36 Years Old - Rhino Finally!! - Houston, TX

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I just scheduled and put a down payment on my...

I just scheduled and put a down payment on my rhino surgery for June 10th with Dr. Athre! I'm super excited but also REALLY nervous - I've never spent this much money on something that wasn't really "needed" before. I'm kind of starting to doubt if I should go through with it. My husband and I can afford the monthly payments, but it's still a lot of money to pay for something cosmetic!

Dr. Athre has a lot of positive feedback on here and other sites, but if anyone could provide any additional feedback on the procedure or him, it would be really great!

So a little history - I've had a large, hooked nose my whole life. It was the source of a lot of teasing, low self-esteem and depression in my middle school and high school years. I got bullied a LOT. My mom actually took me to get a nose job when I was 12 because of it. She was set to do it, but I told her no. Even at 12, I knew I was far too young to get anything like that done. I didn't know why at the time, but it just felt WRONG (even though getting it done would have meant an end to the teasing and bullying).

So fast forward to today: I'm 36, I have an amazing job that I love (I'm a high school teacher), a wonderful husband who loves me for who I am, awesome friends, and great hobbies - I feel like I'm my own person now. I have established myself and my personality and I really like who I've become. :)
Unlike when I was 12, I have a deeper sense of self now - I feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be, with who I'm supposed to be with, and if I got this surgery done now, it would only be for me - not to fit in, or to get more dates, or to stop bullying..

This surgery never came up while my husband and I were dating, and only the past few months have I talked about it at all. He's very surprised by all this, but supportive. I cringe inwardly at all of our wedding photos that are profile shots because of my huge nose - I hate looking through our wedding album because of it. We are talking about having a baby next year, and when I think about taking photos with my child and my huge nose, I cringe all over again. I think now would be a good time to get the surgery done before we have a baby. After the baby comes, it's all about him/her for the next 18 years! :)

So that's the status as of now - I'll post some before pics in a few days.

Pre-Op Pics

Here are a few pre-op pics. I didn't get one from the front yet, but I will soon. You can see how when I smile, the tip of the nose kind of hooks down a bit.

Ugh. Not happy at all with these...but I'm still conflicted about having the surgery. I'm really hesitant to spend that much money on something that isn't necessary! I'm not broken or dying or anything.. I have until May 21st to change my mind!

Although it looks like my surgery date will be pushed back a week. There's a family function the weekend after my surgery, and I can't show up with a bandaged face. It's looking like my surgery will be June 18th or June 19th.

Pre-Op Appointment

Yesterday I had my pre-op appointment with Dr. Athre. He went through all the necessary information and gave me a packet of steps to follow for before the surgery. He also took a bunch more photos, and gave me a prescription for some antibiotics and pain meds. My surgery is scheduled for June 19th. Honestly, I wasn't excited before but now that it's definitely happening, I do feel myself starting to get excited - the nervousness is still there, of course, but it's starting to be a good kind of nervous instead of dread :) I'm trying really hard to just trust the doctor and what he wants to do with my nose instead of freaking out about what it'll look like afterwards..

It will definitely be nice not to always worry about taking pictures from the front, or to not self-consciously turn my head away when I walk by a large group of people!

Uploading a pic from the front.

Surgery tomorrow!

So my surgery is tomorrow at 7 30 am! I'm excited - but still feel kind of weird. Like none of this is real! I'm sure it will hit me tomorrow waiting at the hospital, but at the moment, it's all very surreal. Not much left to do now but wash my hair and try to get a good nights rest - I would stay up if I could drink anything, but they said no water or food past midnight. I will post post-op pics and give everyone an update as to how it goes tomorrow - thanks for all the kind words everyone!

