My Rhinoplasty Changed My Life
My name is Audrey Wilson, and I had a Rhinoplasty Nasal Surgery at 17 years old. I was born and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. The main reason for this surgery was to fix the symmetry of my nose, while opening up my airways and cauterizing my nose.
Back in 2015, I ended up breaking my nose pretty badly while cheerleading, and since had experienced partial breathes, migraines and discomfort. My constant issues and pain lead to a consultation with Dr. Jason Gray, which aided me to understand what had happened to my nose. He explained what he would do to make me feel as good as I did before the accident, then drew me pictures of cartilage placements he would perform, and what kind of issues he thought I was facing, and how he would fix them. Pictures of my nose were taken and recorded with him ( I do not have these but I took some of my own.) At the end of the consultation, he told me that I would be on a wait list and that it would take up to 2 years to get in, due to the fact that my surgery would be paid for through my insurance, I believe, because the injury happened at a sport.
Fast forward, I got a phone call in December of 2017 from his office letting me know of two dates that I could book my surgery for. I was so excited, as I had been waiting so long for this day. The receptionist on the phone said I could either have February 29th, 2018, or sometime in June. This was my senior year, so graduation and prom were right around the corner; which made my decision of taking February 29th easy. I then answered a questionnaire (mandatory health questions) over the phone with a nurse from Vancouver Island Health, and made an appointment with my family doctor for my pre-operation appointment. The Pre-opt appointment must be done at least 3 months before the scheduled surgery date, so it was all falling perfectly into place. At this appointment, my doctor examined my height, weight, and asked me a couple questions regarding my health which didn’t take more than 15 minutes.
Fast forward to the day before surgery. My mind was so jumbled thinking about this surgery finally happening. I had been waiting for so long and it was moments away. Personally, I had never been put under anesthetic or had any type of surgery done before, so as you could imagine I was very nervous of the unknown. Following pre-surgery requirements, I woke up early and had a glass of water and half a cup of coffee. My Grandma brought me to the Hospital where I was getting the surgery done, and we went to the surgical floor with the paperwork needed. At around 10 am I got my surgery gown, robe and little boot/sock things. I proceeded to sit in a hospital bed in a large room with curtains where patients are in holding before or after surgery until 1 pm. No cell phone or anything to do, so I highly recommend bringing at least two hair ties to braid your own hair for fun! Nurses came in and out asking me questions here and there about what I drank in the morning and other repetitive health questions. Closer to 1 pm, one of the surgical nurses had looked very familiar to me. She ended up coming to my bed and she was an old family friend! I was so amazing to have someone by my side who I grew up with and knew. My anxiety went from 10 to 4 when she got to me. This nurse ended up wheeling me into the operation room and held my hand when I got my IV ( I hate needles ! ) I was in very good hands with all of the nurses and Doctors during my visit at the hospital. My last memory before being put under anesthetic was asking the nurse if the sedation smelt really bad or if it was pleasant and she told me that some say it smells like rotten potatoes- I laughed and said I bet it doesn’t, and then blank.
Post-surgery, I woke up in different room than the one I was in waiting before the surgery, first thing I did was look at the clock on the wall infant of me, then an intense sense of dry mouth overwhelmed me. I couldn’t talk, and was still extremely loopy, but the kind nurse beside me gave me a moisture stick which tasted like mint which was amazing. A sense of pressure filled my head and body. I then got wheeled into the original room I was waiting in about 40 minutes after I woke up. My nose was bleeding obviously a lot, so nurses were coming up to me to change my drip pad under my nose about every 5-10 minutes until 8:15pm. Before leaving the hospital, Dr. Gray came in and told me the surgery went perfectly and information about taking out packing the next day at 12 pm. He was very nice and thorough. After leaving, I went to the drug store to get Tylenol 3 for the pain (at this point I felt loopy and stuffy.) I followed all instructions my doctor gave me and went home. I highly recommend having an airplane pillow, chapstick and a glass of water with a straw next to your bed for when you get home from the surgery, to be prepared for the first night. The biggest discomfort at night was being able to breath out of my mouth because I had always used my nose. Your lips and tongue become sandpaper and are super uncomfortable.
The next day, I had to take out the packaging inside my nostrils. Packing is long pieces of gauze crumpled up and stuffed into the nostrils for whatever reasons, I assume it’s to stop the bleeding. This was the most pain I had felt so far- the Doctor recommended having a pair of scissors handy which I had, to lightly tug on the gauze bit by bit and snipping it off to get at different angles. This process took me a total of 45 minutes. I also used q-tips to wedge out the gauze. Once getting it all out, the pressure I had been experiencing completely released and my head felt 20 pounds lighter. Recovery wasn’t that bad for me, I ate a lot of jello and chicken noodle soup. At my post-operation appointment a week later, I got my little nose cast taken off and the Nurse said It was healing great. The swelling was high but I didn’t get as much bruising under my eyes as I did when I originally broke it. I found that my skin was extremely full and hydrated for at least 3 days after the surgery from the IV fluids they gave me at the hospital. About one and a half weeks post-surgery, I began to see a couple stitches fall out, and they continued till about the 3rd week. I found huge clumps of crusty blood and liquids from my nose come out with the stitches as well, I can attest this is a gross sight but it feels so good to take a full, deep breathe again.
This experience thoroughly changed my life and I am so happy to say I am almost 3 months post operation! The swelling is also all gone, I just have some tenderness and sensitivity in the tip and bridge. If you’re contemplating on getting this surgery I highly recommend. My experience with Dr. Jason Gray was stellar and I wish everyone the experience I had.