Easy Recovery - New Jersey

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A Little Background: I have hated my nose since I...

A Little Background: I have hated my nose since I was 12 and have wanted a nose job ever since I knew what a nose job was. The issue has always been money. I put myself through 6 years of college, and after graduating I was slammed with student loan bills. I had made a promise to myself to get a rhinoplasty before I was 23. Well, here I am at 26, and still not seeing myself being able to save up for a rhinoplasty (especially in this economy). I felt like it's now or never. I found out about CareCredit, applied, got approved, and went on the hunt for a doctor that was 1) within my budget of $9000, and accepted CareCredit for the entire procedure (including anesthesia and operating room), 2) affiliated with a well-known hospital, 3) was well qualified and a top doctor in the area, and 4) had before & afters and the afters that I personally thought looked really good. I saw about 5 surgeons before settling on my doctor. Some plastic surgeons I just didn't trust from the get-go, and others were very prominent and didn't 'have time' to show me what I could look like after - which annoyed me and made me feel like they wouldn't give me the proper care and attention every patient should have. I settled on a doctor that (until I am a few months out will remain nameless) who is very well qualified, has really great before and afters, and who struck me as someone trustworthy and very knowledgeable.

My Experience
I have to say I was both excited and terrified about the procedure. A month before the surgery I took multi-vitamins and 500mg of vitamin C every single day as well as changed my diet to include more fruits and vegetables...more wholesome food so my body would be able to recover faster. I had no idea what to expect, and I was doing this ALL ON MY OWN, and would have to take care of my dog as well throughout the whole recovery process. A week before surgery I stopped all vitamins and made sure I was completely ready...(i.e. stocked fridge, all my medications filled, items for every possible scenario, etc).

The night before the surgery I couldn't sleep much, I had to wake up a 5am and be at the surgery center by 6:15am. Once there I was extremely nervous and felt a little sick to my stomach. They made me do a urine test, gave me 2 pills (not sure what they were for), and had me change into a gown and cap. I laid on a bed in the Pre-Op room while the nurse talked with me and did my i.v. I waited for about an hour before the nurses, my doctor and anesthesiologist showed up. The nurses introduced themselves, reassured me everything would go smoothly. My doctor quickly went over what we were doing to the nose. Then the anesthesiologist came over, introduced himself, and about 10 minutes later came back with a syringe, put it into my i.v. and said "Good Night". I vaguely remember being wheeled to another room, and after that I only remember waking up in the Recovery Room.

I was laying in a bed, and was a little groggy and had blood running down into my mouth and my throat was super dry. A nurse gave me some ice chips, which didn't help much. I think the worst part of the whole procedure that day was the insanely dry cotton mouth I had. I was able to stand up and use the restroom with a little assistance. I wasn't dizzy or nauseous at all. Then my doc came in to see how I was before I left.

I went home and essentially slept on and off all day and night. About an hour or so at a time, then i'd be awake for 30 mins to an hour, then fall asleep for another hour. It was very difficult at first to adjust to sleeping propped up in bed. My nose continued to bleed through the night. I wasn't in pain, and didn't need to take bother to take any pain medicine.

The next day I was very uncomfortable. I had an appetite, but found it hard to eat with the packing in my nose. Every time I chewed or swallowed the packing would shift slightly and it felt gross. I mostly ate a lot of mac n cheese and ice cream. My nose bled a little more, but not much. I found the little sling thing they put around your ears and under the nose to be super annoying and I ended up taking it off. Again, no pain, just discomfort and I looked horrible. I had really bad black and blue eyes and my face was very very swollen. It kinda felt like there was no end in sight.

On the 3rd post-op day I had my packing taken out - and let me tell you it is soooo relieving! I could breathe finally. I actually drove myself to the surgeons office to have the packing removed. I hadn't taken a single pain med so I was able to drive (you're not suppose to drive if you're taking pain medication). After that it was smooth sailing. It became much easier to eat, drink, talk, drive, etc. because there wasn't something shoved up my nose and moving around and making me feel uncomfortable.

As the days progressed my swelling and bruising got much better. Each day I woke up I looked better and better. I actually went back to work 5 days after my surgery (I used Mac Pro Full Coverage Foundation to cover any bruising). I felt fine, just a little tired...mostly because my body was recovering. I made sure to get 8 or more hours of sleep each night and to take it easy at work (desk job).

After 7 days I had my splint removed and stitches taken out. The splint hurt coming off. It acted like a vacuum and sucked my nose up a bit...which HURT. My nose was really sensitive. It also looked ridiculous. The skin underneath the cast was all white-gray and strange looking. My nose was super swollen, and I didn't look like myself. Everytime I passed the mirror I laughed hysterically. My nose was so wide. The stitches hurt coming out only because there was a lot of dried blood on them that pulled the skin when they were removed.

So all in all, my only regret so far is that I didn't do it sooner. I was worried for nothing. For me the surgery was pretty easy. Of course the first few days were pretty awful and it seems like there's no end in sight, but looking back...I recovered pretty quickly, and did it ALL on my own. I experienced ZERO pain except for a few migraines as of lately - which I took a Tylenol for. I had NO constipation and NO nausea. I was able to drive 3 days after surgery, went back to work after 5 days and after 8 days I actually went on a job interview.

I am now 2 weeks post-op and I feel totally back to normal. I am back to working regularly, driving, eating normal foods again, etc. The swelling in my nose subsided a bit, the bridge is more defined and I can feel the bones pretty easily...the tip is still very swollen, but each day I can feel new structures emerging or being defined than the previous day. I'm still super careful of what i'm doing or what I have around my face (i.e. I don't let my dog too close to my face, I still use a straw to drink, etc) just because it takes a full 4-6 weeks for the bones to properly heal. As for how I feel about the appearance...jury is still out. I do think it looks smaller, but some people I have known forever who saw me and didn't know I had surgery didn't even notice anything different...which made me a little worrisome. I do see the reduction, but now that the swelling subsided and the bridge structure has emerged, i'm concerned it's not as reduced as I had wanted it to be. I guess I will just have to wait 12 months to see the real results.

In 1 week I can wear glasses, blow my nose, exercise, etc. I cannot wait! :)

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