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Linda Briggs Cosmetic Surgery in Zagreb Croatia
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Diary of Rhinoplasty surgery in Croatia


To contact the surgeon who carried out this rhinoplasty, read more here


----- Original Message -----
From: Olivia B
To: Linda Briggs
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2012 5:05 PM
Subject: RE: Rhinoplasty in Croatia

Dear Linda

Happy New Year!

Many thanks for putting me in touch with Dr T.  I am now 3 weeks post-rhinoplasty and so far I am very pleased with the result.  Dr T and the team at the clinic are very welcoming and are doing a great job.  The facilities are of top standard.

Working in the pharmaceutical/medical sector I know how much can go wrong.  Dr T and the entire crew are highly skilled and professional and I would recommend them without hesitation.  I have kept a diary of my rhinoplasty in Croatia in the hope that it may help others.

Please feel free to post it on your website.



Rhinoplasty with Dr T

There is limited information when it comes to surgery abroad, this is why I have decided to write this in the hope that it will help others.

As a British expat living in Switzerland, the only affordable option was finding a surgeon abroad.  I did have a few consultations with surgeons in Switzerland but with costs around £9000 for a rhinoplasty it was just out of question.

I initially considered having surgery in Belgium and called Linda Briggs to have her opinion on the surgeon.  During our conversation she gave me the name of Dr T in Croatia.  Both Linda and her husband have used him in the past.

Dr T has done over 3000 noses and 70% of the operations he carries out are rhinoplasties. I spoke to former patients and the pictures that were sent to me indicated that it could be a wise choice.  Rhinoplasty is the operation with one of the highest revision rates, therefore finding an “expert” was key.

Whilst Dr T has been practicing for many years, the clinic is quite new.  According to the staff the patients coming from abroad mainly originate from UK, Germany, Austria and Italy.

Dr T recommends patients stay in Croatia for 8 days to ensure a proper post-operative follow-up.  The earliest you could leave is once nasal packing has been removed 3 days after the surgery.  Confident with my choice I booked surgery for December 2011.

14.12.2011
After a short flight I arrived in Zagreb where I am met by Boris the driver.  He took me to stay with nurse Zlata.  I was welcomed by Zlata and her husband Miro.  The accommodation is a one-bedroom flat with a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, TV, stereo, wireless Internet access and a terrace.  The flat is in an annex of the nurse’s house.

As I have worked all day prior to travelling to Croatia I go to bed around 11pm and settle quickly.

15.12.2011: Day of Surgery
Miro took me to a lab for blood tests prior to driving me to the clinic.  The blood test was over in less than 5 minutes and by the time I got to the clinic the results had already been faxed over.  At the clinic everyone was very friendly and welcoming.  An Austrian lady that had a facelift was leaving the clinic as I arrived.  I met with Dr T Senior and Junior and explained once again what I wanted doing.  From the front my nose is OK, from the side however it is the same length as height and I wanted the bridge taking down to give me a softer profile.  They reassured me and told me that it was a very simple operation and that the outcome would be good.

They went over my medical history, answered all my questions before getting me to sign the consent form.

The Nurse helped me into a surgical gown (I could keep my underwear and socks on) and walked me to the operating room.  I was given a tranquilizer and vaguely remember another nurse installing an IV needle.  I have a slight recollection of tongues being put in my nose and the feeling of the chisel breaking a piece of bone.  The operation was done with enhanced local anaesthesia.  Before I knew it, the nurses asked me to open my eyes and walked me over to the recovery area, where I spent about 2 hours in a bed with ice packs around my neck and nose.  The nurse kept checking on me.

Early afternoon, the nurses helped back into my clothes and I could leave the clinic after Dr T checked that I was OK.  Back at the flat the nurse checked on me on an hourly basis and kept bringing me ice packs.

I felt surprisingly well and had no pain at all.

Sleeping was a challenge because of the nose packing.  I could only breathe through my mouth, which I found tough.

16.12.11: Day 1 Post-Surgery
First signs of swelling and bruising but not as bad as I expected.  Feeling OK, no pain at all.  I keep applying the ice packs which are brought to me on a regular basis.
In the afternoon I go for a short walk as I needed to get some fresh air.  The flat is in a residential district so I could walk without having too many people stare at me.
The nurse and her husband keep checking on me on an hourly basis.

I go to bed early as I am tired but do not sleep well.  The nose packing is the most challenging part of the rhinoplasty. It is like having a really bad cold and being really stuffy.

