I've been fussing about my face since I first...
I've been fussing about my face since I first became aware of how much looks seem to matter in society. My nose particularly was something that I obsessed over, prodding constantly and envisioning as some delicate elfin feature. While my nose hasn't got any dramatic deformity, the reason why I dislike it so much is that it just doesn't seem to "fit" into my face. It's bulbous and makes my face look goofy and masculine.
After years of dithering over the prospect of surgery I've now reached the point where I'm just about to book the procedure, but I'm still completely petrified that I'm going to have a surgeon completely destroy my face like some crazed Frankenstein, and I end up looking like the lovechild of Bruce Jenner and Michal Jackson.
I've been to see Dr Julian De Silva for a consultation, which hasn't filled me with confidence - it just felt like a very awkward meeting. I am very swayed by the reviews I read, but then again they almost seem too good. While there are plenty of brilliant reviews, I can't follow them up - on the Google reviews almost everyone who had written something only had that one review (often an indication of fake reviews) and on the realself forum so many of the people literally post their review and then vanish - no pictures, no comments. It's extremely disconcerting and it frightens me terribly, especially as I have no way of choosing my surgeon other than the reviews I find!
I've discussed the possibility of Dr Uppal with some people on the forum, but have yet to meet with him.
Basically, I need advice! Help! Has anyone been to Julian De Silva or Uppal, and if so, were you happy? Any thoughts, opinions etc are most welcome! :)
Settled on a Surgeon
After all the feedback from people on this site (thank you all so much by the way, you are magnificent!) and doing some research into reviews, I went for a consultation yesterday with Lucian Ion.
First off, the house that he works out of in Harley Street is insanely gorgeous. If I was to take over the world, that is where I'll set up my headquarters. The staff were all gracious and friendly which I very much appreciated. I mainly dealt with a woman called Nikki, who is lovely.
I got taken through to see Dr Ion fairly promptly and immediately felt completely at ease. He is warm and chatty and completely relaxed in his own self. I also noticed that he had taken the time to read through my notes before I came in, because he referred several times to my profession (I'm a web developer, just by the way, if anyone's ever in need - just a wee bit of self promotion there). He was also very observant of me, complimenting my handwriting and asking about my tattoos and my surname. I know this is an odd thing to comment on, but I like a doctor that notices and pays attention to his patient. I've had to endure doctors that just completely dismiss you and prattle on about their own importance with absolutely no interest in who their patients are or what their needs may be. Little things like what Dr Ion did has such a positive effect, because I know he is paying attention to me.
The time spent in consultation was fairly simple. He inspected my nose, mentioned a slightly deviated septum (which I already knew from Dr De Silva) and took some pictures which we then modified together. Now I never did this with Dr De Silva, and even though a picture may not necessarily be identical to what you ultimately achieve through surgery, I think it is important because you know that the doctor visualises the same things you do. He also gave me the pictures to keep on a snazzy 8gig flash stick which is AWESOME! Kinda like how the doctors always used to hand out a sweet after you'd been to see them.
Now, the surgery is WAY more expensive then Dr De Silva. Dr De Silva starts at £5500, quoting me £6500. Dr Ion starts at £7500. My quote was £7820 (I think. I'm too lazy to double check). To break it down, it was £5500 for the rhinoplasty, £1,820 for the hospital fees and £500 for the anaesthetic fees. I really wish he could just come do the operation at my house. £1820 for hospital fees is madness. SO, yeah, it is quite a bit more expensive. I'm basically spending everything I've ever saved up on this, which is horrific. My family are not impressed (and I can completely understand).
So why Dr Ion and not Dr De Silva? Because I walked out of Ion's offices feeling completely confident. There was no fear, no nagging voice at the back of my head questioning what will happen if he messes up. I trust him completely, and that trust is worth paying the extra for. There are some things in life you simply can't be cheap about, and your face is one of them.
SO - my surgery date is set for the 13th of October!
Also, on a side note, has anyone had rhinoplasty and breast augmentation done by Ion at the same time? I'm just wondering what the cost is, if it'll be cheaper to do that or have the surgery done in South Africa when I return next year? (I know I said I'll be spending all my savings, but I can always save a bit more between now and the 13th of October!)
