Raglan, NZ: Kyle Leuthart

I started surfing in the 80’s I was 12 and never wore earplugs, no one did really in the surf. When I was mid 20’s I started suffering from deafness in my right ear and water gut stuck in there a lot and then the tinnitus whistling and screeching sound started so I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Surfers Ear, 95% bone blockages in my right ear of 80% in my left and still closing. I managed being deaf for 10 or so years and just too shit scared to get the drill here in New Zealand as frankly its a pretty brutal procedure. I saw plenty of older surfers have a right bloody nightmare recovering from the operation. I heard about Dr. Nakanishi-san and his low trauma fast recovery technique from a NZ friend who lives in Miyazaki, Japan where Dr. Nakanishi-san was working in the University Hospital at the time. I contacted him and he ran me through what to expect from him if I travelled there to get surgery. The operation he performs doesn’t wham Bam thank you Mam, cut your ears off and drill inside your head and kick you out the hospital door in the morning with a panadol looking like an Egyptian mummy from the neck up. He uses a technique where he chips out the exostoses without the need to cut off your ear and he can do both ears in one operation rather than the NZ way where they do one at a time and you have 90 days out of the water each time to boot! With Nakanishi’s procedure you can be back in the water in 3-4 weeks. The hospital time at 4 days gently recuperating with checkups from Dr. Nakanishi and daily cleaning of the wounds as well as the awesome care from the staff was far superior to the alternative here in NZ. Great food and wifi for Netflix binging while you sleep and recover. I spent $2000NZ¬† on a return flight from NZ to Miyazaki, $6000NZ on the operation and $1000 on spending while I was there. Admittedly I had the help of getting around the place from my NZ mate in Miyazaki, Sean Carey but it is still easy to get around in a taxi or train. If you have concerns of quality of the care in your country and the operation being brutal and you want to rid yourself of the suicidal deafness and isolation that surfers can make you suffer with if you have it bad like I did (not to mention infections), I suggest getting in touch with Dr Nakanishi-san to book in for his low trauma, high recovery time operation on both your ears and have a great time seeing Japan for a few days either side, just do it, I totally recommend it and it changed my life, work and family being able to hear clearly again. Thanks a lot, Haruka Nakanishi, you are a legend!

Kyle Leuthart

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