Choosing the Right Septal Perforation Surgeon

Surgeon Skill Crucial

A septal perforation is a complex condition and very few facial plastic surgeons, and even fewer general plastic surgeons, are trained to surgically correct this ailment. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Russell Kridel has developed innovative surgical techniques that have made him a recognized leader in this field. He has a 95% success rate, quite remarkable since many patients are referred to him because of the size and difficulty of the repair or because other surgeons have told the patient the perforation cannot be repaired. Dr. Kridel has published numerous scientific journal articles, as well as medical textbook chapters, that were first reviewed by his peers for scrutiny on methodology, technique, and substantiation of his high success rate. As a result of his proven reputation as the leader in this field, patients come from all around the world to see him for consultation and surgery.

Dr. Kridel is currently the only facial plastic surgeon with a fellowship program in active practice today to publish more than 20 medical journal articles and textbook chapters on septal perforation repair techniques, as well as, be invited to medical conferences each year to present his techniques to other surgeons.

Why Are Perforations So Hard To Fix?

The successful outcome of this operation is dependent upon many factors, including the cause of the perforation, size and location of the perforation, the experience and surgical skill of the surgeon, and postoperative cooperation and compliance. A perforated septum or hole in the nasal septum is not just a single-layered hole. It is a hole in the cartilaginous or bony portion of the septum that separates the nose into two distinct sides, as well as a hole in both membranes that cover the septum, for a total of three holes. When Dr. Kridel repairs a perforation, he actual must repair all of these layers that make up the hole, including one membrane on one side, the cartilage in between, and then the membrane on the other side.

How To Choose A Surgeon

TVery few surgeons in the United States perform this surgery and less than a handful, including Dr. Kridel, have published scientific papers in peer-reviewed medical journals on surgical repair techniques, as well as have extensive experience and a high success rate. Dr. Kridel is currently the only facial plastic surgeon in practice today to publish more than 20 medical journal articles and medical textbook chapters specifically on septal perforation repair techniques and to be invited to medical conferences to lecture on his techniques to other surgeons. Because septal perforation repair surgery is so complex, it is imperative that patients select a surgeon who is a recognized specialist in nasal surgery by their peers and who has performed hundreds of perforation repair surgeries, as well as rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty surgeries. At FPSA, we always encourage our patients to do their homework and educate themselves about this medical condition. However, patients should also be cautioned not to be fooled by other doctors who may tell you they have written articles, but in truth the articles have not been published in prestigious, peer-reviewed medical journals. Don’t be fooled by fancy diagrams on websites or self-published articles about perforated septum that don’t provide greater detail on the actual surgical techniques. And, beware of those who report high success rates when they haven’t born the scrutiny of their peers, which requires substantiation of success. In the hands of a truly less experienced surgeon, you risk a higher probability that the hole may end up larger (and in some cases, no longer repairable) or not closed at all.


How Many Septal Perforation Surgeries?

Dr. Kridel has performed hundreds of this complex surgery with successful outcomes. A perforated septum is not a common medical condition and requires a great deal of skill to repair.

Do You Teach About Septal Perforation?

Giving a course to other surgeons on the topic of septal perforation comes from having great expertise. Only surgeons with proven credentials and surgical skill are invited to speak at the most prestigious conferences. Dr. Kridel is considered a cutting-edge leader by his peers, teaching many courses on septal perforation, rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty every year. In addition, several surgeons have travelled to Houston from other countries to observe Dr. Kridel perform this complex surgery.

Do You Have Written Articles?

No other doctor in active practice today has published as many peer-reviewed scientific papers on septal perforation repair, rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty surgical techniques as Dr. Kridel. He has published more than 80 scientific journal articles and medical textbook chapters on nasal surgery, including more than 20 specifically on septal perforation repair.

It is important to note that writing a medical journal paper and having it accepted for publication requires a very high standard of skill for peer review. While some physicians have published articles for websites or consumer publications, Dr. Kridel is the only surgeon in practice today who has published extensively on septal perforation in scientific outlets, as well as lectured extensively on the subject at specialty sanctioned nasal surgery conferences.

Be aware that any surgeon can write an article on septal perforation repair or general nasal surgery and self-publish the article on a website or in a non-scientific consumer publication. So, it is important to ask if the surgeon you are considering has published specifically on septal perforation repair in well-respected peer-reviewed medical journals.

Have You Lectured at Medical Institutions?

