I have been reading a lot of reviews on Realself...
I have been reading a lot of reviews on Realself and wanted to share my own experience to hopefully help others and maybe get feedback from others in my area who have had rhinoplasties. I am undecided on my surgeon but am heavily leaning towards one in particular. If the consultation goes well, I will definitely be going with him because his office is close to where I live and he is very experienced. I have 40 more days until my consultation and then it is 4 to 6 weeks until the surgery.
I am nervous about complications from scar tissue. I had a lot of excess scar tissue after I had surgery on my hand two years ago, but I'm trying to stay optimistic because I really need a nose job. I have been told that it is unlikely that I will develop as much scar tissue in my nose as I did in my hand. I am also concerned about developing breathing problems as my nasal breathing is generally good aside from occasional nighttime stuffiness.
My nose was normal when I was a kid but got a lot bigger around middle school. I have never had severe trauma, but I have been hit in the nose multiple times, including about 4 years ago when I whacked the right side of it on the corner of a wall. Though my nose didn't bleed from that incident, it really hurt and was sore for about a week afterwards, so I think that may have caused some of the crookedness. The bridge of my nose is not straight and is higher on the left side but the right side of my tip is larger than my left. The nose generally seems to be leaning slightly to the left. The biggest problem is that my nose is overprojected and very long and pointy. I have a small, narrow face and genetic hollows under my eyes (thanks, mom). I'm also planning on getting filler injections for the hollows at my consultation in 40 days but will write another review on that.
The main reason I want a rhinoplasty is to help with my self-confidence. I had some comments about the size of my nose when I was in school but was never really bullied for it. However, I feel like my nose has actually started to look bigger over the last year or so. I think the tip has dropped slightly and it is making the nose look longer. I also think I have lost a little volume in my face so my nose is more prominent. I will add just a couple pictures now but will definitely add more later in the process.
Reality check - consultation
So I went to my rhinoplasty consultation yesterday and it gave me a dose of reality. I loved the digital edits that my surgeon made to my pictures. I'll attach the side profile. It really just looked like an improved version of me. My husband said that he thought I would look way different but it is just a some small tweaks to make my nose more symmetrical and in better proportion with my face.
That being said, the surgeon said that the surgery is actually pretty extensive. He called it a major rhinoplasty and said the surgery would probably take 2.5 hours in my case because my cartilage needs to be completely restructured. And it will have to be an open rhinoplasty because my tip will be completely redone.
The surgeon's fee alone is $8,000 plus a $500 anesthesia and $700 facility fee. The only good news as far as the price is that I DO have a deviated septum so correcting that might be covered by my insurance.
I'm torn about whether to schedule the surgery because $9,200 is a lot of money for small, albeit fantastic, changes. I haven't really saved up a lot of money because I have really only been serious about getting the rhinoplasty for about six months. I initially though I would finance it in part. I could realistically pay $4,000 right now up front and pay the rest of over a year so that I don't get charged interest, but I guess the responsible thing would be to maybe wait a year and try to save some more money. I don't want to have to make huge monthly payments. Major disappointment.
I really felt like the surgeon knew what he was talking about. He said that the asymmetry in my nose is genetic and is more obvious than some other peoples' because I have very thin skin. I was going to get tear trough injections at my appointment but he said what i need is to build up the volume in my mid-face area. So I'll probably be getting Voluma injections in the next few months. But at $900 a syringe, that's a tough pill to swallow on top of the high rhinoplasty cost. I was told I would need two to three. Does anyone have any tips for saving money for a rhinoplasty or other cosmetic procedures?
3 consultations down...
I can see why people say it's so important to get multiple opinions on rhinoplasty surgeries now! I got really different feedback from the three surgeons I consulted with. I think I have decided on Mark Rubinstein in Fairfax, VA. He is an ENT. I felt the most comfortable with him. His morphs of my nose were absolutely perfect and actually exceeded my expectations. I will probably meet with him one more time before I book the surgery... plus I need to save a little more money since he is also the most expensive surgeon I consulted with at $9800 and he doesn't accept financing. The only thing I'm not sure about is a few of the "after" photos of other patients that he showed me didn't look too good but I think maybe they were still swollen. He said that they were taken two months after surgery. The before and afters on his website were really good though.
