I am no stranger to cosmetic procedures and people’s wild misconceptions about them. I fully believe in being transparent and sharing my life experiences with my readers. I mean come on, I didn’t just roll out of bed with a new nose one day. That said, I’m sharing my cosmetic aka “plastic” surgery story on my rhinoplasty so those considering it will know what to expect and hopefully provide them with a peace of mind.
First off, plastic surgery is scary. I couldn’t have been more excited for my rhinoplasty, but I was still a ball of nerves and couldn’t hold back the waterworks on the day of surgery. Having my nose changed was really terrifying and the thought of my surgeon poking around in there made me squirm a bit. That’s my face!! I can report back that after it’s all said and done, it was very positive experience. I’ve wanted a nose job for as long as I can remember, and it feels amazing to have finally done something I’ve thought so much about.
Finding a plastic surgeon
My plastic surgeon Dr. Houtan Chaboki was referred to me by my ENT specialist Dr. Stephen Wall. I had originally made an appointment with Dr. Wall for an ENT assessment as I’ve always felt like I had limited breathing. I ended up having sinus surgery in addition to my rhinoplasty, so both surgeons were a part of my process.
Had I not been referred I would’ve looked specifically for a facial plastic surgery specialist. There are a number of general plastic surgeons that do rhinoplasties but I wanted a facial specialist to take care of this type of cosmetic change. I personally recommend finding a surgeon that does a large amount of your desired procedure when you are looking for a doctor. Browse their before and after photos and see if they have any reviews online from patients.
Another thing to take into consideration is your interactions with your plastic surgeon. From the moment I met Dr. Chaboki I was extremely comfortable. He was so friendly and informative and I never felt like he was pushing me to do something I didn’t want. I also appreciated that he noted he is conservative and doesn’t want to change a person’s appearance, only improve it. A lot of people have the common misconception that plastic surgery is dramatic and overdone. I feel as though the individuals who end up looking that way probably desired that look, and it had little to do with the surgeon pushing them. Make sure you and your surgeon are on the same page with the aesthetic you want during your consultations.
From consultation to surgery
I ended up having three appointments with Dr. Chaboki before scheduling my surgery. In our first appointment I discussed my cosmetic goals and he explained the best procedures to achieve them. I was essentially looking to remove the slight bump in my nose to improve my side profile. Dr. Chaboki explained that he would do a closed rhinoplasty and add cartilage to even my bridge and give it a smooth appearance, bump free! There were also a few small areas he said he would add cartilage to stop my nose from drooping when I smile. I also discussed options for my chin as I felt like my side profile could possibly be improved with an implant. We reviewed the process for this and I ended up choosing to do chin liposuction to define my jawline and basically remove my “double chin” to achieve the look I wanted for my side profile.
During the first appointment he took photos, examined my nose and discussed my options like I mentioned above. The second appointment we reviewed my photos and he showed me what my nose and chin would look like with the procedures we discussed. The third appointment we confirmed everything that would be done and I decided to move forward.
I then booked my surgery for a Thursday in March and my dad made plans to come take care of me for a few days. I’m lucky that my dad is a anesthesiologist so it made me really comfortable that he’d be with me throughout the process.
Per the instructions from the nurses I didn’t eat or drink anything after midnight before my surgery. I arrived at GWU hospital with my dad and we went through the check-in process. Eventually they took me back to my small pre-op area where my father and I spoke with a nurse and they gave me the hospital gown and socks to change into. The nurse checked my blood pressure and ran a few small tests and then we waited for the doctors. Eventually, the anesthesiologist came over (at this point I was basically silent and freaking out inside) and he asked me some basic questions and spoke with my dad a bit. We expressed my nervousness and he said he’d give me some medication to relax me (THANK G). Soon Dr. Wall and Dr. Chaboki arrived and they chatted with me and my dad about the surgery and post-op. I felt so much better once I saw my surgeons and even better once I had the IV flowing with some meds to calm me down. Not long after, I was rolled back into the operating room and within a couple minutes was out like a lamp.
Four hours later…The next thing I remember is dreaming that I was in Dr. Chaboki’s office a week later and he was taking off my cast! Before I could see my new nose in the dream I woke up to the nurses in the pre/post-op area I started in. My nose had a cast on, some gauze covering my nostrils and my head had an ace bandaging from the chin procedure. I felt aware and a little sore, but then also quite disoriented and very anxious for my dad to be with me. Once he showed up I remember I just started sobbing. I think the whole process was emotional for me because I finally did something I’d wanted for SO LONG, plus it was probably the anesthesia. The nurse gave me some pain medication (although I hardly needed it) so I would feel okay for the trip home and after about an hour in post-op I went home.
