My Plastic Surgery Experience with DocfinderKorea and Banobagi - Part 2/2January 16, 2015
The day of surgery arrived! I was nervous, excited and just a little bit doubtful. Did I make the right decision? Am I crazy? Is this too extreme? What would people say? These are just some of the thoughts I had racing in my mind. But at the same time, I also thought about how this is something I am doing for myself. It’s my face, my life, and I do whatever I want with it as long as I am happy. Thanks to DocfinderKorea, I can make my wishes to have a more balanced face come true!
Day 1 - Surgery
Shin (from DocfinderKorea) picked me up from the hotel to send me to the clinic (definitely not in the mood to figure out how to get there by taxi in Korean, or the train). I met Dr. Lee again before my surgery where he went through the procedures again. The biggest news was that he would be making small incisions inside my mouth to place the paranasal implants, so I will have to go on a liquid diet for 10 days. Oh no! But then again, I did not come to Seoul for a food tour…
Here I am after the consultation and payment. Last few shots of this ol’ face.
Goodbye single eyelids, small but cute nose, and smile lines.
Finally I was called for my turn, and Linda (another friendly English consultant) brought me to the surgical room. I actually underwent Local Anaesthesia, or what they call Sleeping Sedation instead of General Anaesthesia, because apparently with the first it is safer, and the recovery is much faster. But it also requires more skill on the medical team to keep you conscious yet numb to pain. So I actually could hear and sense what’s going on around me in a dreamlike state, though there are bits that I cannot remember. I remembered being injected with the fluid, and having anaesthesia injected in my face, as well as the pressure on my eyelids and nose, and the bit on the laser.
Through it all, there was ZERO PAIN. That's probably the number 1 question I’ve received since coming back. The whole surgery that took 5 hours, I didn’t feel a thing except the prick of the needles from the sedation. I remembered that after the surgery when the sedation was wearing off I felt drunk. And that I asked for water when I was resting in the recovery bed for half an hour because my throat was dry from breathing through it. Still, I was conscious enough to change up.
Shin was waiting for me as I came out, had my meds in hand from the pharmacy (no way I could have bought them in my state) and brought me to the car. He even bought some porridge on the way back to the hotel, which I slowly ate half of. That night I didn’t sleep very well, as I wasn’t used to breathing through my mouth and lying on my back.
Day 2 – Bandages removed
I was glad the day broke. I forced myself to eat more porridge that was left over from last night for breakfast, before going back to the clinic for post-op. I was then given the bad news - I have to be given an antibiotic injection as a safety procedure. They couldn’t get the vein on my right arm and it hurt a lot (probably the most in the whole process), but finally got it done on the left.
This was how I looked after the band around my face, the gauze around my nose and the tapes on my eyelids were removed. The cast is there to keep the implant in place. I look super different in this shot!
After that I am all done, and was out in the waiting room learning about post-op care. I was given a care package and a carton of pumpkin juice (supposedly good to help with deswelling) after surgery. The ice pack was also a godsend in relieving the swollenness, and the facemasks were really thoughtful for when we were going out. I had to take antibiotics 3x a day after food, use an iodine gargle 30x a day, hydrogen peroxide via cotton buds on my nose 10x a day, and a anti-bacterial gel on my nose, ears and eyes twice a day. Stitch removal is on the 5th day, and again on the 10th day.
Back at the hotel I could finally untie and wash my hair and parts of my face, gently. Never felt so good! We stayed in since it is going to be super crowded outdoors on the weekend. Sleep that night was probably the worst I’ve had the whole trip though – I was really swollen up and breathing through your mouth the entire night will make your tongue crisp up and throat raspy.
Day 3 to 6
Day 3 was spent in our rooms, watching Harry Potter on cable and just relaxing since we were both still quite swollen. On Day 4 we actually ventured out shopping at Coex Mall near our hotel!
Diet for these few days comprised mostly of canned porridge from the 7-11 next door for me, since I can’t have big or solid foods and this is the most convenient. To be honest it wasn’t that bad a diet – I consider myself undergoing a little bit of an eat-clean diet for those days.
