Sorry for the delay in updating but I’m now Day 8 post op and have a very detailed review ahead! I’ll start with the consultation then cover the surgery, recovery/post op, and cast off and hopefully I won’t miss anything out!
First and foremost I had my consultation back at the end of March having booked 6 weeks previously and that was the first available appointment. The consultation if I remember correctly was £150 at the time and I paid as I booked. I live in Birmingham (from London originally) so I came back home for a night and my mum came with me to Harley Street for the consultation. My heart was racing as I went in, I think it was all so surreal and I’d been eagerly awaiting it for so long! I was greeted warmly and provided with a clipboard and some forms to fill out in the waiting room upstairs. Basic personal questions and then lots of tickboxes on my medical history, GP details, previous injuries, smoker or not etc. before going in to Mr Ion’s room.
From the moment I met him I felt in safe hands - he is warm, extremely knowledgeable, open, and explains everything properly. First of all we sat down and he asked me what I wanted and we talked through briefly what I didn’t like about my nose. He then took some photos from every angle (front, both profiles, then in between front and profile each side). He uploaded them to his computer and then created the morphs checking I was happy with the shape, which I was. This process is weird by the way, for the first time seeing yourself with a different nose! He then asked me to lie down and he looked inside my nose with a torch before sitting me back down and going through the procedure fully and how it works, as well as showing me some previous examples of rhinoplasties he had done. He also told me that I had to give up smoking, at least 2 weeks before but ideally asap. This was huge for me as I was a smoker of 9 years but I am currently about 2 months smoke free and will not be going back! We went through any questions I had and then his secretary took me in to another room and provided my quote and information on what happened next. The consultation for me had been more of a formality as I knew from my research that unless something just didn’t feel right at the consultation then Mr Ion was the surgeon that I wanted. As it had gone so well I wanted to book there and then but his secretary would not actually let me! It was a Thursday, and she told me that sometimes excitement can take over and that nothing will change if I held off until Monday, so to really take the weekend to digest everything and call on Monday if I was ready to book. To me this is testament to the practice of Mr Ion and I have read a review or two of people he refused to operate on because he didn't feel they were mentally ready or prepared. I was provided with a quote of £7,520 (£5,700 surgeon’s fee, £1,820 hospital fee, £500 anaesthetist fee) and informed that upon booking a £500 deposit was required. Please do note that I think this changes frequently so may have since gone up! I called back to book and there was exactly 11 weeks between booking and the first available surgery date…this was a killer as I’d read somewhere it was more along 6-8 weeks but he was going through an especially busy period!
My op was at Weymouth Street Hospital (just around the corner from Harley Street) and I was due to arrive at 7.15am for an 8am slot. I had been called the day before as my initial booking was 10.30am but someone had cancelled so it was a huge relief to know I was first on the list! In reception I completed some forms and provided my bank details in order to pay for the prescribed medicine which I would receive before going home and this came to about £40 total so not a lot considering! I was then escorted from reception to my room by a really nice guy who then showed me around the room and talked me through the food menu advising me what was best to eat given I was having rhinoplasty! He then left and I was with my mum who helped me get all kitted up in my surgery outfit! Next a nurse came to see me to go through a whole load of questions about my health, closely followed by the anaesthetist. He was fantastic, very lively character and asked a lot of questions, took the time to get to know me and made me feel at ease and answered any questions I had about the anaesthetic. I then had a few more questions from the nurse who gave me my pressure stockings and then Mr Ion came in to see me for a few minutes. He had printed copies of my morphs which we recapped and he also asked me whether or not I was happy to agree to a new thing he has been doing in recent ops involving blood extraction from my arm (whilst under) to then use during the op. Not sure of the technical side but I believe they extract some element of this blood to then put back in the nose before the end of the op to help healing/swelling/bruising etc. I then signed what I guess can only be described as my disclaimer which he also signed. He was really warm once again and I just felt so relaxed and trusting to be in his hands. My mum then had to go and put money on for parking so I was left alone for a few minutes but I felt remarkably calm having seen Mr Ion again. After about 5 minutes the nurse came to collect me, I was prepped for anaesthetic and at this point when they lay me on the bed and the warm air was blowing my heart stated racing and I became really scared!! The lady there though was fantastic, really calmed me down and then the anaesthetist came and they were both talking away to me...last thing I remember was my chest feeling like it was going to combust in a bizarrely nice way and I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and then I was out!
