Author Topic: One Month Post-op With Dr. Bensimon  (Read 187 times)

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Offline Sofie L

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One Month Post-op With Dr. Bensimon
« on: October 06, 2018, 05:22:15 pm »
Hello, it's been a few months since I've posted anything. Today marks my one-month anniversary of having FFS with Dr. Bensimon in Montréal. I had a rhinoplasty and a Type-2 forehead bossing. I posted the first week post-op on Reddit regarding my experience. I'm going to cut & paste it below, and give you a bit of a follow-up, below that, about how I'm doing at one month:

Surgery Day - Sept. 6 - We were told to arrive at the clinic on Rue de Salaberry at 8:30 a.m. It has undergone extensive renovations recently, and has a very modern, airy feel to it. A receptionist takes your health card, confirms who you are, and makes you fill out another health questionaire identical to the one I did several months ago. We were then taken into the "ward" where I received my medical intake and was shown to my room where i'd be spending the night recovering.
At this point, I was given a gown and a robe to put on. My surgery was scheduled for 10 a.m., but they did not come to get me until after 11. There seemed to be some delay for the person in surgery before me. I was escorted to the top floor and taken to a waiting area over looking the courtyard and the river. It has a very calming effect. Dr. Bensimon then came out and had a final look at the work that was to be done. He also took some "before" pics from all angles. I joked that I felt that I was being arrested.
The anesthetist then came out and discussed what was going to happen, and whether I had had any bad effects from anesthetic in the past. I was led into the operating room, where one last confirmation was made regarding who I was and what procedure was being done. I was placed onto the table and an I.V. was inserted. The next thing I remember is someone on the medical team telling me to wake up because it was all over.
I was brought back down to the recovery room, and helped into bed. The first night was quite rough, as I had nausea from ingesting blood from the rhinoplasty. So, I barfed about 5 times throughout the night. I can only say that all the staff were quite pleasant and compassionate. Because the ward is so small, they were able to be very attentive to your needs. I honestly don't think that I would have gotten that attentive of care at a regular-sized hospital. I was assisted out of bed the first couple of times, then was able to do it my self.
Day 2 - Dr. Bensimon did his rounds around 7:30 a.m. He said everything looked good, and proceeded to remove the packing from the nose. It was so good to be able to breathe through my nose again! I really didn't have a lot of questions for him at that point, as I was still quite tired. Breakfast couldn't come quick enough as I hadn't eaten in 36 hours by then. It was quite good for hospital food. My hair was washed after that by one of the staff in a salon-type chair. She said that it was normal to have quite a bit of hair come loose over the first couple of washes from the incision points. Some people freak out over this, apparently. I was discharged by 10 a.m. Again, absolutely everybody was totally professional and helpful for the whole stay.
We were lucky enough to have a friend offer to put us up in the Montréal area for the week, until the post-op appointment on the following Friday. Dr. Bensimon had said that my GP could take out the staples back home, but I wanted him to do it so that if I had any concerns, they would be answered first-hand. Pain is very manageable. I did try a dose of the opioid that he had prescribed, but I moved on to Tylenol pretty quick as being more than enough for my pain management. I would describe it as a medium-grade headache, centred at the bottom sides of the incisions. Dr. Bensimon used staples on both sides (20 total, I believe), and what looks like glue across the top of the hairline. I was still quite tired, and crashed just after supper. Pro tip: buy a freezable mask for your face. It helps amazingly with the pain!
Day 3 - Well, hello bruises! They were quite worse than the previous day, and seemed to change shape and colour regularly. I am feeling much more human, though. my nose continues to be the most troublesome, as it continues to feel caked and crusty inside. I don't know what is actually stitches, and what could come free. I'm using a saline rinse into the nostrils a couple times per day, and it does help a bit.
The swelling has gone down enough that I can definitely see a change in the brow line. Much smoother. Also, the nose appears smaller, but most of it is still covered up, so I'll have to wait until the bandages come off for a better look.
Day 4 - Today, I decided to take a walk outside of the house for the first time since being discharged. I certainly did not have the energy that I though I had. About 4 blocks were enough to wipe me out. I ended up sleeping the afternoon away. The good news is that the swelling is down dramatically and, by evening, the bruising was showing a significant decline. Some ichiness around the incision line as it heals, which I expected. Washed my own hair for the first time, which felt great. Weird not having any feeling above the incision line. I'm hoping to regain some feeling on top of my scalp, but that will remain to be seen.
Day 5 - I have to fight the urge not to use my pain meds. While the pain is dull - I describe it as a mid-grade headache at times - the fact that it's constant is a drain on one's body. The pain becomes exhausting before I even realize it. Meds and rest are still my friend.
Day 6 - Much improved. The swelling is down probably 3/4 since the operation. With a bit of make-up, I almost look human. Too bad the nose splint gives it away! I've avoided using healing aids such as Polysporin as I decided I wanted to give the scabbing the chance to do their thing around the incision line. Ventured out with friends tonight for dinner. Actually had an older woman ask if I had been assaulted. I had prepared myself for the possibility of a rude question and answered with a smile and the excuse of having an operation. I don't believe in confrontation, and will do what I can to defuse an awkward situation. It had the desired effect and she moved on. I really just want to get these damn staples out, and this nose splint off. Two more days...
Day 8 - I had an appointment with Dr. Bensimon in his practice on Boul. St. Joseph Est. A nurse removed the staples (20 of them) and gave me some "marching orders" for after care over the next few weeks. We passed the time until the doctor came in learning certain medical phrases in each other's 1st language. (I love the language fluidity that exists in Montréal!). The doctor pronounced everything healing quite well. I thought that the hairline incision would cause me the most issues post-op, but it is healing very quickly. Instead, the rhinoplasty will take a lot longer to heal. He said that the nose will be 80% healed after one month. I'm taking a month off work as I have a very physical job that involves wearing a full-face air mask. I don't want to reinjure myself by any means.
He usually wants to have a two-month check-up post-op, if you can fit in the travel. Barring that, he asks that you send him two-month photos of front-on and profile. I assured him that I would do so. Perhaps he'll use my photos to update his quite out-of-date before-and-after gallery on his website! I also had his front office give me a work note explaining why I needed a month off. They were very good about that and already have a form letter ready to go. I was given some scar reducing ointment, which seems to be working its magic.
Overall, I have been immensely happy with the service that I received. I look like the same person, just more feminine. Which is what I wanted from the outset. Other people will be looking for different results, and I can't speak to that. All I can say is that the care I received was top-notch, and the results I've received are what I wanted. YMMV!
11 days out, I have numbness on the crown of my head due to the nerves being cut. Dr. Bensimon warned me that that would happen. I can live with that. I also have partial numbness on the right 3rd of my forehead. Obviously due to nerve damage during the procedure. It seems to be slowly improving at that location. 90% of the bruising is gone. I am using concealer to cover the rest. (Not to mention dark sunglasses and a hat!) The hairline incision is almost completely healed in some spots. In others, where internal stitches were used, it is still healing and visible. I have a feeling that the scar will essentially disappear with disciplined after-care. There is still some achiness where the staples were on the sides of the head, especially if I'm wearing a hat (I hate hats!). There are various stitches inside the nostrils. Avoid the urge to pick at them! "There's a lot of stuff in there. Leave it alone!", as the doctor told me. Against doctor's orders, I absolutely had to blow my nose a few times over the last week to get the gross stuff out. I used light pressure whilst holding a hand against the forehead sinus area. It worked for me. I've also taken tylenol randomly as necessary (your meds may vary!). I'm at about 75% energy, give or take. I certainly feel the fatigue early in the evening. I've been listening to my body and sleeping as required.
That's about all I've got to tell you at this point. I'll do a seperate update in a month or so. Feel free to DM me if you want more info about my experience. Bye!

