Tuesday, 23 March 2010

What does Rhinoplasty involve?

After many years of wanting to change my nose, I booked in for surgery a little over two months after my initial consultation. This gave me extra time to research the procedure and make sure I was making the right decision. By the time the surgery came round I had no doubt that I was doing the right thing for me. The only worries I had were about the shape of my 'new' nose, bruising and - most of all - the general anaesthetic.

The night before surgery, I started to worry. I read a few articles on a discussion board and there were mixed reports on Rhinoplasty. Some people loved the work while others had some difficulties afterwards. A common theme was that some people noticed the appearance of a bump some time after surgery. I expect that this is to do with scar tissue, or perhaps the bone trying to replace itself, so I am preparing for it.

You are advised not to eat or drink six hours before the surgery. I had a final meal at 7pm the night before and a glass of water at 10pm. 

I arrived at the clinic at 7.30am and had a consultation with the nurse, who has been at the surgery for five years. She gave me a general health check, asked about previous operations and health problems, checked my blood pressure and weighed me. My blood pressure was higher than usual, with a diastolic reading (the lower number) in the 90s. I was feeling quite stressed that morning, so that was to be expected.

I then met with the anaesthetist, who talked me through his role. He gave me dissolvable pain killers - paracetamol, Co-codomal and something else - then the nurse took me into the changing room to put on my gown. Not too flattering, those things, are they?

We then went into the operating room, where the anaesthetist took my blood pressure and inserted a cannula into the back of my right hand. He told me that his daughter had a similar procedure with the same doctor and loved the work, which put me at ease. Once everyone was in the operating room, the anaesthetist started putting some liquid into the cannula. He told me that it was just to relax me, but next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room.

I felt very little pain - it feels like I have a cold or rubbed my nose too often with tissues. Bear in mind, though, that the procedure will affect people in different ways. 

I felt tired and  queasy for the first hour. The nurse brought me tea and toast and called my friend to come and collect me. I walked about for a bit and after an hour and fifteen minutes, I was feeling well enough to go home. The nurse sent me home with co-codamol, to be taken every four to six hours and Voltarol - a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory - to be taken three times daily.

My friend arrived to collect me at noon - only four and a half hours after arriving - and after checking that I was well, laughed at me because I looked like Hannibal Lector with my splint. So I got my hat and scarf on, then sneaked out the side door to the car for the journey home.

Back at home, I still feel fine. From what I've read, I expect to have more swelling, bruising and a bit of pain on day two or three. Surprisingly, I can't see any bruising so far, but I took some preventative action: have a look at my blog post on how to minimise bruising after cosmetic surgery

Shortly after returning home I was well enough to eat and had some tomato soup and two rounds of bread. I have some gauze below my nose, which got covered in tomato soup, which wasn't a good look! So I changed the gauze, which is only there until the light bleeding stops, and had a first look at the tip of my nose. It's a little bloody, and still bleeding lightly (it didn't require any packing), but from what I can see, it looks nice - smaller, neater and not too much nostril, which I was concerned about. I won't see the full result until 1st April when I have my splint removed.

I'm surprised at how easy it's been so far. I can even breathe through my nose. The only problem has been a little queasiness but it's nothing worse than the feeling you would have the morning after a couple of glasses of wine.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at: sams_surgery@hotmail.co.uk.

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  1. Hi Sam! I had my op this morning by the same doctor and at the same place as yourself. It was an open op concentrating on making the tip shorter and narrower, straightening the bone (I broke my nose many years ago), and removing a small bump (may as well get my moneys worth!) Obviously it's early days but far I feel fine apart from being a little lethargic. I've already got bruising but I was expecting that as it was open and involved moving the bone, but I'm sitting elevated and getting the arnica into me. It's going to be a long 9 days but I'm excited so see what it will look like, although a little anxious too...I'm away on holiday 2 weeks after so fingers crossed the swelling ins't too bad. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for your blog...it's really informaive and it's been great to hear someone else's 'story'. Thanks again, K x

  2. Hi Kassie!

    I've just picked up this post - sorry for the delay in replying.

    How is your nose looking now? It sounds like our noses are pretty similar so I'd love to hear how you're doing.

    I was so lucky with bruising - didn't get one bit :) Had all the discomfort though, but that is to be expected.

    Thank you for your nice words about the blog. I'm glad it helps people a wee bit. It's a bit scary, making the decision to have surgery, so it's nice to hear that someone's gone through it, and to have an idea of what it might be like!

    Sam xx