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Cindy's Story

Rhinoplasty: A Personal Nose Surgery Story


I am 21 years old and I had a rhinoplasty last month (August 1999). I had a breast augmentation last summer and felt it was one of the most positive decisions I have made. I was so pleased with the work my surgeon had done on my breasts that I felt very comfortable returning to him to perform my nose surgery. Dr. Olesen has been doing plastic surgery for over 20 years and does over 300 cases of noses each year. I did go to a consult with one other doctor, but something about his office made me uncomfortable. I decided it was worth the extra money for my peace of mind.

Both of my parents have had their noses done...my mom when I was 7 and my dad when I was 13...so they were very supportive of my decision and I knew just what I was getting myself into.

As the date of my surgery grew closer, I became very nervous. I looked through magzines and picked out the profile I wanted. I had a very straight nose to begin with...but my nose bridge was up pretty high and I felt my nose was too overpowering on my face. I was terrified of ending up with that "scooped" look...I certainly did NOT want a ski jump nose!

Surgery Day

The morning of my surgery I arrived at 10:00 as planned... however the doctor was running late. I changed into my lovely gown and sat in their little room for nearly two hours!! I am surprised I didn't change my mind!

Eventually my anesthesiologist came in to talk with me. She had just had Dr. Olesen do her nose a few days before and was still in her cast!

Finally, I walked into the operating room and lay down on the soft operating table and went to sleep.

When I woke up I felt a bit of pressure behind my eyes. I told the nurse I couldn't open my eyes. She said that I could. I disagreed...they would not open! When I could get them open a crack, I was in excruciating pain!

Apparently they got some soap in my eyes when they washed my face on the operating table and didn't get it out. I got a bit panicky not being able to open my eyes. They put drops in, but nothing seemed to help. They suggested to my parents to buy some eye wash on the way home. The trip home was fairly nauseating because I could not open my eyes. Once I got home and into bed I took some Vicodin for my headache and fell asleep. My dad went to the store to buy eye wash and some gauze pads because he had left the ones from the doctor in the recovery room! By the time he returned home my eyes were much better and I never needed the wash.

After taking the 1st pain pill I felt no pain what so ever. I felt nauseous after the second pill and promptly switched to extra strength Tylenol. I had a cast on my nose and a drip pad that I changed every few hours for the first day. It really only bled when I stood up to go to the bathroom. I had trouble sleeping because my throat was very tender from being intubated. Once my throat healed, I felt fine.


By the third day my swelling and bruising was atrocious! My eyes were purple on the lids and underneath and my cheeks were swollen too. It was a bit traumatic to see myself like this. By day four I felt as if I was never going to look normal again...and started crying. This is very normal.

My cast came off at the end of the week and my doctor put tape on. I met my brother's new girlfriend and even went out to Chinese food like this! I took the tape off after a few days...my profile was fantastic...but from the front I looked like an alien! The bruising had pretty much faded by this point, but my nose bridge was very swollen. As each day passed I noticed a big difference in the swelling.

Overall, this procedure was relatively painless! My doctor does not believe in packing, so I did not have to endure the dreaded removal (thank goodness!). The hardest part of my recovery was cabin fever. I refused to even leave the house to get the newspaper...but I felt fine and was sick of reading magazines and watching talk shows!

I am so pleased with my decision. Dr. Olesen is amazing...he gave me exactly what I wanted! It has still only been five weeks...and my nose is still fatter that normal (no one can tell but me)...but I feel beautiful!

Very few people noticed. Many people told me I look good...and a couple said I look different (but didn't know why). I still look like me...only better. I am 100% sure I made the right choice in deciding to undergo rhinoplasty and I am happy I decided to do it at such as young age. My nose is no longer an issue to me. I don't think about it...and that's how it should be. I now feel very comfortable with my appearance...and it allows me to focus on more important issues...like starting my career!

- Cindy

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