Long Awaited (Closed) Rhinoplasty - United Kingdom, GB

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After years of violent attacks and abuse just...

After years of violent attacks and abuse just because my nose wasn't pleasing to the eye, due to being broken a few times when I was a very young, I am finally getting my nose corrected tomorrow.
I have chosen to go with the Harley Medical Group as whenever I went for a consultation with this company they were always supportive and didn't try to change anything else about me unlike some of the other big money grabbing surgeries out there. Can you believe some will try to sell other very unnecessary procedures?! One even went as far as to start picking on my friend who came along with me. So please be careful when choosing a surgery and don't let one bad one put you off it all together like I did for many years, at my own expense. I can't say what surgery it was here but I will happily warn you via private message.
I went for my consultation at the clinic on Harley Street on 29/01/14, I felt completely at ease and the woman was so sympathetic, I booked there and then for the 17/02/14. I am booked in for a closed rhinoplasty to take the bump off my nose caused by three breaks. My operation is at 2pm in London.
I met with the surgeon who liked to make a little joke to lighten the mood and he assured me it was one of the more simple types of rhinoplasty which reassured me. I don't care what a surgeons bedside manner is like as long as he is amazing at what he does and judging by the photos I saw and his knowledgeable answers I'm pretty sure I'm in safe hands. A week late I went for my pre op back in Harley Street and due to my phobia of blood tests I was very nervous, but the nurse was amazing (probably the best nurse I've ever had the pleasure of meeting). It was all over in no time and I just had 2 weeks to wait for the big day.
So the past few weeks I've been taking vitamin C to ward off illness and the last 3 days I have been taking Arnica, which I will carry on to do so for another week and a half. I have ice packs in the form of small sandwich bags and frozen veg, extra gauze and medical tape to keep redressing under the cast, pineapple juice (freshly squeezed) as this is good for bruising, a large v shape pillow to help keep me propped up while I sleep, face wipes as I'm not allowed to wash my face with water for a while incase water gets up my nose. I think that is everything.
So now it's the night before and even though I've been dreaming of this procedure for the past 10 years I am extremely nervous and anxious to the point of feeling sick... Am I the only one who feels this way?
I will keep this updated with my recovery, how I am feeling, and even what my hospital room is like (which I'm a little excited to see). Hopefully my review can help someone like others helped me.

The op cost £4050 which is about $6781

Day 1, closed Rhinoplasty over and done...

So its actually day 2 that I am writing this as I reacted badly to the anaesthesia (nothing is ever without a hiccup). I got to the hospital at 2pm where I had to fill out some more consent forms and I was then taken to my own private room with ensuite shower room. The nurse showed me around and explained the waiting procedure as I was in a queue. I had to have the usual such as blood pressure, weight, height and a pregnancy test ( standard procedure); once the nurse was happy I was told the anaesthetist and the surgeon would visit me for any last minute questions and explain a little more what would happen. The hardest part of the entire wait was being so thirsty and hungry as I was nil by mouth. I had family with me who felt much more reassured when they met Dr Solomos, as did I. He has an air of confidence about him that makes you feel like you are in the best hands possible. My anaesthetist was a woman and she absolutely lovely too, assuring me they would use a very small cannula as I have little veins. So far so good...
45 mins later at 16:45 I was brought down to the theatre, by this point I was extremely nervous! I was shown to the anaesthetist room where I was put on the bed, wrapped up, a few more checks and then the cannula inserted. By 17:00 the anaesthetist said good night as the general anaesthetic rushed through my body, which was a little unpleasant as I could taste it straight away and it stung my throat a little but that is the last I remember. Waking up in recovery some 2 hours later the nurses were worried about me as oxygen levels were low and they had been trying to wake me for a while. I always react badly to general anaesthetic for some reason. I was soon shown back to room though where I was out of it for another hour before I started to make any sense to my family.
Now I'm going to be brutally honest, I kept reading that nobody felt any pain after the surgery but I did, like an overwhelming burning pain and pressure. I was put on IV painkillers and after 30 mins they kicked in. Trying to sip water was very difficult but I was told I had to do so and I had it mastered within two hours (once a smaller gauze was applied). Sleeping is difficult as my throat is swollen from the tube too so I keep waking myself with my own breathing. I tried to eat a little around 22:30 but couldn't manage much, due to the packing in my nose my mouth is the only way I can breath... It's ever so attractive!
I wish I'd known to get lozenges for my throat but will have to send someone for me when I return home because apart from the pressure in my nose my throat is the worst part now, it feels like being thrown in the deep end of a throat infection.
For the rest of the night I was in and out of sleep every 10 mins but I'm just following what my body wants to do and going with the flow rather than worry about the lack of sleep.
Dress code for my stay has been some support stockings, which I needed a wench just to get on, some paper pants as I wasn't allowed to wear my own underwear and a nightgown which doesn't leave anything to the imagination.
Photos will be added later as I'm still a bit out of it... Which I'm sure can be seen from the horrendous grammar and punctuation.

