Should You Bring The Kitchen Sink?

CONTRIBUTED BY JEN PRESTON

It’s bikini season again.  Oh lordy, I haven’t truly celebrated bikini season since ’96 or so, but for those of you who still like to bare *almost* all…may the force be with you. I must say, the good weather comes to Okinawa even earlier than in my native Southern California, and that’s saying something (hello, Easter?). Also, I hear that it tends to rain here in the summer? Slight humidity perhaps?? Well then, best get your coconut oil and get thyselves to some sandy beaches before we’re locked in with our dehumidifiers on full blast all summer.

Speaking of baring all, I had a reader request last week to do some digging into plastic surgery tourism in Asia. It seems like this is happening more and more – I would surmise because American MD’s are just so much more expensive than MD’s in other countries. Ironically, a friend of mine had emailed me the day before telling me all about her trip to the Philippines for a mini face lift….although the email ended with the threat (and I quote) “if you blog about my plastic surgery I’ll have to come and hunt you down.” Unfortunately for my friend, as a blog-ournalist, I have a duty to my readers to report what I can.  She’s a good sport though, and agreed to answer some questions anonymously. She traveled from Los Angeles, what may be the capital of American plastic surgery, to Manilla.  Overall, she reports that the experience was quite gratifying and she was even willing to recommend her physician.

Let me preface this by saying that I am nowhere close to a medical professional, and cannot vouch for any doctors mentioned herein.

Where did you go to get your surgery? Manila, Philippines.  I was visiting family there.

What procedure did you have? It is called a temporal life which is a fairly simple procedure.  It took about an hour and a half. They cut at the ear line and go up and pull back. It looks as if you were to pull your hair back on the sides into a tight ponytail that is sort of the effect.

How did you find that particular doctor? My Doctor was Dr. Raul Guanzon, he is a well known plastic surgeon in Manila, and I had a referral from my Filipino cousin, who had rhinoplasty surgery with Dr. Guanzon.  I was reassured by his extensive medical background, outside of what his website says. He has extensive education in the field and has studied plastic surgery in the U.S. He is very unassuming and has zero I mean zero arrogance. http://www.rguanzon.com

What was the price difference from getting the same procedure done in the US? My temporal lift procedure costs me $2,400, including the antibiotics, scar gel, and another cream I had to use. A well-known high end plastic surgeon in Los Angeles would have cost me between $4,000 – $10,000 for the same procedure.

Was there a payment plan offered or did you pay cash/credit all up front? It’s all cash or credit card up front, baby.  But hey they take credit cards.

Do they offer a package of recovery time in a hotel, etc?  I am sure they do. They wanted me to stay overnight in their facility, for no extra charge, but I wanted to go home [to my relative’s] that night which I did.  The facility was that of a medical clinic – a very nice recovery room, with nurses (not regular staff) in attendance 24-7.  I’m sure arrangements can be made to suit a client’s needs….the Phillipines is so good that way. There was a cardiologist, anesthesiologist, Dr. Guanzon, and about 5 nurses involved during my procedure.  At one point during the procedure, I was aware of my surroundings and could feel the nurse holding and petting my hand – it was really soothing and I have to say it made me feel really safe.

Now, I have to say that I personally am a little frightened of elective surgery. Who am I kidding, I’m afraid of my dentist. As for aesthetics, I prefer to drink my breast-enhancement herbal tea and hope for the best.  But for those of you who are interested in plastic surgery tourism, there is an abundance of information out there.  I’ve hunted down a couple helpful websites, listed below. Can any of readers contribute to this topic? Do any of you have information regarding plastic surgery MD’s on the island?  Particularly of the breast reduction and/or tummy tuck expertise? Have any of you had any type of surgical procedures done in Asia?  What were your experiences?

http://www.cosmeticsurgerytravel.com/
http://www.cosmeticsurgeryphil.com/beauty_travel.htm

