I had rhinoplasty yesterday and thought I would offer a review and tips for anyone considering the same. I have said ‘not sure yet’ as to whether worth it, but will adjust once I see final result. Overall experience so far has been very good, treatment at Princess Margaret hospital in Windsor was extremely good, very professional staff. Anaesthetist and all staff I spoke to were very friendly. Mr Uppal went through procedure briefly beforehand. My last meal had to be before 2am and last drink of water at 6am. I checked in at 7am and procedure was at 10.30am (lasts 1.5 hours). Anaesthetic was administered very quickly and relatively painlessly. I’ve had a cannula many times before and it has hurt and this was first time it did not. When I came round after was in no pain, just intense pressure, like a heavy cold (but worse). This operation is uncomfortable, mostly for the sore throat you have through all the mouth breathing, but not really painful. You feel a bit out of it, but that is normal after anaesthetic. I brought some arnica pills, which I would recommend as you will come out with very black eyes and swollen and are not allowed to put cream on skin, so arnica pills will hopefully help the healing. I was also recommended to keep ibuprofen at home, cucumber to put on your eyes and a bag of frozen peas, wrapped in a cloth to put on your forehead. I had lunch not long after I came around, could eat fine! Mr Uppal came to meet me and said everything had gone well (relief) and showed me some pictures. The front looked good, the side looked much better than it was , a bit more sticky-uppy than I anticipated from pictures from consultation, but was hard to tell. I seemed much improved from what was, just hope I still look like myself. I felt ready to go at about 4pm, but left at 6pm to avoid traffic. There was still tonnes of traffic from Windsor back to London and, what should be a 1 hour journey took 3 hours. I felt self-conscious all bandaged up, clearly having had a nose-job as we were at near stand still most of way home and into residential streets where I lived, but what can you do….!
I had less of an appetite than usual, but managed dinner fine. You have a swab under your nose until it stops bleeding and I still needed to keep that on, which meant I ate my dinner with a teaspoon. I could probably have lifted swab off, but didn’t want to take any chances yet.
I was told the first 24-48 hours are worst and I won’t sleep well the first night, which was kind of true. You have to sleep almost upright with 3 pillows behind you and I sort of drifted into sleep and then woke up, what seemed like every 5 minutes needing water. I got through 2-3 glasses of water sipped through a straw during the night.
By morning, bleeding has pretty much stopped, but you still get odd drops, so kept nose swab on. I felt much better in the morning already, had a shower, and was much more mobile. I had pen mark on my face still, which wouldn’t come off. I need some high strength eye-make up remover for that. I am easing off the co-codamol already taking just one tablet with ibuprofen instead of two and when I feel braver, will just dispense with it completely.
12 Jul 2015
I heard that this is worst day. I am just over 48 hours post and actually bruising around eyes is improving once I forced myself to lie down with cucumber on eyes. Eyes have gone from black to yellow. I no longer feel need for nasal swab either. However, feel very congested and still have slight bleeding. Have overwhelming need to blow nose which am resisting at all costs! I am trying to manage without glasses as much as possible, however need them some of time as eyes too swollen to put contacts in. I still have surgical pen marks on face. Normal cleanser and even waterproof mascara remover would not lift it. Coconut oil on a cotton bud did best job of removing a little, but I didn’t want to apply too much for fear oil would leak and loosen my plasters. As I can’t exercise, trying not to overindulge, however, that is not too difficult as lost a bit of appetite anyway. You drink a lot of water due to constant mouth-breathing instead and don’t want to eat anything that causes you to have to work your jaw too hard.
Day 4 recovery
13 Jul 2015
Now just on 2 paracetamol every 4 hours, managed to get on with a few more gentle tasks around house and even do some work, but find I cannot concentrate for too long as I start falling asleep. You don’t really sleep well when you have to sleep almost upright and keep drinking water through the night due to breathing through your mouth. Already looking forward to getting cast off, will be nerve-wracking to see result….
Day 5 Recovery
14 Jul 2015
My husband washed my hair yesterday (tilting head back over bath like at hairdresser’s) – felt much better for that. I have removed a bit more of surgical pen from my face using Johnson’s Clean and Clear lotion. That stuff is like window cleaner! I keep it to remove stains from the carpet. It is alcoholic and too harsh to use anywhere near eyes, but can dap on stubborn marks with cotton bud. People have said I am starting to look better, not so swollen, only slightly chubby cheeks and black eyes have been reduced to semicircles under eyes. I was told that most people won’t even notice when you have a nose-job and I am very keen to test this theory out, so resisting telling people about it! Feel like a hermit being stuck at home, drawing curtains in case prying neighbours catch sight of me and am still seem quite tired despite not doing much during day, which I put down to difficulty breathing. 3 more nights and cast is off, feels like loosening slightly already, which I hope is a good sign. Nose is starting to feel itchy. I am still taking paracetamol, but not sure if I need it. I feel no pain, just pressure and odd tingle. I am taking a concoction of arnica pills, my antihistamine and vitamins every morning and eating protein rich food to help body repair itself.
Day 6 — one more day till cast off!
