After several years of wanting to have the...
After several years of wanting to have the procedure done, but not having health insurance in America to cover at least the cost of a septoplasty (fixing a deviated septum), many people told me that plastic surgery is a popular thing in Beirut, and you can find cheaper prices. So, I began research. It is my 30th birthday this summer and I want to finally take the big leap. I emailed several doctors to get quotes and included my photos. One doctor, Dr. Roland Tohme, responded very quickly and answered all my questions in a timely and friendly manner, which I greatly appreciated. Other doctors had varying prices and responded in a week's time.
But, because I'm nervous about the outcome/results, I didn't want to be hasty in my decision. So, I looked on this website and found at least 2-3 reviews about Dr. Charbel Medawar in Beirut. I couldn't find much information or personal testimonials about any other doctors in Beirut. Because the reviews for Dr. Charbel seemed to be positive experiences, and his credentials seemed to reflect experience and good qualifications, I chose him. He wasn't the cheapest, but his price is still less than what I would pay in Europe or America.
My surgery is now booked for early June. I will stay in Beirut for about 10 days post surgery for removal of sutures and healing before flying out.
I'm still nervous, but excited. I hope the surgery/healing go well and that the results will be pleasing...
As it stands now, he has quoted $3,500 to perform both a septoplasty and rhinoplasty. The septoplasty would correct a deviated septum and the rhinoplasty is to reduce the bulbous tip of my nose, refine it, and possibly augment the dorsum of my nose. We will continue to talk further about specifics via phone/email until I arrive and can go into the clinic to see computer simulated images of the desired results.
1 day Post-Op
10 Jun 2014
Day of treatment
I arrived in Beirut yesterday. I literally got my luggage, checked in at the hotel, located a taxi driver, and went to his clinic, Advanced Dermaplastics Clinic, in the Naqqash area at around 5:00 p.m. I had originally wanted to look at computer images but after seeing my nose in person, he said that he could just show me with a mirror by pinching my nose to show the reduction of the cartilage in the tip because he wasn't going to change anything about the bridge.
Surgery was booked at 8:00 a.m. this morning at Hazmieh International Medical Centre. The place itself doesn't have any nice scenery outside the windows, but the facilities were clean and the nurses were nice. It was about a 30 minute drive from the hotel (Mayflower Hotel). It's good to leave early due to morning traffic since Beirut is quite the busy city. Also, in case you don't know, Beirut is an expensive city. The taxi fares are not cheap. To get from the Mayflower Hotel to Hazmieh Intl. Medical Center round-trip, it's between $50-60 USD. To get to his Advanced Dermaplastics Clinic for a consultation is also another $50 USD. I haven't seen much by way of public transport, and everything is so spread out, you have to take a taxi everywhere.
The process itself was very professional. I had doctors coming in and asking me thorough questions about any potential allergies or pertinent medical problems. Most of the staff speak French and Arabic versus English, so I was very thankful that my friend understands and speaks a little bit of French, but they also got by with their English, too.
I arrived at 7:30 a.m., opened a file (paperwork) on the 1st floor, and then checked into my room on the 2nd floor. I did a blood test, had my blood pressure/temperature taken, was given an IV in my hand and 2 muscle relaxants. You have to take off all your clothes and jewelry and wear the typical hospital gown. Then, I was wheeled off to the surgery room where I was given general anesthesia and was quickly out.
I woke up about 3 hours later and returned to my room where I had to stay for 5-6 hours more without food, drink, or walking. The nurses checked in with me and continually monitored my blood pressure and changed the IV bags. 6 hours later, I was able to finally eat something (after 24 hours of fasting at this point) which was provided by the medical center. The food was a nice salad, sandwich, a small dessert, and some orange juice. If you are accompanied by family or friends, they need to prepare some food for themselves and entertainment as it will be an all day affair. There's a TV in the room and they do have Wi-fi, so that helps. Also, bring some chapstick or vaseline for your lips as you have to breathe through your mouth.
