I had never liked my nose it was always big and unpretty. It made me unhappy now and then and I would wish it was different, usually when I had noticed an unflattering photo of it. But living with a botched obviously operated and deformed nose is a whole other misery its a million times worse since my first rhinoplasty not a day has passed when I haven't felt upset and anxious about it.
Since that 1st botch op in 2008 I have thoroughly researched rhinoplasty and checked out all the surgeons to fix it so I have long known that Mr Ion is the master of rhinoplasty in this country. He was my only real hope, I've never seen a patient of his unhappy and he creates such beautiful results. Just look at his online gallery of great results and I've seen many more happy patients he could add to it. Many surgeons don't have galleries claiming it's because each case is different, well I think that's just rubbish sure we know each case is unique but pics of previous patients at least gives an idea of the doctors skill and experience.
I have seen a few doctors and ENT surgeons regarding my nose including Mr Woolford and none gave me faith it could be fixed totally. They had no idea what to do with the columnella area at all I was told due to the amount of damage it would take 2 ops and then would still never look perfect or quite right.
I just wished that I had gone to see Mr Ion for my primary but I worried it was too bad now that even he could not fix it. I wasn't sure he'd even want to try and touch such a complicated case so first I emailed him briefly about my situation and pics of the mess I was in. He replied he'd like to help me that he could improve it and agreed to see me for a consultation.
It was a couple of months wait for an appointment he is a busy man as you would guess of such a top surgeon. I made my way by train it's quite easy to find from the tube station. I had a bit of a wait once at Harley St 45 minutes but I didn't mind after a stressful rush around morning. Mr Ions office itself is large stylish and professional but the rest of the building is not so good the toilet fairly clean but shabby there were rather large holes in the reception and hall floor I don't know if they were awaiting repairs but they were there on my last post op visit too and I remember thinking if I didn't already know how good Mr Ion was and have strong personal recommendations from other patients i trusted then things like that would maybe of put me off.
I finally got to meet Mr Ion he was attractive quietly spoken caring and professional I felt very at ease in his presence. He examined my nose very thoroughly asking questions about my previous surgery and the problems I have with sinusitis and breathing. He was very concerned about the inside of my nose he said it still appears raw and unhealed which was strange since my last op was 2011. He said such damage is usually only seen in heavy cocainne use and apologised for asking if I was a user. I am not so the damage is due to previous infection and just surgery damage. He wanted me to have a biopsy done of the tissue to be sure it wasn't anything nasty going on he wrote to my gp to request my local nhs ENT's look at it.
It was scary being told it could be cancerous or infected still but it was also a relief to have somebody listen and examine it properly. Of all the health care professionals I've seen about my nose Mr Ion is the only one who took it seriously. I have had to beg my gp at times for antibiotics for sinusitis pain and a horrid smell she's been reluctant to prescribe for my nose and often put it down for a cough or water infection instead. Mr Ion is too professional to criticise the other surgeon and health care professionals I've seen but I could tell he was upset and concerned at what had happened to me.
Mr Ion then cheered me up by asking how I wanted my nose to look. I felt silly to say but I really liked a pic of Angelina Jolie's profile I told him and said I'm not expecting to get perfection though I realise how difficult it is I just want a normal looking nose that people don't double take at in the street.
He took some photos of my nose and uploaded to his computer then showed me what was possible and how he would change it. I asked if it could be small and a little more scooped but he said it might not suit me as my chin and other features are also small. The morph he did for me though was beautiful elegant it suited my face and was more than I dared hope was possible. He gave me the morphs to take home and I booked surgery with his secretary. I went home emotional but happy and hopeful.
The second consultation was a couple of weeks before my surgery we went over the plan to take a new rib graft and discussed what I should do before and after surgery. The biopsy he had ordered never got done as the ents were unsure which tissue to test they gave me an mri scan instead and then I was given the all clear for surgery.
On the day I was scared of the anaesthetic mostly as I'm so tiny and was so weak. I was also happy and excited though ready for this op and hoping for some improvements at least.
At the hospital I signed in reception and was given a couple of forms to fill in I had a bit of a shock when I was asked to pay 400 and an extra 50 on top of the anaesthetist fee. I had been expecting to pay the anaesthetic fee of 500 on the day but they now wanted 950 without warning me. I didn't have that much on the bank card I had brought with me and my partner only had cash for hotel food and taxis. I was in tears but after making frantic calls a friend saved the day and transferred the money.
The hospital put me on the phone to harley street to find out what happened. The Scottish receptionist there was annoyed with me she kept repeating it was for a ribgraft and that i was told the hospital cost by a letter. The thing is yes I did get a letter at my first consultation and time of booking I was given the list of fees the surgeon fee, hospital fee, anaesthetist fee. I rang within a few days to settle Mr Ions bill fully I also wanted to settle the hospital bill ASAP so I rang them and asked who I make the cheque to. The receptionist didn't know and wasn't sure if I should even pay that yet, she said she would find out and call me back but she never did. A week before my op after hearing nothing I rang the hospital again to pay by card now as it was too late really to send a cheque anyway. The receptionist took the details but requested around 400 less than I expected I queried it and she said no you pay the anaesthetic fee 500 on the day. I said yes I know that is separate I'm talking about the hospital fee, but she insisted I was confused and so I paid what she asked and forgot all about it.
It seems that there was a mixup due to increased cost of a rib graft but that was planned from the first consultation. I was left feeling upset and received no apology.