55 COMMENTS

  1. Hello, I recently got my Breast Augmentation March 18, 2014 with Dr. Kota Miyagi and wanted to share my recent experience for those who are curious. I first found out they Dr. Miyagi here on this article and also Dr. Ken after comparing both I went and called Dr. Miyagi for a consultation. And from the moment I arrived I was so happy with how they treated me. Yes, they do need your car keys. There is only 5-6 Parking downstairs so the need to rotate cars to make more parking available for other customer. So once in arrival they ask for your keys. My first consolation was fast. He asked me what I wanted what I was looking for, He showed me photos of he works and I showed him photos of what I am looking for. He spoke to me about all his position, the different implant size and the different result they all give. I left with no questions in mind and decided to go with him. Their english is just fine we were able to communicate good. There was no consultation fee. [Or parking fee] Ones we talk he gave me time to go home and think I called hime a few days back telling him I wanted to go do it with. I had the option to get my Physical Exam with him or at Base. Because we know how base can be and they wanted to put me for another month I decide to just pay 16000.00 Yen [$160] for my physical which was quick they did blood test, X-rays, EKG, and even a test to make sure I wasn’t allergic to any meds. After that I that same day I had my second consultation and agree on my final size. He order the implant as you booked your session and they take no more then 2 weeks to get here. He finished my consultation and I just need to put 1/3 of may payment as deposit. Which was 2300.00 Yen [$2,300]. We then set my Surgery date. The day of surgery I was the only patient there and they all gave me 100% attention from the moment I went. Had my last consultation he showed me my implants that where still in the box sealed and all. Send me to the room and had me get ready for surgery. They did one last Xray before the surgery. Ones there they took me the room and Dr. Miyagi himself focus only on me, he himself with his amazing nurse did the Ivs and explain everything step by step and how I was going to feel. As soon as they said goodbye I woke up with my new boobies 😉 Yes, I was in pain but they made sure I was comfortable they took me to the small room where my husband waited for me and they made sure I was ok. The nurse was very sweet and caring and Dr. Miyagi continue checking on me until I got discharged. [You do have the option to stay the night if you’ll like but I decided to go to my own bed]. Next day I got my bandages remove and saw the amazing work he did. I was so surprise at how natural they look for being one day old and they still need to drop. Again him and his staff took graeat care of me and explained everything now I go in 7 days from surgery to get my stitches remove. I been 1 day past operation and let me just say I am amazed at how fast I been healing yes I am sore but I got little to no bruising and could use my arms just fine. I paid total of $7,000.00 for my surgery which that is around what you paid in states unless you go with a cheap doctor [I did do my research on US Doctors]. I got 350cc Silicone “Gummy Bear” Implant Moderate plus. $7,000 included surgery, the physical exam [you can do on base for free], implants, iv’s, meds my compressive bra and my messages that I will be getting from them. Which in the states some doctor want to charge more for every visit you have half the time. I did consider going to Thailand but I am so happy I did not and went with Dr. Miyagi he was very caring. I really think is worth it and would do it again. Don’t be scare to easy and actually give it a try. Yes, the clinic is small and the consolation room is tiny but what isn’t small in Japan. At the end of it all it turn out to be the best decision I made. If you are in Oki and will be here a little longer and really want to get your body good for this beautiful beaches consider them. I really don’t post but I taught this was worth the time to type. 🙂

    I have a forum well Ill share my process
    http://www.justbreastimplants.com/forum/member.php?u=91650

  2. I am interested in getting breast augmentation, and I made an appointment with Dr.Ken. Has anyone had this surgery done by him and how did everything go? I also heard there was another plastic surgeon Dr. Miyagi, has anyone had a breast augmentation done by him?
    Any advice would help.

  3. Hi, I’m curently living in Okinawa and I am looking into getting a tummy tuck. I wanna see where I can go an the prize ranges

    • I’m scheduled to get a breast reduction @ Dr. Ken’s facility. I must say, after reading all of the above blogs, I feel more comfortable with my referral. I would like to know more about the post surgery; scaring, the location of the incision, etc. Also, how long after the pre-surgery consultaion before surgery day? I’ve heard it can be anywhere from a week to a month.

      • Hi Just me did you get your implants with Dr. Ken how was everything how much did it cost, how was ther recovery what type of procedure and implants did he used. How long did the surgery last? Sorry for the questioning but I really want to do breast implants after 2 kids i ended uo with no bubbies.

        Thank you

      • Hi, I was wondering if you followed through with your breast reduction and if it went well because I am really interested in getting a breast reduction at the same facility. Thanks

  4. I had implants with Miyagi in summer of 2008. I had several complications including an internal infection in myt internal stitches which could have only come from his office. I had to have 2 follow up procedures to correct issues. I emailed his office several times, trying to be seen before we left the island in the winter of 2009 to correct the issue that one of my implants never “dropped” and I had no return emails. Three years later, I am emailing for my medical records from him and still have no response because I am being sent to a cancer center due to the fact that I have developed 2 masses in one my breast that they suspect are related to the implants. If something does not change soon I will be contacting the Naval hospital command with the situation, which I feel I should have done to begin with, and then no one should be having to worry which one to use because he’ll no longer be a choice for SOFA status.

