Open Rhinoplasty/Septoplasty- Los Angeles, CA

So after browsing this site for a couple months I...

So after browsing this site for a couple months I decided to start documenting my own process. I'm in the southern California area and have been searching for a Doctor since the new year. Unfortunately, I discovered it's incredibly hard to find information and honest reviews.

Right now I have a consultation with Dr. Rawnsley next week, and am considering Dr. Hilinski and Dr. Grigoryants as well. I am open to other surgeons as well, so I'd love to hear if you have suggestions! For now, I'll update after my consultation. Wish me luck!

I went to my consultation last week and everything...

I went to my consultation last week and everything went great. Beautiful office, happy staff, Dr. R has a great bedside manner and answered all of my questions without being hurried or rushed. We went through my digitalized images and he made the changes he thought would be best for my nose. I, unfortunately, found it really hard to give helpful feedback. It kind of just threw me for a loop seeing my face with a different nose, and as a visual artist I want to make sure it's the best possible version of what it could be. I'll be going over this more in depth with him, and then most likely schedule my surgery. Although I haven't gone to any other consultations, I don't think I'd feel comfortable with any other surgeons.

If I schedule the surgery it would most likely be in a little over a week. At this point I'm pretty nervous and constantly doubting my decision. BUT. I have a deviated septum that's visible, making my nose crooked, and it's too large for my face. I've been considering this for years, and I think it's time to go for it.

Thank you everyone for your comments. I'm actually...

Thank you everyone for your comments. I'm actually in recovery from my surgery as I type! I went in on the 13th and have been slowly recovering since. Dr. R did a great job from what I can tell, and I had minimal swelling and bleeding in the operating room. Now I'm just trying to deal with the aftermath, I researched a ton but I didn't realize how flipping uncomfortable it was going to be. So congested, constant discharge, always wanting to sneeze, swollen around the eyes, pressure in my ears whenever I swallow, and just the general feeling of wanting to rip it all off my face. Gently, of course. Ugh. Can't wait until part is over. 6 days to go until the splint comes off and I can take a proper shower.

So it's now 11 days post op and I'm feeling much...

So it's now 11 days post op and I'm feeling much better! The cast came off on day 8 and although it was (and is) swollen I'm pretty excited about how it looks. Right now it doesn't really feel real, mainly because I'm still going through the recovery. Once my nose is less swollen and I can smile normally and feel comfortable around friends/family... then it'll feel real.

So, a little recap.

Surgery went great, Dr. couldn't figure out why I didn't really bleed or swell at all in surgery. But the bonus, I didn't swallow blood so I didn't get nauseous, and my Dr. could see the outcome without the swelling!

Day 1-4 were the worst. I would have been just find if I has some anti-anxiety meds, but it was super hard for me to deal with the congestion, swollen feeling in my face and constant dripping of my nose. Swelling was at it's worst point by day 3, after which it quickly improved and was pretty minimal by day 5/6. I only got a tiny bit of bruising under my eyes which was yellow by day 4 and gone by the time I got my cast off. I had to wear the drip pad until day 6, which was the first day I saw a significant difference in the amount. Day 7 it was off, and by day 10 I wasn't even sleeping with it. My nose does run now, but it's pretty much just like when you have a cold. Except you can't blow your nose, which makes it terrible. Sneezing happened a ton for some reason, but I sneeze out of my mouth and it was fine.

When I went in to get my cast off, it didn't hurt at all. The stitches hurt getting taken out (since it was an open procedure), but there was no residual pain to speak of. After this was the first time I touched/cleaned my nose at all. And it still hurts to touch.

I accidentally knocked my nose a few times trying to scratch it which hurt like hell, but not enough that I'm worried about it. I now scratch my nose with a kleenex, and not my fingers, lesson learned.

Breathing has improved, each day getting better. Sometimes I get totally stuffed up, but for the most part I can breath 50% from my nose, 50% still from my mouth.

Swelling is still pretty obvious, and the tip still has to drop. I'm hoping not too much... but I'm sure it'll be fine. For some reason I'm more swollen on my right side, so I'm hoping that evens out as well.

