38 Years Old of Indian Ethnicity - Tertiary Rhinoplasty with Basim Matti - London, GB

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Having researched possible surgeons using online...

Having researched possible surgeons using online forums and reviews prior to my surgery, I thought I would give something back to the online community by sharing my rhinoplasty experience.

I am a 38 years old female of Indian ethnicity with a bulbous nose which is tilted to the left side. I have asymmetry of the nose which is blocking the right nasal cavity.

Having been unhappy with my nose as far as I can remember, I decided to embark on my rhinoplasty journey in 2002 when I had my first operation with an ENT Surgeon at The BUPA Hospital. My GP recommended the ENT Surgeon, sorry but I can't remember his name. To my dismay I did not see any improvement whatsoever with my nose since it was still bulbous and tilted to the left side, however my breathing improved slightly. I believe the ENT Surgeon was more concerned of the functionality of my nose rather than the cosmetic appearance, though he had taken down a hump on the bridge of my nose.

I was still unhappy with my nose so I decided to consult with Plastic Surgeon Mr Sanjay Varma in 2004. Mr Varma was at the same Hospital (BUPA). I was convinced he would give me a better result, after all he was a Plastic Surgeon! I was very naive back then since I didn't bother to check how many rhinoplasty's he performed and whether he had satisfied patients etc. Again I did not see any difference since my nose, since it was still bulbous and I had asymmetry. I believe that back then I did not thoroughly research the Surgeons and chose them purely due to ease of location.

Ten years later I had difficulty in accepting the result of my previous surgeries and as a result this has led to my low confidence and self esteem. Therefore in 2014 I decided to have one more last try, however this time I was not going to compromise on the Surgeon, locality, or cost. I decided to start my research online, I came across a few clinics in the Midlands area (The Harley Medical Group, Mya Cosmetic Surgery, and Transform), and I contacted them and subsequently arranged a consultation. I only met with the Surgeon at Mya, Mr Fratti and with a Clinical Manger at Harley Medical and Transform. Mr Fratti told me straight out that he could not operate on my nose since two people have performed surgery previously and that I difficult nose which should not be operated on again. I was really disheartened by this, but I didn't give up hope, I later came to realise that he specialises in breasts, so he probably wasn't the best call. As for Harley Medical and Transform I wasn't convinced that they were right for me since I read some bad reviews on them, and I felt that I wouldn't get the individual care.

I then decided to look into other Surgeons mainly in the London area, two names kept popping up on the forums they were Mr Basim Matti and Mr Lucian Ion. Based on Mr Matti's experience on difficult noses and revision rhinoplasty's I decided that I should book a consultation with him. I booked my consultation with him during February 2014, I was nervous to go and see him since I did not want him to tell me that he couldn't operate on my nose since it was too difficult and risky.

First consultation - February 2014
My sister accompanied me, once we arrived at Mr Matti's office I told a member of staff my name and was led to the waiting area. Then one of Mr Matti’s secretaries called me into her office to take some details, such as age, address, phone number, occupation etc. I was told to go and sit back in the waiting area. Mr Matti came into the waiting area a few times to call his patients. He then called my name, my first impressions of him is that he is a personable man, always smiling and will greet you with a hand shake. My sister and I followed him to his room, I sat down and he knew straight away the issue with my nose, bulbous, tilted to one side and asymmetry in the nose. He asked me who I bought with me, so I told him. He told me that I won't get a nose like my sisters! I told him that I wasn't looking for perfection but improvement. He told me that my nose is a difficult one due to my sebaceous skin and large sleeve nose, and that if he operates I may not be satisfied with the result. I stressed to him again that I'm only looking for improvement. I believe that Mr Matti won't sugar coat the truth and will get to the point.

Mr Matti took some photos of my nose and then morphed them to show me how my nose would look. He told me that the tip would be hard to reduce since I had thick skin and also because I have had previous surgeries it will take me more time to heal possibly up to 2 years. He kept stressing that my expectation maybe too high and that he may not be able to deliver the result which I want.

Mr Matti told me to bring in some pictures on my next visit of my nose before the previous surgeries and after.

I was still confident that Mr Matti was the right choice, he said that he will write to me and thanked me for coming to see him. He led me to his secretary's room to pay and I enquired about possible surgery dates. I believe that I paid £250.00 for the consultation (sorry I can't fully remember - it has been a while), you only pay one time and you can see Mr Matti as many times you like.

