Hi realselfers! For the last few years, I've been...
Hi realselfers! For the last few years, I've been dissatisfied with the appearance of my nose. As an African, my nose is characterized by a wide alar base, flared nostrils, a thick skin, and lack of a defined bridge, all of which I'd like to improve upon through surgery. Living in western Canada, there aren't many surgeons here who work on many ethnic patients - making my search for a suitable surgeon a little harder. I did, however, consult with one doctor in Vancouver who seemed nice and receptive to my concerns with my nose and questions about the procedure. But after the initial consultation, other questions I had where not responded to for at least some days (3-4 days). It felt as though I was an annoyance to them and I knew from that moment that surgeon wasn't the one for me. I then looked at before and after pictures of some surgeons' work in eastern Canada and also read their patient reviews, and because of the mix of positive and negative reviews I read on each, I just didn't want to take a risk and go see any of them.
So then I looked into surgeons in the states and I set up online consultations with one surgeon from Beverly Hills and another from San Jose. Both these surgeons have much experience in dealing with Asian plastic surgery, which I liked since there are similarities in the nasal anatomy between some Asians and Africans. The consultation with the surgeon from Beverly went well and he answered all my questions and was informative about the procedure. The only thing I didn't feel comfortable with is that he had some good and bad reviews from previous rhinoplasty patients. Also, I had asked him to explain the complications of the surgery, and although he said he hadn't experience medical complications, he described how the cosmetic complications he gets are that "the nose is too sharp, problems with the bridge, etc." The "nose too sharp" made me feel a little uneasy because of how my goal for the bridge of my nose is for it not to be sharp and instead to be natural-looking. What I really liked about this surgeon is how he personally replies to your emails in a prompt manner (within a few hours at minimum and 1day at the most). Also, the quote he gave is $6,000 USD for the surgery. The price was originally $6,500 USD, but because of the Canadian currency conversion rates, he was willing to bring it down to $6,000 USD for me. He didn't even hesitate to do that for me, which I thought was very kind of him.
The surgeon from San Jose was also friendly and informative about the procedure. He went into detail about the structures beneath the skin of the nose and discussed how he would do the surgery. I just had the skype consultation with him on Tuesday and at the end of it, he requested photos of my nose to determine if he'd need to break the nasal bones. I sent them to him soon afterwards and I'm just waiting for a response back at this point to find out if he'll need to do that and also what the cost would be for the surgery. Since Tuesday, I've thought of some other questions to ask him, but i think I'll wait to ask him after I get a response back from him. When I searched for reviews on him, pretty much all of them rated him well and talked about his good personality. The reviews helped me build trust in him for performing this delicate and complex surgery I'm hoping to go through.
I'll be sure to update once I hear back from this doctor and when I decide on which doctor to go with.
Heard back from Doc in San Jose
Hey guys!! So I heard back from the doctor in San Jose and he advised he'd have to break my nasal bones, which I was hoping wouldn't be needed. He also gave me a quote close to $9,000 usd for the whole procedure ( $5,925 for the rhinoplasty and about $3,000 for the surgical center and anesthesiologist fees). Because this amount is quite out of my price range, I set up another Skype consult with a different surgery from LA (no charge for consultation). He's specialized in African American noses, which I really liked. The consult went better than my previous ones. This doctor answered questions thoroughly and gave me his thoughts on why some black people end up with undesirable/unnatural nose jobs. He explained how he believes part of it is from surgeons using the same techniques used on Caucasian noses onto ethnic noses, how there's a disconnect between what the patient wants/expresses and what the surgeon actually understands from the patient, and also the skill of the patient. He advised he wouldn't break my nasal bones so my nose wouldn't have the "operated look." He said he'd give support in the tip of my nose so that it doesn't droop when I smile, which as a result, would make the tip a look a little narrower and give me some definition along the bridge without it looking pinched. I got a good feeling from this surgeon with his knowledge and his personality. I'm now waiting for an email from his assistant which will contain the cost and the changes we discussed and then I'll go from there. The consultation was done at the end of day today so I'm hoping I'll receive that info by tomorrow.
I'll keep posting when I get more info!!
