Saturday, 15 July 2017

My Rhinoplasty Experience



In October 2016 I did something I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I got a nose job.

I kept quiet about it on my blog, mostly because I wanted to heal completely before I spoke truthfully about my experience. I was also a little reluctant to share my story with strangers as I know some people feel very strongly about plastic surgery. However, I can wholeheartedly say that it is the best thing I have ever done - I'm over the moon with the results and the difference in my self esteem is astonishing. Despite feeling slightly nervous about writing this at first, I've been eager to share my journey with you all... after all, blog posts like this were a massive help for me when I was conducting my research.

So... why rhinoplasty?

If you've followed my blog for a while you may have noticed that I never, ever post pictures of myself. That's because for the majority of my life I've been insecure about the way I look - especially in photos. While my sisters were both blessed with cute button noses, I unfortunately inherited my Dad's genes. My nose was very long, masculine and just far too big for my face. My nostrils were also noticeably unsymmetrical and I had a large bump on my bridge. Of course, like the majority of young girls I had various body hang-ups, but my nose was always my biggest insecurity.

My confidence hit an all time low several years ago when I started uni. My housemates and I would go clubbing three to four nights a week, and as is customary on every girl's night out, we would spend the first half of the evening posing for group selfies. I remember spending hours untagging myself from unflattering Facebook photos, and in one instance, desperately texting my friend in the middle of the night, begging her to delete a picture of the two of us she'd uploaded to Instagram. To some it must sound so petty and melodramatic, but at the time it was all I could think about. I knew that I'd never be happy with the way I looked until I got my nose fixed.

Unfortunately, a £4000+ operation was out of the question for a student with a part time job, so my dreams of a new nose were put to one side. When I graduated in 2015, I moved back in with my parents and got a job on a make-up counter. I worked with some absolutely beautiful girls, a few of which had undergone various procedures themselves - nose jobs, boob jobs, lip enhancements. It was then I realised that surgery isn't strictly for celebrities or the elite. After talking with my colleagues about their experiences, my desire for a new nose was stronger than ever. I began getting my finances in order and researching surgeons.

Research

My number one piece of advice to anyone considering a nose job (or any kind of surgery, for that matter) is to research, research, research. I spent months reading up on various cosmetic surgery companies, scrutinizing reviews and watching video diaries on YouTube. After much deliberation I decided to go with a company called Transform. In Spring 2016 I met with a patient consultant and spoke to her about the concerns I had with my nose and what I was looking to gain from the surgery. She booked me in for a consultation with a plastic surgeon for the following week.

I was told that 'closed' surgery would be appropriate for me - the bump on my bridge would be removed whilst my tip and nostrils would remain unaltered. I went away feeling slightly disheartened as I knew I wanted an 'open' rhinoplasty. After my initial consultations I did a little more research online and came across this blog post by Scarlett London. Scarlett had undergone rhinoplasty a year previous with Mr. Lahoud, one of Transform's top nose surgeons, and looked incredible. After looking at his portfolio I knew he was my guy and booked a consultation with him as soon as I could!

Mr. Lahoud was very matter of fact yet polite. He told me my bump would be removed and my bridge would be reduced to a slight curve, my tip would be made smaller and my nostrils altered to appear more symmetrical. Afterwards I met with my patient consultant where we discussed the final cost and possible dates. Once I'd gone away to think things through one last time and make sure I was able to book it off work, I called to pay the £500 deposit, which secured my bed at the hospital.

Two weeks prior to my operation I had one final health check to ensure I was fit to undergo surgery. After that it was time for the slightly nerve-wracking yet ever so exciting countdown. I'd been waiting for this moment for years and it was finally here - I couldn't wait!

Surgery

On the 6th of October I checked into Riverside Hospital in London and was shown to my private room, complete with an en-suite and TV. I was required to change into a very attractive (ha) hospital gown, hair net, compression stockings and slippers. I sat with my parents for an hour or two - we watched Bake Off (particularly torturous considering I had to fast!) and I chose my meals from the menu I'd been given. After having one final chat with Mr Lahoud, it was time for me to be taken to the operating theatre. I'd never been put to sleep before so I was beside myself with nerves, but I knew the end would justify the means - I would soon have my new nose.



Surgery usually takes around one and a half to two hours. Waking up afterwards was the most bizarre feeling; I started crying uncontrollably when I came round which was a bit embarrassing - the nurse seemed concerned that I was in pain but I think I was just a bit delirious from the anesthetic! I was wheeled back to my room where my mom and dad were waiting for me. I was very happy to discover that my appetite hadn't subsided, and I gobbled up the cheese toastie that was bought to me shortly after.