The Final Countdown
So, the final two weeks are upon me. Surgery is on the 13th, and I'm having a complete breakdown. Not the best time to freak out, but it's happening and I'm absolutely quivering with fear.
I went for my second consultation with Dr Ion yesterday which is when all my concerns divebombed into me. The problem is that Dr Ion is leaving the decision of how my nose should look completely in my hands. Which is great, except that I'm not attached to some particular idea of how my nose should look. I don't desire a pointy little pixie button or some Grace Kelly slope. I just want a nose that fits better into my face. So what I need is someone who deals with the aesthetics of the face to tell me what, in their professional opinion, will suit my face best. But Dr Ion is leaving the decisions up to me, and I'm so worried I'm going to choose something that will look absolutely absurd on me. Or else something that really doesn't make a difference at all to my face, and then I've just blown my entire life savings on something completely pointless.
Anyway, that's my moaning done for the day. :)
Okay, so I'm writing this several days after my procedure (it's been three days now) but thought to do this bit by bit. So! Operation day. I was due to be operated on the 13th of October, at about twelve in the afternoon at Weymouth Hospital. I had gotten a call the day before from the practice confirming that I was all set for the operation and asking for me to arrive at half past eight, not half past ten as was originally planned. No problem, I thought. It should take forty minutes on the tube. Ah. Pity the fool. I had under-estimated the potent force that was rush hour. It was insane. I arrived forty minutes late, frazzled and looking revolting.
I was intimidated when I entered the reception room, being greeted by two beautiful and politely friendly ladies who left me feeling even more revolting than before. I filled out the forms, paid the amount owed to the hospital and was promptly led upstairs to my own private room, which was LUSH. The person who took me upstairs was wonderful - polite and warm, he quickly put me at ease. He showed me everything there was to know about the room and quickly had me fill out the food options for after I came round from surgery. Now this did make me sad. The food sounded amazing. There was pages of options - salmon all the way to sorbet - it sounded utterly scrumptious and I wanted it all. Sadly though, I was restricted to ordering soft foods - soups and pastas. I feel a bit cheated paying all that money and only getting mush to eat.
I quickly settled into my room, pulled on the gown and assorted paraphernalia and watched tv. Word of advice - bring a book instead. There's such rubbish on the television these days. Or maybe just at the time I watched. I had a very friendly nurse who took all my vital statistics and ran me through the operating procedures. He told me that both Dr Ion and the anaesthetist will be round to visit me and chat through everything with me. I was remarkably calm about everything, to be honest I think the enormity of what I was undertaking had not yet impacted. I was in wonderful spirits, chatting with the nurses, texting my friends pictures of my hospital room. When the nurse came by to tell me it was time to go down there was no horror, no near faint. I just went on downstairs.
I got taken to a room to have the anaesthetic injected. I had harboured some illusion that I'd be administered general anaesthetic through a mask, and if I had known needles were going to be involved, I would have been A LOT more freaked out. (Says the girl who was about to have her face sliced up) I remember the needle going in, chatting to the nurses around me and then waking up in the middle of surgery with bits of bone and blood all over my face. I'm kidding. I was in mid conversation and then suddenly someone was offering me water and I had bandages all over my face. I had the slightest discomfort and so a lovely nurse slipped some morphine into my system. After that I was as chipper as could be. I was cracking jokes - unusual, as I'm remarkably unfunny, and have learnt from past experience that any attempt at humour results in blank stares and quick escapes from those surrounding me. As soon as I rolled into my room I started taking selfies and sending them out to unsuspecting victims, chatting to nurses and sampling the hospital's fine array of mush. I also slipped in and out of consciousness but on the whole was feeling extremely happy. In fact, if I'm completely honest, it was probably one of the most enjoyable days I've had in months. I think that's down to the fact that the entire time, it still had not registered in my head the absolute enormity of what I had done.
I do have to say, the staff at Weymouth Street Hospital are AMAZING! The service was exemplary and I was blown away by the level of friendliness and care I received.
