34 Years-old Female, UK, Going to Poland for Rhinoplasty - Wroclaw, Poland

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One of the reasons I want to write about my...

One of the reasons I want to write about my experience on Real Self is it's another way of pushing myself into actually going through with it! Posting on here makes it a little more real, somehow.

Unlike many people on this site, I haven't always despised my nose - in fact, I don't hate it now, despite the fact that I bet it's 'worse' (wonky, massively long etc) than most people's (like actual fact). I dunno, I kinda had other things on my mind for 34 years! This is despite several people making comments ... ('wow, you have a MASSIVE nose!', 'I've drawn a picture of you with your massive nose,' 'Your nose looks like a ski jump!'- and this, from an ex - 'I wonder if people think I've beaten you up when they see your nose'... oh, more are coming to memory as I write! 'What Happened to your nose?' and 'If it wasn't for nose, you could have been a model.' Yes, the comments have all stung a bit at the time, but I always tried to brushed it off. I mean, it's just a nose, right?

It wasn't until I was about 30 that I started to think about doing something about it. I remember randomly going through a load of digital photos on my computer (I rarely look at photos, and often dodge photos to avoid embarrassing nose shots!) and was just appalled at how I looked. In my head, I think I looked much better than I actually did. So I had an appointment with one of the highstreet plastic surgery clinics in London, and was quoted £5.5K to 'fix' it. But I just thought, realistically, I can't justify spending that kind of money on inflicting pain on myself. I also looked into surgery abroad in Hungary, and was quoted far cheaper (£2.5k), but I wasn't really brave enough to go through with it, so I shelved the idea.

Roll on four years, and I get engaged, and the same thoughts of getting my nose 'done' come to the surface. I just can't bear the idea of people taking pictures of me at my wedding later this year (Nov) when I've got this ugly, massive nose! So I started researching again, and came across a clinic in Poland that seemed to be offering rhinoplasty for 2K GBP. And with a reputable website and good reviews! Too good to be true?

I told my boyfriend (sorry, fiance!) about my thoughts of getting a nose job. I was so nervous - I've never mentioned to anyone about my self-consciousness before (my theory was don't draw attention to things you don't like about yourself) - but he was really supportive and said he loved me how I am but if I wanted to do it, he'd come with me to hold my hand. This gave me a bit of a push into contacting the clinic.

My first email to the clinic was ignored, so I emailed them again a few days later with photos and they came back to me the same day, saying they'd pass them onto the surgeon, Adam Kalecinski, and give me a reply in three working days. True to their word, I got a reply. It was brief, saying something like 'you are suitable for rhinoplasty' and that they could straighten my nose, shorten it, and do minor refinement of my tip - the rest of the email was generic.

Despite the correspondence from the clinic being pretty impersonal - definitely 'to the point' - and there not being many reviews for rhinoplasties by the clinic on this site (not to mention the worries about it being in another country!!!) I decided: what the heck. I'm going to book it.

The way I look at it is this: the surgeon is UK-trained, has done over 1,000 rhinoplasties in his career, and it's something he does week in, week out. I'm not looking for the 'perfect' nose - I haven't got pictures cut out of magazines to show him and say 'I want that one' - I don't think it works like that. This might come back to haunt me, but I think a surgeon can only work with your existing nose and I just want mine to look 'normal' ie straight, and in proportion with my face. I would hope any plastic surgeon would be able to achieve this.

I also have read several reviews on this site of nose jobs gone wrong, irrespective of the money people have spent. I think a lot of it is to do with how your nose is, and how well it can cope with the surgery, rather than who necessarily does it (although I appreciate there are surgeons who specialise in facial surgery, who would probably more experienced etc). But, I'm willing to risk it, although I hope I don't come to regret it. Please don't let me regret it! (Incidentally, I've heard Dr Kalecinski has a Facebook page with thousands of before and afters, which I must check out. This definitely gives me hope that he's legit and above board etc.)

The other deciding factor of going ahead with the surgery now is that I will have just come to an end of a work contract a few days before I get it done, which means I will have the time to recover without having to go back to work, and all the embarrassment of people noticing etc. It means I can recover in private and when I find a new job, hopefully I'll be new and improved and no-one will know what came before.