  5. I had a full tummy tuck and breast lift in the states last summer, costing a total of 11k..Both were something I chose to do due to after effects of having kids..The only thing I am wanting now, is and if possible the removal of the strecth marks.. Does anyone know where to go or has had this done I would appreciate some insite. thanks

  6. Thanks, Laura! I went to Dr. Ken, but I already want a redo. I may consider that, but after everything I’m starting to think AMERICA is the best place for surgery. He was nice, but charges for follow up appointments, which is really annoying considering how much I have already paid, and my results aren’t exactly what I asked for. It may have been a communication thing but I also think that Americans have different views of what is beautiful, and in this case, he gave me what he thought was beautiful and what most Japanese would. I think cultural differences really got in the way. If anyone has questions I am willing to share my experience!

    • Hi Jennifer I thinking about breast implants with Dr. Ken I know is super expensive here in Okinawa but we are staying here for a long time how was you recovery, and what type of procedure did he do, also the type of implants he used? Please give all the details you can that will help me a lot to maka a decition

      Thanks

  7. 8,000$ for a breast augmentation it’s so so expensive!! I had my breast augmentation done in Bolivia. I paid 2990$. I went through MakeoverTravel a medical tourism operator. The price include: surgery, clinic stay, hotel stay, implants, medical team fees, transportation, blood test before surgery, personal assistant…), it’s very cheap and my results are amazing!

  8. I am looking into getting a breast augmentation on Okinawa. I got quoted about $8,000, which I thought was rather pricey compared to US prices. Have anyone had one done here and how do you feel about the prices? Thanks!

  9. I am looking into getting a tummytuck. I do not know anyone here who has personally had one in Okinawa. I am scared of making a mistake, not picking the best docotr, and the language barrier. Does anyone know of anybody who has had one, and if they would be willing ot share thier journey?

  10. I am going for my surgery with KC in the first week of Novemeber, and am very excited. Dr. Ken was exceptionally nice, well-spoken, and calming. The only thing I didnt like was that I did not know the consultation was not free (3400 yen); I did’t bring any so I payed with credit card.

    I would also like to think “Annonmyous” for her comment about KC…I feel a little more at ease.

  11. “Nifty” parking aside, the receptionist’s exact words were, “I’ll take your paperwork back to Dr. Miyagi and see if you can have your car keys back.”. See if I can have my car keys back…? And then make me wait for nearly 40 minutes while they approve paperwork…? And I was left sitting in a tiny cubicle of a waiting area…? I sat there in the tiny waiting space with no way to leave for a longer amount of time than the actual consultation took. The waiting room may have been partially sectioned-off, however, I didn’t appreciate the fact that I was put in a tiny waiting area, while other people were seated in the larger, more comfortable area (the waiting areas are not all tiny…). It felt like I was there because I had the plague or leprosy!

  12. I just wanted to clarify why Miyagi takes all customer’s car keys. It has nothing to do with filling out paperwork (and the initial consult is free), it is because of their parking system. They have a really nifty parking structure that involves lifting & lowering cars… they must have your keys in case they need to move yours (they had to move our van while we were there… think of it as the same as when you leave your car at Shuri Castle). I didn’t use Miyagi for my surgery, as I said in a previous post I went with KC, but they aren’t being shady about the car key thing. I also liked how the sectioned off the waiting area, they do it for their clients’ privacy. I will say I didn’t feel like the doctor at Miyagi spent that much time with me during our consult, whereas the doc at KC was very thorough.

  13. I went to see Dr. Miyagi in Naha for a consultation on a rhinoplasty. I must say that the whole visit was very uncomfortable. The office is very clean but the waiting room is sectioned-off into smaller waiting areas (like cubicles…). Dr. Miyagi contradicted himself two times during our consultation, first saying that I didn’t need an expensive additional procedure, then including the procedure in my price quote, but continued to say the procedure wasn’t necessary in my case (by the way, this particular procedure added $1400 to the total cost…). After I met with the surgeon, I was taken back to the small waiting area and asked to fill out paperwork. When I first arrived in the office, a nurse took my car keys. They wouldn’t give me my car keys back until I filled out the paperwork to their satisfaction. This, combined with the fact that I was sitting in a small cubicle waiting area, made me feel like a prisoner. It only took me ten minutes to fill out the paperwork, but I was left sitting in that area for nearly 40 minutes without any way to leave. I decided that Miyagi Plastic Surgery was definitely not for me!

  14. Hello,this info is for the person looking for a surgeon in Thailand. I recommend Dr. Pitchet of Bangkok Plastic Surgey. I received a tummy tuck along with a friend in 2005. Awesome work. Then again in 2009 for a breast reduction/lift and lipo.(I admit, I was not happy with the lipo but maybe it was my own expectations) I took my daughter this trip, the staff cooked her breakfast and orderd her lunch. They are very friendly. They speak some English but the doctor is very fluent. Dr. Pitchet will contact you via email immediatley. If you choose Dr. Pitchet’s clinic, he will provide transportation to and from the airport, and will arrange your stay in the hotel. The Gold Orchid I think was the hotel. Very nice with free breakfast buffet. This hotel is 5 minutes from his clinic.He also provides a driver for your visits back and forth to the clinic, even to the HUGE MALL MBK. If staff are available, they will escort you. But they are really busy. The clinic is super clean. I recommend Dr. Pitchet.