17.12.11: Day 2 Post-Surgery
Oh my god! I can hardly open my right eye.  My face is really swollen and I have bad bruising.  I continue to ice the area on a regular basis and go for another walk.

As the day goes on the swelling in my right eye goes down, but my face is not a pretty site.  I am pleased that I have gone abroad so no one can see what a mess I am.

I look worse than I feel.

18.12.11: Day 3 Post-Surgery
After another night of poor sleep, my face is still as swollen as the previous day.  Hopefully it will get better from today!  The nurse removes the nose packing in the morning.  It was over in a few seconds and did not hurt.  Just a strange feeling.  Finally I am able to breathe through my nose again, although I continue to breathe through my mouth.

I clean some of the dry blood under my nose before going out for yet another walk.

From time to time some pinkish liquid runs out of the nose, but I am reassured that this is normal and will get better with time.

19.12.11: Day 4 Post-Surgery
In the morning Miro drives me to the clinic to see Dr T for my first follow-up appointment.  Also in the car a lady of Croatian origin living in Austria attending her first facelift follow-up.  Despite the bruising she looked good already.

At the clinic everyone is welcoming and friendly despite it being quite busy.  Dr T checks my nose for internal healing and is happy with the progress.  Dr T explains that he removed a bit more than just the hump as in some cases a new hump could form as part of the healing process.  He reassured me that he did not create a “ski slope”
nose, as this is something I was keen to avoid.  I am told to come back in 3 days to have the splint removed.

I am still bruised and swollen but my eyes are getting back to a normal state and my cheeks are displaying all the shades of a rainbow.  Happy that it is going the right way!

20.12.11: Day 5 Post-Surgery
Swelling continues to subside and the bruises are starting to turn yellow.  Spend the day sightseeing in Zagreb.

21.12.11: Day 6 Post-Surgery
Not much progress today.  Swelling and bruising look the same as yesterday.

22.12.11: A week since Surgery
Swelling and bruising are still very much present but getting better.  I was driven me to the clinic to have the cast removed.

The clinic is busy but everyone takes the time to greet me warmly.  The nurse removes the plasters and the cast.  I am then giving some cotton pads, alcohol, water and cream to remove the remainders from my face.  As I do so I see myself in the mirror for the first time.....I do look different!  I do not know if I like my nose or not, it is just very different.

Dr T checks my nose, takes pictures and tells me that the outcome is great and once the swelling has gone down it will look good.  I am still so surprised, I am not sure….

Later in the day I take pictures of my front and profile and must admit that it looks OK and will most probably look nice in the future.

I apply make-up and travel back to Switzerland.

25.12.11: 10 days since Surgery
It has now been 10 days since surgery and although I am happy with my new nose the swelling around the tip and at the top of my nose between my eyes is making me look different, especially in the mornings when it is as its worst.  I know that it will gradually get better, it’s a matter of time.  The bruising has now completely gone and I would feel comfortable going back to work.

29.12.11: 2 weeks since Surgery

Healing continues to progress well and the swelling is gradually disappearing.  My nose is still very sensitive.

05.01.12: 3 weeks since Surgery

There is still quite a low of swelling at the tip but my nose is a lot less sensitive and most importantly of all I really like my nose.

So far I am pleased with the results.  I am still in the early healing phase and hope the positive trend continues.  I would say that the biggest difference is when I catch my profile in a mirror.  I have a much softer appearance and my chin is now well balanced.

I did not tell anyone about the procedure.  My family did ask me after about 2 weeks if I had a rhinoplasty…

I would definitely recommend getting this procedure done to someone who is considering it.  Choose your surgeon wisely

Here are some tips that might be of use:

  • I can strongly recommend the private accommodation.  For €55/day you get a nice flat, 3 meals a day and a nurse that looks after you very well.
  • Wash your hair prior to surgery.  You will most likely have to go for a few days without washing it.
  • You do not need to take very much with you at all.  You will need comfortable clothes and things to entertain you such as books and a computer.  You do not need to take many cosmetics with you.  You spend a week unable to wash your face or apply any creams.  Take cotton pads, they will be useful for cleaning your face and removing dried blood.  Mouthwash is another thing to pack.  Your upper lip could be swollen and stiff for a few days.  If you struggle to brush your teeth properly, mouthwash comes in handy.  Vaseline or a good lip balm is an essential.  Your lips will dry out as you have to breathe through your mouth.

I would definitely recommend getting this procedure done to someone who is considering it.

Good luck in making your decision!


Thanks again Linda
Olivia

 

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