Five years ago, on Valentine’s Day, I got a rhinoplasty done… romantic, I know. Not a day has gone by since where I didn’t look in the mirror and feel that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

I often find myself going through the photos from my recovery, and I also like re-living these pivotal moments in my life. I clearly remember how hard it was to find any information (especially local) prior to doing it, which is why I had decided back then to write down every detail of my experience and recovery so that maybe I could be a reference point for anyone who’s in that same situation I was in.

Now you may be wondering why I’m bringing this up 5 years later… The truth is that I’ve had this post saved as an unpublished draft for all these years and I kept questioning whether to post it, and delayed it so much that I eventually felt too stupid to post it. But I now realise that it’s possibly equally if not more stupid to keep it unpublished. I know that this may not only be of interest but also of help to someone, so here goes.  

*Warning: This post contains sensitive content which some people may find disturbing*

I’d already previously written briefly about why I wanted to get my nose done in the first place, and the feedback I got from that post was pretty awesome. Lots of people – both friends and strangers – reached out to me asking for more information, some of which even went on to book their own consultations/surgeries! #proud

For those of you who are interested, here’s a brief (ish) day-by-day breakdown of my first week of recovery. Read on to check out the ‘big reveal’ and Before & After pics at the end. Please note that I had actually documented all of this during my recovery itself so all details are accurate.

Based on the research I had done and also the advice of my surgeon, I knew that the worst of the recovery would take around week, however I was advised to book it on a Wednesday and then go back to work not the following Monday, but the one after. So I booked 8 days of leave in total (with a weekend in between). 

Now on to the good stuff: 


Day 0 – Surgery Day:

My Rhinoplasty Experience: The First Week of Recovery, Surgery DayNeedless to say, I was experiencing all sorts of emotions throughout the morning until it was time to leave for the hospital. This was my first experience in a private hospital, and it made such a difference; even just simply having my own private room. A lovely nurse came in to ask me a bunch of questions and run some tests, I put on the very flattering hospital gown and over-sized slippers, and my surgeon came in to have one last chat and take some photos.

“Miss Warrington? We can go upstairs.”

It was finally happening! I gave Chris the last kiss I’d be able to for a while and followed the nurse upstairs to the OR.

Waking up from surgery is always hard for me as I tend to go into seizures cause of the anaesthetic (this isn’t a normal thing, I’m just special). I don’t remember much of what happened that evening, I came out of surgery at about 7pm; I was dazed, numb, and unable to breathe. Chris was there for me, and my parents came too. Having their love and support throughout made the whole thing so much easier.

I stayed at the hospital overnight like I knew I would. That night was awful, I kept waking up cause I couldn’t breathe. Apart from having the splint on my face, my nostrils were also stuffed with packing, so I couldn’t breathe through my nose at all. These are commonplace with rhinoplasties, although different surgeons have different methods, so the splint might vary in size and sometimes packing isn’t used.

Day 1 Post-Op My Rhinoplasty Experience: First Week Recovery, Day 1
I woke up with an indescribable rumbling sensation inside my nose, but apparently that’s perfectly normal, along with the blood clots and catarrh I was coughing up. At about 11am, it was time for the packing to be removed. This was by far the most disgusting feeling I’ve ever experienced in my face, but it was over within seconds. About an hour later, I was discharged and went home.

Eating was interesting. I couldn’t move my upper lip from the numbness and had no sense of smell. My stomach also got irritated, but that’s probably because I hadn’t eaten much in over 24 hours so perhaps I ought to have stuck to lighter meals for the beginning as opposed to stuffing my face with rice and meatballs… You live and you learn.

Day 2 Post-OpMy Rhinoplasty Experience: First Week Recovery, Day 2
Sleeping was slowly getting easier – although you’re meant to sleep upright, and I usually sleep face down or in foetal position so that was tricky for me. In fact, I spent the first few nights on the recliner sofa cause it was easier for me to stay put and upright.

In general, the first week felt like I had a really bad cold (with a black eye for decoration). I couldn’t breathe through my nose, my mouth was very dry, my glands were swollen, I had a headache, and I felt like crap. The only difference was the fact that I had a cast on my face and the beautiful black eye.

Day 2 was the worst day, particularly in terms of congestion, discomfort, and swelling (on my eye, but that’s more annoying than painful). I was also feeling very sorry for myself, but I allowed it. Facial corrective surgery is quite an emotion-provoking ordeal.

