Priyanka Chopra Jonas is getting candid about a frightening medical mishap that left her feeling devastated. In the 38-year-old actress’ first book, Unfinished: A Memoir, she opens up about a minor surgery on her nose that had horrifying consequences.
In 2001, a year after being crowned Miss World, Chopra said she started to suffer from what she felt was a “lingering head cold” that she thought was some sort of sinus infection.
After she started having trouble breathing — which was a particularly concerning issue considering she also suffers from asthma — Chopra sought out the advice of a medical professional, who discovered a polyp in her nasal cavity.
The doctor said it would have to be removed surgically, and Chopra wrote she was under the impression that it would be a “pretty routine procedure,” and wasn’t overly concerned.
As it turns out, the procedure — routine or not — went very, very wrong.
“While shaving off the polyp, the doctor also accidentally shaved the bridge of my nose and the bridge collapsed,” Chopra wrote “When it was time to remove the bandages and the condition of my nose was revealed, Mom and I were horrified.”
“My original nose was gone,” Chopra continued. “My face looked completely different. I wasn’t me anymore.”
Chopra reflected on how the botched surgery completely ruined her confidence and outlook, especially as it came right as her career was beginning to take off in a big way.
“Every time I looked in the mirror, a stranger looked back at me,” Chopra recalled. “I didn’t think my sense of self or my self-esteem would ever recover from the blow.”
She was criticized in the media for her new look, with many tabloids accusing her of getting plastic surgery and mocking her for what they speculated was cosmetic procedure.
In the subsequent two decades, Chopra has undergone multiple corrective procedures to “normalize” her appearance and has come to accept and embrace her appearance.
“While it took a few years … I’ve gotten accustomed to this face. Now when I look in the mirror, I am no longer surprised; I’ve made peace with this slightly different me,” she explained. “This is my face. This is my body. I might be flawed, but I am me.”
Chopra also recently spoke with ET’s Rachel Smith about her memoir, and opened up about the obstacles she faced in her career — including bullying, racism and sexism — and how overcoming them led to her success.
Check out the video below to hear from the accomplished entertainer about her life in the spotlight and how she forged her own path.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas Says She Was ‘Terrified’ to Write Her Memoir ‘Unfinished’ (Exclusive)
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