My first night post op was so uncomfortable - I don't think I slept a wink. I was unable to breathe through my nose due to packing inside my nostrils, therefore whenever I dozed off I woke within five minutes gasping for water. I spent the majority of the night watching Take Me Out and gazing curiously at my uber-swollen reflection in the mirror! The nurse came into my room at 6am to remove my packing, which is the strangest sensation ever. It literally feels as if your brain is being pulled out through your nostrils! It's not painful, just uncomfortable. The relief afterwards is amazing, however!

Recovery



You are required to keep your cast on for a week (sometimes longer) after your surgery. With the help of my mom I changed the bandage underneath my nostrils once or twice a day, which made me feel a little queasy (there's a lot of blood!). After a few days the bleeding stopped and I was able to abandon the bandage altogether, although breathing through my nose still proved difficult. I had to sleep upright throughout my recovery to avoid putting any pressure on my nose - I got myself one of those triangular nursing pillows, which made everything much more comfortable!

On the second or third day I felt really sick and restless due to my painkillers being too strong for me. Once I stopped taking them I had no problems whatsoever. Fortunately the anesthetic didn't have any lasting effects on me, meaning I was able to eat and dink as normal. Fresh pineapple is always good to have at hand as it's so refreshing and amazing for swelling!

A lot of people are surprised to hear that there is very little to no pain with rhinoplasty, despite the fact you look as if you're in agony! I was a bit black and blue for a while which of course was to be expected, but I was actually pretty lucky with my bruising.I spent the majority of my recovery time lazing around in bed, watching lots of TV and reading. The nurse told me that I was able to do a little light exercise if I felt up to it, so I walked the dog with my mom the one morning. By this point I couldn't care less what I looked like - I was just so desperate for some fresh air. It felt amazing to get out the house!

I returned to the Birmingham clinic on the 13th of October to have my splint removed. Seeing my new nose for the first time was the most surreal experience. Despite the fact it was incredibly swollen, I couldn't believe the difference. The nurse reassured me that this wasn't the final result and that my nose could take up to a year to completely settle - I just had to be patient.



Before vs. 3 months post op

My bruising lasted for around two weeks after my cast was removed, meaning I had to wear a tonne of concealer when I returned to work! For the first few months post op, the swelling came and went. I'd say it was fairly sensitive and swollen - especially the tip -  until about February/March. After that I began noticing a huge difference (massaging it helped massively). I'm nine months post op now and I'm confident that the swelling has pretty much subsided. It feels fine to touch and I no longer have to worry about accidentally knocking it. I almost forget I even had it done!

I didn't realise how much my old nose affected me until I had my surgery. Sometimes, when I meet new people I still try and avoid turning to the side so they can't see my 'bump' - then I remember that it's long gone! There has also been several occasions where I've caught a glimpse of myself in the mirrors behind me in changing rooms, and have been taken back by my new profile. It's the most wonderful feeling, seeing my new, 'normal' nose in place of the one I detested so very much.



Before vs. 2 months post op

Of course, I still have my insecurities, like any human being. Nonetheless, my new nose has given me the confidence I never thought I'd have - I feel like a completely different person. I no longer recoil when a friend whips their phone out to take a group selfie, nor do I dread being tagged in candid photos (well, not as much as I used to!).

Cosmetic surgery often has a social stigma attached to it which I don't think it deserves. While I do believe in embracing imperfections and being content with what nature has given you (and I'm not 'promoting' surgery in any way, shape or form), I think if something is making you especially unhappy and you have the opportunity to change that, then I don't see a problem (as long as you're being safe and making the decision for yourself and no one else, of course).

If you're considering a nose job and would like some more information, please don't hesitate to drop me an email! I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also follow my rhinoplasty account on Instagram (@katerhino91) to see more updates of my recovery.

6 comments:

  1. Personally I wouldn't go for a rhinoplasty (mostly because I would never have the guts, hahaha) but it's very interesting to read about your experience and your take on cosmetic surgery! I agree that there's a stigma and some people tend to "shame" others who go for surgeries. Even though I'm not exactly for cosmetic surgery, I think we should just respect other people's decisions nonetheless. And you look gorgeous either way!
    Have a nice weekend. x

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

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    1. I completely agree, Joanne! Thank you for your comment :) x

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  2. This is a really fascinating read. I can imagine how awful it must feel to not feel happy with a certain part of your body and it's your right to change that. Only you know what will make you happy and you're clearly a lot happier for it - good for you!

    Musings & More

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  3. This was so interesting to read. I think you look absolutely gorgeous with or without that little bump, but knowing that you feel so much happier and confident with your new nose - is truly inspiring. Your doctor did a great job! xx

    Naya // www.partyparrotblog.com

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