So the surgery is 9th March. I fly out from the UK Monday 7th March, will have a day in Wroclaw with my fiance to prepare myself (ie buy food for the apartment we're renting off Airbnb, find out where the clinic is etc) before surgery on the Wednesday. The flights were only £40 return each, and the apartment is £215 for nine nights. The taxi from the airport is included in the surgery cost, but subsequent taxis will be on a meter (but cheap - this is Poland).

The only thing left to do was tell my mom. I was absolutely terrified, but knew I HAD to tell her. I didn't feel like it was really happening before I told her. So I called her last night, so scared, and she was amazing (bear in mind I'd never mentioned feeling self-conscious about my nose to anyone). She said she understood me wanting to get my nose straightened (I didn't really tell her I was getting it made shorter too!) and she supported me. She was a little concerned about me going to Poland, but she said as long as it was above board and my partner was with me, she supported me.

Now it feels real, and I'm much more positive about it, that I will actually go through with it now, rather than it being a fantasy in my head. The more people know, the harder it will be to pull out too, but I'm not planning on telling too many more people (apart from on here, ha!). I am also extremely nervous. I hate pain. I hate needles. I'm also scared of it going wrong, as I've read some have on this site. However, I know the overwhelming response of people having rhinoplasty is 'worth it', so I'm focusing on that rather than what could go wrong.

I will post some before pictures up at some point. Not just yet, though. Baby steps! I'm very shy.

One month to go!

So it's exactly a month today until I get my rhinoplasty! I'm finding that I'm getting a bit obsessed with going onto this site and reading endless stories about how good/not so good people's experiences have been, both in terms of rhinoplasties generally as well as Adam Kalecinski's past patients, including those who've had other procedures other than nose jobs.

I have to say, there are a few bad reviews of Adam Kalecinski's, and that has worried me a bit. I also find the contact I've had with the London team on email has been so-so. For example, I've been told to turn up to the clinic at 8am on the day of surgery, so I asked them whether they could give me an idea of when my surgery would be. Most people who have surgery know what time they will be operated on, and no doubt this helps them mentally prepare for what is, for many, a scary procedure. To my question, I got the response: 'after 8am.' I didn't find this satisfactory. I know it'll be after 8am! So I asked again if they could be more specific, and I got the reply that the time of surgery would be determined on the day. Would it really be too much trouble for them to say something like: 'Adam normally does two procedures a day, so you'll likely be either 10:30 or 14:30...' Perhaps Adam does decide on the day, depending on who turns up (maybe they have a high percentage of 'no-shows'?), or how complicated each person's procedure is (I think I read one past patient say her rhino was first of the day because Adam said it was simple), but a little explanation wouldn't go amiss.

I've read a number of people saying this clinic is poor on the communication side of things. I hope it isn't a sign of things to come...

Adding some pre-rhino pics

Here are some pre-surgery shots - these are the ones I've sent the clinic.

Four days to go... feeling nervous

So I’ve not posted for a while as I’ve been pretty busy with other stuff. There’s a lot going on in my life at the mo.

Unfortunately I can’t say I’ve been any more impressed with the communication of this clinic over the last few weeks. In fact, I was extremely stressed out yesterday and wondering whether the whole thing was actually going ahead when I failed to get a response to the third unanswered email I’d sent to them. I was just hitting a wall of silence. So yesterday I left an urgent voicemail, posted on the clinic’s Facebook page to ask if anyone else had had problems contacting them, and sent a text asking them why I wasn’t hearing anything back. In my head I was thinking: perhaps they’ve been closed down!

I got a text back this morning saying they’d not received my previous emails and that everything was still set to go ahead next Wednesday. I don’t know how my emails could have simply disappeared, as I had replied in line to a previous email from them… I think if I hadn’t paid for flights and accommodation, I would have cancelled this by now. (To be fair to them, however, when I checked the email address that I replied to, it looked as though there was a dot missing, so I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe something did go amiss. That said, they did receive my initial email with my questions as they responded saying Dr K was on holiday and would reply on his return. I never got that reply, so my questions remain unanswered.)

