I hate my nose, and I am finally going to do...
I hate my nose, and I am finally going to do something about it! 25 days until surgery day!!
I have a dorsal hump "deformity" that just seemed to keep growing during my teen years. I became so self-conscious about it, to the point that a day wouldn't pass without me thinking about it. I avoided looking at my profile in the mirror and pictures from the side. When I happened to catch a glimpse of my profile, I was shocked at how much bigger my nose actually was than what I thought I looked like in my head. I went through phases of trying to convince myself it wasn't that bad, or to accept it/ignore it, sometimes succeeding for a few months, until the horrifying reality set in all over again that I would have to live with this for the rest of my life (usually brought on by an accidental glimpse at my profile in the mirror, or rude comments from other people.)
I never thought of surgery as an option for me. I didn't know anyone that had it done, and while breast augmentations/reductions aren't terribly uncommon, a lot of people still stigmatize rhinoplasty. Over the past year, my husband and I's discussions about it had gotten more serious. Gradually, I went from saying I would NEVER seriously consider plastic surgery to saying I would definitely get it if someone gave me the money. So now that we're much more financially stable and after another MAJOR breakdown in January, my husband (who is amazing, btw) told me he was willing to spend the money on it if I decided I wanted to do it. I thought it over for a few weeks and was finally considering scheduling a consultation when a friend of mine randomly told me she had rhinoplasty when she was younger! I was so surprised that someone I knew had done it (her nose looks great!), and that cemented it. She told me the name of her doctor, I had a consultation, booked the surgery date, and here we are!!
There was a lot more emotion that went into the decision than I feel I can convey here (well over 10 years of emotion), and I'm guessing each step will continue to be very emotional. I cried (out of joy, I think?) when I made the decision, cried after booking the consultation (nerves, perhaps?), cried at the consultation when they told me how much it could cost (my poor bank account!!), cried again when they told me the first available date! 4 months away! So long to wait! Lol, too many tears!
But it's so close now! I'm just soooo excited! The countdown is on!
Consultation - Rhino, Septo, and lower turbinate reduction
I went in for my consultation with Dr. Jared Spencer on February 3rd. He is double board certified and fellowship trained. He was recommended by the only person I know that has had rhinoplasty. I planned to have multiple consults, but realized he's the only plastic surgeon in my area (Northwest Arkansas) that does exclusively facial plastic surgery. That was important to me! I want the surgeon to be very experienced at rhinoplasty! I really didn't want to have to travel either (especially as that increases the cost even more). I did look in Little Rock (about 3 hours away and my parents live there), but couldn't find any there that do exclusively facial either.
First, we talked about what I disliked. He then examined my nose and seemed very detailed!! He was pointing out things for the nurse to make notes of that I've never noticed about my nose (and I am very detailed!): fullness on one side of my tip, a groove in my columella, etc. He confirmed that I do have a deviated septum (was surprised I don't snore or have difficulty breathing), and said that I needed a septoplasty and lower turbinate reduction, too. He said he could not do just the rhino on me because then I would definitely have trouble breathing. He also said his goal is always for people to breath as well, if not better, after the procedure.
I showed him some before and after pictures of dorsal hump reductions that I liked, and he said that I had chosen good examples of realistic changes...yay! They took a few before pictures and then the nurse answered about a million of my questions and went over some more details with me including the cost. I was really hoping if I had a deviated septum that it might end up being cheaper, but since insurance is strict about it all being billed separately, it's actually going to be more expensive because of the septoplasty. He also only operates in the hospital surgery center, which is a bit more expensive, but worth it. Safety is not the place to cheap out!
So, I cried for a good while from the shock of the initial cost (although I think some other forces were at play, too...I think I was still shocked I was even there!) and the nurse was very friendly about it. Then I scheduled my surgery date and pre-op appointment, and that was that! 22 DAYS!!!
My pre-opp appointment is in 4 days and my surgery is in 10! I really can't believe it's coming up so soon. Every morning I wake up and wonder if I'm completely crazy! But I'm also just really excited!! :)
Rhinoplasty is done! First week update!
It' s done!! I arrived at the hospital at 8:30 on Monday and surgery started a little before 11. For some reason, I really wasn't that nervous! So many different people came in to get medical history, urine samples, and poke and prod me. It took 3 tries to get the IV in. I'm 4 days into my recovery, and seriously, that was the worst part!! My nurse was very discouraging and kept saying things like "Well just wait for the pain from the rhinoplasty" and "You think this is bad? It's gonna be so much worse." She also even tried to get me to look at the IV as she was putting it in my arm. Obviously she does NOT understand the fear of needles! Super unhelpful, and finally another nurse had to come do it for her.
