If you asked me a year ago if I'd ever consider plastic surgery (of any kind), it would have been a hard "no."
I'm a huge advocate of loving yourself, letting your freak flag fly and all that. But recently my idealistic, personal ethics did a little bending. And, I'm really glad they did.
If you're wondering about the specific moment that led me to flex my self-imposed resolution, there wasn't one. I harbored no mean comment from childhood, and there were no recent hateful remarks that left me reeling. Instead, during 20-something years of self discovery, there was one thing I dreamed of tweaking (keyword: tweaking): my nose. So I saved up all my pennies (read: forfeited many shopping trips) and paid the hefty fee that was the procedure.
Nose jobs aren't a new thing (Google any of your favorite celebs, they've probably had one), but they're definitely not a topic of conversation for most people. No one talks about it. But we have so many questions! (Right?) So I'm going to talk about it and tell you everything you didn't know.
Before I get into the amazing experience that was celeb Scarless Rhinoplasty Plastic Surgeon Dr. Deepak Dugar, M.D., let's talk about self-confidence.
Sure, self-confidence is an inside job, it comes from inner strength and competence. But, let's face it, our outer appearance can help or hinder self-confidence as well. And, of course, plastic surgery may seem like an extreme way to achieve self confidence, but for me, it made a difference.
Previously, I rarely liked to see a photo of my face—peep the above photo for a look at my old nose. That includes my wedding photos, which is a drag, because I was obviously ecstatic that day. I spent years hating my bump, which others swore was unnoticeable. I described the tip of my nose as "bulbous" and there's nothing about that word that makes a girl feel self-confident. To avoid the spotlight, I jumped at the chance to be the group photographer, and when forced to take part, I'd strategically pretend to take a sip of whatever I was drinking in a last ditch effort to shade my nose. I was doing things like this for years before I ever realized it was actually impacting me—negatively.
So I did some research and found Dr. Dugar (who was hand-selected and trained by Dr. Raj Kanodia—rumored to have worked on celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and Ashlee Simpson Ross). Dr. Dugar works out of his Beverly Hills office and is only the second doctor in America to dedicate his practice exclusively to closed scarless rhinoplasty (because this chick does not dig scars). What does that mean? All cuts are made on the inside of the nose, leaving no visible trace on the outside.
"Most surgeons, I'd say 99 percent now, do something called open rhinoplasty," claims Dr. Dugar. "They make a cut at the bottom of the nose, lift it up, do a bunch of reconstructive changes then suture it back together. You're left with a scar at the bottom of your nose forever. Usually, it's not that noticeable, but it's there for life."
No scar? Count me in.
My initial consultation with the surgeon went better than expected. I didn't want to get my hopes up (mainly because I just didn't know what to expect), so I went in with the intention of letting him speak, listening lots and sussing out the situation from there.
"The key with your nose is subtly," said the pro. "We don't want to make any major changes because we don't want anyone to know, necessarily, that you've had it done." I was buying what he was selling. "Even if you tell people, you want them to look at your nose and see it's a natural look." Minimal changes. Major improvements. Yaaaas.
What we finally settled on was making the tip a little smaller (buh-bye, bulbous), shaving down the bump and narrowing the width.
I was going for refinement vs. reconstruction, and Dr. Dugar was absolutely the man for the job.
Two consultations and roughly 13 days later, I arrived for surgery on March 29. I had my husband with me for moral support, and my mom and dad with us because frankly, they insisted. And almost immediately I experienced my first wave (read: tidal wave) of nervousness. All of the things normal people probably stress out about weeks prior to this moment came flooding in. The big one being: It's my face…what if I don't like it? As I silently felt all those fun stomach tricks you feel while, say, jumping out of a plane, I was handed a hospital robe, a hair net and a pair of socks. It was go-time. (Well, I had time to take one last selfie…but then it was go-time.)
The actual surgery took about two hours, after which I woke up with a nose full of stuffing and a flesh-colored cast on the area. I can't really recall the time frame of which I went from hospital bed to home, but before I knew it, I was on the couch with ice on my face. Overall, the day was relatively painless—you're more uncomfortable than you are in actual pain. The drugs help, too.
Things you'll want to know about the recovery process: For the first two days you're icing your face constantly (I kept ice on for 11 hours straight to help with swelling and bruising). After two days the stuffing that lived inside your nose comes out (such a strange feeling), and you can finally breathe through it. For a good four days you're out of commission (your couch will be your best friend; don't even think about going to work or making any kinds of plans). After a week of hermit-like activity, you'll feel like yourself again and are truly free to carry on as you did before—just no running, heavy lifting or downward yoga poses. Swelling and bruising is different for everyone, but I can tell you I had major swelling for the first week, some bruising around my eyes that lasted the week and then some corneal laceration (looks like bruising on the actual eyeball) that took about two weeks to fully vanish.
"Healing is a slow process," warned Dr. Dugar. "It takes three full years for the nose to completely heal. It's not like any other surgery, this is the only surgery where we're shaping the framework underneath without cutting the skin. We're cutting away cartilage and bone, shaving and narrowing, but the skin is the same size it was before surgery. So your skin has to shrink down to its new form. However, the bridge, where your bump was, that takes only one year to fully heal."
Though slow, the healing process doesn't really affect your daily life. It's not painful, other than to the touch; the uncomfortable factor subsides after a week or so (you just feel extra congested). Though the tip of your nose is pretty swollen, it's hardly noticeable (at least that's what my friends assured me)—see above for my current before and after.
Post-op, you visit the office almost every week for quick 10-minute cleanings (pro tip: get yourself a doctor within reasonable distance from your house—you visit often), where a vacuum suction is used on the inside of your nose, ointment is applied then you're home free.
Needless to say, I'm anxious to see the final product, but what I can see I love.
Expect to pay anywhere from $8,000 - $18,000, but, in my opinion, you can't put a price (or a recovery time) on confidence.