Anyway, I feel nervous today for the first time in a while (I was really nervous when I booked it). I don’t feel worried about the surgeon and his ability – I think I’ve read enough good reviews to know he’s good at what he does – but the reality of what I’m about to do is setting in. And getting that text confirming it’s still on has made it all the more real. I just can’t believe the date is almost here. Goodness knows how I’ll cope on the actual day. I still wish I knew when exactly on Wednesday the surgery will be. But perhaps it’s better not to know, so I can’t fret about it.

I wonder if anyone else feels like they can’t believe it’s about to happen. Like, I just can’t believe that I’ll have had a nose job in a week’s time. Am I in denial or something?! I've had this nose for 34 years. What if I look completely different?

In terms of preparation, I’m taking some warm clothes that button up at the front (won’t easily be able to put things over my head), I bought arnica tablets and cream, a hot/cold press, paracetamol, lozengers, stool softeners (at another RS person’s suggestion) and face wipes (as I can’t imagine I’ll be able to wash my face for a while). I’m also bringing boxset DVDs, a colouring book, magazines and my Kindle. Oh, and I’ve bought a baseball cap to wear, although I think I’ll look pretty stupid wearing it in this weather (it’s cold in Wroclaw!)

I’m not sure I’ll get to post before my surgery again as I think I’m going to be too nervous. But, if it all goes to plan, I’ll do so from the other side. Please, please, please – if you’re reading this before Wednesday – send me positive vibes to Poland. I’d really appreciate it!

Tomorrow’s the day! (GULP!)

OK, so I said I probably wouldn’t write again before my surgery but I wanted to update this before I go in tomorrow.

The last couple of days I’ve been super paranoid about catching a cold (as I believe surgeons won’t do rhinoplasty if you have one) to the point where I’m freaking out every time I have a snuffle or my throat feels a little dry. I woke up in the middle of the night two days ago, my heart racing, terrified I was going to be ill (I think it was all in my head). To be fair, I have had a bit of a dicky tummy. I wonder if it’s a result of me starting to take the arnica tablets. I’ve also had a headache the last couple of days, but that might be because of the stress.

Yesterday, the day we came to Wroclaw, I felt really, really nervous. We flew from Stansted with Ryanair at 8:25pm. I haven’t been to this airport in ages, but it’s actually really nice! Lots of shopping and places to eat. We thought the flight might be empty, being a Monday night, but it was full. The flight took 1 hour, 40 minutes – no time at all (during the flight I was desperately trying to avoid people sneezing on me!) – and Ryanair seems to have become less awful (ie not checking everyone’s luggage before they board in case they don't fit in the cage/too heavy) so that was a relief.

I was worried we might not be met by the driver of the clinic but Anna was there, friendly and efficient, ready to pick us up. She was also collecting another patient, who was absolutely lovely. This was her second time in Wroclaw at the surgery. She said that the clinic, Adam and the rest of the staff are fantastic, that it’s like being in a hotel, and that I’d love it. She said a friend recommended it to her and she’d highly recommend it to others. She also said she had a friend who had had a nose job with Adam, and he’d done a fantastic job.

I can’t tell you how much better I now feel about my surgery tomorrow. I have read many reviews from several people about the clinic, and I’ve privately contacted people on the surgery's Facebook group for feedback, but to actually meet one of his patients and for her to be so positive about the whole experience completely put my mind at ease.

We’re now in our Airbnb apartment, which is about 2Km from the surgery and 1Km away from Wroclaw centre. We went for a walk this afternoon into the town and it’s a really lovely place. Cobbled streets, pretty pastel-coloured buildings around the main square, loads of cafés and restaurants. It feels like we’re on a mini-break, although I’m not sure how much exploring I’ll be able to do after today.

Anna is picking me up to go to the surgery tomorrow at 8am. I’m sure I’ll be nervous but feeling OK at the moment, which is unbelievable to me. A little worried as I transferred the money for the operation online this morning but my bank said it wouldn’t be in the surgery account until the end of tomorrow, so hope that isn’t a problem. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for everyone’s kind words of support. Who knows, if my surgery is tomorrow afternoon, I might post something in the morning to give you an idea of my first impressions of the clinic. I hope the op is in the morning though, so I don’t have the sense of anticipation all day... Not long to go now.

