Introductions - New York, NY

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Hello everyone! Tomorrow, September 8, 2013, I...

Hello everyone!

Tomorrow, September 8, 2013, I will be having a rhinoseptoplasty with Dr. Westreich. It is my first "huge" surgical procedure (in comparison to wisdom teeth surgery lol), and it was one of the biggest decisions of my life. I have a deviated septum, which makes it difficult to breathe. My nose has collapsed on the left side, and is completely blocked on the right. I have dealt with my deviated septum for a few years, hoping and praying it would fix itself. It never happened.

Just like millions of people out there, I'm not a fan of my nose. I think it's big, and when I smile, it takes over my face. There is also a small bump on the nasal bridge. While my nose isn't hideous, I've grown to dislike it more with each passing day. Overall, I think my nose would look better in a smaller (thinner) version. I did not want anything completely radical, but rather a change that is small, subtle, and most importantly unnoticeable.

I scheduled a consultation with Dr. Westreich on July 17, 2013. Immediately after entering the office, I was greeted by his office assistants, Lauren, and Aussie. They were attentive, and kind. And of course, Dr. Westreich was great. He listened to my concerns, and generated a post-procedure image of what I could expect. After looking at the post-op/”after” images, I felt that I looked so different, and left the office feeling a little dejected. I was clearly overwhelmed, and was not really sure what I wanted anymore.

After showing the “after” picture to my friends and family, they initially thought it was the “before” picture. I was relieved. While, I didn’t immediately fall in love with the “after” picture, I realized I just needed time to identify whether or not it corrected my concerns, and if I could ultimately live with this decision. After looking at the “after” photo a few times, I began to fall in love with it. It was exactly what I wanted; I just didn’t know it at the time.

Also, during this time, I felt that I needed more options, and researched other doctors. While I was impressed with quite a few, I found myself always going back to Dr. Westreich. There’s something about Dr. Westreich, just like there’s something about Mary. One week later, I scheduled my rhinoseptoplasty.

The first time we tried to schedule surgery, I found out that my insurance denied my request. It took a few weeks for them to approve it, with Dr. Westreich’s team sending in documents, and fighting for my cause. I am incredibly grateful.

Breakdown of the Fees & What I Actually Paid –

Consultation $250 (Cash & Credit Card)
Procedure $5,250 (Care Credit)
Anesthesia $700 (Debit Card)
OR $1,100 (Debit Card)

Total: $7,300 (Out of pocket expenses.)

The procedure was estimated at $16,370.00. Insurance covered $10,870.00. Insurance did not include the consultation fee, extra hour of anesthesia, and OR.

Lauren gave me a quote of $7,000. She was off by $300, which isn’t bad, since it wasn’t her fault and the hospital changed their anesthesia/OR fees.

I should also mention I had pre-surgical testing one week before my surgery date. I waited 4-5 hours, which was brutal. They gave me a physical, and cleared me for surgery. Now that I think about, it was the paper work that took the most time.

My surgery takes place at 11AM tomorrow morning, and I have to be there 2 hours earlier. I am excited more than nervous. I honestly can’t wait until they take off my cast the following Monday. My ability to think way ahead is pristine, haha.

Today I wrote a very long email to my best friend who will be taking care of me after surgery. It was about a page and a half of pure directions. She called me after receiving it, and couldn’t stop laughing. Apparently, it was funny. I will be posting this up later, maybe ya’ll can get a kick out of it. :P

And of course, if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask me! I know I didn’t cover much, but if I can help you, I will gladly!

I will be in bed, hopefully after watching Dexter... I guess if I’m not, you’ll know it! Good night realself! Upwards and onwards!


Surgery Date Correction & Update A Few Hours Later

Silly me! September 9th, 2013 was my surgery. It is currently 1AM (9/10/13) in the morning and I'm doing alright. I didn't leave the hospital until 5:10PM, and I am absolutely exhausted. So far, I only experienced the expected pain in my nose, which the pain medications take care of. I have no pain in my throat, and I am extremely grateful for that. Also, no bruising as of yet, and I could see awesome blue stitches around the sides of my nose. It's making me feel incredibly sexy, haha.

