1. I rarely think about my nose anymore. And it's been that way since about 2 weeks post-op. There is no residual pain. No problem with my nose function. The aesthetics are fine! I almost think of the rhinoplasty as little as I would think of a haircut I got months ago...which is lucky, I know.
2. NO ONE said anything. When people say this happened to them, they're being totally honest! I thought everyone would be able to tell. My advice is to plan on it being a big deal for you, but hardly a blip on everyone else's radar.
3. I look like myself. I still look like I belong in my family and that my kids are my kids. My siblings didn't say a thing, even at family reunion 3 weeks post-surgery!
4. Best honest observation was from my spouse. Me: "Do I look much different?" Him: "You look like yourself...(pauses to consider my one-week post-surgery nose) Only now you have more "good" angles." Exactly what I was hoping for.
There is some serious skill going on with Dr. P's work. I don't feel different at all, and have almost forgotten what the old nose was like completely!
Don't expect to be coddled emotionally during checkups. Dr. P obviously sees a lot of rhinoplasty patients, so it will be pretty quick for him to give you an idea of what can/can't be done.
Be CLEAR about the look (side and front) you want as the end goal. I think that garners more respect for your wishes - even if the specifics change after the consults and you've had time to consider the proposed photos, just be sure everyone has the right picture in-hand before going into surgery.
Don't be afraid to bring in your own pictures and talk about the exact angle, straightness, supratip break, and width changes you like best. Be honest about what type of skin you have and be patient as it heals/swells/heals/swells.
And I agree 100% with other patient reviews on this site that if you are going to do a rhinoplasty, find a doctor who does many cases each month (dozens or more, not 2-3 a month!). You need to trust that the surgeon you choose knows how to handle many unknowns, how to fix surprises, has seen noses and skin exactly like yours, has a good eye for pleasing size/shape/balance, is connected to top-rate anesthesiologists, and offers many, many pictures of actual patients who have gone through this procedure under his hand so you can see if the "style" of their results match your vision of what you want for your result.
Dr. P has supportive staff who can give you the extra info, emotional reassurance and small-talk chatting part of the visit. That part is really not his thing. The surgery is his thing - and I feel his skills were the best I could have gotten.
I researched and visited various surgeons for a year (2015-2016) and have secretly thought about rhinoplasty since I was a kid. I used to think plastic surgery was only for the most vain or most insecure, the movie stars and mean girls - but here I am, a normal mom with a normal healthy outlook about myself and life. Rhinoplasty was something I could have said, "No thanks, that's not what good girls do." while secretly wishing for it. But when I asked myself, "What would you do for yourself if you didn't have to worry about cost, the kids, or about what other people thought?" the answer was, "I would get a nose refinement." So I saved up and started researching. I don't regret it at all!
I mostly thought I would take the plunge IF I could find the right doctor and IF I could have a conservatively done refinement, I would consider the surgery. I found what I was looking for with Dr. P!
I felt fine before, but I have to say I feel just a bit more relaxed now. It is a good feeling knowing that everything looks natural and balanced :)
What Post-Care made the most difference?
-Successfully guarding myself from getting bumped, which isn't always easy with small children at home. Husband slept in another bed for the first few nights to be sure we didn't bump into each other (very considerate!).
- Used a travel neck pillow to keep my head in place during the night. Sleeping on my back was helped by propping myself upright with my largest pillows.
-Taping the bridge and under my tip every night. I found the brown-fabric-like medical tape (3M Micropore Tan Surgical Tape 0.5" wide) worked better for me than the see-through surgical tape. 1/2 inch is the way to go whatever type of tape you buy - anything wider and you'll have to cut out each piece and custom-make your nose tapes every night.
- Drink lots of water. Eat less salt.
- Any pain meds will cause constipation (it's a thing) and you will feel better being ready to combat that before it's a problem.
- Lying in bed for days with a leaky nose is not fun, but after the 5th day things really look up. Watching other patients' recovery stories on YouTube was helpful when I was stuffed up and feeling horrible in bed that first week!
- I took arnica pills 3x a day and also rubbed topical cream on my bruises. I am not sure if those products made any difference because I normally don't take anything for anything...but perhaps it's mentally healthy to feel we are at least "trying" to help things heal well and perhaps faster after surgery.
*Also, with my shade of skin, a purple color corrector (not green) was great for the first outings in public when my face was still bruised greenish-yellow.
4 months later, it's like it never happened and I was just born with a nicer nose!
Good luck to everyone!