First few days post-surgery...

So, I did it! Here’s how the last few days went.

Day of Surgery

We were picked up at 8am by Anna. First impressions of the clinic: modern, clean, busy. I was impressed.

Had my consultation with Dr K at 8:30am. When he showed me to his office, I could tell he was examining my face. I instantly liked him. He is calm, gentle, reassuring and honest. Marta and another person from the clinic were also in the room, as well as my fiance. I told Dr K I’d like my nose straightened, shortened and deprojected. He said he couldn’t make it perfectly symmetrical as my face isn’t (which is normal) but he could improve the appearance of my nose. That’s what I wanted to hear. He gave me a form to sign, and that was it. Consultation done – it took maybe 10 minutes tops.

I had to pay £20 for the obligatory blood test, which I did so on my credit card. (I told them I had transferred the £2K the day before, and there was no issue.) At 8:45am I had a blood test, and at 9am I saw the psychologist, who asked me a few questions about myself, career, hobbies and social life. Then I was shown to my room, which I was sharing with another lady. (It was nice to have someone to chat to who was going through the same thing. This was her second visit at the clinic - another person who's returned because she was happy with the results of her first procedure.) I was told to shower, take off jewellery, and slip on the surgical gown. Dr K came in at 10am, took pics of my nose and told me what he would be doing. At 10:20, I was in surgery.

It took approx. 2.5 hours. When I woke from the general anesthetic, I was in my bed, feeling groggy. But in no pain. Dr K told me the procedure had gone to plan. My roommate went into surgery 30 mins later, so I had the afternoon to myself. I felt cold and was shivering, so the nurses brought me a blanket. They wouldn’t give me water for 2 hours. When I did have some, it came back up again (and I’m rarely sick!) They gave me some anti-sickness medication, and then I felt a lot better. I even ate some cheese and bread at 6pm.

I didn’t sleep a wink that night, not one.

At 8am, Dr K came into the room and took off the nose drip to have a look. I can’t remember what he said exactly, but it was something like it looked good and I wasn’t as swollen as he’d expected, so that made me feel encouraged, happy and relieved. He then discharged me and asked me to come back the following day.

Day 2

Today is when the swelling and bruises started, all around my eyes. I made sure I kept my head elevated, that I took my arnica tablets, and that I used the cold compress on and off all day. Felt pretty yuk, to be honest, but was in no real pain (I took one paracetamol every eight hours as I was getting a few twinges).

The main feeling was boredom - you don’t feel well enough to do anything, but you’re bored at the same time. Our apartment has TV, but all the channels are Polish, so I spent my time reading a magazine and book, and I did a bit of colouring-in. I managed to have a shower in the evening, brush my teeth, and even shave my legs, which made me feel more human.

Despite having had no sleep the night before, and very little the day before, I didn’t doze at all during the day. So I went to bed early and managed to sleep pretty much the whole way through the night. I was worried I’d have a horrendously sore throat by this point, particularly with having to sleep with my mouth open, but it’s completely fine. My lips are very dry, though, so lip balm is a must!

Day 3

True to rhinoplasty form, I woke up looking like a chipmunk today! My face is very swollen, particularly my cheeks - I don’t recognise myself! Despite appearances, I feel better than yesterday.

We were picked up to go to the clinic at 9:30am, and this was the day I was DREADING – when they take your packing out. I’ve read this is really painful, so I was frightened. But Dr K just has this calm manner about him, and he did it so quickly it was over in a jiffy. He also said he felt very optimistic about my results. He said that even now he can see a real difference, which makes me feel pleased and quite excited.

I was expecting to feel much better after the packing came out – everyone says you feel way less congested – but I feel pretty much the same, if not a bit more twingy. However, I feel well enough to eat a bit, have cups of tea, and finally update this blog, so I must be on the mend.

It’s been a rollercoaster few days but I think I’m through the worst part. I know recovery will take time, and I won’t see the full results for months, but I’m feeling positive. What I will say is this: so far, I can’t speak highly enough of the treatment I have received at the clinic – it really has been first rate. Every single member of staff has been kind, courteous and highly professional, and Dr K is all I could have ever wished and hoped for. I’m looking forward to Monday (day five) to when the cast comes off, and I can actually see what’s under these bandages. Hopefully I’ll be as impressed!