I will surely update later! Good night folks! :)

As promised... The email I sent to my friend the day before surgery...

I had to delete a few paragraphs. I guess TMI? ;)

Dearest Love,

So, I figured that this would be the most effective way to give you information for my surgery tomorrow.

My surgery will take place at 11AM with Dr. Westreich at...

You probably won't see my Mom, she's dropping me off and then heading to her doctor's appointment. You should also probably bring a book to read or play Candy Crush - make sure your battery is charged. I don't know exactly how long you will be waiting. You can also get updates from the nurses.

Dr. Westreich: He's super smart, and has, what is called swag. :D

DISCHARGE: Also, keep in mind, I will be slightly high on pain medications. Don't take me too seriously, and know that I love you. I apologize in advance for being bitchy. I heard that the most painful area is your throat since they need to intubate you. Percocet and water should take care of that.

MEDICATIONS: Speaking of medications, I have them in my room, on the table, in a silver bag. I have to take antibiotics, anti-bruising, and pain medications. Um, and of course, ice packs on my eyes to decrease swelling which is in the freezer (there are two pink gel circles.) There are also some first aid supplies in there to control bleeding, yada, yada, yada.

You are a nurse, so I'm sure you will take good care of me. I'm your first patient, woo-hoo!

Positioning: I'm supposed to propped up on three pillows. I won't like it but you need to force me. Oh shit. I will probably be a crying mess too. I feel bad for you. Good luck, buena suerte.

FYI, RANDOM: My apartment is spotless now, but unfortunately, by the time you come, it will be a mess because my mother is a messy person who doesn't clean up after herself. SMH.

DAD: You will probably see my Dad briefly. He will probably peek into my room to see if I'm alive. Once he sees I'm breathing, he won't want to see me again. (He gets queasy at the sight of blood.)

MOM: She will make a lot of noise, she is extremely disruptive, and makes a ton of mess. I think I covered this already.

The Dog: If you find yourself allergic to our dog, there are antihistamines on my table, next to my bed. Also, she will want to kiss me when I get home. It's okay for her to be on my bed.

ROOM DOOR: Not closed or locked, leave a little open if my dog wants to come inside. I hate when my Mom slams it shut and Fluffy can't come in or leave as freely. Ugh. Also, if I look at my Mom and say medicate me, please medicate me STAT.

OTHER: Umm, my TV remote is by my bed, on the table, we can watch a movie or something. And, also you are free to take whatever you want from my house. Please make yourself at home. I do not want to watch football, please don't make me. We can watch a flick where there are sexy men, something funny, action, X-men, geeky, whatev. No romantic comedies 'cause that will depress me and then I might overdose on painkillers, lol.

Umm, my room will be cold, feel free to grab a sweater from the left closet (there is a black long ribbed one that will fit you perfectly.) Don't try messing with the A/C, I gave up a long time ago. Once you change the settings it will either get colder, or it will get hot like Africa.

PRESENT: I put together a bag of things for you. It has your name on it. It's nothing much, but I hope you like it.

And of course, if I can't say it, thank you for everything. I don't know know what I would do without you.

P.S. If I forget anything, I will send you another email. If you have any questions, let me know so that I can clarify. But I think I covered everything!

Day 2 Post-Op

Hey y'all! I am doing a little better today. I have begun to bruise slightly under my eyes, and there is quite a lot of swelling. I don't feel much pain, but I am very tired. I can't wait until I get this cast off. I have a wedding to go to at the end of next week, and I'm praying I look presentable by that time. My fingers are crossed. :D

I'm still wearing the mustache gauze because I'm having some light bleeding (from the stitches), and other lovely uh, secretions, with which details I will leave out, lol. The day of surgery, I felt a cold coming on, and my body is still fighting it off. Lucky I, lol! Hopefully I will get better soon...

Will check in later! Good night!