Post Operation Updates
So, it's day three of recovery and things have not been fun. I think I was extremely optimistic about how fast I could recover from surgery. I was telling clients I would still be working from home, I thought I would be spending my time doing all sorts of productive projects. I was so so wrong.
The first night was hell. I could breathe in my nose, but not out. In the end I just slept with my mouth hanging open, which resulted in my throat feeling absolutely destroyed in the morning. By then the blood has completely congealed and sealed off my nose. Not pretty. I also couldn't get my nose to stop leaking (Sorry, it's gross I know). I gradually got worse and worse. First day post op I noticed slight swelling under my right eye, but didn't think too much about it. On the second day it was looking a hell of a lot worse. Everything was swollen. My eyelids, my lips - even my gums felt inflamed and sore. Worse still, I could feel building pressure in my forehead. I was freaking out. When I woke up today, I looked like death. I have never seen my face look so deformed. I took pictures and looking at those images, I can't even recognise myself. I could barely open my eyes they were so swollen. My jaws were puffed out. And I was so scared.
I called the practice and explained the situation to the receptionist. She asked me to send through pictures and told me that she'd let Dr Ion know (he was at the point in surgery) An hour later he called me and told me to go through to his offices, and have the nurses remove the splints, which would alleviate the pressure in my face. I got there at around half past two - at that point I was feeling so ill I thought I was going to be sick. I was seen by two nurses. They began by clearing away all the crusted blood and then pulling the splints out my nose. I had NO idea they were so huge. I felt this slight tugging at the back of my nose and suddenly these MASSIVE plastic bananas get dragged out my nose, covered in mucus and blood. It was revolting. And also amazing that they managed to shove them up there to begin with.
So I went home, feeling a lot cleaner and being able to breathe slightly better (my nasal cavities are swollen so it's not great). The pressure has being alleviated and while the swelling is still there, I am feeling much better than before. I am however, really, really freaked out about one thing:
I'm really concerned Dr Ion has done the wrong nose on me. When seeing Dr Ion, we came up with two different options for my nose (which can be seen above) At our last meeting I said I'd think about the different shapes and decide on what I wanted. When he came in to see me just before the operation, he had a folder with the different morphs I had created with him. I told him I wanted to go with the first morph he created (the less pointy and upturned on) however, I looked at a side picture of me that was taken tonight and my nose looks waaaaay more similar to the second morph - much more upturned. I'm really really worried. Please someone tell me I have no reason to stress?
So the cast has finally come off, and it feels fantastic! I was beginning to resemble a bloated corpse and now with everything out I finally feel a little bit more normal. Plus I'm no longer scaring children when I go outside, which is a bonus.
Dr Ion's staff were lovely when I went to get the cast off, really friendly and warm. It was such a disgusting task having to clear out my nose but they were so polite - I would have vomited all over the floor if the roles were reversed. So mad respect there. Afterwards I needed to slap some make-up on my face as I needed to go meet my boyfriend at work and grab the house keys, and they offered to do my make-up for me! There's a little room that's been set up as a make-up studio, and they are decked out. So I got to leave looking semi human, with no bewildered stares on the tube from innocent spectators. Much appreciated.
It's been nearly a week since the cast was taken off and my nose is still incredibly swollen. The bottom half looks like a pig snout, which isn't really a look I can pull off very well. I also can't breathe through my nose. It makes eating out really awkward because I can't eat politely. I have to have my mouth open or else I nearly suffocate. Has anyone else had these sorts of problems? How long until I can breathe normally again? I miss it so much.
Side by side comparisons
Nose is more upturned then I wanted, but I'm hoping it will drop. My nose is also still horribly swollen - I look like a koala bear!
Two weeks post surgery
So yesterday was two weeks post op (whoop whoop). So I celebrated by taking obnoxious pictures of myself. But I kinda figured this forum is the one place I can get away with posting hundreds of pictures of myself.
My nose is still very swollen and hard, but more annoyingly - I STILL CAN'T BREATHE! I'm going to give Dr Ion's offices a call today and see what they say.