Rhinoplasty – A Patient’s Perspective
A lot of people ask me in the Ottawa community what it is like after a rhinoplasty or “nose job.” I base my discussion on experience and what other patients tell me. Although everyone is different, there are a few common things I hear. I decide to ask a patient to write their experience. I think that this experience would be what 90% of people tell me, so it is a very fitting description. I cannot provide any photos of this patient, due to patient confidentiality, but I hope it helps some people who are wondering about the procedure. What I can say, however, is this patient is in her late 20s and had an open rhinoplasty with stiches and the bone was cut to help straighten the nose.
What made you decide to get a rhinoplasty?
I’ve thought about doing it for a long time, but I was always nervous. You see horror stories on the news and on TV about rhinoplasty surgery and I didn’t want to be one of those people! I was young, too, and my family didn’t want me to. Once I got a bit older, I realized that it is something I really wanted. I didn’t want to look like a different person but my nose was a bit big and twisted and it always bother me. I guess once I decided the time was right, I did it.
Was it hard to pick a rhinoplasty surgeon?
VERY! It can be difficult to get information on the internet because you never know what is real. You read reviews and you can tell there is a lot of information that just seems wrong. I went Online and looked at reviews for a bunch of surgeons and you could tell who the good people were. Everyone got so called “bad” reviews, but you could easily tell that many of those bad reviews were the same type of bad reviews people leave for good restaurants. You can’t please everyone! I figured, if someone has a bunch of really really good reviews and a few bad ones, I was pretty confident that it was a good plastic surgeon.
I met with a few people as well. I did four consults and although I could tell they were good surgeons, I just didn’t feel comfortable. I noticed that I felt comfortable right away with Dr Bonaparte, a reputable plastic surgeon in Ottawa. I think I liked his approach the best. I felt like he listened and tried to understand what I wanted. I also liked that he showed me my photos and altered them in front of me. It was nice to see and hear what he thought he could do. I think the best thing he did was show me and tell me what he realistically could do, so I trusted that.
What was the day of surgery like?
It was a little scary. I guess that’s normal! Once I got to the hospital, I felt a bit nervous but the nurses were very nice. Dr Bonaparte talked to me before and it helped. It wasn’t painful or anything, it was just a bit scary. I remember waking up with no pain. To be honest, it wasn’t that bad. I did feel a little nauseous the night of surgery, but that went away quickly.
Did you find the procedure painful?
Not at all. I was very surprised at that. I had some medication to help with pain, but only used it the first day. I was very surprised there was no pain. I think they worst part was my nose was congested for a few days. It felt like a really bad cold. Once the cast came off, there was no pain at all.
What was it like when you took the cast off?
Well, for one it didn’t hurt but felt a bit odd. I had a bit of acne under the cast, but one of the nurses in the clinic helped get rid of that. It was shocking to see the results on the first day. It was better than I thought. I thought I’d look awful, but I didn’t.
Are you glad that you had the surgery?
I am. I didn’t want to look like a different person. I wanted to be me and have a subtle change and I got that. My nose is healed, it looks great and I am glad I did it. I was never too self-conscious about my nose, but I just wanted it to look the way I felt. I would definitely do it again.
What advice would you give others who are considering a rhinoplasty?
Make sure you know what you want and ask questions. Also, make sure your plastic surgeon gives you an honest opinion and doesn’t promise you something that isn’t realistic. That’s probably the thing that scares me the most; some people seemed to tell me what I wanted to hear rather than what they could realistically do. I’m glad Dr Bonaparte was honest because my expectations matched my results. Also, make sure you are ready for surgery, it’s not something you want to jump into.
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