Healing Nicely but Still Swollen

Originally, I planned to wait to review this...

Originally, I planned to wait to review this procedure until at least three to four weeks post-op so I could genuinely evaluate my results, however, I'm itching to share my recovery thus far, so I will update as things proceed.
Dr. Michael Kim of OHSU performed my rhinoplasty this past Monday, so I'm wrapping up day five with my new nose.

Overall, I expected recovery to be a little easier. I had a breast augmentation in 2009 and comparatively, that was a cake walk. I was back to work two days later (granted I had a sedentary desk job at the time.) With this, however, only yesterday evening (Thursday) & today did I start feeling much better. I hope I never require or desire a revision because the first three days were miserable. At this moment, I feel great, just congested, but I do not want to relive Mon-Wed.

Pain wasn’t so much the issue as was discomfort. I had not been able to sleep for more than two to three hours at time until last night when I finally broke seven. Basically it felt like I had a severe head cold, major congestion, light headedness, photosensitivity and very, VERY, VERY sore throat and teeth. To be fair, after op-day, I chose not to take my pain Rx (hydrocodone) as it made me feel useless, groggy, completely disoriented and I was still in pain regardless. Instead I am managing pain very well on Advil, taking 800mg every 4 hours & that has helped exponentially. I will likely reduce to 400mg tomorrow since I am feeling so much better. Yesterday I started using Afrin twice a day to help stop the random nose bleeds (I was soaking through my drip pads multiple time a day) and to help with some congestion that was brought on by a cold (not the procedure,) I think that has also contributed to a better recovery.

As far as my results are concerned I'll say this; my approach is rational. I am fully aware that today's nose looks nothing like it will in three weeks, three months or even one year. I let my emotions get the best of me when I had my breast aug… I went from regret, to self-pity to loving every single thing about them.

I’ll try to evaluate a bit from a level headed standpoint. I have virtually no bruising. Love it. Underneath my left eye is a very small, inconspicuous red patch that is easily covered by my trusted Kat Von D concealer. Swelling, on the other hand, I have plenty of. Obviously my nose is swollen, but so are my entire cheeks, lips and under my eyes… my face feels fairly “tight.”

One aesthetic observation that I will share at this point is the change in what was/is my number one concern- the width of my nose. Despite the crazy swelling, my nose is still narrower than my “old nose!” I am eager to see it with my cast off and it’s continued healing. Even my cousin & mom who took care of me after surgery noticed and admitted they’re excited for me (these were naysayers beforehand.)

For the past decade I have mastered the art of “sucking in my nose” almost on reflex whenever I took a picture, so it’s actually hard for me to find pictures of my nose in it’s normal, relaxed state. I have found a few that I will post when I have a little more time. As for now, I’ve posted some recovery pics.

Also, I am a gym rat by nature and am having major gym-withdrawal… today since I was feeling better I was tempted to at the very least to go walk on the treadmill and lift some (very) light weights… but I read, and researched that even light exercise probably would have caused bleeding and MORE swelling. I compromised by going on a relaxed 20 minute walk and doing some slow yoga stretches. My nose did drip a little bit of blood during my walk but didn’t swell. Breathing was very hard.

I will post more on my motivations, decisions and journey to rhinoplasty as I continue to update & expect to hear more from me this coming Tues when I get my cast off and splints out. Xoxoxoxoxo.

Wrong Doctor Listed!

Thanks to the member that pointed out the wrong Dr. Kim was listed after my review was published. The surgeon I had was Dr. Michael M. Kim of Portland, OR... he is a board certified Facial Plastic surgeon and board certified ENT & has 20+ glowing reviews on this site. I do not know anything about the doctor that is listed below in Ft. Meyers.

I emailed RealSelf and hopefully it is corrected soon.


I have disliked my nose ever since I've been cognizant of the impact of one's physical attractiveness on our socialization and success, around age eleven or twelve. As mentioned above, somewhere along the line... probably my early teens, I managed to start "sucking" it in for pictures, which eventually became a habit then reflex. It was like automatic duck face before duck face was ever a thing. But sucking it in didn't change much, especially not my wicked wonky bridge, width or bulbous (oh so VERY bulbous) tip.

While I've always considered myself attractive and very few are aware of any insecurities I have about my nose, it really is something that I believe has effected my self-esteem over the years. But in recent years, with my child doing so well in academics and athletics, me starting graduate school, securing a great career and cultivating great interpersonal relationships... my confidence has grown, so I began thinking that getting a rhinoplasty (after sixteen years of wanting one) may be a bit too indulgent in my vanity.

But then I would look in the mirror, see a beautiful woman with a horrid nose and thought... just do it! :)

Although I am only seven-days post-op, and my cast is still on, I can see such a difference and I am absolutely ecstatic. More to come. Cast of tmrw. Can't wait to see what my bridge looks like. xoxo

Two-Weeks In! (Or out?) And loving it!

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful holiday and isn't reeling too much from crazy eating and even crazier relatives. I've been so busy that I didn't have a chance to update last Tuesday when my cast & splints were removed.

At the time of removal, both the doctor and PA pointed out that my nose was very, very swollen but I honestly did not even care. It did look kind of crazy and Whovilleish, but the bottom line- it was SMALLER than it was before, even with the fact that it was extremely swollen. And that made me happy to no end. Doc gave me clearance to resume all normal activities except the gym (until today!) and using my Clarisonic on my nose.

Aside from being smaller (more narrow), the bridge just left me in awe. Of course my tip was swollen upward with the infamous Miss Piggy look that has been mentioned time and time again here on Real Self- but to see a cute, straight, perfectly sloped bridge was nothing short of breath taking. I didn't have a significant "hump" before hand, but it was certainly crooked, misshaped and reeked havoc on my nose when I smiled. I honestly can not get enough of my side profile now. I hope that as my swelling continues to subside my nose still keeps some of this upturned look.

