My Plastic Surgery in Thailand after Gastric Sleeve
“I love the country and the local people. I wasn’t concerned about the possibility of there being a language barrier because of my past trips. The only worry I had was to make sure that the plastic surgery would be carried out in an internationally accredited hospital by a board certified plastic surgeon. Destination Beauty allayed all my fears in that regard”.
Life wasn’t meant to be this hard, especially for a 22-year-old female. Going out with my friends was soul destroying, as I could no more look as gorgeous as they did than fly to the moon. I was big, very big. Flat shoes were my glam wear, as heels couldn’t take my weight, let alone the fact that I had no chance of walking in them properly. I had to watch my friends flounce around like ballerinas in their towering spikes and I was green with envy. My clothes were of a size that no one should wear, as I weighed in at a massive 157 kilograms. Just walking up steps that most people bounce up would wear me out and as for taking “long” walks; they were a chore of unbearable torture, sweat and tears. I had rolls of fat literally hanging off me everywhere.
To say I was unhappy, was an understatement and the fact that my younger sister, who at 18, could eat whatever and whenever she liked without putting on an ounce of fat, was like rubbing salt into a wound. I merely had to look at food and I gained weight. I felt totally uncomfortable in my own skin, as I was a blubbery mass of discomfort with painful chaffing on my inner thighs and patches of sweat dripping off my frame in the heat.But in spite of my size, I always tried to make the most of how I looked taking care with the clothes that I wore in a hopeless attempt to make myself feel pretty.
I had always been a “big” girl even from toddler age: I was no nymph with a svelte silhouette, despite my fantasies every time I looked in a mirror. The genetics running on both sides of my family tend to be on the largish side, but nothing like I was. I went to a co-educational secondary school, which did not improve my self-esteem at all. Despite my natural bouncy personality, I had plenty of shy and awkward moments to contend with when I thought people were talking about me. It seemed to me that people didn’t think I had a brain due to my size and never took me seriously. I was merely that fat girl!
My mum was really supportive whenever I took the affirmative steps of going on a diet and she would join in with me to put on a role of solidarity with my predicament. Mum even took me to a dietitian when I begged her to at the age of 16. We both promptly went on a low-carb diet and to my surprise I actually lost 25 kilograms. The problem was I couldn’t keep it off, and in fact I promptly put 60 kilogram back on. My life was frustrating, as I couldn’t maintain any weight loss that I achieved. When I finished secondary school I went on to university to study law full-time. I may have been fat, but I was no dummy in the brain department. I have since changed my study to a part-time basis, as I wanted to take up a job with Child Welfare/Protection. Doing both makes me incredibly busy but I love what I do.
The decision to get a gastric sleeve was taken out of desperation of being fed up with how I looked. I remember it was my 21st birthday and of course I had no hope of feeling attractive for that milestone in my life, having to wear my flatties and big clothes. I actually didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything with my friends because I was the odd one out, or I should say I stood out for all the wrong reasons. My friends would look amazing and then there was me, “all” of me, on show.
I realized that I was going to need help to change my body shape, as trying to diet was not achieving anything at all. In the beginning of 2016, weighing in at 142 kilogram at that point – I had managed to lose some weight – I took the drastic step of having a gastric sleeve done in Sydney. The surgeon removed a whopping 85% of my stomach. I was advised that this was a safer option than having lap band surgery with fewer risks of complications.
Post gastric sleeve surgery, the weight began to drop off me, as I really couldn’t eat very much at all. I was left with saggy skin everywhere, which was extremely uncomfortable and ugly. I had lost a massive total of 87 kilograms but it didn’t look like I had lost weight, because now it was folds of skin bulking out my frame.
I researched having plastic surgery done in Australia to remove the excess skin and decided that it was way too expensive for me to pay. Looking further afield for an answer I came across about 5 different plastic surgery companies overseas, all with similar prices that to me were affordable. The deciding factor for me to get in touch with Destination Beauty in Thailand was their surgery package focusing on the needs of people that have had a massive weight loss. It included everything that I needed done from fixing up my now sagging “little” breasts with breast augmentation and a lift to an extended tummy tuck plus arm, thigh and mons lifts as well.
I emailed Destination Beauty with what I wanted done and they promptly got back to me with a quote. At no point did they push me into making a decision: in fact I was told to think seriously about it and to contact them if they could be of any further help. There was definitely no hard sell on their part, which is something I liked. I subsequently talked it over with my parents to get their opinion. I am close to my parents and they knew how unhappy I had been. Both mum and dad said that they would support me with whatever decision I made. Once I decided to go ahead with the surgery in Thailand, my wonderful father raided his savings so that I would not have to borrow the money.