Heard back from Doc
Hey guys! So I heard from his assistant and the quote given came just a few dollars over $8,000 USD; but with the conversion rates, I'm looking at close to $8,800 CAD. I also scheduled another Skype consultation with him to go over some questions I had. I hope to through with the surgery next month
Updating doctor's location
I'm not sure how to update the doctor's location in my review. Right now it shows San Jose, but it should be Los Angeles since that's where Dr. Hamilton works from. Anyone know how I can change that? Thanks :)
Getting closer to surgery
Hey guys!! Just wanted to provide an update :). My surgery is in two weeks and I'm getting a little excited/nervous about it. Dr. Hamilton advised he'll perform an open rhinoplasty where the skin between my nostrils will be cut so he can get a better view beneath my nose. He also advised he'll put a slit in the nasal bones at the bridge and bring it in a bit to lessen the width of it. He estimates my surgery will take around an hour and a half and will be performed under general anesthesia. I haven't had surgery before so I'm quite nervous about going under. I'll make sure to update after attending the pre-op visit to let you guys know how it went
Out of surgery
Hey guys!! So I had my surgery this morning with Dr. Hamilton. let me first say he is soooo kind and comforting. He knew I was very nervous so he would joke with me and tell me he was excited to work on me. I checked in at 7am. One of his nurses, Vanessa (very kind girl) took pictures of me. I also met with Tanitha, the CRNA, and she told me what she'd be doing during the surgery. After the that, I changed into my gown and I also had to do a pregnancy test so I had to pee in a sample cup for them. Then I got my iv started after the seceond. I remember my bed being wheeled into another room and Vanessa asked me where I'd like to travel to..and that's the last thing I remember before waking up in the room I originally started in. Dr. Hamilton came to see me to ask how I was doing. He also spoke to my friend in the waiting room and told her I'd cry out of happiness when I saw the result. He said this was one of the proudest works he's done. Lol, my friend also asked if she could have a cast put on her nose so I wouldn't feel uncomfortable in the public with only me having it lol. He gave her some to take with her and he told her if she did put it on, he'd post the pic up in his office. When my friend told me all that he said, I felt more at ease and excited to see the results. At the preoperative apptment, he said he'd work mainly on the tip since that was the first thing that caught his eye. He said he doesn't like to nitpick at everything on a person's nose and like likes to focus on the main issue and after doing so, everything else will come in together. He made me laugh alot on the morning of surgery to take away my anxiety. He's down-to-earth and quite attractive I must say lol. I had general anesthesia and because of the blood that goes in the stomach, i basically threw up 4 separate times throughout the day. So far, no swelling or bruising. Maybe it's still on it's way? My pain is bearable. I was giving percocet for it and I've taking 4 of them since surgery 2every 6 hours),
1 day after surgery
Hey peops! So today is first day after surgery. I had an appointment with him this afternoon to remove the packing from my nose and to clean it up a bit. He said I no longer have to wear the dripping pad unless I start bleeding again. My eyes have swelled quite a bit so I've been icing it. I won't see him again till Monday when he'll take the cast off.
4 days post surgery
Hey everyone, just wanted to give a quick update. Still recovering from surgery. I've been staying indoors since surgery because my face is still swollen and I find I usually just wanna sleep. I guess my body is tired from the whole experience. I'm not feeling any pain in my nose, just feeling stuffy. It's not as swollen in the eyes anymore. The swelling has moved more to my cheeks now. Two more days till cast is off :)
Just wanted to show picture of nostrils and base of nose
Just different angles of nose. Lol, please excuse my oily face and the white stuff you see around the nostrils. It's just the antibiotic ointment that's on there :)
So I got the cast removed today :) happy with the results even with the swelling. He said most of the swelling will subside in a few months and that I'll see the final results in a years' time. I gave Dr. Hamilton a big hug after I looked at it in the mirror cause I was very thankful for what he'd done for me. He's a nice, smart, and fun guy and I'm very happy to have chosen him for surgery. When everything was taken off and done, i told him I was kinda sad to go because him and his staff had been so nice and welcoming to us. Lol, but he said something afterwards to make me laugh to not think about it lol. I completely recommend him for surgery because he'll help you achieve your goals :).
