I just wanted to begin the review by giving credit...
I just wanted to begin the review by giving credit to the courtesy and attention Dr. Samaha and his staff have shown me. He and the people who run the clinic (Valery, Suzie and Irene) are amazing. I got a consultation appointment 2 weeks after my first phone call, and my surgery 6 weeks after that. The whole process took only 2 months! I haven't had the surgery just yet, but I will update when I do. One of my appointments even had to be moved, but the person I spoke to on the phone was so kind and apologetic that I didn't even mind. I have worked in a clinic before and I know how difficult scheduling can be. Everything, from the staff, to the reception, to the overall ambiance is welcoming and charming.
My motivation: I've been wanting to get my nose fixed since I was 13 (it had been previously fractured). I went in with an idea of what I wanted: the width narrowed, the bridge and bump fixed and the tip refined. An overall more feminine and softened appearance, as I have small eyes and my nose kind of takes over my face. Dr. Samaha gave me very realistic expectations and explained the scope of the procedure with meticulous details. He even laughed at the jokes I made (they weren't even funny...I was really nervous!)
Pros: Reasonable pricing, courteous staff, great location with lots of parking, Dr. Samaha pays attention to detail and is a facial specialist, twilight sedation is less risky than general anesthesia, very short wait times.
Cons: None so far.
Outcome: To be updated once I have the procedure!
Update: Pre-op appointment
Just had my pre-op appointment with Valery. She walked me though the pre- and post-care procedures and took some vitals. We chatted for a little while and joked around, she's very relatable and you could tell that she's good at her job and she answered all of my questions. Dr Samaha came in and checked everything out, and also went over exactly what we would be doing on the day of the operation. He also did a quick exam.
I knew that they had a busy schedule so I really appreciate them taking the time to answer all of my questions and chat for a little while.
Day 1- Day of surgery
Dalia, Debbie and Carl were awesome. Dr Samaha is simply amazing. The most difficult part of the entire process was the anesthesia, which is given as injections directly in the nose, although it's over pretty quickly. After that, no pain whatsoever! I do remember quite a bit and Dr. Samaha answered my questions throughout, which is really nice of him as I must have been pretty annoying. I have no bruising at all, or pain for that matter, only some swelling.
I'm writing this review on the same day as Day 1 only because I forgot to write on the actual day or surgery. So for day 2, I have lots more swelling but minimal bruising and absolutely no pain at all. I did take painkillers on Day 1 just so I could get some sleep. But it's been over 18 hours since the last painkiller and I have no pain at all. Dr. Samaha called me today to see how I was doing. That man is a blessing. I can't get over how great he and his team are. I will post pics once the recovery is over :)
Day 3 post-op hasn't brought many changes. I did notice some bruising on my eyelids towards the end of Day 2. The swelling is quite severe, but I think that may be because I fell asleep with my frozen peas on my face and the bag slid off so I didn't have anything on them for about 4 hours. I also have small eyes and I swell up like a balloon every time I have anything with salt or MSG in it, so I expected the swelling anyways.
Sleeping is not difficult so far. Still not pain whatsoever.
A few suggestions (or words of wisdom) I can offer anyone who will go through with surgery:
-The Sinus Rinse is a BLESSING! I had never used it before in my life and I was quite scared (LOL) so I started off by just gently using it in each nostril and letting the water drip out the same nostril. I didn't push hard enough for it to come out the other side. At the end of day 2 I pressed a little harder, so the water was able to cross over the other nostril and WHAT A RELIEF!!! It was immediate relief, so soothing that I could not stop. This thing is the best.
-I also suggest maybe buying some extra small sterile gauzes and skin tape. The clinic did give me some but I like to change them often so I went and bought more. Eating is a bit of a challenge for me because of the swelling and numbness so for all I know food may be going up my nose so I like to wear a "moustache" gauze while I eat to prevent anything from creeping up there.
-Load up on straws and some kind of liquid next to your bed. I drank Vitamin water. You may wake up in the middle of the night with dry mouth, so having some water or other liquid with a straw in it will provide you with some relief.
