See Iris’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.
Even since she was in middle school, 21 year old Iris (friendname: bigshnoz) had been insecure about a bump on her nose. Because her nose was one of the few ways to differentiate between her and her twin sister, it was often mentioned and was hard for Iris to brush off. She decided it made no sense to be unhappy about her nose when it could be easily fixed, so in July 2008 she had a rhinoplasty, with the support of her whole family. Her mom helped her pick a surgeon and her siblings helped her during recovery, while her dad, who is a doctor, calmed any worries she had about the actual procedure. Additionally, she used the Make Me Heal Message Boards to connect with others having the same procedure for support and advice. Though the healing process went smoothly with little pain, it did take a few weeks for her swelling and bruising to subside enough for her to get an idea of what her new nose looked like. When she saw it, she loved it and now has full confidence in her appearance.
Iris’s advice for anyone contemplating plastic surgery is:
“If you are that insecure about something, it is worth the few weeks of recovery!”
Please join us for an interview with Iris:
Make Me Heal: When did you first have the idea to have your procedure(s)?
Iris: I think when I was about 12 or 13. I have an identical twin and the major difference between us was the bump in my nose. People used that as a way to tell us apart so it was brought up a lot. It made me very self-conscious.
Make Me Heal: What were your motivations (physical, emotional, social, etc.) behind your decision to have the procedure(s)?
Iris: I was very insecure, and I felt it was silly to feel insecure about something that could be fixed in a few hours. Now I have the rest of my life to enjoy my awesome new nose!
Make Me Heal: How long did it take you to make a decision and was it an easy or difficult one to make?
Iris: It was a very easy decision. I used to look in the mirror and fiddle with my nose to give me an idea as to how it would look if I got it done. One day, my mom said that if it made me that insecure I should find a surgeon and get it done.
Make Me Heal: Did your family, friends, and any other people in your close circle give you support, opposition, or did you make this decision without considering them?
Iris: Only my parents and twin knew that I was getting the procedure done up until a few days before. By then most of my siblings knew as well as a few close friends. I am glad I waited to tell even my brothers and sisters because I was anxious enough as it was. I did not need everyone else around me to be nervous, that would have driven me crazy! I also knew that I really wanted this procedure done and I did not want anyone to talk me out of it.
Make Me Heal: How did you research the procedure and come to decide on this particular procedure?
Iris: I already knew what procedure I wanted to get done. I would spend lots of time looking up pictures on the internet of people who had already had the procedure done.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you used any of Make Me Heal’s resources such as the message boards, pictures library, doctor directory and doctor reviews, and any recovery and preparation products that you used.
Iris: The message board was a big help! It was great to connect with other people going through the same procedure. I feel fortunate now that I can help others who need advice.
Make Me Heal: How did you come to choose your doctor?
Iris: My mom found the surgeon through recommendations. This was the only doctor I consulted with before making my decision. I think he did an incredible job!
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you have any role in deciding the type of technique used for your surgery by the doctor, incision placements, implant brand, anesthesia type, etc.
Iris: I didn’t really have a say in any of it. However, the anesthesiologist did an amazing job. I did not feel sick or anything coming out of the anesthesia. He also put the IV in, which was virtually painless.
Make Me Heal: How did you prepare for the surgery?
Iris: I checked out a lot of DVDs from the library so I would have stuff to watch! I was on summer break from classes so I did not have to worry about rushing my recovery or going back to work.
Make Me Heal: How were you feeling the night before the surgery and on the moments before the surgery itself?
Iris: I went to Jersey Boys the day before, so that kept my mind off of things. I was not really nervous until I was in the car on my way to the hospital. I think I was more afraid of not knowing what was going to happen. I was worried about how it would look, how I would feel, how it would be to breathe through my mouth, etc. My dad is a doctor so he told me what was going to happen in pre-op, so that calmed me down a little bit. When we got to the hospital I remember crying in pre-op (I really tried my best not to). The nurses were incredibly nice (It really takes a special person to be a nurse) and got my dad for me when I started to get really nervous. They even got the anesthesiologist to put in the IV. My surgeon stopped by to say hello and to go over the procedure. That also made me feel a lot better. Then it was time to walk myself over to the OR and to lie myself on the table. They kept saying they were going to give me some medicine to calm me down and I should feel it begin to work. I don’t remember that part—the last thing I remember is starting to cry when they put the oxygen mask on. I think I dreamed about Lake Chautauqua during the surgery (can you even dream during surgery?) and then the next thing I knew I was waking up! I remember thinking “Hey—I’m awake, that must mean I have a new nose!” It was just like waking up from a nap. I remember that I could breathe through my nose right when I woke up. I was so relieved that I did not need packing—I ALWAYS breathe through my nose. My throat was incredibly dry and so they gave me some pop to drink. It was so dry that they had to smash my Percocet into some applesauce. They gave me some more pain medication and antibiotics through my IV and then I hung out until I was comfortable enough to go home. There really was not much pain—it was more discomfort if that makes any sense. It stung a little where the stitches were and by post-op day five I was very much ready to get my splint taken off. I was concerned the pain medication would make me nauseous, so I waited until it kicked in before I went home. My face was also incredibly black and blue.
Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process? Please discuss what side effects you experienced? What were the worse parts of the recovery? Did anyone help you during the recovery?
Iris: My family helped me through my recovery. Someone was home with me everyday for the first week. My daily schedule consisted of waking up, taking my antibiotics and Percocet, rinsing my nose with the hydrogen peroxide, saline and neo-synephrine. My brother and I would then pick a movie to watch, which I would subsequently sleep through (I think it was the Percocet). I would wake up, eat lunch, and then the cycle would start again until dinner. My face was so swollen it was very hard to eat. It did not really matter though, for the first few days I had no appetite. I drank a lot of slim-fast for the calories and vitamins. I also ate a lot of spaghettios and mashed bananas. I also would recommend lots of oatmeal and activia yogurt. (Percocet can have some unwanted side effects…) I did not have any pain problems. I just looked awful. By day three or four I was starting to stop the Percocet. I started by taking one Percocet and one Tylenol, and then taking just the Tylenol, etc. I felt so much better when the splint was taken off.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss the pain or discomfort you experienced during the recovery?
Iris: With the proper pain management I really did not have any pain. The hardest part was the little things such as not being able to breathe through my nose all of the time, not being able to wear my glasses (I was able to wear my contacts though after 24 hours), being sensitive to the sun, not being able to exercise, etc. It also hurt to laugh and yawn for a week or so. My smile was really tight up until about eight weeks post-op. I was also really neurotic about people walking close to me. I would walk around the house going “watch the nose!” You just never know when someone will accidentally open the refrigerator door in your face!
Make Me Heal: How well prepared were you for the recovery from physical, emotional, and mental respects? Did you do any research (i.e. online, books, message boards, etc.) to make your recovery smoother?
Iris: I was very prepared. I am very healthy (thankfully) and so the recovery was not hard at all. I was able to easily get back into my exercise routine after six weeks of barely any physical activity. Mentally I was just so excited to have my new nose! I used the message boards to talk to other people who were having the same procedure done.
Make Me Heal: What are your top recovery tips to other patients?
Iris: I would tell them to take it easy. Also, don’t expect an awesome nose when they take off the splint. You will look so swollen and banged up that people won’t be oooh–ing and ahh-ing for awhile. My mom said I looked so sick that it was hard to be excited about my new nose for a few weeks.
Make Me Heal: How long did you take off from work? What did you tell your co-workers about taking this time off? Did anyone notice your cosmetic procedures at work and what did you tell them if they asked about it?
Iris: I had six weeks of summer break left before I had to go back to school. I really did not need to tell anyone about the surgery. I figure the people I care about will love me no matter what I look like and the rest I don’t care about. I just got back to school a few weeks ago and only two people have noticed. I am shocked! One person who noticed was a tutor from a few years ago who went straight out and said “Did you get your nose done?” The other one asked my friend about it. My best friend of 16 years did not even notice until I told her. Maybe I did not need to feel so insecure after all!
Make Me Heal: How happy are you with the results?
Iris: Very happy! I think he did an amazing job.
Make Me Heal: How has your makeover impacted your life from personal, social, career, and other respects?
Iris: I no longer need to feel insecure about my nose. Nothing else has really changed! The surgery is quickly becoming a distant memory—except I am still hesitant to play games such as volleyball or soccer that might hurt my nose.
Make Me Heal: Would you have done anything differently if you had the chance?
Iris: I would have taken a long shower before I got the splint off. It was really stuck on there. The steam might have loosened it up a bit.
Make Me Heal: Was Make Me Heal beneficial to you along your journey?
Iris: Yes, I thought the message boards were great.
See Iris’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.none