A retired business manager whose nose swelled and became a horrible bulbous mass three times its normal size has got his life back after “miracle” surgery.
The distressing condition suffered by Geoff Turner, 72, from Llandudno, was caused by a rare skin disorder, Rhinophyma, which first struck three years ago.
Mr Turner’s massively enlarged nose, which had lumps growing out of the front and the side, obscured his vision, threatened to obstruct his breathing and left him feeling ashamed and embarrassed about his appearance.
The condition typically causes the blood vessels to enlarge and stimulates an overgrowth of skin tissue which disfigures the nose and can result in permanent damage if the mass isn’t removed.
But thanks to the expertise of leading Consultant Cosmetic and Plastic surgeon Professor Fahmy Fahmy at the private Spire Yale Hospital in Wrexham, Geoff is feeling on top of the world again after the delicate corrective surgery.
“I now feel like a totally different person and everything is back to normal again,” said the 72-year-old, who lives with his partner Andrea, also 72.
“I’ve only been left with a couple of minor scars where the skin is still healing but apart from that you’d never know which is quite simply amazing.
“I’m so thankful to Professor Fahmy for all he’s done for me. He’s made an absolutely superb job of it and I couldn’t have wished for anything better. I can go out now without worrying about what people are thinking and feel 100 per cent better about myself.”
Rhinoplyma is considered a subtype of severe rosacea – the condition which causes
irregular redness or flushing of the face, particularly the cheeks or nasal areas.
Professor Fahmy explained that it is a progressive condition causing the nose to become redder, swollen at the end and bulbous.
“This swelling is because there is formation of scar-like tissue and the sebaceous glands (which produce oil on the skin) get bigger,” said the 55-year-old, who has more than 25 years’ experience in cosmetic and plastic surgery, 18 years of which as a consultant.
“Luckily, it isn’t common. We tend to see it more in fair-skinned men aged 50 to 70 years. The causes of rhinophyma are not fully understood but it tends to be associated with rosacea.”
“Not only can the appearance be a cause of embarrassment but the bulbous nose can affect breathing if it blocks the nasal openings.”
Geoff, who has two step-daughters, four step granddaughters and two step great grandchildren, said the condition first arose around three years ago but it was sometime before he realised he needed treatment.
“It kind of creeps up on you and you don’t realise something’s happening,” said the former electrical engineer, who travelled all over the world with his job as a business manager for a global firm.
“Over time, I started to think it was getting out of hand as it’d got so much bigger. I thought I’d better go and see a GP. Apparently it’s connected to the condition rosacea and acne but I’ve never had either in my life.
“Initially, it did worry me that it could be malignant but they told me it wasn’t that kind of growth from the start.”
Geoff tried medication and creams but nothing worked and eventually surgery was deemed the only option.
“It was horrendous. I was very self-conscious and quite depressed about it. Every time I went for a meal I’d be surrounded by people who looked quite normal while I had a huge nose.”
“The growth was massive. It was three times the size of a normal nose with lumps growing out of the front and side. I could look out of my eyes and literally see my nose.”
“It’s not very common but you can either lock yourself away or carry on with your life and I chose to carry on with my life.”
“My partner has been very supportive, she’s been tremendous throughout. It’s not bothered her to go out in public with me. I just knew I had to do something about it.”
Geoff’s recovery after the surgery has been exceptionally swift and painless.
“I’ve treated a number of cases in the past like Mr Turner. He was referred to me by Dr Richard Williams, consultant dermatologist. Mr Turner was considered to be an advanced case at the time of presentation,” said Prof Fahmy.
“There was total loss of the shape of the nose with numerous bulges, irregularities and scarring. It was almost like a cauliflower shape.”
“The surgery was under a general anaesthetic as a day case and took approximately 45 minutes. The wound takes its own course and heals within three to four weeks with regular dressings.”
“Although this is a benign growth, it has a huge impact on the facial appearance particularly because it affects the nose and the centre of the face. Its removal is a big boost to restore self-confidence and can also be of functional benefits in maintaining hygiene in this area and avoiding potential breathing difficulties.”
“It’s a very gratifying outcome for the patient and very rewarding for the surgeon; to be able to make someone feel better about themselves – very much like other cosmetic procedures.”
Prof Fahmy, who lives near Chester with his wife and two children; a daughter aged 16 and a son aged 14, trained in hospitals in Exeter and Plymouth in his early career before heading to the North West.
The Plastic surgeon is internationally recognised after developing a breakthrough breast reduction technique which has now been adopted by many surgeons throughout the world and was published in the Plastic Reconstructive Surgery American journal as well as other international publications.
Geoff says his own surgery has changed his life. “It’s amazing the difference it has made,” he said.
“I was also really surprised at the speed of the recovery. It’s full-on surgery and they are literally cutting your nose away but there was no pain whatsoever and it hasn’t taken long at all to heal.
“I’m so pleased I went down the private route. All the staff and nurses at Spire Yale have been fantastic. They’ve all looked after me really well.”
“I would advise anybody who’s suffering from the same condition not to wait – just go and get it done. It makes you feel a lot better.”
“I have a perfect nose again! It’s a fantastic feeling and I’m over the moon.”
To find out more call 01978 268035 or visit www.spireyale.com