-I have been "washing" my face with Cetaphil and a damp washcloth. Cetaphil can be used on dry skin and it does not foam up, so I would use one pump on the exposed areas of my face (AVOID THE CAST AT ALL COSTS) and rub it in. Then I use a damp (NOT WET) washcloth to wipe it off in circular motions. My skin is finicky and I was afraid of breaking out. I can tell you that my skin cleared up in the last 3 days, most likely because I'm not wearing any makeup.
-As for showering, I have been taking really quick (2 minutes maybe?) showers. I did NOT use hot water because I was afraid the steam would loosen the cast, and I also left the shower door open to let any possible steam out.
-For hair washing, I had my mom wash my hair over the kitchen sink, because it has an expandable nozzle so I wouldn't have to bend too far back. Kind of gross but desperate times call for desperate measures. I also covered the cast in saran wrap just in case.
I have had no pain at all, no trouble sleeping (which was my main concern) and not much discomfort. The swelling is pretty bad, but the cortisone and icing does really help. I can already start to see my nose take form. I was worried because on the second day, the tip looked a little too elevated for my liking (a.k.a. piggy nose). When Dr. Samaha called me, I asked him about it and he said it was normal. Today I can already see that the tip is dropping, so it must have been from the swelling. So far so good!
Bruising has gone down significantly. I noticed last night that I was almost not swollen at all. I'm usually the most swollen in the morning when I wake up because I likely toss and turn on my side at night. Swelling is mostly on my eyelids, cheeks (yay for a double chin!) and upper lip (I'm digging the look of bigger lips too lol :) ).
I can breathe through my nose completely now, maybe because I'm doing the sinus rinse like 4 times a day (amazing I tell you). I'm just wondering if I still have the stints up there? I remember Dr. Samaha putting them in, but I don't remember him taking them out. I guess I'll see on the day of cast removal! Other than that, still no pain at all. No real discomfort either, there's a slight pressure from the cast/swelling but it doesn't bother me. Mouth breathing is kind of annoying but you get used to it and it really only lasted 3 days for me. The tip has dropped some more, which makes me really happy :) I also noticed that my nostrils are much more symmetrical now as well. My tip already looks more defined and most importantly, I can tell that the hump is gone!!! I will take pics this afternoon and likely start to post them soon :)
Day 5, finally decided to include pictures
I feel better today. Swelling has gone down tremendously. There's improvement on the bruising as well. The stitches are starting to loosen and they itch me sometimes but it's nothing crazy. The tip has dropped a lot, which makes me really happy because the first few days my nostrils were on display. I can fully breathe from my nose at night now :) Still no pain, though I do feel some weird sensation on the roof of my mouth, as if I burned myself? Probably from the anesthesia or some nerve issues. Doesn't bother me at all and it's getting better. I have full sensation in the exposed areas of my nose, no numbness at all.
Nothing new to add today except that I am feeling very comfortable. I can totally breathe through my nose, it's not runny anymore either. I'm still doing the Sinus Rinse (twice a day today, but I started at 3-4 times a day). Swelling is virtually gone, I have some leftover bruising but it really isn't bad. I laughed really hard today (my dog was trying to howl and it was pitiful) and felt the stitches tug a little bit, but no bleeding. Cast is coming off tomorrow!!
Day 7- Cast removal!
I went in this morning to remove my cast and I am SO HAPPY! So immediately after the removal, my nose looked cute and tiny and straight. Now (approximately 12 hours later) the swelling is showing much more. The tip is projected quite a bit (but it wasn't that bad when the cast came off). Dr. Samaha reassured me that this was completely normal and that the majority of the swelling would go away in 2 months, but it would take a full year to fully go away. My bridge is also very swollen (I kind of look like an Avatar? LOL) but again, I'm not worried at all because I did see it when the cast came off and it looked great. I'm going to keep doing updates over the course of the next few months in case anyone cares to see the progression of the swelling, which is the only concern right now. I have no bruising at all.
