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Septorhinoplasty - Pittsburgh

I had a septo/rhinoplasty performed in August. As...

I had a septo/rhinoplasty performed in August. As a result of the surgery I now have a perforated septum. How long should I wait to have this fixed? It makes very irritating whistling noises at night and keeps me awake, so I am opting for the surgical fix. The hole isn't big enough to be easily fixed with a "button." I just want to make sure the nose is healed from the previous surgery before having this done. Thanks.


I'm about 14 weeks post-op from the repair surgery. The perforation is “closed,” though it required substantial rearrangement of tissues throughout the nose. My nose is dry every day and requires saline gel to prevent crusting, bleeding, and irritation.

Be really careful when interpreting a surgeon’s success rate at closing a perforation. A surgeon defines “success” as “closing or decreasing the size of the original perforation.” Some slick surgeons have fancy websites, which boast their high closure rate ... yet they conveniently omit some critical information. For example, a surgeon may say that his/her success rate is 91%. This does NOT account for other complications such as change in appearance (yes, its possible), chronic dry nose, infection, etc. So if a patient undergoes surgery and the hole is completely closed, but has a serious infection following surgery, is out of work for 4 weeks, has a chronic dry nose for life, needs to use saline sprays daily, and has frequent nosebleeds ... this is a “success”! In the patient’s point of view, it certainly is not. I have a great respect for doctors, but some have marketing strategies that borderline car salesmen.

Getting your money back probably isn’t an option. When you agreed to the surgery, you signed a surgery consent form which probably had a phrase that read, “I have been informed of the risks of the procedure, which may include bleeding, loss of smell, perforation, etc.” That blanket statement relieves the surgeon of most liability in the event that these “common” and “uncommon” complications were to occur. Unless you can prove that the doctor committed malpractice (extremely unlikely since a perforation is a reasonable complication), it’s not worth the effort. Not to defend the surgeon, but the hole could have formed from a host of scenarios such as a post-op infection (from a Q-tip, quick nose pick, poor irrigation, dirty air from the air conditioning/heat in a car, etc). Yes, it can be depressing and frustrating but there’s hope. If you can find a competent surgeon that you trust, it may be worth the surgery. Or you could always wait for a newer medical technology to come along. 50 years ago, heart transplants were science fiction ... today, they are almost routine.
Hang in there!
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Your situation sounds very similar to mine ... that whistling drove me nuts when trying to sleep.

Personally, I'd recommend waiting at least 1 year between surgeries since the swelling can be very severe. Recovery from my septal perforation repair has been far worse than a septorhinoplasty, probably because there was only 4 months between surgeries. Looking back, that whistling doesn't seem so bad in comparison to the current recovery, swelling, etc ...
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It's been 6 months now since my surgery. It sounds like you would recommend not having the surgery to fix the perforation, correct? How long has it been since your surgery? Is the hole still closed? I heard the success rate isn't very high with this surgery. Please keep me updated, as I still have not decided if I'm going to get mine fixed. The whole situation really is depressing. I actually thought about trying to get my money back from the original surgery due to the hassle this has caused.
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perforated my septum.

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