Photos post-surgery

Day 1, 2 and 3

Day 3

Day 3

Cast Off!

The last few days have been pretty quiet. The routine has been to get up each morning and go to the clinic for a check-up, and then come home and rest. I’ve found it a comfort to know I’m getting my nose looked at every day by the nurses, and it’s good to get up and out of the flat, even if we only came straight back again.

All the other people who’ve had their surgery at the clinic also go at the same time, so you end up chatting and finding out all sorts of things about the other patients. The vast majority come from the UK, and most have had nose jobs. Compared to them, I seem to have come off pretty lightly for some reason. My face was pretty swollen a couple of days post-op, but it soon went down. I also seem only to have minimal bruising. Not sure if this is because of luck, arnica, the cold press, or genes.

Yesterday was five days post-op, and the day my cast came off. I was super nervous, petrified about what I would see. My finance said that it couldn’t be that bad, as even with the cast my nose looked smaller and straighter. I just know that a lot of people who see their new noses for the first time freak out and hate it, either because it looks too big, or piggy, etc. So I was totally prepared for the worst.

When Dr K took the cast off and told me to look, I barely dared, and it took me a little while to do so. But when I did, I couldn’t believe it. It was this small, straight nose. It looked like it belonged on my face. It didn’t even look swollen – I was staring into the face of how I should always have looked.

The Dr then taped me back up and a nurse took out my stitches. (I won’t go into how much of a baby I was about this!)

I think I was in a bit of a daze for the rest of the day.

My finance can’t believe how good a job Dr K has done. He says it’s completely transformed my face - my profile is straight, my nose is small (!), and there’s no overhanging tip anymore. I almost can’t believe it either and, to be honest, I’m still not able to accept it. I’m still worried the nose will deviate back (there is a chance this can happen) and people get lumps and bumps that show up after a few weeks and months etc...

I know the nose is still swollen (you can see at the top of the bridge and the tip) but if I could, I’d take it as it is now. I didn’t expect him to deproject it as much as he did, as I’ve read several people saying he’s quite conservative in this respect, but it’s like a little ski jump (in a good way!) It just looks so cute. How is this my nose??!

It’s not all perfect, though. I’m not loving my nostrils. When I had the packing in they looked even, but one side has gone back to being smaller and flatter than the other, which I really don’t like. However, and I truly mean this, if that is the only thing I don’t like about my new nose, I’ll take that too. (And Dr K was clear from the start he couldn’t achieve symmetry, so I have to accept that.)

We fly back home tomorrow, so I’m going to take my taping off tonight so I can try and wash my face a bit and not be so conspicuous at the airport! That’s going to be scary – seeing it again, without anything covering it. Hopefully I’ll be as pleased as I was yesterday :-)

Pre-cast off and post cast (with tape) pics

Almost two weeks post op

I’ve had a manic week since I’ve come back from Poland so apologies for the lack of updates!

It’s almost two weeks since I had the op and just under a week since I took the tape off. The yellow bruising has now gone, as has a lot of the swelling around my nose. The only sign of the operation now is a small black bruise on one side of my face.

My nose looks good – Dr K did an awesome job. It’s weird, because I’ve got used to it really quickly. I’m not even checking my appearance in the mirror a lot – I’m just pleased with it. It’s like I’ve spent the last three months stressing about this operation, and now it’s over it’s a massive anticlimax. It’s like I’m over thinking about it now! I wonder if this is a normal reaction…

The only bit that I’m unsure of, as I mentioned, are the nostrils but the red scar under the nose is still visible and the tip is likely to drop a bit so I’ll reserve judgement on this. I think because the nose healed so quickly, I still have to remind myself it’s still only two weeks post op and the final result won’t be apparent for several months yet.

I’m pleased to say I can breathe out of both nostrils, although they are still a little stuffy. (This is a real relief as I was worried about the impact it might have on my breathing.) My nose is still pretty sensitive – I’ve gently bashed it three or four times, and that hurts. But I can touch it and moisturise it now. The only bit that feels a bit strange is the tip of my nose, but it’s slowly getting sensation back. And my nose has finally stopped running, which is a relief.

