Clear Lake woman’s nose is finally fixed after 6 surgeries


Claudia Cossio spent more than two decades learning to live with the nose that she had, after multiple surgeries left it beyond repair.

Learning to love it was impossible, Cossio said.

The insecurities that first led her to rhinoplasty as a teen were gone. Instead, she was haunted by mishaps made during plastic surgery — and the failures resulting from trying to fix them.

But Cossio persevered. “I have always been strong, resilient,” she said. “Having my nose destroyed didn’t stop me.”

She found joy in starting her own piano studio in Clear Lake, passing on her love of music to her students.

“Working with kids is very healing,” she said. “I love teaching. It’s fulfilling.”

But every once in a while, someone would ask what happened to her nose, and it would hurt. Or someone would make an insensitive comment that brought her to tears.

“People can be so cruel,” she said.

When Cossio discovered the reality show, “Botched,” where each episode is dedicated to fixing a plastic surgery that went wrong, she decided that could be her route. She filled out an application, sent in a few photos and shared her story.

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The show’s producer called and set up a Skype interview.

“They seemed so interested,” Cossio said. “It brought me so much hope.”

The show uses top surgeons and wouldn’t consider a case if there weren’t a possibility for improvement, she said.

Cossio was only 15-years old when she began begging her parents for a nose job. A year later, she had the operation in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, where she was living at the time.

“It was a normal nose, very natural,” she recalled. “And I was happy.”

But the results did not last long.

Cossio learned of another option that involved grafting cartilage from the ear to create a better shape. At age 18, she returned to the plastic surgeon to give it a try.

“I didn’t notice much of a change,” she said of her second surgery.

At age 25, Cossio was living in Mexico City, with aspirations to become an actress. Whenever she didn’t get a callback from a casting call, she would blame her nose.

“I thought, if only I had a better nose,” she said. “And instead of prepping myself more with acting lessons, I ended up getting another nose job.”

Cossio heard about a doctor with a reputation for the best nose reconstruction around and went in for her third procedure.

“It wasn’t bad, but my face changed,” she recalled. “Then the doctor said, ‘I think I could have done a better job. Why don’t you come back?”

He instructed her to wait four months before returning for what would become her fourth operation. That was the one that broke her heart.

“He took the patch off and showed me the mirror,” she recalled. “I just started to cry. It was all crooked. I said, ‘Put the patch back. I don’t want to see it.’ I cried and cried and cried.”

A friend took her to another hospital, where a doctor told her to wait before attempting to reconstruct her nose again. A couple of years passed, and a fifth surgery was completed.

“It did look better, but the nose became very small,” Cossio said. “It looked chopped off.”

Her surgeon was adamant. “He told me never, never again touch your nose,” she recalled. “This is it.”

She took the words to heart — and 23 years passed.

“There was always a regret in the back of my mind,” she said.

After months with no call back from “Botched,” she tried again. They re-examined her story and decided she could move on to the next stage.

In November 2020, Cossio flew to Beverly Hills to start shooting in February 2021.

Before long, Cossio was home, inviting her longtime friend Nilla Di Primio over for the big reveal.

“My jaw dropped open when I saw it,” Di Primio recalled. “I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s just perfect.’ Claudia was in tears. She said, ‘I just love it’.”

Her episode finally aired Feb. 22.

The plastic surgeries on “Botched” make a huge difference in the individuals’ lives, Cossio said.

“It’s just very real,” she said. “It was a great experience. I could see how this production has helped a lot of people. They suffer with you — and then they are happy when you are.”

Cossio couldn’t be happier with her nose. “Now, when I look in the mirror, I love what I see.”

She considers herself lucky to have made it on the show, to get selected from all of the applications.

“It’s like winning the lottery,” she said.

She is sometimes asked why she went on “Botched” and made her story public.

She said wants people to know that there is hope to repair a bad surgery. But even more than that, she wants them to know that surgery is not always the answer in the first place.

“I’m not opposed to plastic surgery, but check in with yourself first,” she said. “Ask yourself, ‘What is lacking?’ Before going to a plastic surgeon, maybe go to a psychologist. Don’t go under the knife before really taking time to know yourself.”

Selfie dysmorphia makes the problem even worse, she said. People compare themselves to others on social media, often without realizing how many filters might be on those faces.

“There are impossible beauty standards,” she said. “When it comes to appearance, we can never be beautiful enough. If we compare ourselves to others, we are always losing. Don’t think surgery will solve your problems.”

“Botched” gave her a happy ending, she said. But she is well aware of how many others are still waiting to solve a surgery-gone-wrong.

“People are obsessed with being perfect, and it’s never enough,” she said. “We cannot be perfect. But we can be content with who we are.”

Peyton is a freelance writer based in Houston.

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