Desired Outcome: Ability to Intake Unencumbered Breaths, and to Look Prettier. - Newport Beach, CA

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I was okay with my nose. Yes, I did look like a...

I was okay with my nose. Yes, I did look like a witch, but that's okay, I am one! He he he. I am Native American and French-Irish-German. My nose was narrow and tall with a bump, and a slight bulge at the tip. My nose and I, we shook hands and were friends.
When I was about 20, I started struggling with sinus infections. I got really sick. The only thing that helped, oddly, or not so oddly, was singing and performing Opera, which I did. I opted not to have surgery, but had issues breathing since. Since I am now addressing my breathing issue and having my nose broken, I might as well have a more proportional nose.

How I chose Dr. Sajjadian

have chronic sinusitis. I get colds and sinus infections, pretty much continuously. I could rarely breathe through both nostrils. If someone would've taped my mouth shut, I'd have been toast! I consulted with Dr. David Bray in Torrance. Frankly. I found it insulting when he told me, "Your nose jumps off your face." I'll skip snide comments, and just state that I wasn't impressed with his work on noses.
I went to Dr. Ali Sepehr who ordered a CAT Scan to see what was going on in my sinuses. He told me that the problem was bad, but not bad enough to recommend surgery. I felt pretty angry because I had turned down a surgery recommendation years ago, but I had become sick and tired of being sick and tired. I love it how doctors think they know what you are experiencing in your body by looking at a test result or an x-ray.
I was determined to find an ENT that could do plastic surgery. Dr. Sajjadian had a lot of posts on this site stating that he helped patients with issues breathing through their nose as well as the cosmetic issues.
I have a great insurance plan but he was out of network, so not covered by my plan. Since I work full time, and and grad school full time, I decided that keeping on shopping for doctors was not the way to go. My insurance wanted me to do separate procedures, and I am not letting them break my nose three times!

Dr. S said that he would scrape my sinuses and fix my deviated septum, do something to the turbinates and a rhinoplasty.

Because I only have a certain amount of vacation from work and school, I set a date where I could have 6 days off and booked the procedure out of pocket.

Prepping for surgery

Part of prepping for surgery involved preparing my husband! He told me early on in our relationship that I am "Romanesque," which must be a term that he made up all by himself. (I googled it, and it refers to art and architecture, but not really people.) He might have meant that I have an Aquiline, or Roman nose, but I think he's talking about my features as a whole. So, he said he didn't want me to change my nose, teasing me that I wouldn't be the woman that he married. (Woman marries man thinking she can change him, man marries woman thinking she'll never change...)
Ultimately, he wanted to make sure that I was picking a good doctor, and that I was going to have better health. He wanted me to get everything in writing to make sure that I would achieve what I wanted. He supported me to the extent of paying for half the surgery. Love him!

The actual procedure.

My husband drove us to the surgery center and I filled out the paperwork warning about risks involved in anaesthesia. I told my husband to use his best judgement regarding life support if I never wake up. I know someone that was allergic to the medicine she was given and she never woke up, passing a few years later. We tend to take surgery and anaesthesia lightly because it is so common. I felt everything would come out fine, but addressed my wishes if the worst should occur. I put on a gown and the provided blue thong underwear, and foot booties. The nurse put a heater on with a hose that piped warm air into the bed to keep me warm. She put the IV in my hand. She told me that she would put in a catheter when I was under, which made me a bit nervous. I tried to keep my mind as blank as possible, just being in the present to keep anxiety at bay. At noon, the doctor came in, reviewed my case with me, how I wanted my nose to look and anticipated that the surgery would take three hours. I met the anaesthesiologist, a nice Asian man with a sense of humor. I had hernia surgery when I was 5 years old, and I remember how awful post-op vomiting is, so he included anti- nausea medication in my drip. I stared at the light and the equipment, listening to the droning voices of the nurse and anaesthesiologist, slowly coming to, once again in the bed in the anteroom hearing the nurse and my husband talking. I had a pounding sensation in the top, right side of my head, as if I had been hit by a hammer. I was puzzled by this. My husband told me that it was 6pm and that the surgery had taken longer than expected. He said that I had been, "pretty messed up in there," and so it had taken 6 hours instead of 3. Because of this I would have more bruising and swelling than normal. My nose didn't hurt as much as my head did, and I suspected that a bone or skin graft had been taken from my scalp somewhere. I had to go to the bathroom. Apparently, I had taken control back of my bladder and the catheter was irritating my urethra. The nurse helped me dress and I groggily and unsteadily climbed to the bathroom.
My husband drove us home, and I remember feeling that I couldn't wait to get there, slowly wading through 6 o'clock gridlock. My vision was getting fuzzy as swelling increased, and eventually my black eyes swelled shut, and I couldn't see at all, despite the prednisone, bromelian, and arnica that I was taking.