9 days after surgery
Hey everyone :) just a quick update. So far things are going well with recovery. Not sleeping as much as I was before. Swelling in my cheeks is pretty much gone. I wish the swelling in my nose would go soon lol, but that's ok. I understand it's a waiting game. I still have the bandage on where the stitches came out (the part between the nostrils). So far I'm still happy with the results. I wanted a subtle change and I'm glad I got it :). The width of my bridge was brought in a little bit (the part between my eyes), my nose no longer droops when I smile, and my nose doesn't flare out as much when I smile. He didn't bring in the nostrils though, but he added more support in the tip to give it that impression of smaller nostrils. I have posted some pictures from before surgery and also some from today so you can see the slight differences. Talk soon :)
some.more pics of me smiling
I really hated doing an open smile before surgery because of how my nose would flare out and look big. But now I'm a bit more comfortable doing an open smile even with the swelling because I don't have to wonder in my head just how big my nose is looking.
17 days post surgery
Hey everyone ;) Hope you guys are doing well! I've just been busy with work and to be honest, it sometimes leaves my mind I had the surgery because my nose isn't drastically different from my birth nose and I haven't been experiencing problems with it. I didn't tell my family I was doing the procedure and so I'm happy they haven't noticed I changed my nose lol. As time passes, I notice the swelling slowly subsiding. The tip of my nose is hard/sore still so I try to be careful when I'm washing my face so I don't apply much pressure on that area. I'm also glad the bandage between my nostrils finally came off lol. I felt like people would look at it when I was talking to them and that made me feel uncomfortable. So far I'm happy I went through with the surgery. I'm normally one who's scared to do a lot of things and I normally don't like to stray from the norm, but I got a lot of support from my boyfriend and close friends and so I went for it and haven't regretted it since. I was worried people would think I was vain if I had a nose job, but to be honest, it's about doing something that will make you happy and comfortable in your own skin. Sometimes it's best not to worry about what others think of you because it can take away from the goals you want to accomplish. Sorry for the little rant. I thought I would share a little of how I felt :) talk soon!
pics outside home
One picture when I was out for dinner 11 days after surgery. Pic was taken with flash. Another pic taken when I was at work yesterday in fluorescent light
1 month follow up
Hey everyone :) Just wanted to give an update on how things are going. So far things are going good by God's grace. I'm noticing some little changes in the definition of my nose. It's becoming a bit more defined around the sides if my nose and the overall size of my nose is a bit smaller I think. The tip is still swollen though but it's not too concerning for me. I notice lately in the mornings or after waking up from sleeping, the area around the nostrils/ bottom of my nose will feel kinda tight. But then as the day continues and I move around my face more ( eating, talking, smiling, etc.) then it'll feel relaxed and not tight. I've now started applying my face moisturizer (argan oil) to that area to moisturize it cause before I wouldn't want to touch around there because of the soreness there. Hopefully that will make it feel less tight. I haven't a follow up with Dr. Hamilton since coming back home. Not sure if his assistant will call me to set one up through Skype or if I'm to call them? But overall, I like how my nose is looking. People I've told about my procedure say they wouldn't have known I did the surgery because it looks natural, so I'm very happy about that. Talk soon!
pic of base of nose
Just wanted to upload a picture of the base of my nose as requested. Things are well with healing. I can't believe it's coming to 2 months since surgery. I still notice little changes as the time goes by. I find in the mornings, the inside of my nose feels dry. I'm not sure if it's because of how dry the air is here where I live. But it's not too bad, just something I've notice. I still haven't had a follow up with Dr Hamilton. I emailed his assistant yesterday asking about booking a follow up with him since I haven't had one since my cast was removed. I normally like wearing glasses cause of my eyesight, but when I put them on, i feel this tingly feeling in the part of my nose between the eyes. I guess it's still healing there. So I've just been wearing contact lenses this whole time. Hopefully I can go back to wearing glasses soon since using the contact lenses can be expensive. But other than tha, I'm satisfied with how things are going. I'll update again when I reach 2 months. Talk soon!
2 month update
Hey everyone :) So I'm now 2 months and a week since surgery. I'm still seeing changes here and there but they're very subtle. There's still swelling in the tip but that's to be expected. I have my follow up appointment scheduled for Monday with Dr. Hamilton. Not sure yet if it'll be through Skype or phone. The tip of my nose is still hard when I touch it. Also, I find my nose is more swollen in the mornings after waking up. But I notice after I workout at the gym, my nose becomes less swollen for some reason, which I'm happy about. Other than that, not much else is happening with my nose, but I'll update again at my 3month mark. Talk soon :)!
