Ashley Tisdale says she was somewhat distressed when she first saw her new profile after her recent nose job.
She "kind of freaked out," the 22-year-old actress-singer tells People magazine in its Jan. 28 issue. "I was so swollen, I was like, `Oh my gosh, is it going to stay like this?'"
Tisdale says she doesn't regret having the surgery but is sorry she decided to sing in public two weeks later.
Since performing at last month's Z100 Jingle Ball concert in New York, she has suffered a backlash from fans who say they barely recognize the actress they loved as scene-stealing Sharpay in the Disney Channel TV movie "High School Musical" and its sequel.
"People were saying I was `unveiling my look,' but I was still recovering! That's not what I look like right now," she tells the magazine.
Tisdale says her face looked "practically paralyzed" in photos of the Dec. 15 event but she is now able to make facial expressions and even scrunch up her nose.
"I think I still look like me," she says.
Tisdale had surgery Nov. 30 to correct a deviated septum that worsened over the years and contributed to breathing problems. She says her nose had changed shape and "was leaning in a different direction" after being fractured twice.
She begins shooting the "High School Musical 3" feature film in April.
Tisdale says she decided to talk about her surgery because she "didn't want to play a game of denying it or being coy."
"I wanted my fans to know because I don't take plastic surgery lightly," she says.