Ethnic (African American Rhinoplasty) with Dr. Rawnsley - Westwood, CA

I have to seriously thank and...

I have to seriously thank and everyone here for sharing their personal stories. I've been a member here for over a year, doing all my research and finally having gone through with the procedure last week on December 8, 2015. But let me back track and start from the beginning to really break down my experience and help give you insight since so many of you have shared and educated me, I feel indebted to you and to continue helping others on their quest.

I've had issues with my nose since high school (over 20 years ago). But I ignored it and instead opted for makeup techniques used to contour my nose to seemingly appear less wide and more straight as I had a hump. I eventually got into both acting and photographer in high school and told myself "ignore your nose if you end up being behind the camera". I ended up doing more photography than acting so I was happy to dismiss my thoughts about what I didn't like about my nose. That was until 3 years ago when my career took a shift and now I'm consistently working in front of the camera as a host and personality. I have good angles and I have BAD angles and I want to make sure I can "serve" a fierce face at any angle. Then began my hunt for a surgeon that shared the same aesthetics and professionalism as me. When researching the doctors I initially was looking for those that had “African American” patients. I had consultations 5 doctors which I will share in detail with you here.

First two were with both Dr. Boahene and Dr. Jason Hamilton. Both solid doctors specializing in AA Rhinoplasty. Dr. Boahene specialized in the art of subtlety. Fine tuning “Finessing” which is what I originally was going in for. I shared his portfolio with friends and family and they all said they didn’t notice anything and nagged “what’s the point of spending all that money to look essentially the same?” I still loved his skill for fine tuning so I reached out to him on several occasions to schedule a Skype consult. I will say Dr. B is without a doubt an artist and amazing with a warm and friendly personality. My biggest disappointment was with his assistant Karen. She kept getting my name wrong in emails and when I called the office the next day since Dr. B didn’t make our scheduled Skype consult she rudely told me his surgery went over and offered no customer service or resolution. I’m understanding to cancellations or even mistakes, I just wished she either 1) emailed me to tell me we needed to reschedule or 2) apologized for the miscommunication and rescheduled a later date. She did neither. I emailed Dr. Boahene to tell him I was a fan of his work but Karen didn’t want to schedule me in for a future Skype date. He replied about a month later and she emailed me asking me to fill out a form I had already filled out. Let’s just say, their lack of organization and professionalism over email and phone was enough to have me running in another direction. I look at those as signs to move onto the next. There’s no way I’m letting you cut my face open if you can’t get my name correct or show some sort of professionalism for the work you do. BYE FELICIA!
Then there was Dr. Jason Hamilton. First I was not expecting such an attractive Doc to walk into my room! I joked with my friend’s and referred to him as the “Will Smith Doc”. But back to what really matters. Dr. Hamilton made me feel comfortable despite how attractive I found him. Again, he’s another talented artist and unlike Dr. Boahene his results have more dramatic before and afters that looks noticeable yet subtle at the same time. My main reason for not going with him is he uses implants. He made it very clear he doesn’t use a patient's’ own cartilage for Rhinoplasty. This may have changed since I saw him in September 2015 but he was adamant that harvesting cartilage from other parts of the body increase the risk of keloiding in AA patients which I am and he’s seen it go wrong too many times he just avoids it completely. “WHY?!?!” You so fine though! UH! Despite his good looks and his amazing abilities I had to keep looking. For my hump I wanted to shave it down a little but mainly fill the depression above my hump to make it appear straighter which requires a filler of some sort and from my research using my own body tissue decreases the chance of infection, body rejection and overall it’s natural and will last as long as I do. I do hear he does celebrity noses which is impressive but I need that natural implant!

Then there was my consult with Dr. Hilinski. He was professional, warm, has amazing before and afters on his website but I couldn’t find Rhinoplasty reviews on him which I found shocking since he had endless photos. It made me question if they were real or fake photos which seem unlikely but I just didn’t understand why there weren’t reviews on him when his work looked so good. NEXT!

