Island Hopeful

I'm a 23 year old woman of Afro-Caribbean descent...

I'm a 23 year old woman of Afro-Caribbean descent interested in rhinoplasty. I love the ethnic shape of my nose, but I dislike the size/width of my nostrils & hope to have them reduced. Growing up, it was always nice to have something that nodded towards my ancestry and visibly linked me to my mother. So, much of the delay in getting around to this has been about heritage/pride, but I'm now a grown woman who can't do something as simple as throw my head back and laugh without feeling self conscious or swim (using proper technique) without somehow taking in water! I'm still researching procedure types, but for now I'm fairly certain that I don't want my septum involved at all, if possible.

Currently looking for surgeons in the US who're adept at maintaining (and appreciating) a nose's 'ethnic' character! Suggestions welcome (:

UK/EU Surgeons and Timing

So, due to time constraints and impending employment, I've decided to focus on surgeons my side of the Atlantic. I love the work of Dr. Oelbrandt (MANY thanks to AmelVa for the recommendation) and am awaiting confirmation for my consultation date in May. I'm going to a wedding June 1, graduation on July 14 and a convention August 22, so it's looking like September is going to be it. I'd love to have it sooner, but I'm worried the swelling wont subside fast enough between these picture heavy events. There's roughly 6 weeks between each event, but I dunno, is that long enough? I don't want to feel rushed or like my healing is on a schedule. Thoughts?

Consultation

So I had my consultation with Dr. Oelbrandt yesterday and first off, the receptionist was lovely so I immediately felt less anxious. Dr. Oelbrandt is extremely understanding and very knowledgable. I went in sort of hell bent on a closed rhinoplasty because the pictures of open rhinoplasties terrify me and I wanted to minimize recovery time. He explained to me using images and demonstrations how internal incisions would only create a minimal change in my case (because of my bulbous tip) and I would no doubt later want revision surgery. I went in thinking the problem was partially my tip but mainly the width of my nostrils, only to see (after measurements and considerations of my bridge and profile) that the size of my nostrils is actually just exaggerated by the bulbous nature of my tip.

He recommended an open rhinoplasty with trimming of skin/cartilage, in order to create a more defined tip. In doing so, my nostrils would appear smaller anyway, but if still bothersome, I could have an alar base nostril reduction. But the first and most important order of business is tip refining, in order to give a more delicate finish to my face (imo).

I'm attaching a photo of a beauty guru who's nose I like and that Dr. Oelbrandt said I can expect similarities to if and when the tip of my nose is defined more. Obviously it won't be exactly like hers, but it was a huge relief to hear since her nose is in no way European and I'd still be able to maintain my heritage on my face (: I'm very much looking forward to hearing about fafa444's experience and any other Afro/Carib girls in Europe, definitely check out Dr. Oelbrandt - he's all about maintaining ethnic integrity and realistically matching your goals, to your face. He's worked on Afro/Carib and other ethnicities before, and while they're not online (I'm guessing privacy clauses and such), before and after photos can be seen in a presentation at your consultation. He doesn't push anything on you, but he does remind you that often experienced surgeons can see what the client can't or won't - so go with an open mind.

My procedure includes 4 - 5 'points', general descriptors of what he intends to do and why/with what result (which is great in the surgeon decision making process for those of us not familiar with medical terms) and for that, I was quoted £3200 or approx. $5400 for any US readers interested in the price/value comparison. That price included all check ups, surgery and anesthesia (I will be out cold thank God lol). Pretty sure I. Going to spend my first week in Belgium, rather than the recommended two hotel nights just because I've never been and I have zero interest in traveling on the Eurostar with a bandaged face? Apparently everyone does it but I'm not that brave!

Anyway this has gone way over, please excuse any typos as I'm on my mobile.. I hope this is a helpful update and that anyone looking into Dr. Oelbrandt has had some questions answered (:

Way Overdue!

So huge apologies, I can't believe it's been a year since I last updated. I moved cities and things became hectic overnight so the bad news is I haven't had my rhinoplasty as yet! The good news is that I'll be having it in less than a month :D

While I was pretty comfortable with the initial consultation I had, I really felt like I could do a little more exploring. Through RealSelf I actually wound up having a consultation with Dr. Epstein, and eventually Dr. Bared - two phenomenal Miami based surgeons. Having seen their extensive backgrounds, their work and the simulated results, I decided to have my rhinoplasty done by Dr. Bared. His proposed result photos were a little more conservative than I'm looking for but I'd rather err on the side of caution than go too far. I'm flying to Miami in two weeks!