Cast Off - Day 18

So, first I need to apologize for going on a hiatus. After the removal of my cast, I did not like my nose. I felt it was so dramatically different, and I went through a depression phase. I was clearly miserable and wished I never went through with the surgery. I was bombarded with negative feelings and emotions. My parents and friends told me it looked exactly the same, but that was not the case for me. I missed the small little bump on my nose. I felt I looked radically different. I spent nights crying which contributed to increased swelling and discomfort. I was miserable.

For 25 years, I have had the same nose. I realized I didn't hate it as much as I thought I did. Every morning I woke up to the same nose, and the day I didn't, it bothered me more than I thought it would. I genuinely considered going back into surgery to get my old nose back.

Over the next week, my nose started to make small changes, it wasn't as swollen, and was starting to look like my old nose. Although the small bump wasn't there anymore, my new nose began to grow on me. The congestion is clearing up, and I'm using my nose to... breath. It feels great. I can also smell. I never realized I had lost my sense of smell, until I could literally, smell the roses by the bodega, and my burning lasagna.

Dr. Westreich did an amazing job. During my depression phase, he checked up on me, along with Lauren, his assistant. They did not abandon me, and I am so lucky that I chose such an amazing doctor.

Random Thoughts/Info:
1. My nose did not change much after the cast removal. I read and heard of patients whose nose changed day-to-day. This has not been evident for me. (I took pictures so I could monitor change...)
2. I still have a few stitches inside my nose that haven't dissolved as of yet.
3. I didn't anticipate a longer than expected healing time (but this could be because of a cold I contracted before my surgery)
4. On that note, my surgeon told me the only way surgery would be postponed is the patient has a cough and, or a fever. I had a sore throat and the show went on.
5. Also, I'm still sniffly. Boo!

I'm still debating whether or not I'm going to post pictures, I still want to maintain some kind of anonymity.

There is so much I wanted to say, but unfortunately, I forgot most. I guess I will return with more updates.

Thank you all for checking in on me, it means more to me than you will ever know!

"The Best Way Out is Always Through"

There's this amazing quote by Robert Frost, where he says, "The best way out is always through." It's a quote that helped me graduate from nursing school, pass the NCLEX-RN in 75 questions, and deal with a 6-year relationship break-up. During my depression phase post-surgery, I was reminded of this quote. I realized, what is done, is done. You need to accept it, and move forward. I did just that, and focused on being positive. It paid off.

Today is December 12th, 2013, and I LOVE my nose. Since September 16th, the day of my cast removal, my nose has taken shape, and my breathing is superior. My nose is truly perfection.

Yesterday, I had an appointment with Dr. Westreich. He was amazed at how much my nose has taken form. He pointed out my shadow lines, and how much the swelling as gone down. The way he looked at my nose was like when an artist admires their work. I felt like a masterpiece.

Pre-surgery, I was a pretty girl, but with many insecurities. When men would look at me, I would keep my head down, avoid eye contact, and basically shy away. Now, I exude confidence. I smile when I walk, maintain eye contact, and I feel sexy. It feels great to be noticed, and even better that I have confidence.

Having this surgery was the best thing I could have done for myself. I chose the best doctor, with an amazing team (Lauren, and Ossie). I am truly honored to be in his gallery. I highly recommend him with no reservation.

I welcome any questions, or comments. Thank you!

Side Picture Update

Hey Everyone!

Here is a picture of my side profile. I love the way it looks now. It's progression has been pretty dramatic since my cast removal. I'm sorry it took so long to put this up!
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Westreich is an amazing person, and an immensely skilled surgeon. Choosing to undergo surgery is a very personal decision, and Dr. Westreich, Lauren, and Ossie made the process as easy as possible. Everyone was attentive, helpful, and kind. I selected Dr. Westreich because he is double-board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. He is experienced, and undeniably, an expert in his field. Furthermore, he made me feel safe, he is a patient advocate (I had a few problems with my insurance covering the surgery), and he clearly loves his job. Having a septorhinoplasty is long and a difficult journey (because of the healing time), but one that has been well worth it. My results are truly remarkable. I no longer have a deviated septum, I can breathe, and simply put, my nose is perfect. I really couldn't be any happier. I am beyond lucky to have chosen such a phenomenal surgeon for my septorhinoplasty. I highly recommend him!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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