Day 3 Post-OpMy Rhinoplasty Experience: First Week Recovery, Day 3
The swelling on my eye started going down, and the colour of the bruising went from a bluey-purple to a yellowy-green. The headache was still pretty bad so in attempt to make myself feel a bit better, I put on some regular clothes and did my hair. I couldn’t wash it but I at least tamed it to look a bit neater.

My nose and forehead got very itchy on Day 3 and I couldn’t scratch them because of the splint. On the bright side though, my nostrils started to clear out and I was slowly gaining my sense of smell again.

Chris and I went for a short walk up the road for a bit of fresh air; I had to walk very slowly though cause I’d heat up easily and my face would feel like it was going to explode.

Day 4 Post-OpMy Rhinoplasty Experience: The First Week of Recovery, Day 4
The pain kicked in, big time. The anaesthetic properly wore off completely and my nose started healing, but I had no idea how painful it would be. You read everywhere that it’s a painless recovery – looking back now, I would say it was painless, because you forget the pain. This is why I documented everything, I wanted this post to be as accurate as possible.

Paracetamol and ice packs helped to ease the pain quite a bit, but I was miserable and weepy. I felt a bit better after having a meltdown and getting some TLC from Chris. He washed my hair for me over the sink and we chilled, and then a couple of friends came over for a movie night, which helped take my mind off the pain for a while.

Days 5 & 6 Post Op My Rhinoplasty Experience: The First Week of Recovery, Day 5 / 6
I’ve put these 2 days together cause there’s very little to say. I was slowly feeling better, and getting very excited about removing the splint and seeing my new nose on Day 7. My nights got easier, the swelling around my eye went down; the bruising was mainly yellow with a bit of purple and my eye was still bloodshot but not painful, and I could finally start breathing through my nose again. The pain wasn’t so bad either, just kicked in every now and then for a few minutes, but it was much more bearable.

Day 7 Post-Op – Splint Removal Day!
The big reveal! This was hard because I knew that the nose I was about to see was not going to be the final result. I was called in at about 2pm, and I had no idea what to expect… Would it be painful? Will I like my new nose?

One thing that surprised me was that, unlike all the splint-removal videos I’d watched on YouTube, I had mine taken off in the OR, on the operating bed, while wearing a hospital gown over my clothes and funny bag things over my shoes.

The removal wasn’t painful, just slightly weird. After removing it, the surgeon cleaned me up, sat me up, and handed me a mirror. The moment of truth… I was red, swollen, and looked something like a cross between an Avatar and a Who (from the Grinch) – just significantly pinker.

I could tell there was a big difference in the shape of my nose, but in those few seconds, I didn’t know how I felt. It was an indescribable and overwhelming feeling. Shortly after, when seeing myself in a bigger mirror, I burst into hysterical tears. At that moment, I knew that I had made one of the best decisions of my life.

Despite the redness and swelling and knowing that I had to wait a year for the true final result, I could say, for the first time ever, that I love my new nose.

My Rhinoplasty Experience: The Big Reveal
Photo #3 was taken about 5 minutes after the splint removal and photo #4 was about 3 hours later. The swelling had already gone down a lot by then.

Over the following months, the swelling kept going down slowly. It takes one year for a full recovery. 5 years down the line, as I mentioned in the intro, there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t feel happy about my ‘new’ nose. 

There tends to be quite a bit of stigma about corrective surgery. In my eyes, it’s just the same as getting braces (which I also had when I was 12) and there’s far less stigma about that. I believe that if there’s something that bothers and affects you so much that it makes you miserable, if you can change it, go for it! 🙂 Sure, there may be people who disagree, who try to discourage you or change your mind, but this is your life and only you need to be truly happy with the way you look and feel. And self-love is priceless. 

And now what you’ve all been waiting for. The real before & after. I’ll be honest I find it hard to share these photos, because I so deeply hate how it used to look – but this post wouldn’t be complete without them. Some people say they don’t see a difference… I say it’s right under your nose (mehehe). But hey ho… I see it, and I love it. ^^ 

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions regarding my rhinoplasty or recovery, or are considering getting it done and need some encouragement, do get in touch with me and I’ll be more than happy to help! 🙂 

And meanwhile don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more fun, helpful, and inspiring (I hope) content. 

Until next time,

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