My initial reason for contemplating surgery was that the injury I had suffered a broken nose during childhood (at around age 10 years). I was running, and had tripped and fallen face forwards onto the ground. I recall crying and screaming, experiencing a high level of pain in my face, and a very heavy nose bleed.
Some time after this incident, a large dorsal bump began to grow. Since I had gotten that injury, it had caused me so much distress and low self confidence, and in addition, many years of bullying had made me want to pursue the route of surgery. From my high school years all the way into my university years, I would hate anyone seeing my profile, and was highly self conscious. I wanted my nose to be the way it was before it was broken.
I chose to consult and book my first rhinoplasty with The Hospital Group Clinic in Manchester, with Dr Araco, and went on to have my operation in a private hospital in Bromsgrove, West Midlands in 2007. I felt that there was quite a cold atmosphere in this hospital, and the nurses were rather unhelpful and un-attentive. After I left theatre, I was under heavy anaesthesia, yet they did not even assist me to the bathroom, nor did they help me with my dental hygiene- bearing in mind I could barely move or stand by myself. The aftercare of this clinic/surgeon was very poor, having only received one text message after surgery- and that was after I had contacted the surgeon as I discovered several stitches had not been removed inside my nose. I had the stitches removed in the a local Hospital.
In 2011, I began to notice certain deformities in my nose. Friends of friends and strangers would approach me at this point and question me whether I had had surgery, or pass rude comments, or laugh. I was still dissatisfied with the aesthetic appearance and function of my nose, and was feeling emotionally tormented as people began to notice the deformities and comments. I had developed several deformities- asymmetry and a severely deviated septum (which cause limited breathing and air flow), asymmetry in the nostrils, a polly-beak deformity, bulbous tip, hanging columella, and weak bridge. I was unaware that I could possibly claim compensation for this, as I was fairly young. I had contacted my GP in 2010 regarding my concerns about breathing, and after being prescribed alternatives to surgery, I found that decongestants and nasal sprays were ineffective. I felt that a revision surgery was required, as this seemed to be my best option.
For my revision surgery in 2012, I consulted with Mr Basim Matti of Harley Street, London, which was £150.00 for the first consultation. I booked the revision rhinoplasty for June 13th 2012. During consultations, I informed Mr Matti that my two main concerns were that my septum was deviated and that I wanted it straightened, and I wanted my breathing difficulties to be resolved.
Mr Matti went on to suggest additional corrections needed to be made to my nose.
Mr Matti stated that the procedure would be known as a septoplasty, as it would be to improve my breathing. I consulted with him several more times before the operation. Before I could confirm my operation date I was told I had to get blood tests done which would cost £170.00. I chose to see my own GP for the tests, this cost me £120.00.
I found it highly stressful travelling back and forth to London by car and train for consultations and for my operation- of course, Mr Matti being a private surgeon, I was never reimbursed for my travel costs. I had left my job three weeks after my operation because of my vision (I am partially sighted) and because of the appearance of my nose, I could not bear people staring at me, and my anxiety was getting far worse- people at my workplace had began to talk about me, say that I “looked fake”, or point and laugh at me as I walked by. I informed my managers about my anxiety and depression, and I had such low confidence I could not bear going back there. I did struggle with paying for travel to London thereafter, but I sacrificed a lot for what I hoped would be my last operation.
The reason I chose Mr Matti was that it seemed he had quite a ‘good reputation’ for revision rhinoplasty, and I was willing to travel to London as I had hoped this revision would be the resolution to all my problems with my nose.
My revision operation was in June 2012, and it was scheduled for around 10:30am. My mother waited patiently with me, as my operation had been postponed by 3-4 hours. When I came out of theatre, due to the anaesthetic, I kept drifting in and out of consciousness. I woke to find my mother looking at me with a concerned expression, and 2-3 nurses kept coming in and out of the room. Blood was running down my neck from inside my nose/head, a heavy flow- like ‘water from a tap’. The nurses kept changing the bandage underneath my nose as the blood was coming through the bandage. I was initially going to be a day case, but due to complications, I was kept in hospital overnight.
The next day I was given painkillers, extra bandages, and ointment for cleaning the nose. (Months later I was billed for an ‘outstanding fee’, but I contacted the hospital and informed them I was supposed to be a day case, and was kept overnight due to complications, had paid for my hotel room the same night £95.00 at The Ibis Hotel), therefore, they waived the fee). The afternoon post-op, I returned to the Ibis Hotel Euston to rest, as the next day I would be returning to Manchester by train.
Around three days after my operation, I was still getting used to sleeping upright (surgeons recommend sleeping sitting up, and not leaning forwards to prevent blood clotting in the nose/face). My mother helped me with personal care and medication (as she had done with my first operation), and insisted on sleeping near me that night. I woke at 3am and told her I was going to be sick. From 3am up until 9am, I vomited around 20 times, and it was so painful, since I could not even lean forwards to wretch in the pail.