Then there was my consult with Dr. Ghavami. Now I thought I was going to go with him for my procedure. He was personable, extremely confident in the results he would give me, had an amazing website of great before and afters, has an active social media presence which I appreciated, and a lot of people referred him in the area of AA expert. My first issue was the price tag. His staff quoted me $19,000!!! Are you insane?! All the quotes I got were in the ballpark of $7000-$9000. Then his assistant said they would give me a discount only if I made a video about it. I didn’t want to make a decision based on a discount first and foremost and my next reason for my continued search was she also addressed me as the wrong name accidentally in an email. If you can make a simple mistake by addressing me as the wrong person you could potentially make bigger mistakes. NOPE! Not having it. NEXT!!!

And finally there was Dr. Rawnsley. I found out about him last and kind of by accident. I did a search on YouTube for African American Rhinoplasty and found his video of patient “Andrea” sharing her experience. I ended up going to his site and was blown away by his aesthetics and professionalism. His videos are THE BEST! I watched all of them. All his patients open the videos by explaining what they wanted and then the video would wrap with their results. He had no “style” in nose aesthetics which to me translated as respecting each patient’s request. I liked that he worked out of UCLA and was a faculty member, which to me translated as you know what you’re doing if you’re teaching. I immediately sent an email explaining what I was looking for and attached photos of what I looked like from 3 angles and photos of noses I liked. His assistant Suzanne responded. She was so caring and professional, we were able to schedule a consultation which was $150. His office is professional. I was the only one there which kind of threw me off. “Why am I the only one here? Why aren’t you busy? How often are you working?” All these questions ran through my mind. When I met him he was very cordial. Not a showy Hollywood type, very much a thoughtful articulate man. He took photos of me and digitally altered them to best reflect my request. I wasn’t completely sold on the digital imaging but I was sold on how professional he was, how professional Suzanne was and how professional their office is. I knew by the end of my consult this was the doc that would perform my rhinoplasty. He understood what I wanted, had the training down, and was exceptionally professional. Thank you Suzanne for not confusing me with another patient! I came back for a second consult since I wasn’t a fan of the digital images and I wanted to make sure we were both on the same page. He went through my front view again and again we discussed what I wanted. I had photos on my phone I shared with him and he was able to clear up all my concerns. I paid the deposit for my procedure and waited 2 months until the holidays were upon us and when I had time to go missing from the camera.

I went in on December 8th for my surgery!!! the night before I was soooo nervous. I’ve never had surgery of any kind and can’t stand needles! But the staff at UCLA Facial Center were not only nice but “real”. My first nurse was sharing that she planned to get her nose done by Dr. Rawnsley before the holidays as well. Her sharing her story really put me at ease! My anesthesiologist was so chill and cool too! Seriously the best bunch of people to have before going into surgery. It was all positive vibes. And then the man of the hour, Dr. Rawnsley. I again went over with him verbally what I wanted: hump removal, width reduction, slight tip projection, overall smooth the lines in my face so it was less bumpy and more streamlined. Doc agreed. we discussed that he would be using my ear cartilage to help with my bridge work. and then I fell asleep with my friend by side and woke up and it was all over! Just like that! The surgery was suppose to be 3 hrs and it ended up being 5 hrs. I had a severely deviated septum and my skin was somehow fused to my fatty tissue and cartilage which made it that much more challenging for him to work around. But he did it!

I woke up feeling nausea! I threw up some blood from surgery and felt better but it took me a few hours before I could leave. The staff were so very helpful. Good thing I wore a zipper hoody and slip on shoes so getting dressed was easy.

Now here's a breakdown of how each day has been going. I'm currently on Day 5 and still don't know the final results but I'm confident.

DAY 1 (post op next day): No swelling or bruising. I felt a little groggy in the morning and stayed in bed most of the day. Sleeping with my mouth open was so annoying but besides having a stuffed, bleeding, runny nose, no pain. I see my nostrils when I change my drip pad and don't like what I see. It's dried blood, swelling and stitches and my nose is a little upturned. Feeling some regret for having touched my face. Maybe the doc messed up. Maybe I’m thinking too much. Go eat some soup and go to sleep.

