Case Study: CSF Leak Following Rhinoplasty

Compensation: £32.500

Charles, 32 years old, Nuneaton

With JMW's assistance, a man has successfully acquired £32,500 in compensation after negligence during surgery caused numerous, avoidable complications.

Charles had a history of a significant nasal deformity since he was hit in the face during a rugby match.  He was referred to Hospital by his GP.  He was described as having a prominent nasal lump and flat nose below that.  Charles was listed for removal of the nasal lump (rhinoplasty) and a cartilage graft from his chest. 

Negligence during surgery

During the course of the rhinoplasty the osteotome (an instrument used for cutting or preparing bone) used by the Plastic Surgeon slipped and pushed through the floor of the anterior cranial fossa (in other words fractured his skull).  As a result Charles developed CSF rhinorrhoea (drainage of cerebrospinal fluid through the nose).  He was referred to a neurosurgeon and underwent a craniotomy and repair of the dura defect.

The operation was a success however there was still a numb patch next to the scar which was unavoidable due to the damage of sensory nerves in the area.

Heavy-handed approach and it's consequences

An independent medical expert felt that penetration of an instrument into the anterior skull base floor was an unacceptable complication reflecting a heavy-handed approach on the part of the operator.

Charles has been left with a permanent craniotomy scar.  This will become increasingly conspicuous as Charles loses his hair.   

Charles also experienced 3 weeks impairment of smell and taste following the procedure, and headaches for 2 to 3 months.  He continues to experience intermittent headaches when he sneezes.

Long-term risks

In the long term, Charles has a 1% annual risk of developing epilepsy, a 1% per annum risk of a further CSF leak, and a 1% risk of developing meningitis.  These risks will return to baseline levels after a period of 10 years.


The case was settled and JMW Solicitors obtained £32,500 compensation for Charles.

Have you suffered in a similar way to Charles?

For further information on how to make claims for negligence of this type, simply fill in our online enquiry form or call us for free on 0800 054 6512. We are here to answer any questions you have, so do not hesitate to get in touch.

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