril and the inside of that nostril is more swollen than the other. Not sure if this is normal or not but I'll ask Dr G about it when I send him my 3mo pictures if it's still there. Has anyone else had this? My tip is still rock solid haha but the bridge swelling has come down a little. So far I'm still very happy with everything :)