The procedure went fine. He ended up not having to do a graft, fixed my septum, and reduced the bulbous cartilage tip. Because the bridge of my nose already had a good angle, he didn't need to break any bones, so I didn't experience any bruising. I haven't been in any extreme pain. It's mostly just been discomfort of my nose being taped up and not being able to breathe through it and difficulty chewing/swallowing. My nose has major pressure as if I had a bad sinus infection and was really congested and my mouth is really dry from always being open. I've felt groggy all day and I have a travel neck pillow to assist with my sleeping tonight.
Items I got from the pharmacy: painkillers, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents, and sea water nasal spray.
I have to return in about 2-3 days time to have the sutures removed, so more updates to come soon.
So far, I like Dr. Charbel's work. He seems to be incredibly busy, so he may not be very quick in responding, but he comes across as comfortable and confident about his visions/plans.
3 day Post-Op
My nose has had a lot of pressure the past 2 days. I was surprised that I was able to minimally chew food even on the day of surgery. I'm still very careful about taking small bites and not overdoing it. When I swallow, I can feel the pressure in my nose. Sometimes, spontaneously, my nose will feel like it's swelling with pressure. The doctor says this is normal and I'll feel better once the nasal packing is removed.
The second day I started to have red bruising around my right eye and my eyes have been really swollen. The first night I barely slept but last night was better (my body was probably exhausted). Other than around my eye, I haven't experienced bruising elsewhere. I did develop a sore throat last night and a slight earache. (probably from always having to keep my mouth open to breathe) I didn't seem to have any side effects from the general anesthesia. No vomiting or anything. I was a little dizzy on the first day, but when I got up to walk around the center, the nurses were asking me to slow down. lol.
So far, so good. Tonight I will go to Dr. Charbel's clinic to have the packing and stitches removed.
4 days Post-Op
The nasal packing was removed last night. It feels SO strange. I didn't realize how deeply and how much packing there was until he pulled it all out! What a relief, though. My sore throat and earache that had developed was because my nose was closed off from the packing. So, today even though I still can't fully breathe through my nostrils as they are a bit congested... I feel more natural without all that packing stuffed in there.
I only took one pain killer the 1st day after surgery, but after that, there wasn't really a need. My bruising was very minimal. In fact, after taking the packing out, my bruising has started to heal. Today it has a yellowish appearance and the redness is subsiding.
I am to continue taking my antibiotics morning and night for the next 5 days and I am using a sea water nasal spray to try and keep my nasal passages clean so that I don't have to blow my nose. I can finally taste food again! Yaaaaaaay!
On Tuesday, in 4 more days, I will have the stitches removed at his clinic. Then, I fly out on Thursday to enjoy the rest of my summer vacation. I still haven't seen the full effect yet because the splint hasn't come off but I can already see a big difference in the size of the tip of my nose and I'm excited to see what's to come.
I'm also very thankful that my healing process wasn't very painful or severe.
Splint Off, Looking Good
Last night I had my last visit at Dr. Charbel's clinic. He removed the sutures, tape, and splint. He cleaned my nasal passages and used a Q-tip to push the nostrils out to their normal position (after being squeezed together from the splint). It's amazing how different and how much better the shape is already, and it's only been about a week since I had the surgery!
He showed me how to use some sterile tape, in which I've been instructed to use for the next 3 weeks, but I can now resume to normal life (washing my hair and face properly).
Here are updated pictures showing my front and side profiles the day of surgery and how my nose looks just one week after. Final results may not be seen until 6 months to a year after, but I'd say there are big improvements already.
If you're thinking about doing this, make it happen. I wish I had done this a decade ago!
No Tape...See the Shape!
the shape of my nose from front/side view as of today... i also cut my hair so that made a difference in appearance, too
Still Lovin' the Nose
16 Jan 2015
7 months post
It's been 6 months since my surgery. I still love my new nose and it's funny how you sort of 'forget' how you looked before the changes. When I look at old pictures, I'm reminded of why I did it and how grateful I am that I made changes for myself. I've received so many compliments from friends or strangers alike who say that they never would have guessed I had surgery because my nose looks so natural. I've attached a photo from my 3 month post-op and it looks the same now as it did in this photo.
So, for me, my healing process was quick and minimal... and I couldn't be happier.
It's now been 672 days since my operation. Swelling is now completely gone and I am still so happy with the results. People can't believe pictures of my nose when I show them the before pictures. Not looking back! :)