1 month post-op: OK, from top to bottom: The crown of my head is still numb from where the nerves were cut to peel my forehead foreward. It's no longer freaking me out much, but it took some time to get used to it. Some people say that the body compensates for it eventually, but I'm wondering if the brain just gets used to the numb spot.

The hairline incision is healing very well, if unevenly. With the help of the scar reduction ointment that Dr. Bensimon gave me, some areas have almost disappeared. There is an area in the centre (visible with my hair style, of course!) that was slightly slower in healing and still presents a 2-3mm scab that's trying to close up. There are single, self-dissolving stitches at either end of the hairline, where the incision turned southbound towards my ears. These haven't dissolved yet. There is some bumpiness where the staples were placed down the lateral incisions towards my ears. Nothing bothersome, and I assume it will even out over time.

The right 3rd of my forehead was numb immediately post-op, and I assume it was due to nerve damage of some sort. That area has finally regained most of its feeling, and I would say that 90% of the feeling has been regained in that specific area at the one-month point.

The skin on the forehead has been quite tight as a small lateral area of skin was removed at the hairline in order to raise my eyebrows slightly into a more "feminine" position. The skin is finally stretching out, though it still feels tight when I raise my eyebrows. Immediately pre-op, Dr. Bensimon asked me if I wanted to be able to raise my eyebrows post-op. Of course I said Yes, and I'm not quite sure how he alters his procedure to ensure that, or why anyone would say No, for that matter. Yes, the eyebrows sit slightly higher than pre-op, though it looks totally natural.

And now the nose...

It has certainly taken the longest to heal of all the areas worked on. I wasn't expecting that (don't know why). It was really hard to breath out of for a good week whilst the swelling went down. There are a lot of stitches in the nostrils that required great discipline not to pick at! These stitches caused some inflammation that partially blocked breathing at times. I believe that I had a slight infection, at about 2.5 weeks, from one nostril-based stitch that caused some redness and soreness on the outside of the nostril for about 5 days. I jammed Polysporine inside at the site of the stitch that was giving me trouble, and the inflammation seemed to dissipate after about 4 days. I am now at the point where the nose feels almost fully recovered.