I really needed quiet. After the 10- hour extended version of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the whole set of Harry Potter movies, I was pretty pissed at my husband. I kicked him out of the living room for some quiet. I could only sleep 2 to 3 hours at a time. I heard a buzzing in my head and I think it was from high blood pressure and swelling, rushing blood to my head. It was like I could hear the blood thrumming through my arteries. Mouth breathing caused dry mouth, that caused me to drink tons of water, which caused frequent trips to the restroom. Lips cracked and peeled on the inside of my mouth.

I discovered stitches on my head and wondered what they did to it, exactly.

Moringa (lots of calcium, protein, and vitamin C in the leaves)

Cipro- antibiotic
Xanax- at night for sleep and anxiety
Prednisone- for swelling (nastiest taste ever! I put the nasty little buggers in clear veggie capsules because I didn't want to taste them!)
Pain med: Oxycodone Acetaminophen, didn't do much for the pain, it would make it so that I did not care that I was inpain.

I could not seem to rest. Air pathways in my nose would bubble, and during my sleep, my body would try to breathe through my nose, causing pain that would wake me. Dry mouth also woke me.

Days 2 and 3 were the hardest. I vowed: no revision, no matter what it looks like.

Day 5 splint off and stints out. Stitches out, 7 of them in my scalp. Doctor said he did a skin graft. He missed taking out one of my staples which he removed on another follow up. (I really have too much hair.)

Doctor S said that he didn't scrape my sinuses. He didn't want to risk it. He's hoping my sinus issues will clear up now that the passage is clear.

Walked around my block a lot, neighbors stared, but, whatever.

Day 6 I went back to work, knowing it was too soon and against doctor's orders. Less than halfway through, I was ready to go home. I work in a call center, my customers couldn't see my black eyes and taped nose. I made it through on sheer will, knowing I'd have the next 2 days off.

Hubby brought home a stomach virus and gave it to me, So the next 3 days were absolutely miserable. I had to call out sick 1day.

I could breathe after splints out unless swelling or bloody mucus in the way. Coughed up some bloody phlegm from time to time, but never had any running bleeding.

Day 9 started having green, bloody mucus and low grade fever. The sinus infection was raring its ugly head.

I had my 2nd consultation and was prescribed a regimen for the sinus infection:

Levofloxacin- heavy duty antibiotic, like for the plague!
Prescription only Nasonex spray to open the sinuses- really works!
More nasty prednisolone steroids for swelling.

So, here's hoping and praying that this infection clears out.

I have a daily regimen of irrigating with pressurized sterile saline spray, clearing out all the gunk, antibacterial ointment in the nostrils and incision site, medication. At night I am taping to keep down swelling. Sometimes it really hurts removing it. I have numbness at the tip, like I have the wooden nose of Pinnochio, and I just told a lie. Ha ha ha.

As requested, more before pics.

I'll request the ones that my PS, took, but these are some that I dug up just now for you, Matilda, Stephanie, and anyone else that wanted to see what we were dealing with, here.

I was hedging my bets.

I wasn't so sure about whether the infection could be cleared up by antibiotics, but it seems to be working. I went back to the Dr. on Friday because of swelling associated pain. He gave me a soft plastic device that I have to stick in each nostril while sleeping, with those in and my nose taped, believe me, I am no Sleeping Beauty! But, I can sleep better and feel more rested; less swelling in the am.

Hello little one!

Okay, so the infection is slowly going away after 3 different and progressively stronger antibiotics prescriptions.

The difference in nostril shape is becoming less noticeable to me, either because I'm getting used to it, or the whole schnoz is smaller. (My nose is not insulted if I call her a schnoz.)

I do like my new nose. I don't really notice too big of a difference in my confidence level, but the cosmetic reasons were secondary, in my case. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being able to breathe through my nose.

I will say that my recovery was and is a bit more difficult than I expected. But I'm sure I'll forget all about it as soon as I'm fully recovered. That's the beauty of selective memory, eh?

I appreciate those of you that happen to come across my story, and hope that you find yourself here, in my lines, someway, and that you get what you came for.


Anon, I lie on the operating table

Here I am again, recovering from surgery.

I didn't mention t in my early postings, because, well, it was just too much to process. I really felt too overwhelmed to share what I was going through. A week before I was scheduled to have my rhinoplasty, I looked into the crystal ball and saw another operation in my future.

I felt firm, but tender lumps on my lower abdomen, which caused me enough concern to go to my OBGYN for an ultrasound. It showed many large fibroids growing on and in my uterus. Fibroids are basically non-cancerous tumors, and they are very common. However, because my husband and I have been hoping to have children, my doctor recommended their removal pending other tests and other medical hoop jumping.

