Having a nose job

No… I’m not a celebrity. There’ll be no before and after pics although somewhere in the annals of medical literature, Steph’s skull will be recorded in 3D. Many people choose to undergo “a nose job” to enhance their looks. I’m about to have a nose job with a difference! 

The nasal septum is the vertical wall in the middle of the nose that separates the right and left nasal cavities. This wall extends back to the end of the nasal cavity and is made up of cartilage at the front and thin bone at the back. The main functions of the nasal septum are structural support for the nose and regulation of air flow in the nasal passages.

When I had the graft surgery in Nottingham last year, one side of my nasal septum was harvested and used to cover an area of bone within my skull which had been left exposed following previous surgery. The graft tissue healed well in it’s new location but unfortunately, the donor site (my septum) has failed to heal properly and continues to be symptomatic. This failure to heal is rarely seen and is thought to be due to the fact that I’ve an underlying connective tissue disorder, called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). My surgeon in Notts has been scratching his head to find a solution to the problem.

Nasal splinting has already been tried and failed. Topical antibiotic ointment has failed. Daily hypertonic sinus rinse-outs (with the addition of baby shampoo) have failed. We even tried occluding the air flow on that side of my nose, using a prosthetic ‘bung’ but nothing has succeeded in getting my septum to heal. I travelled over to Notts recently to discuss what options are left… if any.

At the consultation, it was quickly spelt out to me that we are now in ground-breaking territory in terms of finding a solution. The first surgical option proposed by my surgeon, sounded too invasive for my liking so I asked him to think again. We discussed various other options all of which were ruled out because of my failure to heal. It was then that my surgeon had the brainwave to adapt another tried and tested surgical procedure, to suit my needs.

There is a condition known as a perforated nasal septum. This is basically a hole in the nasal septum which can be caused by nasal surgery, cautery, physical injury or cocaine use. Now, I’m not a cocaine snorter but I do have a large perforation (surgical opening) in the bony posterior area of my septum as a result of previous surgery to improve the drainage from my frontal sinuses. Sometimes, a nasal septal button is used to close an anterior septal perforation. While my perforation is asymptomatic, my surgeon has come up with the novel idea of adapting the button procedure to suit my unique anatomy and thereby solve the problem with my anterior septum.

He’s going to have a nasal septal prosthesis custom-made to fit through the surgical opening at the top of my septum and which will completely encase both sides of my septum with silicone. A 3D model of my skull will first be made from recent scans so that the prosthesis can be made-to-measure in advance of surgery. All that’s required of me, is to turn up and have the thing fitted under general anaesthetic.

I told you I was having a nose job!

11 Responses to Having a nose job

  1. Grannymar says:

    Good to know you have all settled on how to approach the problem. I’m hoping it really works this time. You deserve buttons of pure gold in there with all that you have gone through over the years. Any date yet?

    • Steph says:

      Thanks for your vote of confidence, Grannymar

      Nope, no date as yet. To be honest, the surgery is the easy bit. There are lots of preparations to be done before any dates can be discussed.

      August tends to be holiday time for the medical profession so I’m not really expecting to hear of any progress for some weeks yet.

      I like the pure gold idea. Nose piercing with a difference? 😉

  2. Annb says:

    Flippin heck Steph – I take my eyes off the blog for five minutes and you go and organise a nose job! What will you get up to next ? 😉

    This sounds just radical enough for your unique septum – I hope it works. It must be a relief to have a new plan, especially one that has already proven to work on other (admittedly less illustrious) nasal passages. Will you be able to post the 3D scan on the blog? It sounds deadly! We’ll be keeping everything crossed here for you! But remember when you do that interview in ‘Hello’ don’t try and deny you’ve had ‘work’ done xxxx

    • Steph says:

      Thanks! Ann

      I’m off to get the scans done tomorrow… they’ll be put onto a CD for posting directly afterwards to the UK.

      A 3D model will then be fashioned from the scans in the Maxillofacial Dept in Notts so that my silicone ‘saddle’ will be a perfect fit!

      I probably won’t get to see the finished product until minutes before it’s put to use. No date fixed as yet.

      It is indeed a great relief not to have to face further invasive surgery. Fingers crossed this solution works!

    • Steph says:

      Sorry, Roy

      I just found you in my spam bucket.

      Thanks for dropping by. As you can see, I’m still trekking backwards and forwards to Notts.

      Hope all well with you and yours!

  3. Knipex says:

    Eh Steph…

    I go away and this happens. Best of luck with it and I hope it all workds out.


    • Steph says:

      Cheers! Kevin

      Hope you enjoyed a good break.

      Frankly, I’m lucky to have anyone following my story having ignored this blog for so long.

      When I get more news from Notts, I’ll share it here!

  4. Baino says:

    Hehe your chance for a reshape? Hope it all goes well whenever it happens. Personally, I’d rather a facelift and a tummy tuck but that’s just me

    • Steph says:

      Lovely to hear from you, Baino!

      I sure could use a nip and a tuck but I’ll happily settle for a silicone septum. Frankly, I’m done with surgeons!

  5. Achelois says:

    It shows I am not very alert these days as this was posted so very long ago and I didn’t even realise. In saying that now I am worried you are not OK. You couldn’t do an insy winsy post could you, pretty please. It could spur me on as I have a chronic attack of blogger block.
    I miss you blogging.

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