I came to fully in recovery about 12pm though was very aware of the fact that I’d been trying to come out for quite some time beforehand and really struggled. At one point I knew Mr Ion was there and I was so desperate to try and come to and talk to him and just couldn’t! Having never had an operation I will admit I felt extremely weak, out of it, and my face was painful and throbbing! I was in recovery for around half hour and the nurse with me offered me painkillers a few times and I gladly accepted anything I could get! This was put in through my cannula which felt very weird. Mr Ion also came over whilst I was here briefly to let me know he’d been up to my room to tell my Mum it was all done which I thought was great. I was taken back to my room and the next 2 hours or so were just sliding in and out of consciousness. I was offered my food but wasn’t quite ready and then I went to the toilet and I think the movement and walking triggered my appetite back! Lunch was a nice selection and exactly what I needed – tomato soup (I was told to make sure this cooled fully because steam encourages bleeding of the nose), soft cheesy pasta, ice cream and a diet coke! My nose was bleeding quite heavily and my gauze was changed about 5 times and I was given some to go home with. I left around 5.30pm to go home and was given antibiotics, painkillers, blood thinning injections and pills to prevent bleeding.
7 Days Recovery
Night one was really tough as I was so nervous to fall asleep any other way than directly upright and every time my head dropped I jerked awake! Around late evening though I managed to get comfortable and slept through the night, though I was waking up every hour or so to drink as I had such a dry mouth partly from the anaesthetic but also because I was only breathing through my mouth.
Day 1 I still felt very weak and spent most of the day in bed in and out of sleep, before also sleeping the night through. Day 2 still weak but a little better, I left my bed for a few hours in the late afternoon before going back to bed for a long night though I was tossing and turning for hours until it was getting light and I finally managed to doze off. Day 3 I got up, showered and dressed and felt slightly more alive! Day 4 I spent the majority of the day out of bed and then Day 5 had some friends over and felt much more human! Day 6 my nose became very itchy and dry and I was really ready for my cast and splint removal as it was becoming really irritating. The whole time I was very congested though this dried up the last couple of days (still couldn’t breathe properly through my nose). I also really struggled to sleep in the evenings I think because I was doing nothing all day to tire my body so a couple of nights I took some Valium to conk out.
So yesterday I had my cast removed! I arrived for my appointment and was greeted by Mr Ion’s nurse, Rosie, who was absolutely lovely. She asked me to lie down and then slowly started picking ‘bits’ out of my nose, removed the stitches, pulled the splints out, and then removed the cast itself. She was extremely gentle and so friendly so was talking to my Mum and I the whole time so I barely even realised what she was doing! As most people say I felt discomfort during the removal of the splints not in a painful way but more because it just felt very weird and I was gobsmacked how long they are! The stitch removal was slightly painful but lasted just a few seconds so it was fine. I was then just lying there and my Mum and Rosie were having a chat but I suddenly had a moment of panic so left them to it rather than sitting up or asking for the mirror! After a minute or two though Rosie sat me up and asked if I was ready…and then I saw! My instant reaction was ever so slight panic as my tip looked too high but I think this was because it wasn’t raised before so it was a shock initially. Also it has since dropped down, it must have been raised up from the cast/swelling etc. but is now perfect. I couldn’t believe it! I loved it!! I booked my 1 month follow up and thanked Rosie who really was amazing before leaving. One thing that was fab was I met someone in the waiting room who I’d been messaging through the week who was having their cast removal just after me :) we said hello briefly and then I left.
In the car I was elated…I think for me that’s when it all sunk in! I of course started taking lots of selfies from different angles and sending pictures to close friends and family! I really am SO over the moon with the result. I will be yet another person to add to the list of those in total and absolute awe of Mr Ion and his work. I can see my nose is still very swollen and there is likely to be much change over the coming weeks, however I already see how symmetrical and perfectly shaped it is. The nose itself I feel is beautiful, and almost a little sexy! It is certainly very feminine compared to my previous shape and I couldn’t be happier. Mr Ion creates such a recognisable shape and his tips are perfectly crafted, ever so slightly raised with a minimal point to make it feminine. I haven’t been concerned at all about the shape through this whole process because I had such faith in Mr Ion from the start and I’m just so relieved I was right not to be! I’ve uploaded some photos and will continue to do so over the coming months.
Too long didn’t really read?! Mr Ion is an absolute amazing artist and genius and I would recommend him and his staff to anyone considering rhinoplasty! The best money I have ever and will ever spend! Truly superb service and care throughout which is exactly what you need during an operation of this gravity.
If I can help anyone at all with any questions I am more than happy to do so, especially those considering Mr Ion – you will not regret it :)