Augmentation rhinopathy

: A young woman was suffering from the dual pangs of sudden deformity of the nose-bridge that made her appear “funny” and end stage renal failure necessitating regular dialysis. She has just got a nose job done, I difficult surgery because of her condition, at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata bringing a smile back on her face after almost two years.

Sunita Gupta’s (name changed), 42, creatinine was an extremely high 6.5 (while the normal limit is 1.4). But with the patient desperate to improve her quality of life, Dr. Shantanu Panja weighed the pros and cons of the case along with consultant nephrologist Sandip Kumar Bhattacharya and anesthetist Gaurav Maity and decided to go ahead with the procedure, which has been life-changing for Sunita and her husband, an engineer from Samastipur in Bihar.

“Diced conchal cartilage wrapped in temporal fascia was used for recreating the nose. The cartilage is harvested or taken from patient’s own ear and used for making the nose. We took every precaution keeping the end stage renal disease of the patient in mind,” said Dr. Shantanu Panja, consultant ENT surgeon at AGH. There is no external deformity of the ear either resulting from this procedure, he added.

Sunita, the mother of 12-year-old boy, is now awaiting a kidney transplant to bring her life back on track completely.

Sunita’s troubles had started in 2009 when she developed kidney problems. A kidney transplant happened at private hospital in Kolkata in 2014 but after enjoying good quality of life for a few years, there was a rejection of the organ last year by her immune system. Before that, in 2017, she developed a condition called saddle nose deformity, a very rare condition where, septum, the cartilage that damages the midline of the nose— in this case due to an infection — making a depression in the nose.

Such a condition is taboo because when syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease was in vogue, the nose bridge used to be similarly affected. It also is a fall-out of leprosy.

The surgery to correct this condition — augmentation rhinopathy — which Dr. Panja agreed to perform after much persuasion from the patient, went well and Sunita was back home after just three days of hospitalisation.

“It seemed as if someone had hit me with a rod on the nose. I was desperate to get a nose job done because me and my husband both felt extremely self-conscious in any sort of company, including parties, which is why we had become recluse,” said Sunita, who plans to start becoming more social now.

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