Regarding my overall health: I took a full month off work because of the physical nature of my job. I now feel totally fine to return to work and am eager to do so. I took a jog for the first time today post-op. It was the first time I pushed myself cardio-wise, and I'd say that my cardio ability had regressed about 40% compared to immediately pre-op. I was in pretty good shape pre-op, and I don't think it will take me too much to get back to where I was. I definitely swear by getting as fit as possible pre-op to make your recovery easier. I will follow that advice for my bottom surgery next year.

That's all I've got for you at this point. I have absolutely no regrets going to Dr. Bensimon for FFS. My profile has changed quite a bit, and I'm really happy with how I look. He said that it would take about three months for the nose to heal completely. We shall see what the final result is.

p.s. Really make an effort to find someone to go with you. I would have been screwed if I had been alone as I didn't have a lot of strength for several days.

 

Offline Azurite92

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Re: One Month Post-op With Dr. Bensimon
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2018, 09:08:09 pm »
Hello Sofie,

Thank you very much for the highly detailed documentation of your recovery. I hope that you are feeling better now and pretty sure you're very happy with your results. I'm planning to have my FFS soon and thanks for this, I know what to expect. I'd be getting the two procedures you've had too plus some jaw work. Just curious though on one aspect of your healing. Do you experience significant hair loss even after a few weeks post op? I've read in other posts that they've been having hair loss for months and some even persist to a year and hairloss seems to be diffuse, not just from the hairline scar. Do you also experience that? I worry about hair loss because I find my curly hairs an asset. Thank you in advance for answering my questions.

Regards,

Azure
Moonlight shines upon the guilty, and the innocent alike

Offline Sofie L

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Re: One Month Post-op With Dr. Bensimon
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 12:00:17 pm »
Hi Azure,

I was advised at discharge that I'd see pronounced hair loss around the incision site for a while, and I did for a couple of weeks. Other than that, I keep my hair rather long, so it's easy for me to spot when hairs come out when I'm brushing, etc. I honestly haven't noticed any extra hair loss post-op other than what I was advised would happen. One of the nurses at the clinic told me that they often get post-op patients calling and freaking out (her words) about hair loss.

Personally, I wonder if it is a reaction to the trauma of having a major surgery. I haven't researched that, but it would be an interesting line of questioning to pursue.

I'm presently concentrating on reducing the scar along the hairline. I was using a scar gel that the surgeon had given me at my one-week follow-up. I've used it for about 6 weeks, but I've now moved to silicone scar strips that my pharmacist suggested. I wasn't happy with the scar reduction occurring with the gel, alothough we are our worst critics.

All the best,

Sofie. 

Hello Sofie,

Thank you very much for the highly detailed documentation of your recovery. I hope that you are feeling better now and pretty sure you're very happy with your results. I'm planning to have my FFS soon and thanks for this, I know what to expect. I'd be getting the two procedures you've had too plus some jaw work. Just curious though on one aspect of your healing. Do you experience significant hair loss even after a few weeks post op? I've read in other posts that they've been having hair loss for months and some even persist to a year and hairloss seems to be diffuse, not just from the hairline scar. Do you also experience that? I worry about hair loss because I find my curly hairs an asset. Thank you in advance for answering my questions.

Regards,

Azure

Offline Azurite92

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Re: One Month Post-op With Dr. Bensimon
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 07:00:35 am »
Hello Sofie,

I was actually intrigued about your hair loss post so that's why I researched more about it. Apparently, the hair loss post surgery is called post-op telogen effluvium brought about by the sudden shock on our body from a major surgery. But it says it's just temporary and we can cope with that. Minoxidil helps too.

Was using silicon strips more effective now in reducing the scar?

Thanks :)

Regards,

Azure
Moonlight shines upon the guilty, and the innocent alike

Offline Sofie L

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Re: One Month Post-op With Dr. Bensimon
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 08:37:35 am »
Azure,

Yes, I seem to be having a much better result with the silicone scar strips than with the gel. Of course, YMMV. I saw obvious healing after a couple days use. I'm now about 4 days into using the strips.

I've been thinking a bit about post-op aftercare. I think it's a really good idea to set up an aftercare relationship with a dermatologist in your home city, if you're too far from the surgeon to drop by. Even prearranging an appointment to a friendly GP probably wouldn't be a bad idea, especially if you're having healing problems.

Hello Sofie,

I was actually intrigued about your hair loss post so that's why I researched more about it. Apparently, the hair loss post surgery is called post-op telogen effluvium brought about by the sudden shock on our body from a major surgery. But it says it's just temporary and we can cope with that. Minoxidil helps too.

Was using silicon strips more effective now in reducing the scar?

Thanks :)

Regards,

Azure

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