It's done! Post-Op Pics

Surgery yesterday went pretty smoothly. Was kind of queasy and dizzy from the anesthesia, but felt pretty ok otherwise. No pain - just a lot of pressure in my head. I felt like I had a horrible cold. I thought my throat would hurt worse than it did - but even that wasn't horrible (although it was uncomfortable). They kept me in post-surgery for about an hour, then sent me home with a drip pad. The pic I posted is right when I got home - don't mind the crazy hair HA! My best friend stayed with me all day (my hubby was out of town). We layed on the couch and watched Game of thrones all day - so that was awesome. :) I had to change my drip pad every hour or so at first. Now there's minimal blood after 8 hours, so I'm going without. One time when I changed the drip pad, the gauze got caught on the end of the nasal packing and ended up pulling some of it out - maybe 4 or 5 " or so? We cut it so no more would come out, but I really hope that's not a big deal - I read that packing is there to help stop the bleeding - and if I'm not really bleeding anymore, I'm sure it's fine - but I'm going to call my dr. today just to make sure.

Other than that, recovery is going well. Took a few pain pills just in case, but I don't think they were 100% necessary... Been primarily eating/drinking through a straw as when I try to use a spoon, food gets in my drip pad (it hangs over my upper lip). Yesterday I had some sprite, tomato soup, and some ensure drinks. I had a hard time sleeping last night as my dry throat would wake me up every hour or so, but I did manage to get a few hours rest. I go in on Monday to get everything removed. All in all, not a horribly bad experience! Good luck to anyone going through recovery or who is about to! :)

1st day post-op

So about 36 hrs post op. Had to put the drip pad back on - while there wasn't much blood, I didn't want to dribble down my face while I slept.

Didn't sleep well last night - woke up every few hours because of the horrible dry mouth. Would take a few sips of water and fall back asleep.

Still wearing the drip pad as I mentioned before. Got in contact with my Dr. and he said the fact that 4" of packing came out of one nostril isnt' a big deal as long as I'm not bleeding profusely and I don't pull ALL of it out. The nostril it came out of is extra crusty though - I'm wondering if I can rinse the outside of my nostrils? I emailed the dr.'s assistant, but it being the weekend, I'm not sure if she'll respond. She did say I could wash my face as long as I didn't get the splint wet.

I'm not a fan of this stuffy nose experience that's for sure - but at least it's not painful. Just really uncomfortable.

3 days post op

Well, this morning marks the 4th day of post op - I can say that day 3 was pretty uncomfortable. I'm starting to notice yellow-y bruising under my eyes. I never had the black/blue phase, so I'm pretty happy that this yellowy bruising is all I get.

Still pretty uncomfy due to the packing in my nose. I looked around online and most people say that's the worst part, and many surgeons don't even use it anymore. Leave it to me to find the one that does! I'm trying to keep this all in perspective by telling myself Dr Athre is really great at what he does and if there's packing, there has to be a reason - I just wish it were out sooner. I can't taste anything so I've stuck to just a liquid diet the past few days - lots of ensure, soup, applesauce and yogurt.

I also can't wait to get my nostrils cleaned out so I can go outside without looking like a star in a horror movie! :) My post op is tomorrow at 1 - I can already tell the bridge is so straight - I can't wait to see the rest! So excited!! :)

The big reveal!

So I went in today to get the cast off and packing out of my nose. The dr. walks in adn the first thing he says is "Man, you had a hard nose!" Apparently I had a lot of cartilage in my nose and it was very thin so it made things a little complicated to work with. BUT! The results look great! The hump is gone - the bridge is straight - just like we discussed. The profile looks great and I'm really pleased! (Dr. was pretty proud of himself too LOL). The front still looks a little jacked because I'm SOO swollen and I look jacked when I smile (the puffy cheeks and swollen tip of my nose make me look like an alien when I grin)., so I'm only attaching a profile pic for now. He assures me the swelling and everything will go down in a few days and it'll be more indicative of the result. Was anyone else tripped out by their frontal view at first??

Nostrils still swollen but feel SO MUCH better after getting the packing out (which didn't hurt at all, btw)- I can KIND of taste stuff now, so that's a huge improvement. Bought some saline spray and some Neils Med spray as the doc suggested...

6 days post-op - anxiety time?