Can't wait to share photos with you guys - does anyone have a link to the checklist/things people do/take before surgery? I have my pre-op instructions already but I vaguely remember seeing a list someone prepared…

Delays & Advice

So the results of my pre-op blood tests weren't up to scratch - my PT (clotting) time was high, so surgery of any kind was deemed risky. We've postponed surgery until Christmas and I'm taking Vitamin K in the meantime to improve my next set of results. As disappointed as I was and still am, it's still reassuring to know I have a surgeon who takes this seriously and wasn't comfortable with going ahead based on my current results.

As a general tip for everyone undergoing any kind of surgery, my lesson from this set back has been not to book anything (unless it's refundable) until your pre-op blood tests have been approved of by your surgeon. I never imagined there would be a problem with my results, so I used a non refundable promotion to book my flights, hotel, etc and I've only managed to get about 30% of that back. Do yourself a favour - make sure your hotel/travel is amendable/refundable or, if that's too costly, just wait until your results are approved by your surgeon. It's typically done 2-3 weeks before your surgery date so that's still plenty of time to book things at reasonable rates.

Hope everyone's been well!

Less than a week to go!

After a number of attempts to get this over and done with I am finally, FINALLY having my procedure next week Tuesday. It's been a crazy year trying to find the right surgeon in the UK and I've been extremely fortunate to find a talented one who understands my concerns! His name is Dr. Hassan and he practices in Birmingham & London.

I've booked, paid and have been running through my checklists - been on bromelain & arnica for the last week lol. If you have any recovery tips to share - please please comment below. I've got a list already but I'd hate to miss out on something I haven't seen yet!

I'm currently scheduled for an open rhinoplasty with an altar base reduction. The desired end result is the same overall shape (rounded/broad/ethnic) of my nose but smaller. I'm not having anything done to my bridge as I'm fine with my projection, etc. I'm going to try and attach some goal images that my Dr feels are realistic.

Aiming to post updated pre-op photos tomorrow or Friday but I'll definitely be updating as much as I can post-op!

xxxx

Finally done!

Yesterday was the big day - I signed in around 7am and went down to theatre around 9. Overall was in surgery just under 3 hours but it felt like 30 minutes. One minute I was talking to the Nurses & Anaethesiologist about my name, the next I was waking up in my room. I was booked to stay overnight but I had minimal swelling/bruising and my drainage was normal, so after 6/7 hours I actually went home.

I haven't experienced any "real" pain outside of when the packing was removed (awful but you definitely don't want the version that dissolves). Beyond that I took some prescribed codeine last night when I started to feel a slight dull ache on my Bridge - it honestly felt like nothing, I took the codeine just in case it started to really hurt and also because it helps you sleep :) As everyone else has said, the main annoyance is the blocked nose feeing. I'm a stickler for having a clear nose, I hate snifflers/sniffling, stuffy/runny noses, all that. So, this is literally the worst thing for me because I just want to blow my nose!

After the packing came out I actually wanted to stay overnight but the girl in the room next to me (also open rhinoplasty) would NOT stop pushing the nurse call button - so much so that on the rare occasion when I pushed mine, they'd forget or think it was her. It was a lovely hospital with the BEST nurses but I would've never gotten sleep there - so glad I came home!

Now I'm just trying to be balanced between getting enough rest, walking around and sticking to a meds/cleaning/supplement schedule.

Shout if you have any questions xx

One Week On..

Stitches came out today - I have another week to go with my cast tho :( Because I have thicker skin, I've been advised to keep the cast on for an extra week while things settle. Thankfully I work from home and don't have to leave the house for anything.

The nurses were really impressed with how well I've recovered and how well I'm healing. I stopped taking painkillers from day 2 or 3, and during the exam they stressed that for a week in, everything looks really good. I've been panicking about scarring and how things are coming along, so that's been a huge relief to hear.

In the first few days, my nostrils were really narrow and sharp because of swelling, but they're starting to soften and round out a bit more now that my face is back to normal. I don't have any major numbness aside from a tiny bit of my septum above the incision point.

I CANNOT wait for this cast to come off - mainly so I can finally wash my whole face lol. If anyone is interested in what I think helped my healing, I've been taking

*A skin multivitamin (Biotin, B Complex, Vit C, D, A & E, Zinc)
*CoQ10
*Selenium
*Collagen

Obviously, check first with your GP/Surgeon if s/he is fine with you taking supplements after surgery.

Outside of the normal swelling, I got a bit more in my eyes and cheeks/cheekbone areas mainly (I think) because after day 1 I couldn't be bothered to sleep upright/elevated anymore so I slept normally. No bruising tho, thankfully.

Hopefully I'll have a reveal update in a week's time xx
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