Having plastic surgery in Thailand did not phase me at all, as I have been to Thailand numerous times with my parents. I love the country and the local people. I wasn’t concerned about the possibility of there being a language barrier because of my past trips. The only worry I had was to make sure that the plastic surgery would be carried out in an internationally accredited hospital by a board certified plastic surgeon. Destination Beauty allayed all my fears in that regard. I wasn’t anxious about having surgery as I have been in hospital before for a gall bladder operation and needles do not scare me in the least. I committed myself to having the surgery in January 2017 so that I could have Christmas at home and at that time it would be university holidays. Getting leave of absence from my casual job was no problem, as I merely asked for the time and told them the reason why. I asked my mother to go with me to keep me company.
I am lucky that my father works for Qantas so we managed to get a good deal on our airfares to Thailand. I budgeted on around the $28,000 to $29,000 mark to cover the surgery in Thailand, the hotel for both mum and myself for 28 nights plus our flights, which did cover it all. On the flight from Australia to Thailand, I did have some reservations about how I would feel after the surgery was done. Would I be happy with the way I looked when it was all over?
We were met at the airport by Destination Beauty and taken to The Oaks Hotel that was to be our home for the next 4 weeks. Mum and I had decided to go a day earlier than required so that we could settle in properly before I had to go to the hospital for surgery. I didn’t want to arrive in the afternoon and then have to get up to go to the hospital the very next day.
My Board Certified plastic surgeon, Dr Kasemsak was amazing, from the moment I met him I felt comfortable. At this point I weighed 72 kilograms, a lot of it was the curse of the hanging skin that everyone who has undergone a huge weight loss is left with. Sort of like a half filled potato sack with too many wrinkles to count. My breast augmentation with lift, extended tummy tuck plus arm and mons lift were first on the surgery agenda to be done. I had chosen to wait 10 days before having the thigh lift surgery to give myself a bit of breathing plus healing space.
The plastic surgery took about 7 hours for my upper body and afterwards I woke up in the Intensive Care Unit where there is a one on one nurse to patient ratio. As I had never really had any boobs to speak of pre-surgery, I wanted to get a decent sized breast implant. Dr Kasemsak during the pre-surgery appraisal told me that my skin wouldn’t carry the weight of the implant size that I wanted, unless I was prepared to go back after say 12 months to have them done again, so I bowed to his knowledge. He even went so far as to put the large size in merely for a moment, take a photo and then show it to me after the surgery. The larger implants would have looked totally out of proportion with the rest of my body, let alone the skin stretching issue, if I had not listened to him.
The nurses were brilliant and very caring during my 5-night stay post-surgery in the hospital. I would say 85% of the nurses had no trouble with English being spoken, so there were no dramas of requests being lost in translation. Most people say that they hate hospital food, but to me I thought the food in the hospital was excellent. My room was actually like a mini luxury hotel and mum stayed with me the whole time. After this we went back to The Oaks Hotel for a further 5 nights, before I returned to hospital to have my thigh lift done.
Post plastic surgery, both times, my mother played “mum” as she fussed, cooked and generally put up with a sometimes grumpy daughter. I didn’t want to go out at all, preferring just to recover. Initially I was concerned about there being only 1 bed in our room, but it was so huge I had no fear of her bumping me in the middle of the night. There was a television in the bedroom and one in the lounge room, so we could both chill out and watch our own choice of shows when we felt like it.
I did go into a panic on one day after the surgery to my torso, as I thought my belly button was literally sitting on the side of my stomach. The nurses of Destination Beauty (their office rooms are in the hotel) explained to me that my belly button was in the right place, it was only the swelling caused by the surgery making it appear to be on the side. That was one of the funny moments when I look back on it now, as was the chore my poor mum endured each day helping me to shower and then having to take about 40 minutes to get my compression bandages back on. My body did look a bit like I had been cut up and trussed back together. The nurses were fantastic the whole time we were at the hotel, checking in on us and helping out whenever we needed them. Nothing was too much trouble for them and it was like having an extended family.
I literally lay around the hotel the whole time I was there. I did not look upon this as holiday time, I went for a purpose and that was to have surgery. It was only the last day that I did go shopping for a few hours with mum and occasionally I would venture to the hotel restaurant to give mum a break from cooking for me. I would say the thigh lift surgery was the more painful of the two surgeries, due to how uncomfortable it was between my legs especially when walking, but it did get rid of my cellulite!
After plastic surgery in Thailand, I have a personal trainer to keep my now D breasted 8-10 size figure trim taut and terrific. I look in a mirror and smile. The very first thing I did when I got home was to buy 5 crop tops with thin straps, as of course I had never been able to wear them when I was big. I am slowly replacing the whole of my wardrobe with spunky outfits. Nothing fits me anyway as they are way too big, which gives me a chuckle. I have even had hair extensions put in my hair to complete the new me. Now it is a case of people not recognizing me because it is hard to believe that I am the same female as that sad big girl.
I would totally recommend Destination Beauty and their surgery package for those that have had a massive weight loss, as it has literally changed my life.Yes, I am “over the moon happy” with how I look and feel. Life is definitely not in the too hard basket anymore.