Tonya Craft (member name: Crafty1) is a pretty 33-year old woman who could barely breath after breaking her nose as her teenager. While looking at her best friend’s wedding pictures, she realized that her nose was completely deviated and looked crooked. On March 21, Tonya elected to have septoplasty and rhinoplasty to gain more confidence in herself and finally get a breath of fresh air. Today, Tonya loves her nose and feels great about her choice. With the help of the Plastic Surgery Message Boards and her family, Tonya is a new person looking ahead only for more happy times. Tonya’s best advice for you readers is surely to “listen to your gut feeling regarding your choice of doctor. Choose your plastic surgeon very carefully and find a physician that conveys professionalism, skill and understanding.”
Tonya used Dr. Barraza’s from
See Tonya’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.
Make Me Heal: When did you first have the idea to have your procedure?
Tonya: I was convinced I had to do something and do it soon the moment I saw the photographs taken at my best friend’s wedding. I was the maid of honor, and with that role, I was required to be included in many of the pictures highlighting her special day. Picture after picture, there is was, my nose, just as crooked as you please. It was CLEARLY very deviated to the right. I was horrified to realize just how bad it had gotten. I actually apologized to my friend for “ruining” her pictures. The following week I made the appointment for an initial consult with Dr. Barraza. I showed up at the appointment half expecting that I would never actually go through with the procedure. I assumed I would either be quoted some outrageous fee that I could never afford or I would schedule the surgery and then chicken out from sheer terror of being anesthetized. Dr. Barraza explained to me in great detail, that I would be an excellent candidate for septoplasty and rhinoplasty. To give you a little background information, I broke my nose when I was a teenager during a sporting event. At that time, I was referred to an ENT physician who revealed I had developed a septal deviation following the break. The ENT suggested that I have surgery to repair the problem, but I was a teenager and had better things to do than recover from surgery. Years later, that decision would come back to haunt me. I had to live with a severe blockage of my left nostril for many years. I could barely breathe out of the left side. The deviation was so bad that very little air was able to pass through the blockage.
Make Me Heal: What were your motivations (physical, emotional, social, etc.) behind your decision to have the procedures?
Tonya: I was informed by Dr. Barraza that the crookedness of my nose would only worsen with time. I didn’t know this before my initial consult, but your nose grows throughout your lifetime. That meant my nose would continued to veer more and more toward the right with the passage of time. When I heard this news, I resolved to have this surgery no matter what it took monitarily or emotionally.
Make Me Heal: How long did it take you to make a decision and was it an easy or difficult one to make? Please explain why it was easy or difficult.
Tonya: I scheduled my procedure approximately 4 months after my initial consult. I knew it was going to take me at least that long to convince myself everything would be okay. I’m in the medical field and as a result, I know first hand all the things that can go wrong during and after surgery. I became panic-stricken if I thought too long about actually going through with the plastic surgery. In my opinion, ingorance would have been truly bliss in this particular case. Also, I was a smoker. I smoked anywhere from 3/4 a pack to a pack on a daily basis. I obtained a prescription for the medication Chantix. Chantix is an aid in the form of a pill that facilitates smoking cessation. I wanted squash my cigarette habit to ensure proper healing post operatively. Being the faithful smoker I was, I felt that there was a good chance I would relapse. Giving myself 4 months to quit seemed like a reasonable amount of time to give myself to quit smoking once and for all and to aquire the courage to go ahead as planned.
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?
Tonya: I encountered no opposition whatsoever about having plastic surgery. I was not self-concious or secretive about having this procedure performed. As a matter of fact, I revealed the fact that I was having a “nose job” to virtually anyone who would listen. I did not consult with any friends or family members regarding my decision. I did not want to run the risk or encountering any negative remarks or reactions. My decision had been made and besides, I was concocting enough negativity on my own.
Make Me Heal: How did you research the procedure?
