Be Prepared and Take Notes for your Surgery – Part I

Hello, everyone!

I’d like to share a journey of my rhinoplasty with you guys here!

Getting a nose job was not a decision I have made lightly.

This has been something that I have wanted to do since I was 15, for over 12 years.  I have spent years researching and saving in order to have rhinoplasty in South Korea.

Honestly, this has been one of the hardest decisions of my life. This journey has been a roll-a-coaster of emotions. It  takes time and effort, and  a lot of courage and bravery to go through with plastic surgery so I  have written about my experience  in the hopes that it will help others as so many other blogs.

I know that at times it can be a bit overwhelming and scary.  There is so much information on the net and mixed reviews. I hope that my diary can be of help and of support or comfort to anyone who is thinking, currently researching or embarking this journey.  

Tips & Tricks

All the information I had already gathered through my research combined with the F2F consultation was overwhelming.   I was so exhausted from going clinic to clinic, at times I just wanted to give-up and simply go with whichever clinic I saw last just to get it ‘over and done with’ so to speak.  

 What helped the most was to keep notes, being honest with myself and  honest with the clinics i.e. when I was unsure, felt felt pressured or needed time to think.  Don’t be too hard on yourself, give yourself time and trust that you will make the right decision.  If you have the time, there is no hard in visiting the same Dr or clinic twice should you have more questions. In my case,  I felt that if I didn’t  ask about the nose ‘dent’ I couldn’t make a fair decision on which doctor to choose.

Tips for Consultations

  • Write a list of your concerns with your nose and what you would like improved
  • Take down notes – as many as you can. 
  • Take a list of questions to ask the doctors
  • Don’t be afraid to visit a clinic twice (like I did) or schedule consultation with different doctors in the one clinic

While this sounds tideous, after a long day of consultations I found this really helped me reflect when I got back to my hotel. I found myself constantly referring back to my notes to remind myself whether I has told the doctor everything I wanted to or asked all the questions I needed answering.  

These are some of the questions I asked doctors:

  • What method will you be using?
  • What kind of material will be used?
  • What is the rate of infection associated with each foreign material used?
  • Can you explain the procedure?
  • Ask the doctor to show you some photos of their rhinoplasty, preferably a nose similar to your own
  • Ask what happens during an emergency?
  • What happens if you wake up during the procedure? Etc.

Consultations & Price

This is my nose before surgery (sorry about the major close up). As you can see my nose was lightly short, uneven nostrils and bulbous. My main concern was that nostril.

Note: Prices  will vary  from person to person depending on your need.  I’m not sure if this is true, but I have heard that most clinics review there prices every 6 months so some procedures may go up or down in price. 

I had a consultation with a rhinoplasty specialist in JW Plastic surgery clinic. Doctors recommendation:

Tip plasty, nose lengthening  and alar  graft 

My first consultation was with JW Plastic Surgery. I met the lovely Jenny (English consultant) and filled out the necessary forms and took some photos.  I then met with a rhinoplasty specialist who speaks very good English, he looked at my nose and immediately pointed out that I had uneven nostrils and asked me how I felt about my bridge.  To be honest, I wasn’t too fussed about it so that’s exactly what I told him.  He told me that he felt my height was sufficient and there was no need to augment my bridge.  The doctor recommended 3 procedures listed above in order to address my concerns  i.e. to make my nostrils appear more similar.

The method for nose lengthening was explained to me including which material he would use:

  • Ear cartilage for alar graft; and
  • Septal and ear cartilage for the tip and lengthening.

He emphasized that his main concentration during surgery was to make my nostril less visible/upturned and slightly more symmetrical. I was warned not to expect full symmetrical nose. I showed him pictures of the noses I liked. He was quite frank with me and explained that the noses were long would look unnatural on my face and I would look much older. Although it was slightly disheartening I did appreciate the honesty. He is very direct, professional and knowledgeable. I felt that he managed my expectations, was realistic on what was achievable and listened to my concerns.

Post-op Care Matter

I never thought I was a ‘’Pros/Cons List’ kind of person but in this moment I found I was, there was so much to think about.    

I was super cranky , tired, worn-out and hadn’t eaten anything all day because I had done back to back consultations and traveling back and forth to different clinics.  I needed just a couple hours to rest, regroup and reflect.  Both consultants gave me the opportunity to do make a decision when I was in a better frame of mind.

Ultimately, it came down to two factors: post-op care and how responsive the consultant would be after surgery.

Don’t get me wrong,  the last two clinic in my mind have the standard post-op appointments for cleaning and removing of stitches. The difference was that the other clinic provides de-swelling treatments at an additional cost, and after surgery I would be given a prescription (‘script) to purchase the medicine at the drug store which is NOT like JW plastic surgery clinic.

While this sounds relatively minor. I know a type of person who needs care after my surgery.  I’m a bit clumsy so having all my medication laid out with proper instructions or having my hair washed when I couldn’t do it myself made things 10 times easier. It was also important that the consultant be contactable after surgery because knowing me, I always have a million questions. It was an extra comfort to know Jenny would be responsive after surgery if i had any questions or concerns. So far, she has been fantastic.  

JW post-op care provided:

  • Post-op visits to the clinic X 4:
    • Day 2 –  nose cleaning, remove cotton & ear bandages, deswelling LED treatment
    • Day 5 –  nose/ear cleaning, removal of cast, deswelling LED treatment, hair wash
    • Day 7 –  nose/ear cleaning, removal of stitches, deswelling LED treatment
    • Day 10 – nose/ear cleaning, deswelling LED treatment, hair wash
  • Hair wash service X 2  (I selected on days above) 
  • Care pack which includes all the items in the picture: medication, peroxide a saline with instructions to clean my nose, gel eye mask and pumpkin juice
  • Airport transfer from my  hotel to ICN Airport

I’ll continue sharing how the surgery day was like with you guys on the next page ! 

Thank you !