Dr. Dean Toriumi

I had surgery with Dr. Dean Toriumi 12 years ago, and his excuse for leaving me with a nose that was *nothing* like I asked for was that “it would help me breathe better” (to make the the tip wide) and “it would age better with time” (to project out the tip with a cartilage graft). Well, both things turned out to be false. My breathing started to suffer because the huge grafts he put in my tip started to block my airway after a few years.

These are called lateral crural struts (made out of cartilage in my septum), and I’ve felt them sitting in my nose like a hard piece of cardboard for 12 years (google it – you’ll see why they’d be uncomfortable) They are mostly used for revision surgery or reconstruction – NOT first-time rhinoplasty (which is what I went in for). He made my tip too projected by using a “columellar strut” graft, and it sticks out like pinnochio, especially as I’ve aged and my other features don’t project like this.

Kissing someone with a hard piece of cartilage in my nose has been awkward (my nose can’t be pushed in at all) and the distance between my nose & lip is exaggerated. (To recent patients – your nose will soften by year 2, but the grafts will never soften.) My nostrils were made quite asymmetrical, and even my professional work photo looks like I had one nostril (all amateur photos look this way). In his imaging, he lowered my nostril rims from the side. But in reality, they have only gotten higher – especially with time. So, I look like I am flaring my nostrils all the time.

He gave me a large radix graft (even though I asked him NOT to on the surgical bed) which I’ve hated for 12 years. It was so bad that I now have a visible scar by my eye where I have it removed (SO much better though). For the first 5 years, I could hardly find any doctors to revise this nose at all because Toriumi’s methods were so “innovative” that nobody knew how to undo them (now they’re simply seen as inappropriate).

Now, I can get a revision of one this nose for $20,000+. But, since he has altered the anatomy so drastically, there’s no guarantee my revision (mostly the tip problems) will look any better. My nose is quite asymmetrical, which he refused to acknowledge at first. Then, he said he did it deliberately because my mouth does not line up perfectly with the midpoint of my eyes. So, he put my nose on a slant! Naturally, NONE of this was discussed beforehand (the hard tip grafts & slanted nose – all non-consensual despite 3-4 pre-op visits)

To make things even worse (and somewhat insane) – when I was seeking a revision, I used to post on rhinoplasty message boards about my situation & how much I hated what he did to my nose. Inevitably, a poster would show up and randomly throw out personal info about me. Toriumi was the ONLY one who knew the info that was shared.

Then, as more & more unhappy patients of his congregated online, we actually formed a private message board of 14 people – most of whom went to Calvert, Davis, or Frankel for revisions by now. Before we made our private board, we were posting on a public rhinoplasty message board – and we were relentlessly harassed by an anonymous person who had NO interest in plastic surgery.

The only goal of that person was to undermine every post we made about Toriumi (the person ignored posts about other docs) & state how we were delusional or generally harass us in other ways. The moderator of the website got the IP address & it was someone in Massachusetts, possibly hired to do this (I cannot imagine any other motivation). So, that was an insane experience to go through.

All I wanted was a SIMPLE reduction in the width of my tip that would’ve taken any doctor 45 minutes to do (and it could have *easily* been done without the open approach that creates more swelling & trauma – that he insists on doing) There was no need for grafts, from what 10+ different doctors told me in the last 12 years as I searched for a revision.

Instead, I got EIGHT grafts carved out of my septum, permanent discomfort from these grafts, a cross-eyed appearance from the abnormally large radix graft (now removed – yay), intermittent breathing problems, and an asymmetrical pinocchio nose – all in a 3 hour surgery. Then, I got harassed online for years. I heard that he now makes people sign a form that they won’t talk about him online or post reviews (except for the few positive ones, I guess). The person who referred me to him (whose nose he rebuilt after a bad primary surgery) no longer looks good either.

He wanted me to come in like once a month for the whole first year, but he wouldn’t listen to any of my concerns. They were just for his own personal knowledge of how his (essentially experimental) surgery turned out. He would just run out of the room after 5 minutes. My mom actually had to come with me and block the door to prevent him from running out when I wanted my problems addressed. But, there’s really nothing he can do onc

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