My Journey by Max Ashton
Before I start my own personal journey of getting my new nose, I really want to say cosmetic surgery isn’t for everyone and no one should ever feel they should be pressured to go down this route but if something is bothering YOU, my view is that you should do something about it! I love my new nose - I can’t tell you how much it has increased my confidence. Many people said “I didn’t need it”, but I know it’s the best thing I’ve ever done!
This is my story…
My nose has always been something I really wanted to change, but the clinic which is associated with my Mam, Beverley Ashton was very strict. Dr Helena Singerova specialises in closed Rhinoplasty, which was perfect for my case because I haven’t broken my nose in the past, whereas if you have broken your nose open surgery is recommended (which is not available as a speciality at the Asklepion Clinic).
My parents made me wait a full year prior to me getting my Rhinoplasty, which worked well as you have to be at least 18 before any elective surgery is certified; this allowed me to prepare my body for the big day. I did this by cutting out the odd cigarette that I occasionally had, reduced my drinking at least 6 months before. My brother, Richard and I worked on my fitness and diet plan at his gym, CrossFit Marbella because I was advised to be as healthy as possible.
We did our research and as my mam has worked with the clinic over 3 years, I knew The Institute of Aesthetic Medicine Asklepion Clinic Prague is one of the largest clinics in central Europe. I sent my photos and medical questionnaire, prior to being offered a place, but I knew I had to pass the assessment, which would include a family history, a blood test, an assessment with my Surgeon and—something I was really looking forward to—a 3D Visual Analysis of what my new nose would look like.
Next thing I knew my 10 days was booked off from work, my 3 hour flight from Malaga was planned and I arrived at 1.30AM, however I was reassured that I’d be met by a Taxi that was co-ordinated by the Clinic. I needed to be ‘nil by mouth’ from midnight for my pre assessment (this is something everyone who has Surgery must go through prior to the ‘go ahead’ to be given by your Surgeon).
I arrived at the Residence Belgicka, which is round the corner from the clinic and before I knew it I was in the reception having my pre-op bloods. Breakfast was then allowed. In-between appointments, I had dental appointments as the Asklepion Clinic hasve some of the best dentists in central Europe so I needed to take this opportunity!
My assessment with my Surgeon was very exciting, I didn’t have any views of a new nose but decided to let Dr Singerova advice what she felt was possible. We looked through many pictures of before and after rhinoplasty.
I know everyone is different but my problem was with the width of the bridge of my nose, and I felt my side profile was too large for my face shape. These were the 2 areas Dr Singerova said she would operate on. She also thought the tip of my nose needed to project slightly upwards rather than my normal downward slope.
I was told:
• I’d be second on the list
• I’d wake up with a splint on with ‘cotton rolls up my nose’
• I’d need to learn to breathe through my mouth
• I’d have a bracelet on my wrist with a red button on if I needed a nurse or felt any pain
I was shocked to be told my operation would only take in total 50 minutes. My blood results had returned as normal, however I was aware that there was an option to have your blood tests prior to leaving the UK, which must be taken and sent to your pre-op Doctor within 3 weeks prior to Surgery).
My next step was to see my room and familiarise myself where I’d be staying. There is a locker for personal valuables, and I was advised to ensure my clothes would be better buttoned so I didn’t have to put anything over my face.
The morning had arrived and although I was nervous, I was excited too! I’d had a general anaesthetic for a hernia repair when I was 2 so I had no memories. My biggest worry was waking up during my operation, but when I spoke to my Anaesthetist she reassured me that this couldn’t happen because every vital indication of consciousness is monitored by her. The most exciting experience was yet to come: the ’Vectra 3D analysis’ is offered by Asklepion Clinic to assess the results. My nervousness evaporated when I saw how my new nose would look!
I was given some sedation, which made me sleepy. I was then wheeled into the operating theatre with my ted socks on. It was great to see my Anaesthetist again. She explained that I’d have a small needle in my hand and I was told to breath gently over a mask.
My new nose:
I can remember sitting up feeling it was ok to keep breathing through my mouth. It’s a strict rule that no relatives are allowed for at least 2 hours post-surgery, however Jana, the lovely Czech co-ordinator, always calls relatives as soon as you are out of surgery. I was offered some pain killers but I didn’t feel I needed any. I remember Dr Singerova had explained that she would be using local anaesthetic when performing surgery so I may not need pain killers straight away. Within a few hours I was sitting up with my splint in place and my family visiting, and after starting with small sips, I was soon eating yogurt. I also didn’t feel any sickness—this may be because I was only under general anaesthetic for one hour. I was discharged within 24 hours with my anti swelling medication and antibiotics, and I had a final check-up 5 days post op prior to flying home (which is the required time recommended by the clinic prior to leaving Prague) with my discharge papers and strict post op instructions to ensure I was to get the best out of my surgery.
The Experience- What was the worst bits?
• Removing my cotton pads from my nose 3 to 4 days post op
• My Boxer look (bruising and swelling got worse on day 3)
• 2 weeks after, when removing the splint my swelling was still bad and my nose looked worse at the beginning (it takes time and patience)
The Experience- What was the best bits?
• Lovely doctors and nurses
• Loved the simulation as I realised it was really happening
• I’m now 4 weeks post op, and it gets better daily; I’m so glad I did this, it has honestly changed my life.