Our Stories

Nose Woes

After two botched rhinoplasties I knew that if I was going to attempt to fix the situation, the third time had to be a charm.

My first surgery was at 16. I hated my nose and the hump that distinguished it. I also hated the fact that I had a deviated septum and could not breathe very well out of the left side of my nose. Looking back, my nose wasn't that bad at all. It wasn't big, it just had that hump and the tip was a bit thick. The breathing was another issue, but in all honesty I had rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons.

The deviated septum was something I likely would have lived with if I didn't have the cosmetic issues. One other thing to note was the fact that I was a very thin teen at the time of my first surgery. Had I waited a few more years my nose likely would have fit my face better as I matured. Nevertheless, I had it fixed.

The hump was off for good but the damage my surgeon did to the tip of my nose was appalling. The tip was fat and twisted. The right side of my columella hung down lower than the left. Very visible from the front, and on 3/4 angles my nose looked deformed. For over a year my doctor insisted it was swelling. I had numerous cortisone shots in my nose to bring this "swelling" down. In reality, it wasn't swelling at all, it was scar tissue. Scar tissue does not go away.

Disappointed with the outcome and angry with the doctor, I went back to him some 3 years later. At this time, he finally admitted that it was indeed scar tissue. He offered to correct my nose for only the cost of anesthesia. Stupidly, I trusted him to get things right the second time around. Sadly, it only made things worse.

The doctor removed too much scar tissue and cartilage. The twisted c-curve of my nose remained but there was less cartilage there so my nose appeared smaller. He took so much cartilage out in fact, that years later the left side of my nose collapsed and I couldn't breathe at all. I later found out after planning my 3rd surgery that this inability to breath was also due to the fact that my original doctor never did fix the deviated septum. Funny, since that is what my insurance had paid him to do.

After another almost 10 years of walking around with the second revision I saw a picture of myself that made me realize just how bad my nose actually looked. I always knew it wasn't good but decided to ignore it and move on with my life. I knew just how to look in the mirror to only see the good side of my nose. When I saw that picture, reality hit.

I had my wedding coming up in less than a year and there was no way I would hire a photographer looking like I did. So 8 months before my wedding I started to research revision rhinoplasty specialists. There was no margin for error because of both the upcoming wedding, and more importantly, because this would be my 3rd surgery. It had to be my last, as the chances of improvement decrease with each additional surgery.

I painstakingly researched using message boards specifically focused on surgeons who specialize in revisions. I picked the top 6 recommended and went on consultations. In the end it was down to 3 possibilities. The race was tight. I actually made my decision by doing a written comparison of pro's and con's of each doctor. The doctor I chose won by a few points but my instincts were also pointing me in his direction.

He took the time to explain things - something crucial in establishing a foundation of trust. Surgery took place 6 months before my wedding. I can now look at my wedding pictures and be happy in the fact that I absolutely made the best decision. My nose is not perfect. After 2 botched nose jobs, perfection is not an option. But it is a 99.9%improvement over what I had before and I am happy.

For anyone considering having rhino or any other plastic surgery I have some advice. Take your time with researching your doctor. Do not rush into anything. Go on several consultations. Make sure you see before and after pictures. If someone refuses to show pictures of their work, walk out. Have realistic expectations...you can't expect a doctor to make you look like a picture out of a magazine. The idea of cosmetic surgery is to improve you, not morph yourself into someone else. It will not change your life, It will give you added self-confidence if it is done right. And if you are young, in your teens, I suggest waiting until you are older.

I know how it feels to look in a mirror and desperately want to change whatever it is you don't like about yourself but if you rush into things it could end up backfiring.

Remember, if you have cosmetic surgery, you want it to be done right the first time. You do not want to go through the pain and expense more than once. You might even find that as the years past what you "hated" about yourself doesn't seem so bad after all. Just take your time with this and get the facts you need to make the best decision.

Good luck.


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