Dr. Spencer came in to go over things one more time and was really encouraging and joking around to lighten the mood. Then my surgery nurse came in and put something in the iv "to calm my nerves," I got really dizzy and loopy and that's all I remember. Then I was waking up in the recovery room!
The surgery took around 4 or 4.5 hours. Dr Spencer joked around with my husband not to worry if it takes a while. He said he's meticulous and likes to take his time! (Definitely what I want in a plastic surgeon!) Then it took an hour and a half to come out anesthesia. They gave me some water, crackers, and Percocet and then when I felt up to it, my husband helped me dress and we left around 5. Long day!
I was really out of it until we got home, but I do remember the car ride was a little painful! Luckily we live very close to the hospital. They said they had to insert a catheter since it was a long procedure (glad I didn't know that before!) and that urinating might be painful. It didn't hurt at all, but for the first few days, I felt like I couldn't completely empty my bladder. I was soooo thirsty from the anesthesia and having to breathe through my mouth, so I drank tons of water and ate lots of jello and soup.
Day 2 and 3 were the worst days from a congestion and swelling perspective. I tried really hard to stay on top of the pain with 2 percocet every 4 hours.
I really can't tell what I think of the results yet. I'm still can't believe that it's actually done! I think the bump is gone (although in one picture it seems like maybe not entirely, but for now I'm attributing that to swelling). Other than that I really can't tell what the shape will be like! I was much less swollen right after, but the last couple days it has been very puffy! So now we just wait and see.
What do you think of the afters? (I'm sorry I'm not photogenic, and I was way too out of it for makeup and/or washing my hair!)
Not feeling so great
Ugh, days 4 and 5 have been the worst for me! The congestion is better, but yesterday the pain started getting the better of me and I just couldn't get relief. I'm on Percocet, which I feel like takes a long time to kick in (like an hour) and then falls off so quickly. Yesterday I decided to try 1 Percocet and 1 Acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead, since a lot of people think acetaminophen provides more consistent relief. The first round of that went really well, but then I made the mistake of trying no percocet and 2 Tylenol. Big mistake! So much pain and pressure, like my face had been hit by a truck! I went back to 2 percocets every 4 hours for the rest of the night.
I woke up feeling well rested and without any pain, and took 2 Percocets again. But within the hour, I felt so completely exhausted, shaky and nauseated that I could barely talk, eat, open my eyes, or stand up. I didn't really have a choice, so I slept pretty much all day and around 4 pm decided to try 1 Percocet/1Tylenol again. I think I'd rather experience a tiny bit of pain and actually be able to watch tv, eat, look at my computer, etc. But then again, if the pain gets worse each time, I may regret that decision. This is just so frustrating! And I'm guessing by the time I figure out what works, I won't need it any more.
Post op tomorrow!
I go in tomorrow for my post-op appointment to get the cast and splints removed! I'm nervous it will hurt, but also hoping there will be some relief from the pressure and congestion. Super nervous for the results! :O
The cast is off! Getting the stitches hurt a bit, but getting the cast off was just uncomfortable and having the splints taken out really didn't hurt and I could breathe so well after (probably helped that they put some numbing spray in my nose, too).
I liked the results right away, but it's still so hard to get used to seeing something different. It's also easy to stare in the mirror too long and get really nit-picky about different things, so I'm trying not to dwell on it too much for now. My family all LOVES the result!
I am a little nervous about what appears to be a very small bump on my bridge. My surgeon said that he took the bump down completely (and was able to go down further than he expected). But since bone is living and will rebuild/tear itself down many times during the healing process, you can't predict exactly how it will look after it heals. Also, swelling. I really didn't want any kind of bump after. :(
Posted before I was done adding pictures. Oops.
2 weeks post, 1 week since cast removal
More after pictures! The rhinoplasty did NOT make me suddenly photogenic, lol. ;)
I think there have been subtle changes over the last week, but there's a bit more swelling on one side and some in the tip. I'm not really in pain, but it's sensitive, so I'm still taking a Tylenol once or twice a day if needed. I had a lot of scabbing inside that finally seems to be clearing up today (from the lower turbinate reduction that he said would take longer to heal, hence no ibuprofen.) My nostrils feel fairly soft and flexible, but the tip/columella are a bit stiff. My nose is peeling a lot! I can't really scrub it and I don't like to touch it too much to apply moisturizer, but hopefully that will go away soon! Otherwise, I feel like I'm getting back to normal: sleeping well, no more constipation or other side effects from pain killers, not so easily tired, have my appetite back, etc. Yay! I didn't think the recovery would be so quick!
Except that I never realized how much I touched/bumped my nose! The last few days I've poked it or bumped it so many times! Ouch!
Side by side before and afters
Here are some side by side before and afters. The profile view is very different, but the front wasn't as drastic a change. My columella isn't as low after, and he also narrowed the width a bit but I'm not sure that shows yet with the swelling.