Single Biggest Regret of my Life! - Sydney, AU

I sincerely regret having primary rhinoplasty and...

I sincerely regret having primary rhinoplasty and septoplasty with Dr Nettle almost 10 years ago which left me with an unattractive nasal deformity. I also regret foolishly having three further revisions by Dr Nettle to try and correct this deformity – the last two revision operations at the end of 2015 have left me traumatised and with new aesthetic and functional concerns. I feel my only chance now is to travel abroad to a reputable revision specialist to have my nose restored (if that is possible at all). It seems that this will cost in the order of AUD 22,000 (not including the travel and accommodation costs and lost income while off work). It seems I will need a rib graft to try and rebuild my over-resected nose and derotate my overly shortened nose (if possible at all after 3 open and 1 closed rhinoplasty and the loss of so much precious graft material from my four surgeries with Dr Nettle). I never thought this would happen to me!!!

I would give anything to have my birth nose back. I am devastated by the liberties that Dr Nettle took in changing my birth nose, explicitly against what was discussed and agreed in consultation. All I wanted was to have the bridge of my nose narrowed and my deviated septum straightened. Dr Nettle over-resected my nose in my primary operation (open) and completely changed the tip of my nose (upturned it). Of most concern was indentation in my profile (which I might add was attractive beforehand and I did not want changed!). A year after my primary, Dr Nettle did an open revision. I wish I did more research at that time, because I would have realized that simply adding some fascia to the middle of my nose would NOT permanently fix the type of nasal deformity Dr Nettle’s primary surgery left me with. My nose looked good 3 months after that revision when it was still swollen and Dr Nettle took photos of me at that time. I thought it would be OK but my nose was structurally unsound. Unfortunately, the indentation returned as the swelling subsided and, by 2013, the indentation was worsening, my right nostril became larger/asymmetrical which people told me gave me a “snarl”, I had an ugly indentation on the right side of my nose where an inverted v shadow fell across my nose and I had chronic sinusitis in my right sinus. I finally returned to Dr Nettle in mid 2015 concerned about the increasingly unattractive appearance of my nose and my concerns that the changes on the right side were related to my recurrent sinus infection on the right side. He did a morph and said he could shave off the bone to curve out my bridge and dorsum (I explicitly said I did not want this kind of ski slope look as I wanted my straight dorsum back in line with my birth nose). We then agreed that he would add ear cartilage to my indentation by closed rhinoplasty to make my profile straight (not sloped) and add some cartilage to my right nostril to make it match my left nostril. He raised shaving off some of the bone on the left side of my nose. Again, I said words to the effect “No, don’t take anything away from nose bone. I like my nose bone and don’t want it made any smaller. I only want you to add to my nose in the middle where the indentation is.” I could not have been clearer that Dr Nettle did not have my consent to make any subtractions from my nose, particularly from my nose bone.

In late 2015, I underwent my second revision (closed). The surgery outcome was disastrous. My nose horrified me when the cast came off but I just told myself it was swelling and would subside. Dr Nettle didn’t tape my nose when the cast came off. My nose worsened over the coming weeks. My nose looked like it was broken as it was very broad across the nose bone (broader than my birth nose), it looked crooked and became increasingly collapsed in the middle as days passed. I had really bad pain in my nose bone that did not feel like normal healing pain. I told Dr Nettle I was worried my nose was broken but he said it was just swelling or later he said that he must have placed the cartilage graft too high (or he put it in the right place and it moved by itself due to swelling!). He tried manipulating it manually and taping it later on (so by that time I had no choice but to go to work looking like this with one huge black right eye for about 4 weeks!) I was completely traumatised and devastated by the ugly appearance of my nose and I cried every single day. Not only had Dr Nettle not fixed the indentation at all, my nose looked fat at the top across the bone and the left side of my nose collapsed inwards so my three quarter profiles looked hideous to me. I lost all the things I like about my nose before the second revision. I hated everything about my nose. Dr Nettle obviously realized something went terribly wrong because 7 WEEKS after the second revision Dr Nettle performed a third revision on me (open). I regret this now but I wasn’t really thinking straight – I was desperate for my collapsed nose to be fixed to at least to how it as before the second revision (that was at least bearable). I should have insisted on getting an xray/CT scan. I had told him I was worried it was broken and that it looked crooked. Dr Nettle said that nothing had changed about my nose in the last operation because all he did was add a fine layer of cartilage and adding some cartilage to my right nostril – it would just be a case of putting the cartilage in the right place. He would not be making any other changes to my nose.

I again was horrified when my cast came off after the third revision. He ended using more ear cartilage, except it was strange because my nose bone looked like it had been narrowed and it was crooked. I knew it wasn’t a case of swelling because it looked “smaller” and more narrow than my nose prior to my second revision. I asked Dr Nettle “Did you change my nose bone?” He said “No, I didn’t change your nose bone at all”. I said “It looks really narrow and crooked at the top”. He put tape over it and said “It looks like it should”. He made me look in a mirror and pointed to my nose bone and above and said “We never take anything away from here up”. My mother was there so he can't really escape what was said. I spent weeks looking in the mirror every day hoping my nose bone would like it was before and pinning my hopes on Dr Nettle assuring me he never touched my nose. I started worrying I was delusional to think my nose bone had changed.