3 month update
Hey everyone :)! So far things are going well with my nose. I had a follow up with Dr. Hamilton about 2 weeks ago through Skype and he said things are looking well. He said he's happy with how it's looking at this stage and how the swelling will continue coming down since he noticed a lot of swelling still in my tip and in my overall nose. I'm looking forward to seeing my final results as time passes. It's crazy how time flys when I think to back when I was first looking into the process of surgery and now I'm 3 months post lol. I'm glad to share my experience so that others can benefit because there weren't many pictures of his work online when I was researching him for surgery. Talk soon and happy healing!
4 months post
Hey guys :) So I've now reached the 4-month mark and things are still well. I find after waking up in the morning or after I've had my head laying flat that my nose will hurt a bit and feel tight. It's kinda hard to explain. It's like I can feel the blood collected in my nose so it feels heavy and kind of hurts. I'll also at times feel tingly feelings in my nose. I guess it's the nerves in there doing something lol? But yea, my nose still feels hard at the tip and there's still a lot of swelling in there, and the swelling is even more noticeable after having my head laying on a flat level. I remember Dr. Hamilton saying to me the last time that because my nose is quite thick, it'll take some time for the swelling to come down and for me to see the final outcome. I guess I just have to be patient ;). But so far, I'm not experiencing anything else. I like how it's looking even at this stage and according to Dr. Hamilton, he said it'll look even better as more time passes so I'm looking forward to that. Talk soon and happy healing :)!
5 and a half months' post op
Hey guys :) I know it's been a little while since my last update so I thought I would share how things are going so far. My nose is still healing and swelling is still present in the tip. I was told beforehand by Dr. Hamilton that it would take a long time for it to resolve being that I have thick skin. But so far I'm liking how my nose is evolving as time passes. I feel the top of my nose has settled more in that I don't really feel much swelling as I touch it with my finger, but as I go down my nose toward the tip is when I feel a rise in my skin because of the swelling beneath it. It still feels hard and a little numb when I touch the tip but I've gotten used that now lol. It really is a journey with the nose but it's well worth it. What I like to do also is apply sunscreen to my nose before going out as Dr. Hamilton advised I do and I find it makes my tip look less swollen when I'm out and about. He explained to me that when the heat or the sun rays hit the nose, more blood rushes to the surface of the nose in effort to protect the nose from all the heat it's taking and to cool it down so wearing sunscreen keeps that from happening. Another thing I also like to do to make it look less swelling for the day after waking up is going to the gym in the morning. For some reason, after working out, my nose looks more defined and less fat at the tip. Not sure if it's because the blood was able to circulate throughout the body more. But even with all that said, I think diet it also a big thing with the appearance of the nose because if I eat more salty foods I feel like my nose looks more swollen than on other days where I didn't take in as much salt. Lol, sometimes I try to drink more water to counteract the salt intake but I don't think it helps too much when I do that lol. But anyway, I'm still happy with how my nose is looking and I'm looking forward to more changes as time passes. Talk soon and happy healing :)
1 YR post
So it's now 1 YR since surgery and I can't believe how it's come by so fast. So far, things are going well. There's still quite some swelling in the tip area which I'm advised will take about another 6 months to resolve because of my skin thickness. Hopefully by then it'll be looking better in that area since I'm tired of this waiting game lol and want everything to be healed right away. It's still a bit stiff/numb in the tip by just touching it and if I press on it with light pressure, I can feel a little pain and soreness there so I know it's still healing. I still apply sunscreen to my nose in the morning because on the days when I forget to apply it and the sun is out, my nose will be hurting ( not greatly but enough to make me wish I had put on sunscreen on there before I left home to reduce the sensitivity). So far I've just been trying to stay patient during this process. With the swelling down in the bridge of my nose and at the edge of my nostrils, I feel the tip of my nose is looking bigger since swelling of the other areas of the nose has come down. Dr. Hamilton spoke to me about this some time ago and how I'll eventually reach this stage in the process and that I'll have to be very patient, but that is much more easier said than done lol. Anyway, I'm happy with the changes I've seen and can only hope more will come in the future as he says. But definitely glad I went with him for the surgery.
All the best!