With regard to surgery date, the earliest dates available at the Cromwell Hospital was August 2014 however this was at an extra charge of £1,150. I decided that were I waited 10 years I could wait another month or two. Mr Matti's secretary wrote down the dates which were available at the Weymouth Hospital, so that I could have a think about it. I didn't feel pressured at all to book my operation. I was also given a fact sheet on Rhinoplasty covering many questions regarding the operation.

I know some people on this site have mentioned that they felt rushed during his consultations, I think I was with him for roughly 15 minutes. I believe that this was sufficient time, since he explained himself fully and allowed me to express my concerns about my nose etc.

A Few Days later
Following my consultation a few days later I received the much anticipated letter from Mr Matti. In his letter he explained what was discussed during my consultation that my nose is bulbous, severely deviated to the left side and that my nose is a difficult one due to my sebaceous skin and previous operations – therefore he advised me to be cautious about having the surgery. However he felt that he could offer me a good improvement. I was so elated that he could offer me a "good improvement", any improvement would be worth it even if it was only to straighten my nose.

I then happily rang Mr Matti's secretary to book my operation for the Mid October 2014.

Second consultation - April 2014
Again I was accompanied by my sister during this consultation. This consultation was very short, maybe 5 minutes or so. Mr Matti stated he had reservations about operating on my nose since he stressed that whatever will be done to my nose I would not be satisfied. He seemed quite annoyed that day, I don't think it was at me, maybe he was having a bad day?! He told me that I won't get a nose like my sisters, which in his opinion is a prettier nose. A bit harsh I thought but I guess he doesn't hold back and says things straight up. I stressed again to him I wasn’t looking for perfection but improvement. Mr Matti doesn’t over promise on what he can do but wants you to be reasonable with your expectations, after all he is only human and no magician!

Mr Matti reviewed the pictures which I had taken in to show him of myself - before my previous surgeries. He gave them a quick review and stressed again that I have always had a bulbous nose and thick sebaceous skin.

Mr Matti said that he would only carry out the operation if I accepted all the pre-conditions by writing a letter to him. He also told me to consult with other Surgeons too.

I was a little disheartened by the end of my second consultation, since Mr Matti was my last hope, if he wouldn't carry out the operation then I was afraid that I wouldn't find another Surgeon who would give me a good result.

During my first consultation Mr Matti told me to start applying Tretinoin Cream 0.1%, so I purchased this from him for around £80. He told me to apply this at night since it will help the skin shrink over the nose post-surgery, this is essential for those with thick skin like mine.

A few days later
I wrote a letter to Mr Matti explaining that I was still keen on proceeding with the operation and that I accepted the pre-conditions that I won't have a small defined nose, but he will improve my breathing functionality of the right nostril, correct the deviation of my nose from the left side and correct the asymmetry of my nostrils and sides of my nose.

Similarly I also received a letter from Mr Matti explaining what was discussed during my second consultation.

I also decided to book a consultation with Lucian Ion in order to seek a second opinion on my nose. Mr Ion was my second choice, however I had seen some of his work and most noses looked small and cute, so I didn’t think he would be the right Surgeon for me. Nevertheless I booked to go and see him in July.

Third consultation - July 2014
I decided to go alone this time. I booked a morning appointment with Mr Ion, followed by an afternoon appointment with Mr Matti.

With regard to my consultation with Mr Ion, I explained to him the problem with my nose, he told me that it’s impossible to achieve perfect symmetry since many celebrities don’t have this. He showed me a picture of Megan Fox (I think), and he pointed out that she doesn’t have symmetry. He took some photos of my nose and then morphed them to show me how they would look.

On the whole my consultation with Mr Ion was informative, however I still felt that Mr Matti was my preferred Surgeon and that he would give me a better result. Mr Ion quoted a total price of £6,650 for the procedure, though he was cheaper - I still had preference for Mr Matti to carry out my rhinoplasty.

I went to see Mr Matti during the afternoon, he seemed to be more understanding this time and took slightly more time to go through things with me. He stressed to me that because of my thick skin and my two previous surgeries I would need more time to heal. He told him that he had received my letter and that he would be happy to operate on me given that I understand what is achievable with my nose. I believe that Mr Matti wanted to make it clear to me that some things are not possible given my circumstances. For example someone who has thick skin cannot have a defined nose, since the skin will not shrink over the nose post-surgery.

Fourth Consultation – September 2014
I went to see Mr Matti one last time prior to my surgery. He went over the procedure with me, and I had to sign a declaration form regarding the procedure. I also paid Mr Matti’s fee which was £6,500, and Anaesthetist fee of £800.00. Both need to paid in two separate cheques or you can pay by credit card. The Hospital fees of £1,750 needed to paid direct to the hospital, I believe I paid for this over the phone (sort can’t quire remember). Total cost of my surgery was £9,050.

