best-bet by fanzhongqing



                                              Best Bet
                                 Farzana Merchant gambled on a better nose—and won a brand
                                          new outlook on life. By Marissa stapley-ponikowski

              38   elevate | july+august.09                               

                                                                         A         t first glance, you’d never
                                                                                   guess Farzana Merchant—a
                                                                                   s o f t - s p o k e n , 2 4 - y e a r- o l d
                                                                         pension fund specialist—is a poker
                                                                         whiz who plays weekly games with
                                                                                                                                  look like. The goal was to shorten and
                                                                                                                                  reduce the prominence of her nose,
                                                                                                                                  which would allow her other features
                                                                                                                                  to stand out.” Merchant booked her
                                                                                                                                  surgery right away. “I took a cancellation
                                                                                                                                                                                Rival’s office so he could remove the
                                                                                                                                                                                cast—and she could see her new nose.
                                                                                                                                                                                  “I was so happy,” she says. “I didn’t
                                                                                                                                                                                want my nose to look like someone
                                                                                                                                                                                else’s, or like a famous person’s nose. I
                                                                         her colleagues and competes in                           [because] I knew the longer I waited, the     just wanted it to be more in sync with
                                                                         tournaments. And you’d certainly                         more nervous I’d get.”                        my face.” Rival was pleased with the
                                                                         never guess she had rhinoplasty last                        She was still apprehensive when            results too. “This procedure changed
                                                                         year. “I was never happy with my                         she arrived at South Lake Hospital in         Farzana’s facial appearance in a very
                                                                         nose,” says Merchant, who lives in                       Newmarket, Ont., on the day of her            positive way. It brought out her other
                                                                         Mississauga, Ont., and grew up in                        surgery. But Rival reassured her by           features, like her eyes, and really
                                                                         India. “It was [too] big for my face and                 explaining exactly what he planned to         opened up her face. I think it shows
                                                                         had a hump in the middle that made                       do. The procedure took approximately          that you don’t really notice when a
                                                                         it look twisted. It also had a hook.                     two hours and was performed under             person has rhinoplasty—you just see
                                                                         lt really took away from my other                        general anesthetic. Merchant was              that they look better. There’s more
                                                                         features. When people talked to me, I                    home that evening.                            focus on other features, rather than
                                                                         felt like they were [always] looking at                                                                just the nose.”
                                                                         my nose.”                                                  “I was never happy with                       Merchant returned to work two
                                                                            Before moving to Canada in                                                                          weeks after the procedure and didn’t
                                                                         2006, Merchant dreamed of having
                                                                                                                                    my nose. It was too big for                 tell any of her colleagues she’d had
                                                                         rhinoplasty—and not just because she                       my face and had a hump                      cosmetic surgery. “Everyone noticed,
                                                                         didn’t like the way her nose looked. She                                                               but they couldn’t point out what was
                                                                         was born with a deviated septum, which                     in the middle that made it                  different,” she says. “[Before I had
                                                                         often made it difficult for her to breathe.
                                                                                                                                    look twisted.”                              rhinoplasty,] I wore glasses, but after
                                                                         “I wanted [rhinoplasty] in order to be                                                                 my procedure, I switched to contacts. I
                                                                         able to breathe better, and to look nice.                   “Post-operatively, we ask patients to      told everyone that’s what it was.”
                                                                         [But] I wasn’t sure it would ever happen                 use ice, stay elevated for the first few        Merchant visited Rival’s office a
                                                                         for me. Then I moved here, started                       nights and to use some ointment [such         month later; she’d healed perfectly.
                                                                         working and got a more positive outlook                  as Polysporin] inside the nose, which         Follow-up visits are required every two
                                                                         on life. That gave me the confidence                     is in a little cast and fibreglass splint,”   to three months for one year, to ensure
                                                                         and the push I needed to start doing                     says Rival. “About a week later, we see       that the scar tissue hasn’t shifted or
                                                                         research about rhinoplasty.”                             the patient and remove the cast and           caused asymmetry.
                                                                            Merchant discovered Dr. Richard                       stitches.” Most patients experience             Now Merchant is more confident
Photo, neal burstyn; hair & makeuP, liz robertson; clothing, esPrit

                                                                         Rival, a Toronto-based plastic surgeon                   bruising and swelling around the eyes         than ever. She’s still playing poker,
                                                                         on the Internet. “The moment I met                       and nose, which peaks two or three            recently took up ice skating and plans
                                                                         Dr. Rival, I had a good feeling about                    days after surgery. (The bruises fade         to play badminton this summer. “The
                                                                         him,” she says. “I just knew I wanted                    and swelling goes down about a week           way I look on the outside is making me
                                                                         him to be the doctor to perform my                       later, says Rival.)                           feel like a different person inside—I
                                                                         surgery. My parents came with me to                         Merchant says she felt better than         feel more positive and I want to try
                                                                         the first consultation, and they had a                   she expected after the procedure.             different things,” she says. “I used to
                                                                         zillion questions. He was so patient and                 “Breathing was a little hard at night,        feel like people were looking at me and
                                                                         answered all of them.”                                   so I used nasal spray so I wouldn’t be        thinking something was wrong with my
                                                                            Rival says Merchant knew what                         so congested. I also applied Polysporin       face. Now I don’t feel that way. Now I
                                                                         she wanted. “I suggested a few things                    regularly and was very careful about          know they’re just looking at me.” e
                                                                         she hadn’t thought of, and we did                        not doing too much.” About three days               Richard Rival, MD, FRCS (C )
                                                                         some imaging on the computer to help                     later, she was ready to get up and walk             Toronto and Newmarket, Ont.
                                                                         illustrate what [her new nose] would                     around. And she was excited to visit

                                                                                                                                                                     july+august.09 | elevate   39

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