The Rhinoplasty Diaries: An Inside Look at One Patient’s Surgical Process | Part I

When researching a procedure or treatment, one of the most comforting pieces of information that you can find is a candid, real experience from someone who has been through it.  Lauren recently had a rhinoplasty surgery with Dr. Quatela and wanted to share what the experience was like for her so that people who are thinking about rhinoplasty surgery can have a better idea of the overall experience.  Each patient’s results, experience, and recovery process are individual to their specific situation, however hearing from others on their journey is a valuable piece of the process.  Join us over the course of a multi-post series as Lauren recounts the day of surgery and her recovery after, as well as her experience leading up to the procedure and why she chose to have nose surgery.

Day of Surgery: 

I barely slept last night!  I am so excited and quite nervous about the surgery itself.  I have read and heard so much information about the procedure but not sure of what my actual process will entail.  The fear of this entire process being a bad mistake has always been in the back of my head.  The idea that this will be one of the best things I’ll ever do has far outweighed that fear.  The confidence that I have in Dr. Quatela, from his extensive experience in rhinoplasty to his excellent surgical skill, is what has allowed me to get up the nerve to do this.

I am scheduled to arrive early this morning which I am very happy about since I can’t eat or drink after midnight.  I get “hangry” quite easily so this shouldn’t be too bad!  I made sure to wear baggy clothing, a zip-up sweatshirt and slip-on shoes as instructed by the nursing team.  I will write more later if I’m up for it.  Stay tuned!

Night after Surgery:

I am back home and in bed.  Surprisingly, I feel really good.  I’m sure there are a lot of medications in my system that are making me feel this way but I’m very comfortable.

When I got to the surgery center, the nurses took me back.  They were so sweet to me and very patient since I was quite nervous.  They had me change into my gown and cozy slipper socks.  I had to take a pregnancy test as well which I wasn’t expecting but they do it for everyone prior to surgery.  Once that was done, they got me in bed and covered me in this warm blanket which was very comforting.  I met with a few of the nurses and the nurse anesthetist as everyone prepared me for surgery.  They did my IV, which I honestly wasn’t that thrilled about since I was worried about the pain.  I ended up working myself up over nothing because it really didn’t hurt and once it was in, they were able to start giving me fluids which felt amazing because I was so dehydrated.

Dr. Quatela came around to check on me and ensure that I didn’t have any last minute questions or concerns.  He talked to me about his surgical plan and what I could expect.  He also did some markings on my face.  After that, the nurse anesthetist came around and told me she was going to start giving me some meds.  I immediately passed out and don’t remember anything from that point on.

When I woke up, the nurses were around me and comforting me.  They told me that everything went well with the surgery and that they needed me to just relax.  They had my eyes covered with ice cold patches which felt amazing.  Dr. Quatela came back to let me know how happy he was with the procedure and that everything went really well.  He assured me that all was well and that I was going to have an amazing result.  This made me so excited!

After that, they let my fiancé come in and visit me and gave him all the instructions he needed to care for me at home.  Once I was dressed, they put me in a wheelchair and brought me to the car and we headed home.

When I got home, I just went back to sleep for a while.  All I wanted was some apple juice and that’s about it.  I made sure my pillows were stacked so my head was elevated.  I also bought a travel neck pillow.  This has turned out to be a complete lifesaver for me.  I highly recommend it as it keeps your head up even when you try to roll over.

I took my first look in the mirror which wasn’t as bad as I thought.  I have a cast on with a drip pad that needs to be changed often.  There is some bruising in my eye area but nothing too crazy.  It looks like I am wearing purple eyeshadow!  My face is a little swollen as well but that’s about it.

I took my medications as instructed by the nursing team and got up regularly to walk around and move my legs.  Dr. Quatela’s fellow, Dr. Montague, called me to check on me.  He was so nice and wanted to ensure everything was ok.  He said to call if I needed anything at all which was quite comforting to know that I had someone available to me 24/7 if needed.

The rest of the night was pretty uneventful.  I just drank a lot of fluids and slept.  I had snack bags filled with frozen peas that I laid over my eyes and cheeks.  You have to switch them out often as they thaw fairly quickly.  I prefer these over bags of ice because the ice can get too cold and there is a lot of condensation on the bag.  Plus, the peas are soft and feel more comfortable against my face.

I really had no appetite, which they said was ok since I was getting calories from my fluids.  I’m thrilled to report that I have had no nausea whatsoever.  I had a lot of anxiety about having nausea leading up to this, so it was a huge relief for me to not have any.  I have my post-op day one appointment first thing in the morning.  I will let you know how that goes.

*Experience and opinion is that of this particular patient.  Individual results vary.

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