Not that I deemed myself wrist slit-tingly ugly or anything along those lines. Not at all! In all honesty, I could have gone the rest of my life without alteration and have been 100% chill. It’s just… I realised at around age 18/19, that whenever I took a picture, the first thing I noticed at was my nose. When posing I would angle myself perfectly to the side, avoid facing front, or equally never smile because I was conscious my nose would spread, or just look off, Granted, it wasn’t massive, but it was a distinctive enough of a feature of mine that all in all I just wasn’t a huge fan of.
Having lived in Seoul for nearly 2 years, to my knowledge Korea is known to have some of the best surgeons and clinics in the world. Pay a visit to Gangnam one afternoon, and it’s not uncommon to see women parading around bandaged or puffy faced. And forever curious me finally opted to take the plunge and join them!
The clinic is located in Apgujeong, and I was directed there by Seoul Cosmetic Surgery. Prior to surgery I had a consultation with Dr Kim Hyeon Suk, who sat (rather intensely) and fondled my nose. The way he took time to observe my facial features, as well as feel my nasal bridge bone was noted by me. And as an artist myself, there was something about the seriousness in his face that I recognised and respected. A man of few words bar the occasional joke, I felt like I liked his vibe. After feeling my face, he sat back and told me what procedure he thought I would need, and then asked what I was unhappy with about my nose. We decided on a lower lateral cartilage excision, osteotomy and a septal bridge extension with silicone. Google it coz I ain’t a doctor boo. lol
*Paper work…….paperwork….sign here, sign there.. somewhere in the middle, all of which was kindly translated into English for me.*
D DAY -15.01.2018
A little flustered from the Seoul rush hour commute, at 10am, I spoke to the clinic consultant, got changed and had the nurses poke around and weigh me, take pictures etc. Again, I met with the doctor, who clarified how I wanted my nose to look. After ‘designing’ my nose, by marking lines on my face and fondling once more; He sat patiently while I swiped through my phone to show him images. Initially he had spoke about pinching the tip, but when I mention I had changed my mind, he took onboard my request and didn’t force the issue.
Extroverted introvert tis I! Meaning, it’s all great until it’s not. Super scared, I attempted to keep a cool face. The nurses kept asking if I was nervous because I apparently looked so straight faced. But to be honest, my concern was with the sleep sedation aspect of the surgery. On reflection, it sounds rather stupid but I was frightened of waking up mid way through him carving my nose!
….For obvious reasons, that didn’t happen, in fact if felt like a really long nap. These people are medics and I should add that they relly know what they are doing. When I woke up I was beyond incoherent, stumbling and mumbling, there was 4 of EVERYTHING in the room. For the next 1 and a half hours I lay trying to shake off the double vision. I watched helplessly as the poor staff, had to mop up my vomit. Being guided to and from the bathroom was no joke. And as I later found out from my sister, I may have had a bad reaction to the sedation drug. She had similar experiences after a previous surgery, and reckoned it’s a ‘family thing.’ It’s a wonderful thing sisterhood…just great that… being told AFTER vomiting all over a hospital bed and floor.
Arrived at 10am and out by 3pm, the next 48hrs, were uncomfortable. Although not in pain, it was a painto have to sleep upright, with my mouth open. The cotton mouth was REAL! SO ice cream and juice became my best friends. Koreans’ swear by pumpkin juice to reduced swelling, so I drank til I could drink no more. And as luck would have it, the only part of my face that swelled up was my eyes. All in all the most painful part was my ear, where they had taken cartilage and added it to my nose.
1 WEEK ON- 22.01.2018
My nose is still swollen, especially at the tip, and feels like a numb extra component to my face. The splint/cast was removed on the 5th day and the stitches removed today (a week after surgery). From the staff at the clinic, to the lovely medical tourism company I went through, (Seoul Cosmetic Surgery) to the doctor himself, I was treated with such care. They did nothing but make me feel comfortable and at ease. Western beauty standards differ to that of the Far East. Plus, Korea has so many hospitals & clinics, some good and some great, but having the resources, (especially as a woman of colour) to help navigate and communicate what I wanted was vital. I’m grateful for the clinics in house foreign liaison, who was able to translate what I was saying. And equally Seoul Cosmetic Surgery for helping me choose the right clinic.
Literally, keep looking at myself sideways…for the first time in a long time I took a photo front facing and smiling. Currently the bridge is super high, and can take up to a year for the swelling to decrease, and my new nose shape to be fully visible. Both excited to watch the healing process, and extremely impatient to see the final shape of my nose. It’s only been a week and I can’t explain how happy I feel. This was a decision for me and I am so glad I trusted my gut. Don’t get me wrong, while I don’t advocate tonnes of plastic surgery, I do whole heartedly believe (once well researched) in doing what is right for you, and what will make you happy.
But ultimately, you have to be ok on the inside first. Will keep y’all updated!
*2 Week Update*