Day 2: Bye Bye packing...

Last nights sleep wasn't very good, I knew it wouldn't be easy but I didn't realise I'd be waking myself from some weird 'Darth Vader' breathing. The nurse took my packing out at 6am which was a stinging sensation followed by bleeding and some more pain but as I took painkillers beforehand they kicked in within 20 mins so it wasn't too bad. The packing was covered in Vaseline too so it slid right out which was a relief because I thought it would get caught on dry blood. I had a lovely hot breakfast served to me which I had to wait to go cold, as I'm not allowed hot food, but it was so nice to be able to taste something! I was discharged by 8:30am and my surgeon came back to see me before I left. The surgeon has said it went very well and he was proud of the outcome, his words being it looks amazing, so there he was putting me at ease once again! My swelling wasn't too bad as can be seen in the morning picture but as I got ready to go home I started bending and lifting, which led to my face swelling rapidly and bruising. So I'm resting as much as possible now. I'm still taking arnica pills every 4 hours with my antibiotics as the nurse said my bruising has gone straight to the end stages so it shouldn't last long, whether that is down to taking the arnica or my own body's response I don't know but I'm not going to change anything now. Also, I have been taking plenty of pineapple juice as advised by the doctor as this helps with bruising too.
Once I was back home I managed to sleep a little easier with the help of the v shape pillow and other pillows propping me up. I slept 4 hours at a time, only waking to take antibiotics and back to sleep again. I properly woke around 20:00 to try have something to eat so I could take my painkillers and I took this opportunity to change my gauze. It had been causing me pain all day which I thought was a little weird because the others hadn't but when I came to take it off I found out the hard way why... It was stuck to one of my stitchings. I had to wet the gauze and then try and cut the stitch away from it just to free myself. Starting tomorrow though I'm going to add a little Vaseline to the gauze just to stop this from happening again. Eating is still hard as it is sore to swallow but I can feel an improvement and seeing as it is only a day later that has made me feel so much better about the length of the healing process. I've just got to try and get used to my reflection now because I do not recognise myself at all.

Day 3 - Hello Chipmunk Cheeks

I woke up this morning feeling a little better. My eyes have gone down a little and the bruising isn't as intense as yesterday. I think out of everything I've been trying, to reduce the after effects, sleeping really is the best remedy. My cheeks have really swollen though and it has made it really difficult to eat or speak, so no talking and food is cut up into very little pieces so I can fit it in my mouth. The bruising has also started to extend its way down my cheeks from under the cast but it's quite hard to see properly in the photos. My nose has swollen more so the cast feels tighter on the bridge today. Also, my upper teeth are really sore and sensitive but I imagine that's just because my nose was broken 2 days ago... It's bound to effect parts close by. I haven't really been taking my painkillers hence why I'm feeling more pain than others may have mentioned but the painkillers have to be taken with a meal and it's too sore to eat at the moment. I had a painkiller last night before I went to bed and it did ease the pain so if you were to take the painkillers throughout, it would still be uncomfortable but nothing you can't handle. Think flu like and throat infection (not everyone gets a throat infection my body just doesn't like to miss out on an opportunity). My advice... Sleep, sleep, and loads more sleep!

Day 4 - 72 hours after surgery

Today my main problem has been my throat infection, my throat is covered in ulcers which is now causing pain in my ears too. I'm still taking my antibiotics so hopefully this will eventually do the trick otherwise I'm going to need another dose. I mentioned to the surgeon how painful my throat is but he said do not take anything except what I was prescribed and gargle. So today I got a baby toothbrush (soft and small) because my electric toothbrush is a no go at the moment, oraldene medicated mouthwash and very mild toothpaste. I'm hoping this little shopping list will ease the pain.
As can be seen in the picture my cheeks are still swollen right down to my jawbone and a little beyond. My face is usually more of a heart shape and now it's square and plump. My family can't get over how good I look for someone who has had their nose broken, filed and put back together again only 72 hours ago. Even though I knew what the healing times were like I never truly believed it would be this dramatic because there is a significant difference every day.
Has anyone else got the feeling like their cast was digging in? I don't know if it's because of the swelling but it comes and goes and really feels like it's hard plastic digging in...

Day 5 - Today is a write off

So I haven't got much to say about today but still wanted to keep this updated. All I've done today is wake up early because my throat infection has moved into my ears causing excruciating pain. Any sound is painful so you can imagine what it's like staying with my family... Ouch. I'm unable to eat due to the throat and ear infection because it is unbearable so I am having meal replacement shakes just so my body still gets the nutrients I need and it means I can take my painkillers. It's such a shame though because my nose doesn't hurt at all now. As you can see from the pic I'm still wearing the gauze because my nose still bleeds a little as I sleep which I think is more down to the dry blood starting to break down. My swelling is beginning to go down on my cheeks, it's still visible but it doesn't feel so tight anymore and my mouth can open a little more today. Tomorrow is my last day of antibiotics and I will keep up the oraldene mouthwash for another week or until the ulcers completely go. Thought I would add some photos of my meals from Highgate Hospital London as they were lovely and I said at the beginning I would touch on all aspects of this process. P.s. I know I look horrendous and really drugged up in my day 5 photo but this is because I am!

