Dr. Most has a fantastic bedside manner, concerned and gentle yet still professional. His staff is equally caring and professional, couldn't have asked for better people in this process. Dr. Most listened very carefully to my concerns about the aesthetics of my nose changing dramatically because of this surgery. I have a jewish nose with a bump and wanted to make sure that wouldn't change drastically. I really didn't want a small nordic button nose with a slope, which seems to be what so many people who get rhino end up with.
Opening up the nose, especially with all the work that had to happen to mine, is going to result in a different shaped nose in the end. I like that my nose protrudes slightly less and the bridge is slightly lower and wider. The nose is also straightened out and the nostrils are more even. Its a pleasant change, but still looks like my nose to the point that most people won't be able to see the difference.
The main reason I got this surgery was the functional aspect. I broke my nose twice and have a genetically deformed septum. My dad and cousin just had the same surgery 2 months ago. For the last 15 years, I have not been able to breathe at all through my right nostril, and only partially through my left. Part of the reason my bridge is wider is because the doctor had to create more space for air to pass through.
Before the splints and cast even came off, I could already feel the difference on my right side. With each breath, it felt as though someone was blowing cool air inside my right cheek and on my palate. That part of my face hadn't felt air in 15 years, it was so sensitive! The minute the doctor took the splints out, it felt like a miracle. I could take full deep breaths without any strain! I couldn't even remember the last time it felt comfortable to breathe through my nose.
My healing process was surprisingly quick. The first 3 days I was not in pain, but extremely swollen and uncomfortable. I didn't realize the swelling would be quite that bad and was unprepared. I ended up taking painkillers only the first couple days in order to sleep. It mostly felt like pressure on and inside of my nose, but no sharp pains. I was in bed pretty much the whole time, but was able to do a couple hours of work on the computer the day after surgery. Went for a 1 mile walk on the third day as well, though that was overdoing it and the swelling got much worse.
Days 4 - 5 were a lot better, though I was still really tired much of the time and swollen. I had enough energy to drive around, go on long walks, and work for up to 6 hours a day, but had to take a lot of naps. I was mostly uncomfortable due to the amount of phlegm in my nose and the inability to blow it. It felt like I had the worst sinus cold in my life. I couldn't breathe through my nose at all, but then again this was no different than how it usually is.
By Days 6-7, I felt completely like myself again. Full of energy, no swelling, and the phlegm dried up to a manageable amount. The bruising was still pretty bad, but otherwise absolutely no complaints.
Day 8 - got the cast removed! Getting the stitches out was by FAR the worst part of the entire ordeal, way worse than the surgery and recovery. My nose felt really sensitive and heavy, as though the cast was still on it. My upper lip has some nerve damage, as expected, so my smile is a bit different than normal. No-one that doesn't already know me would ever be able to tell. Getting the splints out was not exactly the best experience, but dear lord how I can breathe!
Two of the stranger observations:
My right side has always been my 'bad' side. I take photos nearly always from the left and have been self conscious of sitting next to dates on my right. My nose was straightened towards the left a bit and now I don't have to strain to draw in breath to my right nostril. I didn't realize how much muscle strain that was causing! The entire right side of my face has relaxed and is far more symmetrical to the left side.
- I can sing! I've always liked signing along in the car, but I knew i wasn't hitting most of the notes. I'm still no professional, but I can hit the notes so cleanly now. My pitch has also gone up about 1/2 octave. I can't hit the lower notes anymore, but suddenly can sing along with bohemian rhapsody! On some notes, I can even feel the vibrations inside my nose which were completely blocked due to all the structural damage. I can't wait to hit up karaoke for the first time!