My Experience Getting a Rhinoplasty in Bulgaria
My name is Elena, I am a 24 year old woman from Canada and in 2014 I had a rhinoplasty in Bulgaria.
The size of my nose was always a big insecurity of mine for as long as I can remember. When I was a young child I had a cute little nose, as all kids do, until puberty hit and it began to change. By the time I was in my teens I was feeling incredibly self-conscious, and would constantly compare my nose to those around me. I would feel so sad looking at other girls with cute little noses with a swoop, or perfectly straight noses. Even speaking to people and being social began to get uncomfortable to the point where I developed social anxiety. I would constantly be self-aware of what angle people would look at me from, I would never stand in between two people during a conversation as they would be looking at my profile, and my mind would be non-stop calculating how to turn my head. Anytime I had my pictures taken or looked at videos of myself I would get people to delete them, or be very careful about finding the perfect angle to tilt my head to. It was exhausting.
I believe that whenever something begins to affect your mental health and impede on your life daily, it's time for a change. I have always felt that plastic surgery is a great route as long as it is a decision made with introspective, a healthy mindset, and thorough knowledge of the risks involved. For two years before I made the decision I researched doctors, watched rhinoplasty videos, educated myself on post-op care, read people's reviews on their own experiences and mentally prepared myself.
In the winter of 2013 I made the decision to go for it. I am Bulgarian, and I travel back there very often. I have a family member who is in the health industry and knows really good doctors. So once I found Dr. Angel Enchev and thoroughly researched his website, we spoke on the phone and I booked a consultation. A few months later in 2014, I arrived in Bulgaria for my usual summer trip, this time booking 4 months for adequate recovery time before I flew back to Canada. I had my consultation in which the doctor made me feel incredibly at ease, and reassured me that he would give me a nose that is in proportion to my facial measurements and structure.
Due to the fact that I was travelling a long way, everything went very fast (for which I am glad - it gave me very little time to freak out and get nervous!).
A few days later I had my surgery. On the day of the surgery, I had several allergy tests done to determine whether I was healthy to take all of the anaesthetics and medications usually used and prescribed. Turns out I was allergic to one of the anaesthetics. I am so incredibly grateful and glad that I had these tests done. I highly urge anyone else with known allergies or who suspects allergies, to get extensive testing done prior to their surgery. It could save your life. Make sure to inform your doctor of any concerns or doubts you have and don't be shy.
This was my first surgery but I was so calm, my mind almost couldn't fathom it because I am an overthinker who gets anxious in situations like this usually. The staff, nurses and surgeon made me feel so at ease, so cared for, and like I was in the best hands possible. They were incredibly attentive to my needs.
Before surgery, I took my jewelry off, was given a gown and had an IV drip put in.
Shortly after the drip, I was taken into the surgery room for my surgery. I don't remember falling asleep from the anesthetic, and felt very at ease. From what I remember, I had a closed rhinoplasty that lasted about an hour and a half.
Waking up from the anesthesia was uncomfortable and an entirely new sensation, but nothing unbearable. I remember throwing up when I woke up, but that is a normal reaction. I stayed overnight (this is routine procedure in Bulgaria, and I think most of Europe) and the nurses cared for me in helping me go to the bathroom and ensuring I wasn't in pain. The next day I was able to go home.
Recovery wasn't as bad as I had originally anticipated. I was allergic to the very strong pain killers they prescribe, so I had to take regular Tylenol/Paracetamol. I have a high pain tolerance so this was ok for me, but the first day it was definitely a whole new level of pain, after which it began to get better. I am glad I did not use strong pain medication as I always prefer to go the natural route as often as I can.
After about 2 days I had the packing taken out which was probably the most painful part of the whole experience. After 10 days the cast was taken off, and after another 5 days or so, the nose strip was taken off (it just helps to evenly disperse swelling I believe). After having that taken off, my nose was undoubtedly covered in blackheads as my skin hadn't had a chance to breathe in over 3 weeks.
As far as I can remember, I was able to blow my nose very very gently after 3 weeks, but was still not wearing sunglasses as that can be quite heavy in the first month. Sutures were coming out gradually as well as blood clots, and other unpleasant stuff but it was satisfying knowing that my body was beginning to cleanse.
My eyes were slightly bruised, they started out bluish green, and transitioned into yellow. That part healed up fast. The longest lasting side effects were my sensitive eyes. They were watering and burning for about a month after my surgery. This is because rhinoplasty is so close to your eyes and the sensitive nerve endings near them, so I was told this reaction was normal. I used simple cortisone eyedrops daily, and they began to clear up.
My nose was very swollen after the cast and bandage came off, but it was perfectly straight, and the tip was smaller, my nostrils were smaller, and it was lifted. As time went on the tip slightly dropped (the same way breasts drop after breast augmentation), and my nose began to take shape. The numbness along the bridge was prominent in the first month, but my sensitivity began to return gradually over the course of the next few months.
I am so incredibly happy I made this decision. It genuinely changed my life and boosted my confidence tenfold. I still can't believe photos and videos of myself when I look at them, especially when I see my new profile. But I also can't remember that I ever had the nose I did before my surgery. I am very happy with my decision to go with Dr. Enchev.
I really hope this helps anyone on their journey of making the decision to have a rhinoplasty. Make sure to educate yourself and thoroughly research doctors. When you meet the right doctor, you will know. Good luck!