Whilst I was in London I took the time to have my blood tests done at Dr Richard Petty’s surgery on Weymouth Street, this is a short walk from Mr Matti’s office on Harley Street. The charge for this was £180.

I was advised to take the following 2 weeks before my surgery – Bromelain and Vitamin C. With Arnica 30 I started this the day before my surgery. All can be purchased from Holland & Barrett or other health stores.

2 weeks prior to the operation it is advised you stop the following – Smoking, Alcohol, Aspirin, Garlic, Multi-vitamins, Voltarol, Ginkgo/Ginseng.

In order to prepare me for my surgery I purchased the following:
- V shaped pillow
- Nutri-Bullet (mainly to extract pineapple juice since this helps with swelling)
- Stadler Form Humidifier (this was to help with breathing during night time, though I honestly don’t think this was worth the expense)
- Cotton buds for cleaning the nose
- Baby wipes

Since I live in the Midlands I decided to book a hotel for two nights. Also, I stipulated that I wanted to be Mr Matti’s first patient for the day (so I can catch him when he’s all nice and fresh), my admission time at Weymouth Hospital was 7am. Therefore I needed to ensure that I was there on time and also I think it’s best to stay in the London area in case there were any complications after the surgery. I booked to stay at the ibis London Euston St Pancras.

Day before the Surgery
My sister and I arrived in London on Sunday afternoon, my surgery was planned for the next day. I washed my hair that night since it would be hard to wash with my cast on (you don’t want to get this wet). I just relaxed during that evening and went to bed early since I had an early start the next morning, also remembering that I shouldn’t eat or drink six hours prior to my surgery.

Day of the Surgery
It was a rainy Monday morning, my sister and I took a taxi to the Weymouth Hospital. We arrived there at 6.45am, the lady at reception asked us to take a seat since she told me that my room was being prepared. A few moments later the nurse arrived, she introduced herself and took us down to my room. The Hospital is very clean and modern, you wouldn’t think it’s a Hospital.

The nurse measured my ankles for the dvt socks, and she gave me the hospital gown and hat to wear. I was quite nervous since I kept going to the toilet, the room didn’t have its’s own en-suite, it was a short walk from my room, not a problem for me. The nurse also provided me with the menu selection for after my surgery, she told me to choose something that would be easy to swallow. I chose to have soup, omelette, salad and sorbet.

The Anaesthetist Mr Martin Lees came to see me to talk over the procedure and told me not to worry. It was really comforting to hear this. Mr Matti also came to see me he assured me he will do his best to give me a nice nose, which will be an improvement.

I went down to the operating room for around 8.30am, I walked down and remember we took the lift to get there. I was asked to lie on the bed, it was all very daunting. There were a few people there with their blue uniforms (I think) on. Mr Matti came in with his camera and took a few pictures of me, I think I was smiling at this point but still very nervous at the thought of going through with this AGAIN. Mr Matti held my hand and told me that he will take very good care of me, that was really comforting to me and before I know it I was knocked out and I woke up in the recovery room.

I remember hearing the radio when I woke up, I tried to look at the time but I couldn’t see due to blurred vision. I believe I was in recovery for 30 minutes or so and then I was wheeled back to my room. My sister was in for a shock when she saw me since I looked as though I had a few rounds with Mike Tyson. I was moved into my own bed and still felt very sleepy. The nurse came in a few times to take my blood pressure. I managed to eat some food, the nurse told me to ensure that I don’t eat it hot since this can trigger more blood discharge from my nose. So I ensured the omelette and soup was luke warm before eating them. I also tried to drink plenty of water, since I had a dry mouth.

The nurse changed my bandage under the nose, thought it would be painful, but it was fine. I think this was done maybe 2-3 times.

Mr Matti also came to see me after the operation, he told me that it went well and that he used the cartilage in my nose so there was no need to take it from my ear. He was really pleased and told me to take care of myself.

By six o’clock in the evening I was feeling myself, and the nurse made sure I was okay before discharging me. She gave me plenty of surgical dressing and tape for underneath the nose. You have to change this regular otherwise your nose feels really wet from all the blood discharge.

After Surgery
I was very careful of not getting the cast wet, therefore I purchased baby wipes to clean my face. I know it’s not the best feeling of the world but I was adamant that I was going to do this right this time. My mother looked after me and did all my shopping so I didn’t leave the house for a week.

