Lovely Results, Difficult Recovery! - La Jolla, CA

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I had thought about a rhinoplasty before but never...

I had thought about a rhinoplasty before but never seriously considered it until my 18 month old bashed me in the nose during a tantrum. When he slammed the back of his head into my nose it bled and I saw stars. I ended up with two mild black eyes for a few days after. I had a little crookedness to my nose, but after that incident it seemed more pronounced. I decided to go ahead and have it adjusted while I was already undergoing a breast lift and implant exchange.

I assumed the rhinoplasty would be the easiest part of my combined surgeries because most people say it was a breeze and an easy recovery. My best friend had a rhinoplasty and was fine a week later. She told me the pain was very minimal and she was breathing well as soon as the cast was off and the packing was taken out.

Dr. Chaffoo's nurse Nancy warned me the fascia graft removal was usually the part people found painful as it is cut out of the side of your head and can be sore. Other than that, I wasn't expecting the surgery to be very painful and was more worried about the pain of the breastlift. However, it turned out the breast lift was almost pain free for me, other than one small area on my right breast. The nose on the other hand was excruciatingly painful for me the first 48 hours. I had an intense pain right between my eyes on the upper bridge and it felt like an elephant was sitting on my face. I had a small stitch on the outside of my nose to hold the fascia graft in place and I believe my doctor had also done some rasping to the same area. It hurt really, really bad!

In addition, I had anaphylaxis due to one of the medications I was taking and my airways and face swelled up horribly before I received an epi shot. I think this contributed to a more difficult and extended recovery for me. The pain I experienced the first 24 hours was still awful though before I had anaphylactic shock.

Once the cast came off a week later, I thought my nose looked adorable! Dr. Chaffoo adjusted the tip a little even though it wasnt something I really cared about, but I'm glad he talked me in to it. He kept saying, "Just a little bit, okay? I want to lift it just a little bit." I was hesitant, but, wow, I'm glad I let him do what he want to do because it turned out so nice.

Now, after he took the cast off he also pulled out quite a bit of "dissolvable packing". Can I just say, I HATE dissolvable packing! It decided it wasn't going to dissolve in me after all and it kept having to be manually pulled out and, boy, is that ever uncomfortable. The dissolvable stitches in my nose also decided not to dissolve and after three weeks they were driving me crazy and making me smell this weird dirty, wet dog smell. I texted Dr. Chaffoo and told him he needed to cut them out ASAP because they were ruining my life, lol! He cut them out the next day and, omg, RELIEF!

Then to make things even more fun, I ended up getting a painful infection in my right eye that sent shooting pain down the right side of my nose. It was the weekend and I was just sure my nose was going to rot and fall off, lol! I called Dr. Chaffoo and asked him if I should go to the ER. He calmed me down and told me he'd see me the next day. It turned out to be completely unrelated to my rhinoplasty and simply bad timing. Dr. Chaffoo sent me down a floor from his clinic to a charming opthomologist who gave me drops and gel for my poor eye and assured me the pain in my nose was from the infection in my eye. It cleared up after four days.

At this point, over three weeks had gone by and I still couldn't breath out of my nose and I was getting really frustrated and going through boxes of tissues and cases of biotene mouth spray (get this it's the best thing ever after rhinoplasty). I was having quite a bit of drainage and sneezing and it was beginning to turn green and yellow. Dr. Chaffoo gave me antibiotics to treat what seemed to have become a sinus infection. Now, I have to note, I have horrible allegeries and took Zyrtec daily and Flonase seasonally, well before I had surgery, so I'm no stranger to the occasional sinus infection. The antibiotics did help, but it took another 10 days before I could fully breath out of my nose again.

I waited to write this review because I was pretty grumpy and not feeling like it was very worth it when I was dealing with an eye infection and dirty wet, dog smell and having the dissolvable packing pulled out of my nose while not being able to breath out of my nose for a month. None of this was my doctors fault, it was just my bad luck and now that it's over, I can say it was worth it to get my cute new nose.

I'm not sure I'd have had the nerve to do it if Id know how uncomfortable it would be so its good I didn't know! It certainly wasn't the easy, breezy recovery everyone else I know told me they had. However, as I've said, in the long run its worth it.

I'm currently using 3M 1/2inch micropore tape to tape up my nose at night and will continue to do so for a few months. I still spray my nose out with saline spray morning and night (this is another postop must have). I've had the scar from the open rhinoplasty lasered twice to help the redness fade faster. Other than that, I'm breathing well now and my nose is getting cuter by the day. There is one tiny bump on the upper right side of my nose that Dr. Chaffoo said he could easily rasp down in his office under local. We have to wait a few more months though for me to heal and maybe it'll go away on it own my then. If not, the minor rasping will be a free touch up and easy to do in office with just the local.