16 Jul 2015
Today itching has reached its worse and have many coughs and sneezes to suppress. I take a antihistamine daily as I have terrible hayfever. In run up to this surgery, I have spent a ridiculous amount of time researching surgeons, interpreting reviews and am both excited and slightly nervous about tomorrow and preparing myself not to get hopes up. I am starting to think about logistics of getting to the appointment. I am thinking about how I will dart across to car in broad daylight with cast on; whether I have to explain to people who catch sight of me or, most likely, or whether I will get stuck in traffic and have to endure lots of people staring at me. Plus, once I get to hospital, I hope I won’t have to sit around for ages in a waiting room like this. This is one point in my life when I wished I had a burka. Yes, I wish I could borrow a burka for the day, that would solve everything! I guess I am just going to have to be brave. Cast is beginning to lift off a bit and the surgical tapes are peeling off, so just as well that it will be removed tomorrow. Although, I will still keep a low profile next week, I am so pleased to finally step out of my house and (eventually) breathe some fresh air!
Day 7 – cast off and free to roam outside!
17 Jul 2015
It took a while to sleep the night before as I was nervous about result today. The car journey was annoyingly slow and trafficky and I had to endure a few stares at traffic-lights/pedestrian crossings as I sat there in my cast, plus I had to wait in waiting room for 30 mins, but, by then, I’d become oblivious to any glances.I had to soak my face in water to loosen the cast and Mr Uppal pulled it off with the help of a little solvent as well. I must say it was odd taking in my new profile and nose. I was first relieved that it was’t a disaster. I had imagined all sorts of things that might have gone wrong, then I looked quite closely and nose seemed straight, side profiles were shorter, nostrils were perfectly even. Did I still miraculously look like myself and was it barely perceptible that I had any work done? Yes!! Obviously, although I generally liked what I saw, I was slow to provide an opinion as it is a lot to take in at once. Mr Uppal showed me my before pictures and was quick to emphasise just how much this nose was a vast improvement on what it was! Luckily I have broad shoulders as well as a broad nose. He was right though and I waltzed out of there pretty content. It is still early days of course and it has started to swell a little and I am aware things can change, but am hopeful. I feel confident I could walk into work (with make-up) even now without anyone noticing and feel like I can go outside tomorrow. That said, I will probably keep outings to a minimum for another week as I am still healing/swollen.In terms of what I was told for aftercare, still no cream on face, but you need to shower and wash face with soap and water regularly (twice a day). It is unbearably tempting to want to blow your nose, sneeze, cough, but this still needs to suppressed for another week. In as nice a way as possible, you have a lot of detritus still up your nose. Actual visible stuff there! As soon as I arrived home, my two year old said to me with a concerned look, ‘Mummy, you have bogies up your nose. You need to get a TISSUE!!’. Nevertheless, you have to resist picking your nose as gross as it is to see stuff up there. It just has to come out of its own accord the more you shower. After 1 week, I can start massaging cream and, in 6-8 weeks time, I have another check-up. Fingers crossed…..
11 days post
20 Jul 2015
This is the bit where you just have to be patient! I still feel very bunged up and swollen and my nose even slightly hurts from time to time. My right eye is still a little black and swollen too, so I don’t quite look right to go out and see people I know well, but, with make up on, even at work, doubt anyone would notice. I often look quite puffy due to hayfever anyway. The detritus is gradually working its way out of my nose and I can breathe a bit easier, but you can still see stuff up my nose, which is not a great look if I was planning to go out this week!Last week, I was eager for cast to come off. This week, I am eager for swelling to go down, so I can see final shape more. I plan to go out on Friday during day (day 14) so am looking to get hair cut short as a distraction from change to my face. Really hope I have enough improvement by then. So people do not see me, have refused help with kids, so not relaxed as much this week as perhaps should, but still taking it easy. I start work again, but from home, on Thurs ( day 13).For me, this is something I am glad I have done. If your nose is something you find yourself wishing to change/thinking about once a day, then you probably need todo something about it. That said, I wound not enter into this lightly. It isn’t painful, but it is uncomfortable and you have to be so patient to see end result and have strong willpower not to scratch,blow your nose, pick at it and to take it easy until you are ready to go out. You will question if you made right decision. I would plan other things to do in your recovery time, so you have something to look forward to, even if it’s just catching up with films at home, lots of life admin you finally need to get done, hobbies…
Day 13: Almost returning to normal
23 Jul 2015
Ok, well one thing I should say to anyone who has this surgery is to be prepared to have a very swollen nose after your cast is removed and your nose looking worse than it did before perhaps, especially if, as in my case, you end up with a widened bridge and you look truly awful I.e. Definitely could not venture outside. This is a bit of a roller coaster. I was counting on being ready to go out by day 14 and I am pleased to say that at day 13, although my nose is still swollen, I am starting to look a bit more like myself in that has been slight decrease in nasal bridge swelling and my eyes no longer look so comically close together. I still feel more comfortable wearing glasses tomorrow when I go out in case swelling increases again and I also had my hair cut to add a bit of distraction. 13 days post is early days, but I am hopeful and quietly confident that everything will settle and I will be happy with end result, but feel need to warn people that swelling post op means you have to be very patient to see end result and do not panic if it seems to get worse before better!