Right now the only thing I'm really concerned about is smiling. I'm hoping I'll be able to smile normally within the next week or two, I've heard it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months. I looks hililarous when I try now, my top lip just kind of stretches over my teeth but that's to be expected. I have to meet clients in a little over 2 weeks so I NEED to be able to smile. Fingers crossed.

I'll update more when I think of more useful information or when I have new pictures to share. Please feel free to ask anything in the comments below!

The swelling has gone down a bit on the right side...

The swelling has gone down a bit on the right side and I can smile a little bit more! Other than that, not much difference. Today is day 15, so we're about half way to the one month mark. I feel like it's only going to get better from here. The power of positive thinking, right?

I added a few new photos including a before shot of my profile and face on so you can see the difference. I also took a video before the surgery which I probably wont share, but I'll have tucked away somewhere so years down the road when I start picking out imperfections (don't we all?) I can pull that baby out and get a reality check. I'm so happy with the results right now, and I can't wait for it to feel like a normal part of my face again!

Also, my nose doesn't hurt as bad when I accidentally bump it! Which must mean the cartilage is healing quickly, so I'm not complaining. The tip is super hard and stiff though, and although I don't have any numbness I can almost feel the stiff grafts in the tip when I talk or try to smile. I don't really know how to explain it, but it's really uncomfortable. I'm sure this will continue to get better as time goes on.

On a side note, I've been breaking out like crazy right now and my skin is super oily like never before. I can definitely feel the full effect of the anesthesia and antibiotics are having on my body. I'm prone to break out a little and have moderately oily skin, but this was something I didn't expect. I use oil blotting sheets to keep my skin less shiny through out the day, and then moisturize at night and in the morning. This probably doesn't happen to everyone, but do a little googling and you'll find I'm not the only one who's had this issue. Just an heads up so you're not surprised if it happens to you, it takes a couple years for your body to completely heal so it may be an issue for awhile after... but should eventually resolve. In the meantime I'm still researching on what I can do to help it go away.

I'm still sleeping propped up on 2-3 pillows. I'll continue to do this for at least another month. I'm always more swollen in the morning, but it doesn't really bother me that much, I'm just not a fan of the pressure I can feel from it. I'm getting pretty nasty headaches everyday, and I'm thinking it's probably because of my back muscles from doing this. If they continue I'll be bringing it up to my Dr. during the next appointment coming up.

I thought another thing that may be helpful to list what I'm doing for my post op recovery plan. Going under general anesthesia and having an IV full of antibiotics pumped into you, not to mention the pain meds taken, have a pretty hard effect on a body. I've worked for years to feel well and to have my digestive system in good working order, so this was a top priority for me to get back in balance quickly. After the surgery I could definitely tell things weren't that great (bloating, constipation, etc.), but luckily it's slowly been improving. Below is what I take with breakfast and again with dinner, so 2x per day.

Vitamin C - 1,000 mg
Milk Thistle - Helps liver detox from chemicals
Probiotics - Helps recover from antibiotics and rebalance gut flora
Bromelain - Helps heal
Fish Oil - Ultimate Omega
Digestive Enzymes - Taken every time I eat
Arnica - When I remember it!

I'd definitely recommend looking into these supplements and figuring out what you'd like to take for yourself. When we put our bodies through something like this it's important to give them a little TLC.

I'll update again soon!

I wanted to update with some news! Today is a...

I wanted to update with some news! Today is a little over 3 weeks, and I just realized my nose doesn't feel heavy or foreign on my face! If I try to move or scrunch my nose it still hurts and I can feel it's swollen, but if I don't move it I could almost forget about the fact that I just had surgery on it. Pretty awesome.

I saw my Dr. for a check up at the 3 week mark. He suggested taping my nose at night to help the swelling, the low and behold it went down a TON. When I take the tape off in the mornings it's less swollen than it was previously during the day. I'm also breathing a bit better, probably around 75% of normal.

To help my skin with it's break outs I've been using proactive and making sure I use the alcohol toner twice a day to help dry the problem spots out. This was my Dr.'s recommendation, and it's definitely helping it improve. I've also started on spearmint tea to help my hormonal acne and fermented cod liver oil to help my oily skin, since that's increased as well. We'll see how it goes! If I could have a straight little nose and clear, non-oily skin, I'd be happy girl.

So, today is the 4 week mark. Interestingly...