10 days post-op
If I could offer one piece of advice to those of you getting any tip work done it would be: PATIENCE! The swelling may scare you once the cast comes off, but this is totally okay! When I got my cast removed I had some swelling at the tip of my nose that I asked Dr. Samaha about (you can see it in my Cast Removal update picture) and he said it was normal and would go down over the next several months. I wasn't thrilled about the swelling but I know that it is totally normal and I really trust Dr. Samaha.
The day after cast removal, my nose looked bigger than before and it was SUPER swollen. I started to panic! Now, 3 days later, I feel WAY better as the swelling has gone down significantly. Still very, very swollen but MUCH better. I will post pictures soon :)
Update (21 days post-op)
Alright so it's been a while since I last posted an update about my rhinoplasty experience. One thing I've got to mention is that the hardest part of the whole experience, at least for me, happened after cast removal. The swelling really scared me from the day of cast removal to about 6 days after (post-op days 6-12). If you had work done on your bridge, you may have swelling between your eyes and upper bridge that may make you think "Avatar!". It becomes more pronounced after cast removal. If you had work done on your tip, it will be swollen for a while. I had work done on both and my nose was HUGE in the days following cast removal (I'll include pictures). It looked wider and my tip was projected in my profile view. HOWEVER, I knew that this would happen so it didn't really affect me much, I just waited it out. I also knew that it is impossible that my nose would be bigger after surgery, though it may seem that way. Dr. Samaha reassured me on the day of cast removal that my nose would be swollen for a while and that it was normal.
Now, 10 days after cast removal, I notice an enormous difference in the swelling. For one, the swelling between my eyes is completely gone. I only have swelling on my tip, and I was told this would take the longest to go away (up to 18 months). The skin in the tip of the nose takes a while to "deflate" and stick to the cartilage. My profile has also improved tremendously.
I am extremely happy with my results, I could not have asked for a better overall experience!! Patience is key in this case; you may not have a perfect nose immediately when the cast comes off. In fact, the results may scare you and cause you to second-guess your decision to undergo rhinoplasty. My advice to you is just wait it out, I promise it does get better after a few days. The swelling is scary! Keep yourself busy and don't think about it. Dr. Samaha knows what he is doing. I also assume it takes your brain a little while to get used to seeing the new you!
This remains one of the best cosmetic decisions of my life (this, and getting braces!). I feel better about taking pictures, I feel that my face looks more balanced and that when I smile now, my nose does not take over my head.
5 week post-op
Hi all! It's been 5 weeks post-op for me. Not much has changed since my last update (when I mentioned that the swelling decreased a lot). My tip is still very swollen, but it's decreasing really slowly. The swelling is going away much slower than it was the first few weeks, which can be expected. Slowly but surely!
Though I know my nose may not be perfect to general standards, it is MUCH MUCH better than it used to be and suits my face just fine.
Still very happy!!
Not much to say except that the swelling has decreased some more :)
Swelling is not really going away
The swelling decreased a lot in the first few weeks, but now (about 2 months post-op), I noticed that my tip is still projected. I'm tempted to call the clinic and ask about it, but I think I'll wait a few more weeks to see what happens.
4 month (ish) post-op update
It's been almost 4 months since my surgery, and I am SO SO SO happy with the result. I have seen a dramatic decrease in tip swelling, although it is still a little bit swollen (I can feel it when I touch my nose). Patience really is key after a rhinoplasty. My nostrils were swollen every day so my nose looked so different depending on the day, but now it looks much more symmetrical and consistent. I absolutely love it.
6 months post-op!
I just had my last follow-up appointment, and I was reminded again of how amazing this whole process has been. Dr Samaha is a gifted surgeon, and his staff is also phenomenal. The service provided was above and beyond what I expected, especially considering the very reasonable cost of surgery. My nose looks very similar to the projected result, and I am SO SO SO happy with it. There is still swelling, but it really does not bother me at all.
If anyone is thinking about going in for a consultation, I really urge you to go! You will not regret it.
P.S. I will post my before/after pictures when I receive them!