DAY 2: Swelling is beginning to set in. still no bruishing, stuffy head and discomfort means bed day watching Hulu and Nexflix. This time no negative thoughts or shows. Stay positive by watching light hearted shows like The Mindy Project, Scream Queens and Empire. Listen to Joel Osteen and pray for happy and healthy recovery. More soup more sleep.

DAY 3: Full blown swelling! I looked like a chipmunk!!! My eyes and cheeks were so swollen I looked like a weird cartoon character with botox. I decided to go for an early morning walk to help with blood circulation. It felt good to be walking 7AM with the cool mist on my swollen hot face. Good thing Doc wants me to come in and get the post removed from my ear where he harvested the cartilage. He thinks everything looks good. I tell myself at least I’ll look better than
my before photo but not perfect.

DAY 4: Full blown swelling and some bruising underneath my eyes. I’m sick of being stuck in my house! Decided to get out of my head by cleaning the house and stay on my feet for most of the day to help with circulation. Today's the first time i took my prescribed pain killers. I had a throbbing headache as if my head was gonna explode from my stuffy nose and swollen face!

DAY 5: Swelling is going down. This is the first time I’m beginning to actually like my nose. My uneven nostrils are beginning to even out. I don’t look so much like a little piggy anymore. The first time I feel good that I actually went through with this major decision! I went shopping today before sending my friend off, who's been watching over me for these past 5 days. I'm blessed to have good friends and a talented surgeon and staff who helped get me this seemingly great nose! Oh I forgot to mention today was my first day of eating food! It was a veggie pot pie and I think it was good. It's hard to taste things when your nose is stuffy.

DAY 6/7/8: Coming!


Swelling is almost gone! But now the sensation of feeling is coming back and I want to rip this cast off! And more than my nose my ear where the cartilage was removed is so itchy. My stitches are nearly healed. My eyes have adjusted to my new nostrils which the doc did an amazing job on. I don't have a surgery looking nose!


I didn't realize that realself lists the date of recovery so let me just give the breakdown for the rest of the days here:
DAY 7: Annoyingly Itchy is the only word to describe this! Although I'm feeling good, breathing is weird. I'm still breathing out of my mouth which is constantly dry and cold which is so odd! I'm constantly drinking tea to warm it up. But today's the last day of this cast and off to the docs tomorrow.

DAY 8: I brought my friend with me for the big day! The doc first removed my stitches and then the cast came off. My friend saw my nose first and said he was coming to Dr. Rawnsley to get his done he was so in love. I however had a mild panic attack. The doc did an amazing job, it's just I could not recognize my face without my bump. I felt my heart sink. "What have I done?!" Thank God my friend came with me which I encourage everyone to do. Bring someone you love and trust cause this was so traumatic for me. I thanked the doc and Suzanne cause they truly were professional and the results according to everyone in the room including my friend, were amazing. But I wish I was prepared for this case of "body dysmorphia". I thought my nose looked awful despite it being what I wanted and how I look when I'm wearing makeup. We left the office and my friend assured me my nose was amazing. We took photos which did help! The crazy thing is the cast just came off and I looked 100%. I spent the rest of the day feeling lost and trying to understand my feelings and why my nose looked weird to me. It's been a week and when the cast came off my nose was smelly! When I got home I exfoliated my face, went about my normal skin care routine which was soooo refreshing! I played with makeup and took some selfies to get some perspective. After all I've been through a whole lot. My nose just seems too "perfect". Do I want a perfect nose?! The mind is an interesting place. Try not to stay there.

DAY 9-11 I'm around a ton of family for the holidays wondering how they're going to react. My Mom doesn't even notice and neither does my brother! I had to come out and tell her and she loves my new nose which is saying a lot cause that woman is gifted at telling the truth. She said she noticed something was different and that I looked younger. I think the biggest shock is not seeing my bump and having a "perfect" nose with smooth lines. My nose is also still healing and slightly upturned which I know will change. But as the days progress I'm feeling better. Thank goodness Dr. Rawnsley was my doctor! My issues are not with his work (He's amazing) it's with my perception of self. Looking at a new reflection is going to take time. And I'm still healing which is hard for me to remember since I look 100%. My face will continue to change and I'm banking on time to help me process everything. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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