I've read some posts on here about some people going through a brief bout with anxiety - like a 'WTF did I do??' moment. I kind of feel like that's hitting me now. I think part of it is that I really don't recognize myself from the front. I'm seriously hoping it's just the swelling and things will tone down as the weeks go by, but the front view is proving to be more of a dramatic change than I had anticipated. When I went around for my consults, all the dr.'s were in agreement that my frontal view wouldn't change overly much - raise the tip a smidge but that was it. What's going on now looks a lot more than that :P I love the profile - even swollen it looks amazing. And the computer image the dr. gave me at the consultation is really what I fell in love with - so I'm hoping that's where all this will end up. I'm really just trying to breathe and focus on relaxing. I think another factor is that I've kind of been in the house all week and haven't really done anything to take my mind off the surgery or the swelling. I should probably try to see if I can go for a walk or go get a coffee or something today - maybe getting out and about will help. (And I was gonna keep my photos anonymous but screw it - everyone will know soon now anyways! :) )

1 week post-op

So today marks 1 week post-op. I'm still sort of anxiety-ridden about the results, so I'm hesitant to push that 'worth it' button until the front calms down and decides what it wants to be. I've cried a few times over the past few days - I think it's some sort of post surgery shock or something. If I was going straight on the profile, I would say YES definitely it was worth it!! My breathing is improving daily, so I know the swelling is going away - it's just going to take some time and I'm going to have to be patient. Which is something I'm NOT good at ! :)

Noticed today my nostrils are 2 different shapes and sizes - I think the right side is losing swelling faster than the left, which is common or so I've read. (for one side to lose swelling before the other) I think this is giving my nose a sort of lopsided shape at the moment.. The right side does look pretty good tho..I'm hoping the left catches up soon! The bruising is almost completely gone - there is a faint yellow-ish tint if you look at my face in the right lighting, but otherwise it's unnoticeable. I've started to kind of break out along the base of one nostril and I have a few zits developing there - lovely.

Been using my saline spray and NeilMed rinse. The first time I did it it freaked me out a bit, but the 2nd time was much better. I think it's going to help tremendously.

I got out of the house for a bit today. (It's been raining non stop here for the past 2 days, so walks haven't really happened) I went to pick up some dry cleaning and went to the pharmacy. I know it's not much, but it got me out in public and I had to interact with other people so it's a small improvement :) My friends are taking me out on Saturday for "New Nose Margaritas" so I hope I feel up to being social by then!

10 days post-op

Just thought I'd give a quick update - not much has changed the past few days. Lots of mad swelling still. Hoping that'll calm down soon! Went out last night with some friends and actually wore makeup and got dressed! Amazing! LOL I tried to put makeup on my nose to cover the big purple bruise I have over the bridge, but it HURT. SO. BAD. I don't know how you ladies cover up your bruises with makeup - I wanted to cry when I barely touched it. I just put makeup on everywhere else.

One of my friends said I look exactly the same from the front - I think she's kind of crazy, but that was nice to hear - made me feel less self conscious about the swelling.

Oh - and I sneezed a lot last night. I guess being out in the city just was too much for me after not going out for a while? I don't know - something in the air I guess. I managed to sneeze all of them through my mouth so it's all good. :) I've become a pro at that!

Still using my Neilmed rinse and have started doing it 2x a day, per my dr. instructions. It really does help.

Here's a pic from last night with my makeup on - you can really tell the nostril issue here. (And the bridge looks a bit crooked but it's not - I think that's the bruising making it look weird in the photo)

3 weeks post-op

Haven't updated in a while, so I thought I'd post today. Tomorrow will be 3 weeks post-op, and I have to say, I'm really starting to like my new nose! It's still swollen and the nostrils are still uneven, but the bruising is going ever so slowly away and I'm starting to see what the final results will be. I'm pretty convinced it's going to take a while for all of this to calm down..

I went on the internet the other day and looked up ways I could help the process along (reduce the swelling quicker). I found that a bunch of stuff contributes to the swelling... things like drinking alcohol, being in the sun, consuming a lot of salt, etc.. - Well, I'm a teacher on summer vacation so I've been doing ALL those things! :) I'm sure it hasn't helped the process much! I'm leaving to go on vacation in August, so I'm going to really try to buckle down on those things and see if I can encourage the swelling to lessen.

I can breathe a lot better through my nose but not 100% - I had a dance performance last night and it was so hard to dance with a smile on my face because I couldn't breathe! I was making all kinds of weird faces in the performance lol..
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon

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