    • Hey i am interested in getting breast augumentation in thailand and i have heard both good and bad reviews about him. May I get his info so that I can email him? Also do you know anyone who has had breast implants there? Thank you.

  15. Miyagi and KC Plastic Surgery are the two big cosmetic surgery places on island (in Naha) with doctors that speak English. Haven’t had a tummy tuck but just had breast augmentation with KC and so far am pleased (but it did end up costing more than he quoted us, which is slightly annoying). Both offices seem nice and friendly, but there were big price differences between the two for my surgery… KC was much more expensive than Miyagi. They both offer a wide variety of services… mole removal, tattoo removal, surgery, skin resurfacing, etc.

  16. hello my name is kristine.i been on the island for 6 months now.i am looking for some information on which clinic is the best to go to here on the island for a tummy tuck.i have 2 c-section.i am about 10 pounds from being back to my normal weight before having kids.i like to talk to someone that had it done and see before and after pics.i don’t want to go into the clinic and see their pics i really like to speak to someone who done it here.

  17. Has anyone traveled to Thailand for plastic surgery? I have heard numerous “friend of a friend of a friend of a neighbor” stories both good & bad but I am looking for info of a more 2nd or 3rd hand nature (rather than 18th hand…)

    Any good or bad recommendations?

  18. I used Miyagi Clinic for a Blepharoplasty about a year ago. They were FANTASTIC. You cannot even see my scars unless I point them out and even then they are very faint. I used them again for a laser peel to remove sun spots and acne scars with great success. My daughter and I both use them every 3-4 weeks for chemical peels.

    Everything is priced VERY reasonably.

    The clinic is extremely clean and pleasant. The waiting room is divided into 4 different secions for privacy. They have an English speaking receptionist now but did not have her when I started going to Miyagi. However, that has never been a problem since the clinic staff is very nice and patient. The Doctor speaks fluent English.

    I would definitely recommend Miyagi Clinic to anyone looking for plastic surgery on Okinawa. They will be doing my breast lift after summer.

  19. Excellent point, Yolanda, I would never go to a surgeon that did not come with some serious credentials. And while this entry focused on plastic surgery, it is certainly not limited to that type of surgery. the website Aviva posted has some good info on it and is definitely worth a look. http://www.medretreat.com

  20. just want to caution those considering medical travel that choosing a qualified surgeon is the most important thing since not everyone who does cosmetic surgery is trained to do it. even those who say they are board certified may not be certified in the specialty of plastic surgery.

  21. You’re welcome to visit MedRetreat, a U.S. owned and operated medical tourism service agency, at medretreat.com for a more thorough education about medical tourism. MedRetreat was developed to help protect the American consumer when traveling abroad to receive medical procedures.

    http://www.medretreat.com/

  22. I want to mention that I thought this post was extremely well-written and engaging. I won’t be having plastic surgery while here, but found myself absorbed in this post nonetheless! I know someone having a breast augmentation here on island in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be happy to interview her about the whole process if that would be something someone would want.

    Great post, Jen!

  23. I went in for a consult to Miyagi Cosmetic Surgery 2 weeks ago for some laser birthmark removal on my face. The clinic is in Naha and its very nice. The staff speaks minimal English but the Dr. speaks English fluently and didnt have any trouble communicating. While I was there in the waiting area I saw 4 or 5 women coming in for appointments and got into a conversation with one of them. She had a breast aug. done by Dr Miyagi a few weeks before that and she was very happy. I saw some of his portfolio while I was waiting also and he looked very legitimate. His office has an advertisement in Okinawa Living and they have a website with prices listed (www.miyagi-clinic.info). I had my first treatment with the laser and I am very pleased. The price was outstanding compared to what I would be paying for the exact same thing (same laser) in Cali ($400 vs $100) so Im sure most others procedures follow that trend in pricing. I also got a 10% internet discount so that was great. Check it out, I think its a more realistic option than going all the way to Thailand!

  24. I know a ton of people that have had boob jobs, lypo, and tummy tucks in Bangkok. I don’t know details because I have never been interested in any of that but I know they said it was much cheaper than the US and apparently the hospital or clinic they go through is first class and well know for doing a great job.

  25. This is good stuff, Jen! Thanks for the interview AND information.

    Now how much do you think a boob upgrade back home versus around here would cost? Anybody know for sure?

    Or has anyone had work done and feel good about it? Do tell.

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