Patients of banned Albury surgeon Roland von Marburg have been left wondering why it took so long for him to be disqualified.
The ear, nose and throat surgeon has been disqualified for eight years after multiple complaints spanning years, with a tribunal finding "the practitioner has engaged in 18 proven instances of clinical incompetence".
Jill Kramer, whose husband Robert underwent surgery in March 2015 which led to a lengthy stay in Melbourne, said their lives had been forever changed.
Ms Kramer said the pair were told the surgery would be straightforward.
His wife said it looked like he'd had a stroke, and he was left with a drooping mouth, had an off colour, and was unable to close his eye.
"He looked absolutely shocking," she said.
"I was just so shocked.
"We only expected him to be in day surgery."
Ms Kramer drove her husband to Melbourne the next day, where he underwent hours of treatment.
He spent 10 days in hospital, followed by regular trips between Thurgoona and Melbourne, and is completely deaf in his left ear with ongoing balance problems.
"It's affected us in every way," she said.
"It's wrecked Robert for life, it's wrecked what he wanted to do in retirement."
Mr Kramer struggles with balance, which prevents him from dancing, limits his ability to socialise, and has forced him to give up his work in retirement as a masseuse.
She said it was a relief von Marburg was no longer practising.
Another patient, Marian Canny, said she still has ongoing sinus issues after an operation about 15 years ago.
"I've had a lot of other surgeries for lots of different reasons," she said.
"That would have to be without a doubt the worst thing I've ever had done in my life.
"I'd rather have my arm cut off than have another surgery like that again.
"I'm still living with it.
"I've constantly got sinus issues, and this is 15 years later."
Shane Newton still has hearing loss and said it was frustrating it had taken so long for the investigation to be finalised.
The investigation found a string of shortcomings in von Marburg's treatment of Mr Newton, finding him guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct.
"It's annoying it took so long," Mr Newton said.
"He's been on the radar for a long time, it's taken a long time for anything to happen."
Von Marburg surrendered his registration before the findings were handed down.
He would have to reapply to a tribunal and medical board if he wanted to resume practising.