I also had a consultation with Shervin Naderi, who I am not going to go with. He was also expensive but I didn't like that he said my nose might look wider after the surgery. That kind of defeated the purpose of the procedure for me.
The cheapest consultation I had was with George Weston at $7600. He is a general plastic surgeon. He seemed to think that my surgery would be easy and he does have a good bit of experience with nose jobs. I did the morphs with a consultant and not with him, which I didn't really like. I definitely would have preferred to do that with Dr. Weston himself, though he did agree with me on the changes I wanted to my nose when we were talking. I could do another free consultation with him so I might do that just to be sure.
This surgery is definitely happening this year, though, and I don't want to see any other surgeons. I swear I have checked out the website of every plastic surgeon in the D.C. area and there are very, very few that check off all my boxes.
4th Consultation on 5/24/17
After consultations with three other surgeons, I think I have already decided that I am going to go with Jonathan Pontell in Media, PA for my rhinoplasty. I already had a phone consultation with him and I liked everything he had to say. I just want to meet him in person to do imaging but I think my mind is already made up. I have spoken with a couple of his other patients and they seem happy with their results.
I recently got midface/tear trough fillers locally with Dr. Mark Rubinstein and he did a great job. I'm very happy and will go to him in the future for fillers, but my gut is telling me he is not the right one to do my nose. There is also the fact that Dr. Rubinstein doesn't accept financing and I don't want to pay $9800 out of pocket...
Would love to hear about anybody else's experiences with Dr. Pontell or rhinoplasty in general! :-) I'm looking to book my surgery for August/September 2017. So it is probably all I'll be thinking about for the next 3-4 months.
Surgery scheduled - feeling worried
I have scheduled my surgery with Jonathan Pontell in Wayne, PA for September 12, 2017. For some reason, I am not able to update my doctor info on here from the doctor who I thought I was going to choose.
Fixing my big, crooked nose is all I've been able to think about for the past year since my nose started to shift to the left and developed a bump on the bridge and my tip dropped after I started wearing heavy glasses. I had a nasal injury about 5 years ago so I think my nose was damaged anyway and the glasses pushed it over the edge. Plus I have started sneezing all the time and I think that has weakened my cartilage.
I have a history of social anxiety going back to middle school when boys would make mean comments about my appearance. Though I'm 28 now, I still overhear frequent comments from strangers (mostly men) about how "ugly" I am and I know it's mostly because of my nose. It's very hurtful and I can say that my social anxiety is the worst now that it's ever been.
I had to start working from home because I couldn't sleep at night knowing I would have to go out and deal with the remarks and disrespect from people. It has definitely kept me from living my life and has led to extremely low self-confidence when interacting with strangers.
I have seen a therapist about this and it really wasn't helpful as far as accepting my looks. I am still afraid of when the next comment is going to come. It's not that I really care that other people don't like me for the way I look - if they are that shallow, I don't want them in my life anyway BUT it is horribly embarrassing and makes me extremely self-conscious. If it were an occasional rude comment, it wouldn't be a big deal but this happens all the time.
Now that the surgery is booked, I mostly feel worried and sad. I don't particularly want to go through this process. I am terrified about it affecting my breathing. Even though my nose looks bad now, at least it works. However, I don't see how I can have a life without the surgery. I just stay home all the time right now.
Feeling good about this - 100 days to go!
After feeling really uncertain for a couple days after scheduling my rhinoplasty, I am feeling much better. I am just going to let things happen and hope for the best since that's all I can really do. I requested a week off work so I hope that will be enough. I work from home but my job requires a lot of talking so I hope it won't be too difficult for me.
I can't wait to get a straight nose that is in better proportion to my face! I am trying not to obsess over this every day but it's hard not to! I just hope everything turns out well and that I like it. I feel good that I have chosen a doctor with a lot of rhinoplasty experience.