Day 6 - Advice needed

So today has been great all day, there wasn't any bleeding so I left my gauze off for a couple of hours to let air get to it. I managed to eat a little something for the first time since Tuesday and I was about attempt to wash my hair which hasn't been possible all week. Then my nose starts pouring with blood just while I'm reading a magazine and it's running down my throat too. I've spoke to the on call nurse who said try to ice the area but due to my cast that is impossible. My nose has been bleeding for 2 hours now and I've gone through all my gauze. Did anyone else have this problem around 5th day post op? Loads of the google suggestions are scaring me with more packing, more surgery, or an emergency trip to the local hospital!

Day 6 - before nightmare nosebleed

Day 7 - starting to feel human again

My nose has still been bleeding a little all day but nothing like last nights drama. I am starting to feel a little like myself now I think this is down to the bath I finally managed to have! I was able to wash my hair but as I couldn't submerge my head fully I have some conditioner left in at the front (not a great look but conditioner is better than dirt and dry blood). Still unable to eat as the ulcers are still on my uvula and tonsils but the ones around the opening of my throat have gone so it's a small victory. Cast comes off tomorrow at 16:00... Will be nice to get half of my fringe out of the taping on my forehead. Although I have had so many problems this week it has gone so fast. The bruising has gone down so much thanks to the arnica pills, it's now just the left over yellowing. My jawline is still swollen and the bottom of my cheeks but this becomes less and less very day!
My advice for anyone getting a rhinoplasty is just do it, research until you can't stand it anymore, research your choice of surgeons after a consultation with them, follow your own instinct... Gut feeling does count for a lot. I wasn't able to look in a mirror before without feeling sick to my stomach at the site of my face and if it means I suffer a little for a month to not having that feeling again, then I think it's worth it. Always expect the worst and hope for the best!

Day 8 - Cast away :)

Today has been pretty good, considering I was in surgery only a week ago. I have been feeling a little faint all day and dizzy but I think that is mainly due to the fact I am still unable to eat and have lost almost a stone in under a week. I visited Harley Street today where my lovely nurse Jane took my cast off. I had to lay back on the bed as she eased it off with what looked like oversized cotton buds. It hurt a little as you can imagine where everything is still very tender any movement there is uncomfortable. It has felt like built pressure in my nose but the nurse said many people feel this because the cast restricts the nose. I had a subtle pins and needles feeling on my nose where the blood flow is coming back to normal and 5 hours later I still have it a little. I felt dizzy after which is perfectly normal too and then the big reveal... My new nose. I can't really get used to it, staring at myself in the mirror I don't recognise the person looking back at me, it's all a bit surreal. I wouldn't say it's anything to worry about though it's just a little weird, 15 years with the same nose and now a major part of my face is different. I'm really happy with my profile though, can't believe how different it looks yet still so natural. There is still swelling to go down on my face and nose and I was told my nose will show new definition as the weeks go on. The nurse also said how the arnica tablets had worked really well as I hardly have any bruising. There's still a patch on my nose but that has been covered and restricted by the cast all week so blood flow will start shifting that. Also, some yellowing round the eyes but it's just the last bit of bruising leaving. My nose doesn't feel like my own yet, almost like a foreign object on my face and my top lip hasn't got back to normal yet... Feel like I've had Botox round that general area. My throat and ears are still sore so I will need to get antibiotics from my GP. If you are reading this before getting a rhinoplasty please don't let it put you off, when speaking to the nurse today she said I got everything that is usually rare. I'm more of a worst case scenario kind of patient but as I had such a good surgeon I was in safe hands. I wouldn't change my decision, you only have one body, you might as well be comfortable in your own skin.

Day 9 - Still bloody

I was woke by a nosebleed again today which lasted 4 and a half hours. Due to being so weak anyway I eventually fainted. Today is the first day I have been annoyed with Harley Medical as I kept ringing them, when only yesterday I was told to contact them about anything, and I heard nothing back, even though I left a message on the voicemail and with the receptionist. My throat and ear infection is beginning to get better don't get me wrong it still hurts but it's not anywhere near as bad as a week ago. I have included some pics to show swelling is already going down (you'll have to excuse the bloody nose though... Sorry).

So far so good. He has put me at ease every time I have been in his presence. He answers every question I have and when I have been lost for what to ask he just gave me a run down of what I need to know. He made my family feel at ease too. Overall he has been friendly, professional and oozes confidence. I couldn't have asked for more.

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