After I was home and on my couch I felt much better but the cast and gauze under my nose was just plain uncomfortable. The best way to describe it is you feel really congested for a while. I eventually could take the gauze from under my nostrils and this made me a lot more comfortable.
Day One: I was a little bruised and was swollen like a puff-pastry. I felt little to no pain, just sore and tender. Dad went out to get me some food and I took my prescriptions as directed. The pain medication made me a little nauseated in the evening but I was able to fall asleep.
Day Two: Ugh, so uncomfortable. But again, no real pain in my nose. My chin on the other hand… although totally numb I could tell this was going to be the area I felt major soreness. My ears and chin were totally numb! I had an incision behind each ear and right under my chin with stitches, too. I went for my follow up with Dr. Chaboki and he examined my nose and re-wrapped my chin; everything looked good. I was able to carefully wash some of my face and take a shower when I got home (avoiding the cast) and spent the day relaxing on the couch. I had to apply ointment directly inside my nose with q-tips to help things heal. I also had stitches in this area so it was super sensitive. In the evening I developed a little bit of a pressure headache but just took some Tylenol and went to bed.
Day Three: I was up and moving just fine by now. The chin liposuction made things feel sore and tight so I was eating a lot of soft foods. Nose still felt “stuffed” and tender but no real pain. I’ll also remind you I had sinus surgery, so this is likely the cause of the pressure headaches. As I rested on the couch I would sometimes just let out a huge “ughhhhh” because I felt so uncomfortable. Truthfully, it wasn’t so bad. My dad left to go home to NC in the afternoon and I was able to take care of myself the rest of the day.
Day Four: The bruising and swelling was already going down drastically from my steroid medication. I was still feeling stuffy and wasn’t getting much air through my nose yet. I was still eating pretty soft foods and spent a lot of time on the couch binge watching Netflix. Highly recommend Schitt’s Creek, hilarious.
Day Five-Seven: I worked from home the whole week because I didn’t want to go into the office with my cast on. I definitely didn’t feel great but easily could’ve gone into an office if really necessary. I went to see Dr. Wall on Day Six and he removed a splint that was in my nose and cleaned it out a bit. This was not very enjoyable but I was getting some airflow after. I had friends swing by with food and to visit but later in the week I ventured out to grab lunch or grocery shop. Definitely got some stares with my cast on but whatever.
Day Eight: Cast removal day!! I saw Dr. Wall for more internal cleaning and then headed to Dr. Chaboki for the reveal! That morning when I showered I was able to get my cast/face soapy and wet to help the cast come off easily at my appointment. I was SHOCKED when Dr. Chaboki took it off that I was hardly bruised and just looked really puffy. But there she was! My beautiful new nose, I loved her! I then made my way to work and put on some makeup to cover the light yellowing bruises that were nearly gone. I was still eating semi-soft foods at this point.
Everything was VERY tender, my chin was basically still numb and tight and I had to be very gentle when washing my face. I had friends visiting that weekend and they were amazed that I had just had surgery a week prior, they couldn’t tell whatsoever!
Two weeks: Everything was still tender and I was getting some feeling back in my chin. Air flow was feeling good and I continued applying the ointment in my nose to help the healing process. I was back to my normal diet by now.
Three weeks: Nose is a lot less tender and the area between my nostrils is the only spot really sore to the touch. My chin is still tight but has most feeling back. Can’t believe I had a rhinoplasty, sinus surgery and chin liposuction just a 21 days ago! I am still super careful when I wash my face and put on moisturizer because my nose is so tender, but I have zero pain or discomfort.
Left: Day 2 Middle: Day 3 Right: Day 4
Costs obviously vary by surgeon and area. Dr. Chaboki gave me quotes for each procedure and I can confirm that mine fell accurately within them. I paid them in full before surgery.
Chin Liposuction: $3,000
Remember to take into consideration the hospital/surgery center fees as well as the anesthesia fees. These costs were roughly $2,500 in addition to what I paid Dr. Chaboki. My medical procedures that Dr. Wall performed were submitted to insurance since they were not cosmetic.
Was it aliyouwanted?
Yes, yes, yes, yes. I could not be happier with the results and my amazing surgeons. Although it was an involved process (doctor visits and follow-ups), it was a mild recovery and worth every second spent getting to where I am now.
In the DC Area?
I highly recommend both of my amazing surgeons. Dr. Wall and Dr. Chaboki are both located in the Foggy Bottom area of DC. I couldn’t be happier with my results and what wonderful surgeons I had to get me here.
Dr. Houtan Chaboki, MD
2300 M Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (202) 800-2085
Dr. Stephen Wall, MD
Website3 Washington Circle, Suite 401
Washington, DC 20037
Phone: (202) 862-2600