An email from Kirsty Miller sent to Dr Swanepoel and the Nose Clinic team on 3 March 2016 nine years after he performed a hump removal procedure on her at the Clinic in 2006 (email published with Kirsty’s permission).
I am not sure if you would remember me, but many years ago I came for a nose job. I was the girl who ended up singing on the operating table.
You have been in my thoughts a lot lately and I have been meaning to send you an email, but have just not gotten to it!
I have started a business designing my own range of Swarovski crystal jewellery, and recently modeled in a photo shoot for advertising purposes. Here are some of the photos so you can see what an incredible job you did with me.
All the best for 2016.
A second email from Kirsty, dated 29 May 2016 explains why she decided to undergo rhinoplasty.
Growing up, I was a very happy and content youngster, and never gave much thought to my appearance. Then, when I was about 16 I became more aware of my appearance and noticed that the bridge of my nose had not properly developed. I had a “hump” which was visible in profile. The absence of a “normal” bridge appeared to accentuate the hump, and I began to notice it more and more, especially in photos.
I wasn’t particularly unhappy with my appearance, and although nobody ever commented negatively on my nose, or thought it was unattractive, it became something that hindered my confidence and made me feel ugly and unworthy.
I did some research and came across ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of women who had had similar noses to mine and had undergone surgery. I remember one photo in particular of a young girl who had had her “hump” removed. It completely transformed her face into a delicate and beautiful work of art.
I managed to convince my parents that this surgery would be extremely beneficial to my well being and being the incredible people they are, they backed me all the way.
There are many doctors who you will meet, most of whom will treat you well and perform their jobs in a professional manner. They will fix whatever needs fixing and the process is usually quite practical and ordinary.
Meeting Dr Swanepoel at the Nose Clinic was anything but ordinary. He had a gentle smile and a lovely way of talking. What struck me was how humble he was and how at ease I felt with him. He showed me on his computer screen how surgery would change the shape of my nose. I found it remarkable how, with a few strokes of his mouse, he created a solution to the ‘hump’ that had worried me so much.
I was terribly nervous about the surgery, but the staff put me at ease and before I knew it, I had floated away to a calm and peaceful place.
I love to sing and usually do it in front of friends and family, but for some reason, while lying on that operating table, I asked Dr Swanepoel, the anesthetist and the nurse whether they would like to hear me sing. So there I was concentrating on my tune and words while the team put surgery on temporary hold.
The surgery was done so well that it didn’t look as though I had had surgery; I just looked like a better version of myself. I realized then that being able to use knowledge, skill and better judgement to improve and enhance what God has already blessed you with, instead of completely changing it into something else, is what makes a plastic surgeon truly remarkable, and that this separates the ordinary from the extraordinary.
I have grown so much since then. The results of the surgery have cemented my belief that how you feel about yourself, and how you see yourself, is paramount to your well-being and happiness in life.