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?