I had wanted to have a Rhinoplasty since I was 12, I had busted my nose a couple of times, had a deviated septum and several breathing issues, so I finally got organised and did something about it.
What I found was that picking a surgeon can feel like an impossible task, there seems to be a hundred out there and no real way to figure out who is suited to you. I found mine through RealSelf actually, I booked 2 consults with two different surgeons a) Dr Sophie Ricketts and B) Dr Andrew Greensmith. I found Greensmith to be very good and professional however he was too expensive for me, including anesthesia think around 15k (give or take, this is an individual number and may be different for you) and then I saw Ricketts, almost immediately meeting her I knew she was the surgeon I trusted and knew would do an excellent job of my surgery.
Surgery, procedures and such really don't worry me in the slightest, you could stick 20 needles in my arms and I still wouldn't stress too much, however if you do find yourself going down this road and you are apprehensive, don't worry! These are trained professions and they will help you through the process and make you feel calm, it's so not as bad as you may be picturing it.
It's also worth knowing that if you are going to do this your surgeon must have an MBBS and FRACS qualification - meaning that they're trained and qualified to perform facial surgery.
My initial consult with Sophie was free (promotion on RealSelf) **also important to know that consults are usually booked months and months in advance!! Plan ahead and be organised**
In it we discussed what I wanted my nose to look like, any problems I had, what she could do for me, outcomes and we did a 3D mock up image of what it would look like afterwards.
I booked in that day for the surgery, later that week I was sent information on the surgery (nothing you won't already know if you’ve been researching) and papers to sign.
The week before I got a call from the clinic I was having it done at, plans were organised, insurance companies were notified, the anesthetist called and asked me some questions so he could be ready, Sophie's people called to check in. Like I said, you're not thrown in the deep end at all with these people, they'll help you and were repetitively saying to me that if I had any questions to call them or email, again I had full faith in them and wasn't worried.
Surgery day came. It was late in the day I went for surgery at 4.00pm, stopped eating around 8.30am. You get to hospital or clinic, change into hospital clothes, they get some personal information and then you wait.
They put you on a table under heated blankets, the anesthetist put a IV cannula into my arm, hardly felt a thing, the nurses talk to you, put on music and before you know it you're out like a light. Believe me when I say you can't fight anesthesia.
Waking up in recovery honestly I was in a bit of pain. Basically what happens is; you have your nose covered in a plastic cast, bandages around the nose, and oxygen mask over your mouth. The best way I could describe it is it feels like someone’s holding onto your nose tightly and not letting go, just comfortable and annoying. So this was probably the worst bit (and even then I've had periods worse than this) your mouth will feel like the Sahara Desert because of the oxygen and blocked nose. I told the nurse when I could manage to string two words together that I was in some pain and they gave me strong pain relief and I didn't feel it again after that.
You're in recovery for a while usually asleep though, then they wheel you back to your room, set you up, let you sleep.
I was fighting against the anesthesia and pain meds to stay awake and it just wasn't going to happen, so I feel asleep again and again. You're not going to have the best night of your life that night, you'll be uncomfortable and feel pretty beaten down, that is okay! It passes in a day.
My biggest things about this surgery was that a) you'll never want to brush your teeth more in your life, like ever, your mouth will get disgusting, bring a NON electric tooth brush, even with a bit of water it's good and b) sleep it off, best way to get through it. I was never in what I would say was pain but uncomfortable and congested - both of which are very easy to manage.
My face swelled up and I did bruise a bit, a lot less then what I was expecting, it resided quickly though. They'll prescribe you strong pain relief but considering the side effects I generally opted for the classic Panadol and nurofen combo, worked well.
Now, buy tissues and cotton tips, they're your best bet at keeping your nose as clean as possible without too much touching. You'll have a constant runny nose and crusty nostrils. Put Vaseline or paw paw around them to help smooth. Oh and ice packs over your eyes for swelling, works a treat.
The cast had to stay on for a week and by the end of that week trust me you want to rip it off your face, it gets itchy and just annoying. You feel wonderful when they take it off.
The stitches came out easily and the plastic cast and ta da! New nose.
Sophie did an amazing job, I had no idea that it could ever be this perfect, I'm so so so in love with my new nose, I'm already starting to be able to breathe out of it. It's straight, matches my face perfectly and is ten times better than anything I had ever imagined.