So this is where I am now. It is approaching 7 months since my third and last revision with Dr Nettle and I am terribly unhappy and angry about the state Dr Nettle has left my nose in and the way I have been treated by him. I haven’t seen Dr Nettle in person since March 2016 when he finally admitted to me that he did in fact subtract from my nose bone. This was completely unauthorised and I think this is so disgraceful. My nose bone is uneven, too narrow and has lost definition. Dr Nettle actually told me when I last saw him that he should have taken off more bone from my bridge on my profile! I am so angry and traumatised that Dr Nettle made these unauthorized changes to my nose that can never be reversed and all while I was out cold and defenseless. The bone isn’t ever going to grow back!

I also raised concerns with Dr Nettle post surgery about my nose bleeding and scabs coming out of my nose, a very sore nose bone on the right side, and a fishy smell in my nose. I told him I was worried I had an infection. He just told me to use a sinus rinse instead of just using a saline nose spray – he didn’t even think to do a scan or prescribe antibiotics. After I stopped seeing him in March, I finally went to my GP and I have been on antibiotics since. My nose bone is too narrow and it is still very painful on the right side. It hurts to wear my eye glasses and they are loose on my nose so I have to wear contacts all day 7 days a week. I had nice skin on my nose before the last two surgeries – now I have ugly red spider veins across my nose bone that makeup doesn’t cover properly– people ask me about why my nose is red. I’m incredibly self-conscious about my nose and I avoid friends and looking in the mirror or having my photo taken. I'm so young still and I feel hideous. If my nose was too big I could try to use makeup to make it look smaller but I am unable to use makeup to add bone that has been taken away and to fill in indentations left by Dr Nettle. My nose is more foreshortened and my nostrils show more front on and my nostrils are retracted on both sides (which is not what I wanted!). I'm not imagining this. These issues have also been appraised by others. I can’t bear looking in a mirror under lights because it shows up all the new deformities I have been left with. I still have an indentation in the middle of my nose and my nose looks crooked straight on. I have an indentation on the left side of my nose. I have lost my dorsal aesthetic lines because of the changes Dr Nettle made to my nose in the last two surgeries. Dr Nettle’s only solution for the mess he left my nose in is that he could use fat to fill in the indentation and told me that I am lucky he is trying to help me because most other doctors would have told me to go away and what he has done to me is an improvement on my birth nose. I still have real difficulty breathing through the right side of my nose and my nose is extremely dry and doesn’t seem to run like it used to. Dr Nettle looked up my nose and said my airway was completely unobstructed and there was nothing there to explain my breathing problems (which he said should be better seeing as he operated on my turbinates in the second and third revision to open my airways more). Funny that, because my GP ended up ordering a sinus CT scan in May 2016 when antibiotics weren’t working to make my infection to go away - the scan showed my septum is now deviated to the right following the last two surgeries by Dr Nettle and my right sinus is blocked off and filled with infection. My sinus scan in late 2014 indicated my septum was straight. I also now have problems with my turbinates which I understand did not show up on my 2014 scan results. I’ve been referred for specialist review and it is likely that I will need surgery to unblock my sinus and straighten my septum because the infection is not going away with antibiotics possibly due to the blockage. At least this may explain my breathing difficulties since the second revision. In the meantime I am on really expensive antibiotics ($50 for every 9 days) until I can get it fixed to try and keep the infection at bay. My GP also asked me if I had ever used cocaine because of the indentation in the middle of my nose. Great, I now look like I have a cocaine nose because of what Dr Nettle did to my nose and I have never even smoked or taken illicit drugs! I've gone on antidepressants and am seeing a psychologist to deal with this nightmare until I can seek to get this fixed in 12-24 months time.

Looking back, I should have never had surgery. I was a pretty girl and my nose suited my face and was attractive. My family was really against it, and I wish I had listened to them. Only now have I seen other negative reviews about Dr Nettle making changes that were not agreed or welcome.

I am trying to find a positive in this. Perhaps by making this post, I can help others not end up in my position. I won’t post any photos at this stage because it is hard enough for me to look at photos of myself at this time, but perhaps I will at some stage if it can help others to make more informed decisions. I can go into further detail about my surgery and experience with Dr Nettle by PM. Hopefully at a later stage I will be fortunate enough to post an update that my nose has been fixed by someone else but I still have a long time to wait until I can look to undergoing further surgery and putting this nightmare behind me. Until then, I feel incredibly unattractive and my life feels like it is on hold pending restorative surgery. It is a very unpleasant position to be in.
Sydney Plastic Surgeon

See review above.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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