Speaking (typing?) of swelling, I've noticed that I am much more swollen in the morning and after showering than any other part of the day. Today, being my first day back a the gym, I thought I may swell up during my work out or thereafter, but no such thing happened. I was very conscious of my breathing habits while lifting weights and tried at all costs to avoid the Valsalva maneuver. The one issue I do need to correct, however, is making sure I work on keeping my facial muscles relaxed when hitting high reps or high weights. I'm used to making all sorts of ugly faces to get me through a set, but experienced a stretching/pulling sensation at my alar base incision sites when doing so. Yikes. I definitely have no intention of opening up or worsening any of my scars so I'll take it easy on the weights for the next few weeks. But... at least I'm lifting again. :)

Overall, I am happy with my results thus far. I'll stress the "thus far" because I know I am so early in the healing process and things can and will change. Although my nose is markedly smaller and so freaking cute, there's this little voice in my head saying "it's smaller but it's not small, it could be smaller, it could be cuter, it doesn't look any different" and of course... I'm trying to silence that voice with "Shut up. You're still swollen! It will be smaller soon. It looks WAY different but it still looks like your nose... that is the sign that your doc is amazing! Shut up, again." I'm eager to see what my tip and bridge look like as they take on their true form and size. I'm also aware that my naturally bubbly/round facial features, very thick skin and overall look do not allow for the extremely small, thin-skinned, button nose that I often covet, but Dr. Kim, I'm sure, has gotten me as close as possible and made sure to retain "me."

On a side note, to help with swelling (and to avoid looking what I looked like when my cast was removed) I've increased my already high-protein diet by half, so instead of 120g of protein a day, I'm eating 180g a day... it's hard to eat that much protein but I notice it makes a HUGE difference with swelling and I feel SO much better. Also, as mentioned by so many others, lots and lots of vitamin c (by way of Emergen-C tea, 20oz of strawberries and 16oz of pineapple a day.) :)

Will continue with updates as things progress. Thanks for everyone's kind words and support. This site is amazing.

Swelling, sleep & Botox.

Around the middle of this week my nose was spectacular, I had such minimal swelling, but after returning to work and school on Thursday... Swell City, baby. Lol, it's still not as bad as cast-removal day or that first week, but yesterday and today thus far have brought on lots of puffiness.

Many of us have stressed the importance of proper nutrition during the healing process... I'll add that adequate and ample sleep should also be highly regarded. My sleep pattern has been all askew lately and I've easily noticed more puff with less sleep.

Also... besides the people I've shared with, nobody has noticed or said anything. Although a co-worker did ask me if I got Botox. I found it funny because I DO get Botox every three months to alleviate my inherited forehead rows, but no one has ever noticed or said anything. I knew the difference she was seeing was my nose. When I said, "yes," she asked who did it and said they did a really good job. Lol... Botox taking one for the team! :)

I'm posting some pictures with my eyes blurred out, only because I don't know how long I intend to keep my full-photos posted, but I'd like to keep progress pics up indefinitely to help others with their decision.

The frontal shot is to demonstrate the difference in swelling about a week apart (day 16 was when I had such little swelling,) and the profile is just to show my before-profile since I haven't posted one. It's also to show the members who've asked why my doctor did not use an implant or foreign-site cartilage grafting. All the cartilage he used to reshape my bridge was nasal cartilage.

Thanks again for the support, everyone! xoxo

Healing Nicely

Not much to update. Healing is fairly typical, swelling has subsided significantly but some days are far worse than others and of course my tip is still the most swollen and for some reason look especially swollen in photos.

I am very happy with my results so far and look forward to continued refinement. I do sometimes wish it was smaller still, but don't dwell on it too much since I am still early in the healing process and know it will continue to change and it is still much smaller than it was to begin with so that quiets my hang-ups.

Happy healing to all. xoxo

16 Months Post-Op

I completely spaced my one-year follow-up with Dr. Kim & just called to schedule it today, I'll be seeing him next month- I will likely post again after that visit.

Overall I am happy with my choice to have a rhinoplasty & would encourage anyone who's on the fence to move forward. Day-to-day I no longer feel self-conscious about my nose or it detracting from my aesthetic harmony within my face. I do sometimes wish it were slightly more narrow and the tip more pinched, I know that's "fake" looking but it's a look I actually like. I usually only feel this way in certain angles in photos.

But in general, I completely forget I've had surgery at all. My results are so natural and in balance with my face that I feel this has been my nose all along- even my family members fail to notice, only saying things like "you look great lately."

Photo included. I will try and post some more soon.
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon

***This is the CORRECT doctor, thanks for fixing the problem, RS*** I have only positive things to say about my experience with Dr. Kim thus far. On my road to rhino, I consulted with four surgeons, two in my hometown, including Dr. Kim, and two in Beverly Hills. Dr. Kim is the only surgeon not in private practice which was a bit unusual to me at first, but ultimately I’m glad he works in a hospital setting because it made me feel that much safer about the procedure and anesthesia. I also am happy I chose a surgeon who specializes only in facial plastics. Getting his office on the phone was my only initial problem because you’re first sent through the hospital systems phone tree and you’re not sure if you’re calling the right place. But ultimately, I made it. Dr. Kim’s bed side manner is superb and he showed a genuine interest, concern and game plan for what I wanted and I’m able to communicate with him naturally and without reservation. We had similar visions for my end results & I am eager to continue working with him in my recovery.

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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