It's only a minor moan but I think I need to explain why I will not award Mr Ions staff full stars they are not the warmest or most professional and the payment process was awkward and confusing well it was in my case anyway.
Once I'd paid up I was taken through to the hospital and I soon felt better my room was large very clean and modern like a relaxing hotel room. The staff were very good the nurses and anaesthetist put me at ease.
After my op Mr Ion came to see me I was a bit out of it but he showed me a picture he took with his phone before the cast went on it looked just like the morph I attempted to smile or talk but couldn't so I just gave him a thumbs up. He came back to see me later before I went home too and told me it was very difficult there was no bone at all one side but it went well.
Going home was embarrassing on the train I was holding my sore rib my face all bandaged I must've looked like I was beaten up. At home I relaxed as much as possible when you have kids. I propped myself up in bed with 3 pillows and had a travel ring pillow to keep my head straight and keep me to a back sleeping position. I took Arnica and bromelain to reduce bruising and it pretty much went away in 5 days. The swelling took a bit longer though.
My post op appointment a week later was with a nurse. I would of liked Mr Ion to have been there since it was such a difficult job or at least of warned the nurse that it was a 4th rhino and I'd had very delicate work done around the columnella.
She took the stitches from my rib first totally painless, then she removed the tubes stints holding nostrils open Ive heard others moan about it but it was nothing , then the tiny stitches from my nose that was fine then she used the tweezer things to pick off some thick black scabs just inside my nostrils now that hurt like hell. I'm tough but it really stung I think I'd have bathed them off myself had I known what she was going to do. My eyes watered and it hurt when she even removed the tape and the cast after that. She showed me my nose in the mirror it was wide and swollen the tape had left marks where the swelling pressed against it it was not beautiful by any means but I could tell the profile and the columnella was much better. It was hard to be happy and take it in though as my nose was still throbbing and stinging badly my eyes watering. She said it was very crusted and I should of cleaned inside there. She said it wasn't quite healed there yet either (it bled where she removed the scabs a little) so she prescribed me more antibiotics. I told her Mr Ion told me to only clean the outside not put anything up there or pick it as it was very delicate area I began to tell her this was a 4th surgery and my nose had been badly damaged and overshortened. She didn't seem interested she was already telling me how to massage it. I was looking through my phone to show her what I meant a picture of how it was before. She thought I was ignoring her she said to my mother 'Are YOU listening how to do this?!'
'I am listening' I said, 'I just want to show you how it was before', and I show her the pics..
'OMG this was you?! oh wow! Mr Ion has done a fantastic job hasn't he!' She was much more sympathetic to my crying and being a wimple after that. She made us a cup of tea and led us to a quiet room to wait until i recovered enough to leave.
It was almost more embarrassing going home this time my nose looked like a fat shiny potato my eyes looked slitty from swelling still, I looked like Alice the goon. The dressing had imprinted a crisscross effect on my swollen skin and I had to dab away little dots of blood from my nostrils every now and then. It wasn't the glamorous reveal we all dream about but on arriving home my whole family could see past the swelling and told me it was looking great.
I felt happy but nervous about results changing. After 2 weeks swelling settled a bit but unevenly and I developed a couple of dents one upper right where it was caved in previously and a new dent lower left side just before the tip. From one 3/4 angle it changed the profile a bit. I also had a nasty lump of white scar tissue just inside my nostril. These flaws upset me as I worried about them maybe getting worse in time.
I discussed the issues with Mr Ion at my 4 week app he saw the dents immediately and then inspected the scar lump he thought about removing the ugly scar tissue there and then under local but decided as I was ok about it to leave it until next time when fully healed. Mr Ion is an artist and a perfectionist he wanted it to be exactly right I could tell he was a little annoyed with the issues, he thought the frustrating dents were probably due to uneven swelling. He gave steroid injections 1 in the upper right dent and two more on the tip. He said if the dents didnt even out he could address it later possibly use a little filler later on to fill them out.
I told Mr Ion despite the small issues that I was very happy my family all thought it was an amazing improvement he had done a fantastic job. He was smiling then relieved and happy that I was satisfied with the results. I shook his hand as I left but I dearly wanted to hug or kiss the man I am so grateful to him for helping me.
It has taken time to sink in that I'm ok that it went right it's not hideous anymore and I don't have to hide. I still lower my head instinctively and avoid eye contact. Who would believe I actually have a pretty nose now!
I have to see him next again in July but I'm going to write to him now. Really I have to tell him how happy I am with my new nose. I'm feeling so much better no sinusitis no horrid smell my breathing has improved and it looks fantastic. The swelling went down quickly after the steroid injections and the dent upper right totally disappeared to my delight . The lump of scar tissue in my nose has shrunk and settled a lot. The lower dent left side is still there but its barely noticeable now it can only really be seen on pics from one 3/4 angle. From the front it looks perfectly straight it is narrower and has moderate nostril show. My profile is now even nicer than the morph I'm thrilled it's exactly what I wanted and I absolutely love it. A few times Ive burst out crying recently and writing this right now I can tell you I'm sobbing tears but tears of joy and amazement tears of relief , tears this is over!.and I'm so happy I can finally get on with my life thanks to Mr Ion. God bless him! and everyone who followed my story, thank you for your kind messages comments advice and support. You helped me get through this :)
Love Mini xoxo