I’ve been self-conscious about my nose for around 2 years. It wasn’t until a friend mentioned the bump on my nose after a picture we took (above), when I started paying any attention to the overall shape. Now, 2 years older, and a college student in a social fraternity, I thought it’d be an appropriate time to have the procedure done.
Originally, I planned on having a Rhinoplasty somewhere on the East Coast. Fortunately, I was able to land an internship in California, close to Newport Beach where plastic surgery procedures are much, much more common. After a brief RealSelf search, I found Dr. Elam. His experience, reviews, and price point were all exceptional. A quick consultation request, and a phone call the next day, I had a consultation scheduled for June 13th.
June 13th: Consultation
I arrived at Dr. Elam’s office a little before my appointment. I signed in, and was greeted by Jody and the rest of the on-deck staff. I sat down and filled out a few forms in regard to medical history, etc. I’ve had 3 prior surgeries under general anesthesia, so this wasn’t an entirely new experience. Shortly after, I was called back into a room where Jody, the Patient Coordinator, started going over the basics. Dr. Elam came in a few minutes later and immediately checked my septum for any deviations; turns out I have a “pretty deviated” septum. Right after, he took a few quick photos and started doing a photoshopped visual. Dr. Elam asked if I had any questions, then left Jody and me in the room to review photobooks of prior patients. I was impressed, and knew Dr. Elam was going to be my plastic surgeon.
The next day, and a phone call later, I had my surgery and pre-op dates scheduled. My pre-op was scheduled for July 5th, and the surgery on the 22nd. However, this was going to change as my mom would be in town the next week, and wanted to see if there were any earlier dates. With a bit of luck, there was a cancellation the next Monday. Rather than waiting a whole month, I’m now waiting just a week. My new pre-op date was on the 17th, with the surgery on the 20th….
June 17th: Pre-op
As soon as I arrived, Jody took me back to the same room that I had my consultation in. She did an excellent informing and preparing me for everything to come. Dr. Elam quickly checked in and asked if I had any last-minute questions. Fortunately Jody had already covered everything. I was given a purple-ish bag (can’t really say it’s my taste) with essential post-op supplies like gauze, food, ice packs, etc. Soon after, I took the waver forms and signed my life away. The anesthesiologist, Dr. Schwab also checked in, and we briefly discussed my medical history and any restrictions I might have. After the consultation, I went to get blood work done for $50; drawing the blood took no more than 2 minutes. Picking up my prescription medications was next on the list. Thanks to my insurance, I only had to pay $35 as opposed to $100+. Now it was time to wait until Monday’s surgery.
June 20th: Surgery
6:30 A.M. and I’m in the office getting ready. I was dressed in a gown and within 10 minutes I was on the operating bed with a needle in my arm injecting anesthesia. Woke up, felt fine. I wasn’t in any pain, and felt fairly functional by the early afternoon. I did, however, bleed a bit more than I expected. I ended up changing the gauze under my nose every 3 hours or so. Other than that, the first day as relatively easy. The first night of sleep, however, wasn’t the best, but it’ll work.
June 21st: First Day Post-op
Went into the office to get my nose cleaned a bit, and to get the gauze pulled from my nose. Having the gauze pulled out was an… unusual sensation, but painless nonetheless. Up until this point, the most painful part of the surgery was ripping off the tape on my arm from the IV insertion. Now only one cleaning appointment on the 23rd stood between me and getting the cast off.
June 27th: Cast Coming Off
Just like every other appointment, I was called back and waited for Dr. Elam. After a brief nose cleaning and removing the stitches, it was time for the cast to come off. 5 minutes later, and I was staring in a mirror at my new nose; it’s crazy to think that all of this happened in the span of just 2 weeks, and for that reason I was speechless. Before I left, I was taught how to do some type of nose compressions to help maintain the narrow look to do 5 times a day. After that, I was off and out to confidently appear in public with my new and improved nose.
Overall, I am extremely happy with outcome. What was a week of boredom and a dull amount of pain, has turned into a lifetime of content knowing I no longer have to worry about my nose. If only I could have done it sooner.