If you've been considering rhinoplasty, I say go for it and you'll probably have a much easier recovery than I did! Stock up on biotene mouth spray, boxes of tissues, medical tape for taping your nose, gauze pads for taping under your nose to catch the drips the first weeks, frozen corn for your sore face, arnica pills and cream, face and body wipes since you can't shower while your cast is on, a humidifier, apple sauce and pudding in squeeze pouches, straws for drinking, lots of water/fluids, sterile saline nose spray, qtips, vaseline and Tylenol.

List of must have supplies!

Biotene mouth spray
boxes of tissues (Puffs are the best!)
medical tape for taping your nose (I like 3M Micropore 1/2 inch in tan)
gauze pads for taping under your nose to catch the drips the first weeks (I liked to change mine often)
A different medical tape for taping the gauze under your nose
frozen corn for your sore face
arnica pills and cream
face and body wipes since you can't shower
a humidifier
apple sauce in squeeze pouches
straws for drinking
lots of water/fluids
sterile saline nose spray
Stool softner

Do's and don't poster I made!

This was the large poster I made Dr. Chaffoo that I saw hanging up in the OR the day of my surgery. They're fun to make and helpful to communicate your desires.

My wish pictures vs my results.

Pretty close I think!

A full face comparison

Monica Bellucci has a fuller jaw line than me and my face is slightly more oval. However, our cheek bones, lips and eyes are similar, you can't see but imagine hehe, this is why I used her as my wish picture. It didn't seem like a good idea to pick someone I looked nothing like and shared no bone structure with.

I got my immediate OR postop pic!

I asked Dr. Chaffoo for the immediate postop picture taken in the OR. Its so cool to see what my nose looked like before the swelling set in. My tip is a bit more defined than it is now and I suppose this is what it will look like in a year or too.

I'm very happy with it because I asked for a feminine, but very straight nose. I think the two most beautiful caucasian women to ever grace the silver screen are Ava Gardner and Monica Bellucci. Both women have gorgeous straight noses.

No offense to those of you who want the sloped nose look, but I do not find it appealing and don't understand how it has somehow become the new beauty standard. I think a sloped nose looks forever child like because babies and young children have a slope. I'm attracted to women with strong facial features including straight noses and high cheek bones.

I naturally had a straight profile before age and injuries warped it a bit and I'm glad to have it back, but when an even cuter tip. Dr. Chaffoo listened to my desires and agreed a straight nose fit my facial features best.

Three months post op

I really love my nose! There's just a little boney bump on the right side of my nose that didn't get filed down enough during surgery. It was way worse before surgery, as you can see from my before picture, but it bothers me being there at all. Dr. Chaffoo thought the fascia graft would eliminate it but it didn't. He said it's not a big deal and in a few months he can rasp it down in office under local. I naturally have a tiny bit of alar notching and talked to all the doctors I consulted with about it. I had a few options to correct it BUT it might not have worked or lasted if it did. I decided it wasnt worth the extra grafts and possible complications so we left it the way it was. It never bothered me a great deal and I'm still okay with. Overall, I think my new nose is great and I don't have much swelling anymore and got the feeling in the tip back.

I'll update after my in office revision in a few months. I'm interested to see how uncomfortable it is and how much swelling I experience afterwards. I'm assuming it will be a cakewalk compared to my original surgery!

Candid shot

Wanted to post a picture taken recently when I wasn't aware I was being photographed. I love my cute tip. I'm having the small bump on the right side of the bridge smoothed down in 6 weeks. I'll update with how that goes. It's done in office with local and Dr. Chaffoo said it's very minor.

A few more pictures

Recent pictures of me. My nose photographs nicely now I think. Preop for the small in office revision is tomorrow. The actual revision is March 7th. Dr. Chaffoo said he would also put a tiny bit of very diluted steroid shot in my tip because it's still a little swollen at 6 months post op. I'm wondering how much pain and swelling I'll have from have the bump on the right side smoothed.

Short update

Wanted to post my most recent photos. Dr. Chaffoo rasped the small bump on the side of nose under local. It wasn't so bad other than the shots for the local which stung like Hell. It did make the spot better, but it's still there a little. Dr. Chaffoo said he will rasp it more when I hit a year post op. He said less is better because he doesn't want to make a dent and it's better to rasp a small amount at a time. I'm fine with this and overall pleased with my nose. I'll be happy to get the last little bit that bothers me smoothed out. It's only noticeable from very certain angles and I don't think you can even see it easily in these pictures.
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

I really like Dr. Chaffoo. He's triple board certified, if that matters to you, and he's got a great bedside manner. He's also always just a text or a phone call away and I loved that because I can be high maintenance ;) His office staff are all really great as well. I've even made friend with the valet at the medical building, lol! I honestly don't have one major complaint. It's been a great experience!

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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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