Ashley*, 29

Procedure: Rhinoplasty

Performed by: Dr. Gregory Antoniak

*Patient name has been changed

I haven't told anyone about my rhinoplasty, except my parents. People tell me I look great, but no one seems to realize I've had something done! It's a subtle change—and that's exactly what I wanted.

Although I'd never really liked my profile, I didn't do anything about it until last year, because I wanted to be able to afford the surgery. Timing was important to me, as well.

As it turned out, my biggest challenge was finding the right surgeon. Rhinoplasty seems especially risky, because you can't hide any mistakes. By the time I went to see Dr. Antoniak, I'd already done lots of research and seen two other surgeons in the Ottawa area.

When I told Dr. Antoniak I avoided smiling because I thought it accentuated the size and shape of my nose, I didn't feel judged—I felt supported and understood. In short: I knew I could trust Dr. Antoniak with my face.

Since I'm a teacher, it made sense to have surgery during summer vacation. At the Ottawa Hospital Riverside, Dr. Antoniak reduced the bump on my nose, refined the tip and made my nostrils smaller. He also did a septoplasty, so my breathing is much better now.

Post-surgery, I was able to walk and eat right away. I had some pain but nothing unbearable; although, I was a little shocked when the splint was taken off and my nose was still swollen. Fortunately, two weeks later I was good to go! (To be honest, I was really OK before that too—it just took me some time to get comfortable with my new nose.) I'm much happier today. I don't feel the need to hide my profile when I'm smiling or laughing—such a relief!

If I had any advice to give someone considering the procedure, I'd say be patient and give your nose time to heal. Think of it this way: A small swollen nose is better than a large unswollen one, any day!

*Some names have been changed to protect patient privacy.