My mother phoned Dr Matti and he suggested I travel to London so he can do a check-up. I could barely move I was so ill! He claimed that it must be an allergic reaction to the painkillers (Clarithromycin) which Matti and the Cromwell Hospital prescribed. He instructed my mother to get a different medicine from the chemist, but instead, she phoned the ambulance, and I was admitted to the Central Manchester University Hospital’s A&E unit. I was so dehydrated, and lost so much fluid from my body they could not locate a thick enough vein to give me an injection. I was on a drip for around 9 hours and had to keep drinking fluids before I could return home. I was so weak and feeling so scared. I remember thinking about the blood loss from my head and the severity of my vomiting, thinking that I might die because of the complications after the operation.
It has now been over a year and 5 months since my operation, I still have asymmetry in my nose- which is visible from the front view, and both side profiles are different. My nostrils are uneven- one is so small I can barely clean inside it, and if I attempt to, the nostril skin tears. My deviated septum is now visible through this nostril, thus making it even more obvious I have had surgery. The sides of my nose have sunken in after the swelling has gone, and now gives an unattractive depressed, ‘sunken’ or hollowed out appearance to my nose (the excess skin may be hanging inwards to block airflow through the nose). The tip of the nose is too upturned, and unnatural looking, which has resulted in a “piggy nose” appearance. One of my nostrils is like a right angle, where the other is at an obtuse angle- the nostrils are not even or symmetrical on either side. I experience; frequent nose bleeds, sinus pain, severe headaches, mucus blockage, pain when wearing spectacles (I also find them too heavy on the bridge), a foul odour inside my nose (which may be infection or sutures), and at night I stop breathing. I have tried to use decongestants, but this is ineffective. I struggle to have a good night’s sleep and have to keep tossing and turning in effort to breathe, so I can sleep comfortably. I try to breathe through my mouth, but perhaps one nostril I could breathe through for a short period, then I wake up gasping for air. I feel as though my heart stops when I am drifting into a deep sleep. The second operation was supposed to resolve my breathing issues, and I cannot explain how angry and frustrated I am. Furthermore, I am attending counselling, as I am suffering severe anxiety and depression, and it is an understatement to say that I am completely heartbroken. My doctor has prescribed me Lustral tablets (50mg) for my anxiety and depression. It has gotten to the stage that I have left my job, become reclusive, and rarely have the courage to leave my own home for tasks as simple as grocery shopping.
I hate to look at my appearance in the mirror, I feel Mr Matti has not fulfilled what he said he would achieve in the operation. It is now more obvious to others I have had surgery on my nose, and people frequently tilt their head, talk about it, laugh or snigger when they realise. I can honestly say, this has completely affected my life experience in such a negative way- emotionally, mentally, and socially. It is even affecting my marriage.
I have been back at least 4 times to see Mr Matti. After I would consult with him post-op, he would tend to use a lot of ‘flattery’ in his speech (compliments and such, which I am sure he does with many of his patients to create a positive perception of the surgeon), and kept asking me if I wouid write a positive recommendation on online surgery forums. I decided to wait at least a year before I decided how I truly felt about the results of my operation. Many people do not realise that the first few weeks/months after a rhinoplasty, there is still some swelling, thus it is not really a valid representation of the final outcome of the operation.
I recently went to see Mr Matti (July 2013), with my husband. I told Matti I am still very unhappy with my nose – the appearance still being asymmetrical, my nostrils are uneven, my septum blocking my nostril, and my breathing difficulties. He was dismissive, (and I understand he has other patients), but I felt as though tried to hurry me out of his office. He reviewed photos of a 3/4 view of one side of my nose and said it is an improvement (but did not show other photos). He suggested I use a nasal splint called ‘Breathe Right’, which I could buy at my local chemist… this really irritated me, as the main reason for the operation was to correct my breathing. He said it was probably seasonal allergies, and that the swelling would subside after 6 more months (in total 19 months after the operation)- but he said there is only a little swelling on the right side of the tip (this is nothing to do with the side that is blocked). During the most recent consultation, I explained to him the trauma I am experiencing, and he said “it’s all in my head”, and suggested I get counselling, and that he could recommend a counsellor for me.
I am a young woman and all I wanted is a natural looking nose, like I had when I was younger. I have completely lost all of my joy of living life, lost my confidence, and am looking to get my last revision (God willing) by perhaps a US surgeon- I am looking at Anil Shah or Sam Rizk. I have also been told Araco and Matti have been sued many times before!!!!!! be careful if you are considering them! I consulted with Tim Woolford and he wouldnt touch my nose he said :( !
Cost of my primary rhino by Dr Araco = around £5k
Secondary (revision) by Matti = around £9k