You Have to Be Very Patient If You're Having Rhinoplasty Surgery
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
When I was born, I think god smacked me in the nose because it sure looked that way. The bridge of my nose was thick and appeared as a bump from the side. I wasn't bothered by it until the end of high-school, when I felt like it really put a damper on my appearance. I was very against having rhinoplasty surgery for the longest time. I was scared to go under general anesthesia and was worried about the surgeon turning me into Michael Jackson. I told myself I would rather live with a bump on my nose than look like a scary freak.
My tune towards a rhinoplasty procedure changed when my best friend's dad, a facial plastic surgeon in my town, told me the defect on my nose was an easy fix. He said the bump could be rasped down and promised that I would not look like Michael Jackson. My friend and I had been buddies since we were little kids and I knew his dad well. He always seemed like a good person and I trusted him. I thought I'd take him up on his offer to have a initial consultation at his office.
At his office, he had this machine called Vectra 3D imaging and it took pictures of my nose and then we sat down and discussed the changes I wanted. He was able to show me what my new nose would look like after the surgery. It was a pretty cool process. I was looking at a 3D image of my face and I really liked what I saw. I thought to myself it would be pretty sweet if that was what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I still had to go through surgery though and was told the recovery time from a rhinoplasty could take up to a year. Did I really want to put myself through all that? I wasn't sure. I told my friend's dad the truth and said I was still unsure and would think about it.
Six months went by before I was able to convince myself I wanted to fix my nose. In that time period, I looked over a lot of before and after photos, researched what could go wrong and kept scaring and then convincing myself I should do it. My decision ultimately came down to me knowing I was going to question not fixing my nose every day of my life until I died if I didn't do it.
Let's Do This
My friend's dad gave me a big break on the price of the surgery. I believe he didn't charge me for his time, only for anesthesia, the OR fee and some other small charges. My surgery was years ago so it's a bit difficult to remember the exact price but I think it was $4500.
My surgery was in a surgical facility on the lower floor of his office. I got there in the morning, had to fill out some papers, got changed into a gown, was given a cap to place on my head, had some basic vitals checked and then the surgeon came in and we went over what I wanted my nose to look like. It was very comforting knowing the doctor and he assured me all would go well. I sure hoped so! This was the middle of my face we were talking about here. I couldn't cover up a bad nose!
Then it was time to walk into the OR and that's when things got real. I felt this sudden calm over me, kind of like 'I made this decision, this is real life and it's too late to turn back now. I was putting all the trust in the doctor.' I had waited a long time for this day and here I was about to go under the blade. Good thing I couldn't think too much longer before the white goo the anesthesiologist put into my IV hit me. Boom and I was out!
When my eyes opened, I was in a recovery room and it was only me and a nurse. The first thing that came to my mind was how dry my mouth was. I asked the nurse if I could have something to drink and she said no. She offered me this flavored pop thing that was disgusting. It tasted like a cotton swab coated in sugar. One lick of that and I was willing to live with dry mouth for a few more hours.
I think I was in recovery for an hour or so before my parents came to get me. You heard that correct...my parents dropped me off like a sack of potatoes and came back only when called. I don't think they were overly concerned that I was having a nose job. Too Beverly Hills 90210. It was still surgery though! That alright, I still love them. They raised me well.
I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror of the car. My nose was all bandaged and I looked like I had been in a fight with Rocky Balboa, but I wasn't feeling bad. I didn't have a headache or anything, which I had read some people get. Surprisingly too, while my nose was very swollen, I didn't have any bruising at all under my eyes. Still to this day, I don't know why that was the case. Almost all of the rhinoplasty experiences I had read online told stories of people with horrible under eye bruising. That wasn't the case for me. My nose on the other hand was so fat.
First Week of Recovery
My first week recovering was okay. No pain, but the pain killers helped me sleep ( I think I was on Vicodin). The two worst things were the way I looked and that I could only breathe through my mouth becauseof the cotton plugs in my nose. I'm a nose breather, so mouth breathing sucked. It dried out my throat quicker and I found myself drinking more water than I normally did. I would say looking horrible was worse than breathing through my mouth though. I did not want to be seen by anyone for the first few weeks but especially the first week. Good thing I was on the summer break my freshman year of college when I had it done. If I had to return to work after a week, I would have been pretty upset.
When my bandages were first removed, I wondered what I had done to myself. My nose was fat and my nasal bridge looked different. The bump was gone but it looked so darn thick. I was reassured that this was all swelling and it would take a few months for me to have a good idea of what my nose would ultimately look like. I put trust is my friend's dad as a good rhinoplasty surgeon, so I figured I had to believe him when he said everything looked good and I had to be patient. What was another few months at this point?
6 Months of Recovery:
The months after my surgery were not 'feel good times.' I had a fat nose and since I had an open rhinoplasty, I had a red line at the base of my nose that I had to wait a long time for it to fade. I even admittedly used coverup on it in the earlier months, because I wanted to hide it from people.
Over these 6 months, I oscillated between 'I look good and I feel happy' to 'I look horrible and I have no self-confidence at all.' I suffered from some body dysmorphic for sure. The nose I had known for 19 years of my life and looked at almost every day was different now. It was going to take time to get used to it.
As the healing process progressed, I reached this point where I started to like my nose. As the swelling went away and my nose got more defined I started to not regret my nose surgery. My sister even complimented me and said if she needed a nose job, she would have gone to the same surgeon. Life felt like it was turning around for me.
A Year Later and Beyond:
I'm happy I had a rhinoplasty. I was left with the good results I had hoped for. No one can tell I had surgery on my nose, I don't mind having my picture taken anymore and think all of my facial features look better with my new nose. It's like the attention used to be drawn to my busted nose and now I feel as though people see my whole face. I had a lot of ups and downs during my rhinoplasty experience and I think you should expect the same. Just please make sure you go to a good surgeon because I've read too many horror stories of poorly trained doctors butchering people. I don't want to see that happen to you, but also remember that doctors are humans. They do make mistakes. And remember that it will take your body a long time to heal. Don't try and find another surgeon to fix what you think is a bad rhinoplasty 2 months after your surgery. You have