Dr. Steven Houser’s Empty Nose Syndrome Surgery
One of the world’s leading authorities on Empty Nose Syndrome, Dr. Steven M. Houser of Cleveland, Ohio, has spent his career pioneering efforts to treat this iatrogenic condition.
In his Foreword to Chris Martin’s book, Having Nasal Surgery? Don’t You Become an Empty Nose Victim, Dr. Houser describes how he first became aware of Empty Nose Syndrome:
“I first encountered Empty Nose Syndrome (ENS) during my fourth year of residency. I assisted Dr. X in nasal surgery that included septoplasties and turbinate reductions. I witnessed Dr. X take angled nasal scissors, press the cutting surface against the front of the inferior turbinate, cut and push the mucosa off the inferior turbinate, and finally withdraw a lengthy segment of mucosal tissue that looked like a long slug. I pulled packs from these patients’ noses the day after surgery and always prayed their bleeding would stop and I would not need to repack them.”
“Several months into the rotation I was in clinic with Dr. X. I picked up a chart to see the next patient who presented with nasal issues. I went into the room and introduced myself to a middle-aged African-American woman. She complained of nasal blockage and congestion, and her breathing seemed problematic. Dr. X operated on her nose several years prior and she was no better now; in fact she seemed worse. Interestingly, she mentioned that she seemed to breathe better with a cold. Then I examined her and was shocked to see an enormous airway. I could see her soft palate with ease, as the inferior turbinates were just a small ridge on each side.”
“Why did this woman complain of poor breathing with such an open nose? I was baffled. I presented the case to Dr. X who hemmed and hawed and was unable to explain the symptoms either.”
“From that point forward I set out to answer why this might be and came in contact with Dr. Murray Grossman; we became fast friends. I began to think about ENS, and I researched the topic as thoroughly as possible. Eventually I decided to begin reconstructing these patients by simulating their missing turbinates. “
Here is a video of Dr. Houser performing surgery an ENs patient:
Dr. Houser uses Allograft tissue, a type of human donor tissue in his implant surgeries.
Not every ENS patient is a candidate for the surgery. Potential depends upon various factors.
The surgery does not produce, at this point, a perfect human turbinate. It has, however, increased the comfort level of some ENS patients, including Chris Martin, author of Having Nasal Surgery? Don’t You Become an Empty Nose Victim.
Dr. Houser has written scientific articles on the subject of Empty Nose Syndrome, including:
Empty nose syndrome associated with middle turbinate resection
Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Volume 135, Issue 6, Pages 972-973
Surgical Treatment for Empty Nose Syndrome
Archives of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. 2007;133:858-863
He donated his time to answer the questions of ENS patients on the Empty Nose Syndrome forum for several years:
MetroHealth Medical Center, 2500 MetroHealth Drive, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA. 216-778-8890