The one thing I have noticed is how sensitive my nose is in the cold. It’s really, really uncomfortable! Like someone is holding ice cubes on my nostrils. I’m presuming this sensation is normal, and just the cold air hitting the wound under my nose, but that’s a side effect I didn’t expect. I’m hoping this will pass soon. The other thing is how tired the op has made me. Yes, the nose is healing well but I'm still not 100% in myself. Again though, I reckon this is normal. I can't wait for another two weeks, and I can start exercising!

I’ve seen four people I know since returning from Poland, and the reaction has been interesting. My fiance’s parents commented how my nose didn’t look too swollen, but didn’t really say ‘it looks great’. And my fiance’s sister and her partner just said it was a ‘good’ job. I don’t know whether I was expecting people to be ‘OMG, you look so great, your nose is so much better, it looks so different’, or what, but I guess part of me was hoping for a more positive reaction. I don’t know if it’s because other people aren’t so aware of what my nose was like before (of course we're hyper-aware, but it doesn't mean anyone else really pays that much attention) or they don’t want to make a big deal out of it in case they sound insensitive, or what. My parents return home from holiday tomorrow, so I’m interested to hear what my mom has to say!

I'll post some more pics shortly - note I had my hair done last week so it's a lot lighter! (A tactic to detract from the nose????)

Also, thanks for all your lovely words of encouragement - it's being so helpful to me.

Update - photos

Here are some photos from day 8, 9 and 13 (today).

Four Weeks on

Just a quick update to say I am really happy with my nose at this four week stage. The swelling seems to have all gone but my nose is still a little stuffy so I guess there's still a bit to go. The tip is a lot more refined, and that has happened in the last week, really.

The turning points for me were when the scab under my nose came off (about week three) and the black mark under my eye disappeared (about three days ago) because it now doesn't look like I've had anything done. I've also got most of my energy back since the surgery, thank goodness. It still hurts if I bash my nose accidentally, but I can wash it pretty much normally now, and I almost forget I've had it done now! It's such an anti-climax, in a good way.

I thought it would be useful to post some before and after pics today, and I've got to say doing this has been pretty major. The difference in my nose is just so huge, it's crazy. My fiancee says that, especially from my profile, I look like a different person. But I still *look* like me - just a much improved version.

Believe it or not, I still haven't seen many of my friends since the op as I've been hiding at my parents' house, recovering (I'm between work). But I'm meeting up with a bunch of old school friends on Saturday, so it'll be interesting to see if they notice. I have seen one friend, and she didn't say anything - whether she noticed or not is a different matter! (Incidentally, my mom loves it! She calls is a very pretty nose. Hooray!)

I know there's still a long way to go, but if my final result is like what I've got now, I'll be so thankful to what Dr K has done for me. I wouldn't say it's given me a new lease of life or anything, but it is life changing in a way. For one thing, I'm so proud I had the guts to do this. And I'm so happy I managed to achieve these results without breaking the bank. I also no longer feel the need to shy away from cameras. I know I'm not the first person to say it, but I almost wish I'd had this done 10 years ago! Three cheers for Dr Kalecinski!

Some pics will follow...

Some updated before and after pics

Here's a selection... you'll figure out which is pre- and post!!!

Four months post op

I'm so sorry to the people who've asked me to post pictures in the last couple of months. I've moved house, changed jobs and been non-stop since I last wrote so it's taken ages to get round to it.

Nothing much to report other than to say I'm still extremely pleased with my nose! Not one person has noticed either, which they say is a sign of a good job. It's still kinda hard at the end but it feels and looks natural.

The only thing I didn't love when I first had it done were my nostrils, which seemed uneven but they're pretty symmetrical now. You can't even see the scar under the nose although I have got a little spider vein that's appeared since the surgery that I'd like to get lasered.

I know they say you can't see the final result until a year down the line but I can't imagine my nose will change much now. I hope not, cos I love it!

If you're thinking of getting your nose done, get it done with Adam Kalecinski. It'll be the best couple of grand you'll ever spend.
Adam Kalecinski

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