It is important to try and keep your head elevated high during when you sleep, I lost count on how many pillows I had to support my neck and back. You should also lie on your back.

I didn’t bother cleaning my nose till day +3 surgery, you have to be very gentle. I purchased hydrogen peroxide at the Weymouth Hospital. The hydrogen peroxide was mixed with cooled off boiled water, I dipped the cotton buds into this and cleaned my nose gently.

My left eye was bruised the most, however the swelling on my face was slowly subsiding.

I received an Operation report from Mr Matti via post, it is mostly medical speak, but you can understand some of it.

Follow up – removal of cast
I decided to take the train to London, this time I took my mother with me for the support. I got a few stares but I really didn’t care at this point. When my mother and I got the St Pancras we took a taxi to Harley Street, I wasn’t risking get knocked in the face on the London tube.

When we got the Mr Matti’s office I was told to wait in the waiting area, then the door rang and one of Mr Matti’s secretary’s asked me if I would like to wait in her office since she was going to let someone else in. So I waited in her office, I was then called into see the nurse. The nurse along with Mr Matti’s help removed the cast, then the nasal blue sheets which were placed inside my nose on both sides were removed. I have to say it was quite painful when they were being removed, the cast and having the stiches removed wasn’t so bad.

Mr Matti was smiling and gleaming with joy since he was very proud of his work. The nurse gave me the mirror to look at, I know this wasn’t the final outcome since my nose would be heavily swollen but you can see the shape of the nose. I have to say I was pleased since it looked a lot straighter.

The nurse cleaned me up and taped my nose up for me, I didn’t think she was going to tape my nose but I guess it’s to help with the swelling. Oh well I will get a few more stares on the train home.

Healing Process
I was very careful with my nose, I made sure that I was going to do things right this time. I was gentle when I cleaned it, I drank loads of fresh pineapple juice, avoided salt since this can increase swelling, and tried to sleep with a few pillows. Since I was off from work for 3 weeks I taped my nose during the day as well as night to reduce the swelling.

I was still applying Tretinoin cream on my nose, this has helped to control the oil production around my nose area.

Post op appointment – 6 weeks
This was a quick meeting with Mr Matti, he was pleased with how I was healing. He told me there was no need for steroid injections and that he prefers that my nose heals naturally. He didn’t take any photos, I guess it’s too early to take photos since I will take a long time to heal, given my previous surgeries. He told me to carry on taping my nose at night for next few weeks only and then to stop.

Post op appointment – 8 months post-surgery
Mr Matti was very pleased with how my nose has taken shape, he told me that my skin looks a lot better, I told him I’m still using the obaji trentinion cream as part of my beauty regime. I think this has made my skin a lot better and less oily. Mr Matti didn’t take any photos at this point – not a problem.

Post op appointment – 16 months post-surgery
This was my last follow up appointment with Mr Matti, he asked me whether if this was worth it, I told him that it was most definitely 100% worth it. I told him that how happy I was with my new nose since it is a lot straighter and no longer deviates to one side. I still have some swelling on the tip of my nose, and I think it will take a few months or a year for it to subside completely- hopefully it will more narrower from the tip. Fingers crossed! My breathing of the right nostril isn’t that great, but I can live with that. Nevertheless Mr Matti said my breathing should improve in time and that since I still have some blood discharge my nose is still healing.

Mr Matti took some photos, he then compared them to the ones he took on my initial first consultation, and I have to say what an improvement. From the side my nose looks a lot smaller and from the front it’s straighter and more defined. I wasn’t expecting it to be defined but as far as I’m concerned Mr Matti under promised but over delivered – what a genius.

My mother and sister only know of my surgery and they have told me repeatedly that my nose is a lot different than what it used to. Other people have said that I look great and I’m nore happy within. Mr Matti has played a huge positive impact on my life, I’m more confident and comfortable talking to others, whereas before I used to shy away from others since I didn’t want them to stare at my nose.

When I first met Mr Matti he was very cautious since he kept stressing that I had a difficult nose and that I would be unhappy with the result. I know there are probably surgeons out there who promise you a lot but don’t deliver. What I liked about Mr Matti was that he was upfront and honest. He made me realise that I needed to be realistic of my expectations from the surgery and given the fact that I had think sebaceous skin some things aren’t achievable. Nevertheless Mr Matti did a brilliant job and I will always be grateful to him.

I hope this detailed account of my rhinoplasty journey helps others who are setting off on their own journey

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I wish you the best.

Some photos

Here are some photos of before and after my surgery.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 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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