Tonya: I definately did my homework! I found everything I could ever want to know relating to septoplasty and rhinoplasty on various websites. I discovered these sites by using search engines such as Google.com, AOL.com, Yahoo.com and MSN.com. I printed out tons of useful information. I meticulously highlighted points of interest or concern and neatly stored the papers in a folder labled “rhino/septo.” I poured over many fashion magazines trying to find the model with the “perfect” nose that would fit my face and desires.
Make Me Heal: How did you come to decide on this particular procedure?
Tonya: I can’t take credit for this one, that priviledge goes to Dr. Barraza! He is, after all, the expect on such matters. I do know his plan of action was to align my nose back to center, correct the deviation that was hindering proper and equal respiration and to feminize/refine my tip.
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.
Tonya: The Make Me Heal nose surgery message board was a gift from Heaven above! The information, encouragment and insight gained from member posts were a tremendous resource. Pre-operatively, I spend many hours absorbing everything I could about the topic of septoplasty and rhinoplasty. The MMH website was extremely user friendly and provided a great and productive way to pass the time postopertively.
Make Me Heal: How did you come to choose your doctor? Please mention how many consultations you had with different doctors before making your decision.
Tonya: I was actually extremely fortunate to be referred to Dr. Barraza. I called his office, The Plastic and
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.
Tonya: As I mentioned before, I thumbed through fashion magazine after fashion magazine in an attempt to find my perfect” nose. Ultimately I ripped out numerous photographs of Uma Thurman . I brought these photos to present to Dr. Barraza in a HUGE folder. I was highly impressed when he said, “I can’t give you this nose, but I can give you a nose that compliments YOUR facial features.” After a lengthy discussion, Dr. Barazza had a clear concept of my expectations and hopes, he was easily able to determine what techniques would need to be performed for optimal results.
Make Me Heal: How did you prepare for the surgery? You can discuss everything from products you purchased, home preparations, and preparations involving your family and work.
Tonya: The night before my procedure, I prepared my bedside table with items such as: a water pitcher, medications, remote, nail clippers, hand lotion, a hairbrush, hair clips, pony tail holders and Puffs Plus with Lotion. I stocked up on soups, Jell-O, pudding, Mac & Cheese, broccoli and cheese rice and a variety of flavored noodles. Other useful items were: 1 large pack of Q-Tips, 1 bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 1 pack of gauze and 1 roll of tape to make drip pads. I learned that if you cut the tape half way on each side of the gauze before affixing it to your face/nose, the tape and gauze will lay much more comfortably. It may be wise to purchase a stool softener. Anethesia can cause constipation. The stool softener really helps to avoid straining when using the restroom.
Make Me Heal: How were you feeling the night before the surgery and on the moments before the surgery itself? Please discuss thoughts, fears, emotions, and prayers.
Tonya: The 2 weeks prior to surgery were the most unnerving times. I literally worked myself into a frenzy with worry and anxiety during that time. Strangely enough, I was rather composed the night before surgery. I’m not exactly sure how or why my nervousness subsided. I guess you could call it the calm before the storm because I cried a river and then some when my name was called and I was escorted to the pre-op holding area. I had a rather traumatic experience when a nurse attempted to start an IV. Let’s just say she was VERY UNSUCCESSFUL! I could not make the tears stop no matter how hard I tried. I remember thinking to myself, if you don’t stop crying, you’re going to be so puffy and swollen that there will be no way they’ll be able to perform the surgery. That very thought intensified my fears rather than keeping them at bay. I continued my emotional melt down all the way back to the surgery suite. My tears flowed right up until the moment I was sedated for the procedure. My next memory was waking up in the post anethesia care unit. I felt rather silly making such a commotion after it was all said and done.
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?
Tonya: I guess I would say the inability to breathe through my nose was my least favorite part about recovery. That, and the desert dry mouth and lips that come from solely breathing through the mouth. My boyfriend of 4 years was by my side from beginning to end. He held me as a wept uncontrollably in my pre-op room and prepared each of my meals which he served to me in bed. He was a great help to me during the whole process.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss the pain or discomfort you experienced during the recovery?
