Terrible doctor, and of very poor character. Shame on him.
Dr. Aston performed a very botched rhinoplasty on me when I was 17. My nose turned out crooked and very collapsed on one side to the point where I couldn't breathe. It also had an overall unnatural appearance due to an "open-roof deformity" caused by the surgeon overly resecting the bridge and not realigning the bones properly. Valve collapses and open-roofs such as this are apparently common mistakes made by bad and/or inexperienced surgeons. Except that Dr. Aston had many years of experience and was somehow on the list of top plastic surgeons, so I didn't exactly expect those types of problems.
I returned and he denied that there was any problem and kind of blamed my anatomy, saying that some people are just asymmetrical, even though it was not like that pre-surgery. I was young and naively trusted him given his reputation, and I just lived uncomfortably for a few years. I returned for another office visit, and he again denied that there was any problem. He claimed that my inferior turbinate (inner structure deep in nasal passage) was enlarged on that side and said it would help if he removed it. Again, I was naive and made the mistake to trust him. Not only was there no improvement after that surgery, but I started having chronic congestion and infections, which I at first thought were due to allergies or environmental issues of some sort. I never connected these problems to the surgery until I finally saw an ENT, and he put the pieces of the puzzle together.
It turns out that completely removing the turbinate, as Aston did, is actually considered MALPRACTICE, as my ENT and a second doctor (both actually double boarded as plastic surgeons AND ENTs) informed me. The breathing problem was clearly due to the valve collapse from Aston's initial surgery. And as he should have known, turbinates may occasionally be reduced in rare cases, but not since the 1950s has it been standard practice to remove the entire thing. Since then, it was well known that the turbinates play essential roles in proper airflow (google "empty nose syndrome" or talk to any ENT worth their salt). Anyway, I wound up permanently losing my sense of smell (which is what led me to see the ENT), most likely due to the chronic dryness and uneven airflow that results from turbinate removal, which sets the stage for chronic infections. Chronic infections can eventually lead to permanent damage to the olfactory epithelium located high up in the nasal cavity, and this is what mostly likely happened in my case according to my doctors.
I eventually had a revision rhinoplasty done, but I first went back to Aston to ask if he would contribute to the cost of the revision since he clearly botched things so badly, not once but twice. I knew it was a long shot, but he at least deserved to be confronted, now that this was finally all clarified by the other doctors. He first had the nerve, or genuine ignorance (some of both I think) to flat out deny each and all of the problems that my doctors had spelled out. By the time I left, for some reason, perhaps to seem reasonable in front of his assistant who was in the room or to his colleagues who would hear about it, he agreed to consider paying and said he'd speak with the surgeon who would be doing the revision and get back to me. It was hard to tell whether Dr. Aston either truly did not know that you're not supposed to remove the turbinate, OR if he was just blatantly lying. Either way, extremely unimpressive. The surgeon who did the revision mentioned to me that he had a similar experience when he spoke with Aston about this.
Giving him the "benefit of the doubt," even if he removed the turbinate out of genuine ignorance, there is absolutely no way he didn't see the obvious aesthetic problems. He still chose to simply deny everything, despite the open-roof and collapsed side being so plainly visible. It was ridiculous, and he knew it. Adding insult to injury, he ignored all attempts to get an answer about covering the revision cost, even after I sent him a copy of the surgery report, which detailed that the problems corrected were clearly caused by the original surgery. Long story, but he had reliable assurance that I wasn't suing him, so there were no valid reasons from a legal standpoint for not acknowledging responsibility. Purely an ego issue.
Dr. Aston did an outdated and harmful surgery either out of ignorance or as an attempt to cover up his initial screw-up, failed to take any responsibility for either, and lied repeatedly. Completely unacceptable, as a physician and as a human being.
After much thought and research, I finally decided to have a rhinoplasty with Dr. Aston. I was impressed with his comforting manner, his unbeatable experience, and the overall warmth of his office. I love my new nose! It looks better and breathes better. Though it was a HUGE cosmetic change, my friends and family can’t quite put their finger on what’s different...and that’s exactly the reaction I was hoping for! I think this is because my new nose looks so natural—like a nose I should have been born with. I couldn’t be more pleased. Thank you Dr. Aston!
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