TV Star Ben Duncan Tells Us His London Welbeck Story

Upon deciding that I wanted to take a step into the unknown and have a minor hump removed from the bridge of my nose, there was never any question that I would go anywhere other than the London Welbeck Hospital. I had heard of their reputation for unrivalled professionalism, quality of care, and quality of surgeons through friends and family and upon deciding to take this step,the idea of going to a larger, less personal cosmetic hospital which offered broad-stroked packages quite simply horrified me.

One of the major attractions of the Welbeck is it’s size, ethos, friendliness, and consideration of the staff. A handsome, red bricked Regency townhouse only minutes around the corner from bustling Harley Street (yet in other senses a world away), it has almost the feeling of a highly select prep school and, in a funny sort of way, a remarkably similar set up. The staff, from those on reception, administrators, nurses, doctors, and upwards to management, could not have been friendlier or more re-assuring- instantly putting a man at ease over the prospect of a small, surgical operation which had hitherto been seen very much as a woman’s prerogative. The small scale of the Welbeck allows them to offer an almost ‘a la carte’ service whereby jointly we decided what I wanted done, what were the options, and what was the most sensible and painless way of doing it. No pressure at all was exerted. Indeed, quite the reverse- the consultant surgeon was emphatic in his view that there was no major need aesthetically to remove the hump and smooth off the plane of my nose, and that I should go
away and think about it two or three times before making any final decision to proceed.

My surgeon Dr Fallahdar, who had come highly recommended to me from many quarters, is a master craftsman in his field and could not have served me better. Working two days a week away from the private sector (doing reconstructive work for the National Health Service), he is the man for all noses- the Christopher Wren or Edwin Lutyens of the rhinoplasty world. After weighing up my decision and deciding to proceed, Fallahdar set about devising an operation that would achieve the subtle results I wanted, whilst keeping pain and recovery time to a minimum. I had never wanted an obvious operation that would instantly change the shape of my nose and overall facial appearance. What I desired instead was the subtlest of changes which would hopefully be apparent to no one but me- hump removal, smoothing of the plane, and slight refinement of the top of the nose. Here, Dr Fallahdar was most definitely my man- a perfectionist of the first order, he only does subtlety.

The morning of the operation found me understandably nervous, yet I later discovered I had little reason to be. The second I arrived, I was shown up to my room, which was far nicer and more tastefully decorated than a great many hotels I’ve been too- offering privacy and calm, yet with all necessary amenities, and views over one of the nicest streets in central London. The personal nurse assigned to me, Sister Jane (Lady Jane as I later christened her), was a delight and soon put me at ease about the whole thing- even having me in fits of giggles about the rather larger ‘granny knickers’ I was forced to wear during the operation. Indeed, the kindness and good humour was evident throughout every member of staff I encountered that day- something I’m sure many organisations (including the NHS) could learn an awful lot from. Following the taking of my lunch and supper order for that afternoon and evening, the anaesthetist came to see me to explain exactly how that side of things would be working and that I had nothing to fear- every ounce of anaesthetic had been worked out precisely in tune with my age, shape, and body type. As with everybody, she could not have been nicer.

The operation itself (my first one ever) was subsequently over before I knew it- making me wonder what I had been fussing about. I was returned on post-operative trolley to my room in a state of post-anaesthetic delirium and sporting a rather fine burkha-like mask over my nose area. Almost no pain at all, although a somewhat strange sensation getting used to breathing through my mouth once more- which I had to do for the first 15 hours or so. I felt in the safest of hands with Lady Jane and co mounting a vigil by my bedside and the next day or so was spent in a remarkably relaxed manner watching endless old episodes of Lovejoy and Bergerac on television, whilst I conducted operations with the outside world on my mobile- safe in the knowledge that no one knew where I was. At 6.15 the following morning, a seemingly refreshed Dr Fallahdar crept into my room to remove the packing from my nose and check that all was as it should be. Apparently contented, he scuttled of into the early morning with a full schedule of other noses to correct that day.

After a week of Norma Desmond-like reclusiveness which I enjoyed far more than I let on, I returned once more to the Welbeck to meet with Dr Fallahdar for the the grand unveiling a mere seven days after surgery. This really was the moment of truth…. Just as he had predicted, I couldn’t have been happier with the result- the subtlest of changes that refined and perfected, rather than altered or changed. Surely the sensible, understated route to cosmetic enhancement, the London Welbeck Hospital has opened my eyes to a formerly murky world that done properly doesn’t have to be murky at all. Quite rightly, the London Welbeck Hospital is seen as being right at the very top of their game- and in my view deservedly so. I have a vaguefeeling I will return again- although hopefully not too soon…

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