Published on February 10, 2022

‘I wish I had done it sooner’

Nasal surgery corrects breathing difficulties and brings renewed energy.

For years, Gene Rupp, Waconia, suffered from the aftereffects of breaking his nose―not once but twice. The first time was in 1974, and again 18 years ago. The second time Gene broke it, he had been in an accident, also injuring his shoulder. The shoulder surgery took priority and correcting the nasal injury was put on hold.

Since the break, Gene has been suffering from a nasal valve collapse. It is common for the valve area of the nose to become weakened due to trauma (in Gene’s case), aging and other causes. Gene’s nasal valve collapse affected his ability to breathe properly, especially while he was active or outdoors.

Thousands of dollars spent on a Band-Aid® fix

After 18 years of struggling with breathing and wearing nasal strips every day, both at night and during the day, Gene finally decided to pursue options to correct the issue. He met with Michael Hopfenspirger, MD, Otolaryngology, Ridgeview Clinics. Otolaryngology is the branch of medicine that addresses conditions of the ear, nose and throat, and related areas of the head and neck.

“I went through a box of nasal strips each month for 18 years,” Gene said. An expense that added up to thousands over the years. “It was November and I had met my deductible for the year, so it finally pushed me to look into my options.”

Gene asked Dr. Hopfenspirger for the least invasive option to correct his nasal valve collapse, which was to place a Mitek suspension suture, also known as nasal valve suspension. This procedure involves placing a suture through a small incision under the eye. Gene had his surgery in November 2021.

Increased energy and better quality of life

“I used to come home from work just exhausted. I work at a call center and was breathing through my mouth the entire day,” Gene said. “Since the surgery, I’m not worn out when I get home, I have more energy and it’s allowed me to be much more active.”

Gene’s wife, Deb, and others have also noticed how much Gene’s energy level has increased post-surgery. Something likely attributed to being able to breathe properly and finally getting a good night’s sleep.

When asked what he would tell someone who is thinking about having the surgery Gene said, “Although I was back to work after five days, be prepared for it to take five to six weeks for the swelling to go down and everything to fully heal; but it is well worth the recovery time and I wish I had done it sooner.”

Ridgeview provides specialty care for a variety of conditions. Click here to learn more about otolaryngology or to request an appointment.