Because I was just a week away from my rhino, I stuffed my feelings of turmoil and dealt with the present scalpel adventure, as I'm sure you would do, too, if facing the same plight.

After my rhino was completed, and I was sufficiently moving forward in my recovery, and even though I still continue to have sinus infection issues, I returned my attention to my poor womb.

What we weren't sure of was how invasive the removal of my fibroids would be, and so additional information was needed.

On lucky Friday the 13th, which is incidentally my birthday, I went to the radiology center to have a dye test better see what was going on inside my uterus. My uterus was inflated with air and dye was injected that is visible in X-ray images. It was uncomfortable, but not as bad as I expected. I saw the inwardly curving triangle of my uterus appear, then my left fallopian tube. But, where was my right fallopian tube? It never showed up. I left, feeling that there was something terribly wrong with me, and not sure what to expect now. Not a good birthday.

2013 must be my year of health.

Given the fact that my right fallopian tube was a no-show, my OBGYN recommended that I have a full abdominal myomectomy. She suspected that my fibroids were putting pressure on my fallopian tube. All fibroids would be removed through a smiley shaped incision in my abdomen 2 inches above my pubic bone. She cautioned that I would, going forward, only be able to deliver childbirth through c-section. I figured that's better than a hysterectomy or no children at all, so I set the date for September 25th.

My husband carted me to the hospital that day and did everything that he could to keep my spirits up. He told the nurse that was inserting my IV that I preferred my martinis dry. (Not true, I don't drink AT ALL.). I was more nervous about this procedure, I really didn't know what to expect, except that I would be kept at the hospital for a couple of days afterward, and that I would be off work for 2-6 weeks for major surgery.

As they wheeled me to the OR, my husband's parting words were, "Do a good job.". To which I replied laughing, " Yes! I'm going to get those things outta me!". (I would actually not be doing a darn thing, I would be unconscious.)

I became nervous when I saw all of the surgical instruments lined up on the table in the cold operating room. It was like a hardware store. It was decided that I was to be given an epidural and then anesthesia. I was seated, slouching forward in terror into the nurse holding me. I could not see what he was doing to my spine, there was a slow painful pinching and knowing that if I moved or jerked, I could possibly cause injury enough to be paralysed.

I remember coming to just as they were taking away my fibroids in a stainless steel bowl. It looked like a bowl full of meatballs. Yuck.

After surgery, my OBGYN said that everything went fine. It took about 3 hours, and she removed about 17 fibroids, the largest of which was the size of a lemon.

I spent two days in the hospital. With my rhino, I had no vomiting, but with this surgery, my stomach rebelled. Oh how it hurt, too. My abs had been cut, and the involuntary contraction hurt so much. Broth, jello, water, I just couldn't hold it down. I had a catheter, but that was a blessing, because I couldn't walk to the bathroom. I was given a morphine pump, and at night the IV alarms would sound unattended for 20 minutes or more, until they were silenced, finally, by a skeleton night crew. No rest or sleep in the hospital, I walked even though it really hurt,, and I went home on day 3.

It's now been 3 weeks since the surgery. I have pain at the surgery site, and also back pain because my body is out of balance. I think I'm not able to stand up quite straight. I had to take a quarter off from school, and I am trying to do whatever I can to keep my mind occupied because I feel like a bird in a cage. I'm not sure when I'll go back to work. I'm just taking it one day at a time.l

My PS commands: a CT scan

I have accomplished the task of going to my postponed follow up to report my constant, bloody mucus, which was an issue before my surgery.

I am starting to wonder if it could be stemming from black mold exposure. My sinus issues started when I lived in a place several years ago. It later turned out to have black mold in my bathroom and the walls had to be ripped out. To my knowledge, I don't have a current source of exposure, unless the stuff is still in my sinuses from then.

More tests and research needed.

Dr. S. ordered another CT scan.

I am finally feeling less pain. I am questioning the rationality of having two surgeries so close together. It was reactionary, really. I listened to the thrumming beat of my biological clock! ( Well, really, it was actually my husband's clock, he's nine years ahead of me!)

It's been almost a year...

A couple of months ago, I noticed that the bump came back. It is slighter than it was, but it's there. I like the shape of my left nostril better than my right.

I'm considering revision, but I don't really want to go through the "pleasure" of another surgery.

I had a CT scan to check on my sinuses. Still having issues, but the nasal blockage mostly gone, and I can breathe through my nose most of the time. My is consistently runny with blood-streaked mucus.

It is what it is at this point. I don't forsee it changing much more. The tip is softer and most of the numbness is gone.

before and after at 1year

Front view

I'm going forward with a revision.

I've decided to get a revision, but it won't be until December or March of next year. My original aim was to be rid of the bump, but, unfortunately, it's still there, so it will just need to be corrected. Possibly a closed procedure this time.
Orange County Plastic Surgeon

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