Dr. Kridel has been one of the invited faculty members to numerous American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) and other advanced rhinoplasty and facial plastic surgery courses every year to speak on the subject of septal perforation repair. He is considered one of the most sought after speakers, having lectured annually on this subject throughout the U.S. and all over the globe. Over the last year alone, he has been an invited guest lecturer on septal perforation repair at medical conferences in the U.S., Spain, England, and Italy.

How Often Are Patients Referred To You?

Most surgeons do not want to attempt such a difficult surgery. Because of his reputation, specialists from all around the country, including ENT (ear, nose, and throat), facial plastic, general plastic and general surgeons, refer patients with septal perforations to Dr. Kridel to obtain the highest possible level of care for their patients.

Do Other Doctors Come to You?

Due to his expertise, Dr. Kridel is often referred to as “The Nose Doc” or “The Doctor’s Doctor”. He is the surgeon other surgeons go to for nasal surgery for themselves or for their own family members. In the area of septal perforation repair, even other highly trained nose surgeons, send their own patients to Dr. Kridel for septal perforation repair because of the complexity of the surgery and the fact that they want their patients to have the best possible outcome.

Are You Currently Appointed?

Dr. Kridel serves on the faculty as a Clinical Professor and Director, Division of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston located in the prestigious Texas Medical Center area, which is the largest medical complex in the world. He is also on the medical staff of several Houston hospitals, including Methodist Hospital.

What Is Your Success Rate?

Dr. Kridel’s success rate is 95%. In some cases, where a perforation is quite large, the surgery may need to be done in phases, requiring more than one operation. Dr. Kridel is the leading expert and will be honest with his patients about the possibility of repair. While he has successfully closed extremely difficult septal perforation cases that others could not repair, neither he (nor any other surgeon) can promise closure for every patient.

Before and After Photos?

Dr. Kridel and the clinical staff will be happy to show you before and after photos of patients who underwent septal perforation surgery. Since the perforation is inside the nose, photos are taken during surgery. However, many patients also have rhinoplasty or revision rhinoplasty at the same time. This is a cosmetic procedure and it is important for you to view before and after photos of other patients who have also had similar aesthetic adjustments to make an educated decision. Remember that any plastic surgeon can do nose surgery, but very few can do it well.

Rhinoplasty Experience?

Dr. Kridel does cosmetic nose surgery on about 150 patients each year and has performed over 10,000 successful rhinoplasty or revision rhinoplasty surgeries. He is often referred to as “THE Nose Doctor” by his peers because of the level of his experience, skill and expertise. Dr. Kridel has also put on his own international Rhinoplasty course, Houston Rodeo Rhinoplasty.

What Are Your Board Certifications?

Dr. Kridel is a triple-board certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in nasal surgery. A board certification is given when a doctor passes a test after completing a residency program; therefore boards should not be the sole criterion of doctor search. Sadly, many review sites rely on this criteria rather than identifying other qualifications that speak to relevant surgical skills. However, when a physician is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS), he or she has gone a step above other boards because the ABFPRS requires as an entry level to even take its exam that the applicant is already certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. The additional training required to reach this second level of certification provides you with additional confidence that your surgeon focuses on the area you are concerned about. Dr. Kridel is also certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.

Honors and Awards?

Dr. Kridel has received all of the highest honors for surgical excellence from his specialty, including the F. Mark Rafaty Award and the William K. Wright Award. He has also received the Dean’s Award from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, as well as all of the Top Doc honors every year for the past 10 years, such as Castle Connolly and H-Texas Magazine to mention just a few.

Do You Have a Fellowship Program?

Dr. Kridel is so well respected that he oversees an AAFPRS (American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) fellowship program. He has trained over 30 fellows. For one fellowship spot, he receives over 25 applications from doctors who want to work alongside an acknowledged master of his specialty. There are only 48 such programs in the entire country. Having a fellowship program is considered quite an honor. Dr. Kridel believes it is important to share his expertise with others. However, it is important to understand that the Fellow does not perform surgery, ONLY Dr. Kridel performs your septal perforation repair surgery.

What About After Surgery?

At FPSA, we take great pride in having the highest level of patient care available. We are devoted to our patients and treat each one as if they were our own family member. Patients who have septal perforation surgery will visit us the very next day following surgery and many times during their first two weeks post-operatively. In addition, Dr. Kridel follows his patients at the 3-month, 6-month and 12-month mark to monitor the success of the repair. All post-operative visits are included in the cost of the surgery.

Can I Contact Your Patients?

Dr. Kridel and the staff at FPSA would be happy to provide you with names of patients who would be happy to share their success stories with you. Having this surgery has been life changing for many and these patients want the same happiness for you.