Tonya: I cannot describe any part of the recovery process as painful. Uncomfortable is a more accurate way to explain a small portion of the recovery process. Eating soft, low sodium, easy to chew and swallow foods became tiresome around post-op day three.
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?
Tonya: I had done everything possible to educate myself on the topic of septoplasty and rhinoplasty. There was nothing left to do except go for it and learn from experience.
Make Me Heal: What are your top recovery tips to other patients?
Tonya: ~Clean incision with clean Q-Tips and peroxide twice daily. Afterwards cover with a thick coat of triple antibiotic cream, keep incision covered for at least one week. Continue this until one week after suture removal. If the wound looks closed and dry, start using Mederma daily for 8 weeks. The frequency is on the box.
~ Use an oily chapstick and make sure it’s VERY CLOSE. It will probably be your most used product. You may not be able to breathe through your nose well post op and your mouth and lips are going to get VERY, VERY, VERY dry.
~ Have a fan and a wet washcloth nearby.
~ Take advantage of the pain killers.
~ Make sure you eat regularly. Food will be the last thing you want, but you must eat to keep up your strength.
~ Rent several movies/keep mags or books you enjoy, you need to spend a lot of time at rest. If you have a laptop keep it by your side for games, internet, writing e-mails, making lists, etc. REMEMBER: REST IS IMPORTANT, DON’T UNDERESTIMATE IT!
~Have someone around to help you the first day and maybe even the second day if possible. The first day you really need someone after that you can handle it yourself if need be.
~Swelling is going to fluctuate! DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED, some days will be worse than others, ACCEPT THIS FACT! Swelling will finally subside 6 months to a year from surgery. Patience is the key. Don’t continuously look in the mirror, this is self-defeating and serves no good purpose. I only looked in the mirror when cleaning the wound, no other time. Perfection can not and will not happen just because you want to see the final results YESTERDAY. It will happen ON IT’S OWN, and not before.
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.
Tonya: I was off work for 12 days after surgery. Everyone I work with had knowledge of my plastic surgery plans. No one said to me, after surgery that they noticed a dramatic difference. One of my co-worked did mentioned that I appeared to have lost some weight in my face. Not sure about that one!
Make Me Heal: How happy are you with the results?
Tonya: I am overjoyed! I don’t believe it’s possible to achieve greater results. My nose is now a Perfect 10!
Make Me Heal: How has your makeover impacted your life from personal, social, career, and other respects?
Tonya: The main impact has been an improved ability to breathe through both sides of my nose. I didn’t realize exactly how major the occlusion really was. I had lived most of my life with the left sided blockage and didn’t know what normal and equal breathing felt like. Since my breathing has improved, it seems that I have more energy and zest for life. The confidence booster of a cute and in my opinion, perfect nose is a huge plus!
Make Me Heal: Would you have done anything differently if you had the chance?
Tonya: The only thing I could imagine changing would be the length of time it took me to have the surgery. I should have done this, years ago!
Make Me Heal: What is your final word of advice to other people considering the procedure(s) you had?
Tonya: Realize that you are much more critical of yourself than anyone else. Do some soul searching to help decide if this is something that will truly improve your self confidence and appearance. Above all else, choose your plastic surgeon very carefully! Find a physician that conveys professionalism, skill and understanding. Listen to your gut feeling regarding your choice of doctor. I believe that if you aren’t 100% comfortable with your Dr. and he doesn’t meet your expectations, he ABSOLUTELY shouldn’t be performing such a serious surgery on a VERY important part of your face.
Make Me Heal: Was Make Me Heal beneficial to you along your journey?
Tonya: Without question! The knowledge and camaraderie I gained from the MMH Nose Surgery message board was immeasurable!
See Tonya’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Album.
Tags: celebrity, plastic, surgery