So, today is the 4 week mark. Interestingly enough, today is the first day I've notice a problem of any sort. (Other than nose being crooked when I smile, which it still is.) When I was getting ready in the mirror I noticed by the way the light was hitting my nose something was different, and on a closer look I realized there was a small dent on top of my bridge a little over half way up my nose. It's about the width of the tip of my finger, and starts where I would assume the nasal bone ends. It's much more apparent in person than in photos, so it's hard to show. I can also feel it when I run my finger down the bridge, I feel the nasal bone, the dip down, and the dip back up to the rest of the cartilage. It's not that bad now and if I had to live with it this way it'd be fine. My concern is that it'll only get worse as the swelling reduces more, but it may be just the opposite and it goes away. The swelling seems like it's continued to decrease and I can feel my bone much better underneath my skin.

Hopefully it's not the taping causing this. My Dr. is out of town for a week so I'll just have to be a big girl and deal with it.

Anyone had an experience like this?

So I keep googling things (I know, I know......

So I keep googling things (I know, I know... terrible!), and I'm now scared I'm developing an inverted v deformity. This is basically where the cartilage collapses from the nasal bone, creating a visible line that looks like an upside down "v". Holy yikes.

Right now it's not getting any better/worse. I still have the indentation running in a horizontal line across the bridge of my nose, just below the nasal bone. Hopefully on Wednesday the Dr. will be able to tell me what it may or may not be. I know I have to wait up to a year to see results, but from my research very rarely does anyone get this and it turn out okay. Wish me luck.

Alrightly. So, I went to see the Doc last week and...

Alrightly. So, I went to see the Doc last week and he said it's just a callus forming where the bone is healing. He's having me press down on top of that area on the bridge for 10 seconds, 10 times a day to help it dissolve a little more quickly. For some reason that is the HARDEST thing for me to do and I've only managed to do it about 4 times per day tops. It gives me the total hebejebes since I've been guarding that area with my life the past 6 weeks.

On another note, in the middle of my crisis of thinking that this was going to be something worse, I was the victim of a group huge gone wrong. For some reason I expected people to remember to be careful with me, but that didn't happen and I got hit HARD. It was terrible. I cried for about 2 hours (without letting them know of course). Everything is fine, but moral of the story: never let your guard down. Ever. It's so frustrating even now thinking back on it.

I'll update a little later on. For now I'm just waiting for the bump to go down and my swelling to reduce. My skin has cleared up great and although my nose is still peeling like made, the rest of my face has stopped freaking out. I can breathe great all the time pretty much, so internally the swelling has gone down a lot. I can smile just fine, but I can tell the right side is still more swollen than the left. I'm curious how that will even out, if ever. My nose goes a little to the left when I smile so the nostrils are uneven, but I'm thinking that will even out a bit as time goes on. All in all, I'm doing great and doing a ton better emotionally. You don't realize how much this procedure takes a toll on you, not only physically but emotionally. It's good to be prepared for that and to be nice and understanding to yourself for the first couple months. And to let your significant other if you have one expect the same.

Thanks for the support to the people that reached out! It was great hearing positive things in my moments of dispare. :)

Hey everyone! Thought I'd post a little update...

Hey everyone! Thought I'd post a little update since I'm going on 15 weeks (about 3 months) since the surgery. I'm doing great and am loving the results more and more. My skin is back to normal, my nose is still healing up great and isn't as sensitive, and the swelling is slowly going down even more, or "shrinking" to the structure of my nose like Dr. R says. I still can't scrunch my nose without pain and it's a little stiff, but that's about it. My scar is fading as well. I still have the slight bump on the bridge of my nose, but it should be reducing over time. I'm not pressing on it that much like I should be, so it may take longer. That's about all I can think of to share!

I posted a couple new pictures so that you can see the progress. Crazy difference from the beginning to now, I can't wait until 6 months and a year out! I'll most likely come back and share during those times unless something changes. So until then!

A few pictures updated for the 4 month check in....

A few pictures updated for the 4 month check in. It definitely swells during the hottest part of the day (summer, no air conditioning) and a little in the morning. Overall, I'm still loving it and think about my nose less often than before I had the surgery, which was the whole point to begin with. :)
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