Here’s a snapshot of where we went that week from Monday to Sunday. We covered loads of places amidst the minus zero temperature. I even touched fresh snow for the first time in my life at DMZ, on Friday! Check out the Seoul Guide pdf I've made, if you are planning a trip there.
Day 7 to 11
Feels so good to have the cast OFF! By day 8 I think I look really normal already. In fact, Shin commented that I recovered from and bruise and swell much less than others considering what I’ve done.
Finally! I was getting a bit tired of the city by then, because its always minus 0 degrees and I have to wear loads of clothes. I miss my tank top and shorts! But the day has finally come when I can remove the stitches inside my nose, ears and mouth.
This is how I look that morning, before I left to be sent to the clinic for my appointment. Cheeks are still a bit stiff, which is why I didn’t smile for the photo even though I am smiling super widely inside!
And here I am with Dr. Lee again, who came by to check on me after the stitches are removed (only a bit painful, especially the ones in the mouth). I am hugely grateful to have such an experienced, skilled and kind surgeon to shape my face in a way that I would have never imagined. Till now I am still very much in love with what was done, and I think I will be… forever.
With the beautiful and bright Claire!
And here’s the before and after. Note that the after was taken on Day 12 only, so I still am swollen, but can you see how the changes were subtle but improved my eyes so I am not so sleepy looking, and the side profile? It’s ok if you can’t – I CAN, because I’ve had the chance to look at it for 28 years! I am so excited for the Acculift to show their results (after 3 months)!
Finally touched down in the evening. I actually did not tell my parents about my surgery because I didn’t want them to worry, so I was a little nervous when I got back and wondered how will they take it. My mum actually didn’t notice as I was back with my luggage and all, but when I told her, she was quite flustered about the nose because of the complications, infection etc that could happen! (My dad was ok with it). But when I told her about my research and how DocfinderKorea arranged for the best her worries were gone, and all’s good. I’m glad, because I am really happy with the results!
Day 14 – Back to work and colleagues
Yes, I came back on a Tuesday night and was back at work on Wednesday. A few of my colleagues knew beforehand about my PS, but most didn’t. Again I was anxious about the reactions, but turns out they were unfounded. Reactions were positive! Actually girls are much more observant about such things than guys. It was funny because guys go like, something is different, but they can’t place what it is (or not notice at all), while girls picked it up immediately though not many would go up to me and comment about it…
And so... presenting Alexis V2.0! This was the photo I posted on social media that evening after the first day back at work which got tonnes of positive reactions and likes ☺ I am happy that my friends like it as much as I do!
More selfies, a couple more days later (Day 16) in a different light/angle. This is now my profile photo!
Day 17 (I was wearing a tube dress, not doing a #nakedselfie)
Day 21, Christmas Eve when I was out having coffee with my sister!
In case you need a comparison! Old and new. Thank you DocfinderKorea and Banobagi!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it painful?
A: Nope. Seriously, even after the anaesthesia wore off, there is no pain, because all the wounds are neatly stitched up and at areas where you typically won't feel it. Stitch removal's uncomfortable, but not bad.
Q: How much did it cost?
A: My four procedures, with DocfinderKorea's fees included are:
1. Double eyelid non-incisional surgery 2.09 mil KRW = 2,518 SGD
2. Rhinoplasty (silicon implant for bridge and ear cartilage tip) 4.95 mil KRW = 5,963 SGD (note that costs will differ from person to person depending on what exactly you'll need to do)
3. Paranasal implants 2.2 mil KRW = 2,650 SGD
4. Acculift/Accusculpt laser 3.3 mil KRW = 3,975 SGD
Q: How long did it take for you to recover?
A: Downtime was 1 night. I was swollen on day 2, day 3 was better, and shopping by the 4th day. How’s that for fast? But seriously, downtime is minimal because the surgeries are well done, and the clinic’s super diligent about preventing post-surgery infections.
Q: Do implants need to be checked or maintained after the surgery? Is there any aftercare?
A: No, it's there for life, and there's no need to do anything about it unless you think something is not right.
Q: Can you do sports or strenuous activity?
A: Yes, 1 month after, when the implants settle down more. Of course I am not rushing to do bungee jumping or wakeboarding even after 3 months lah.
Q: Do you like your new look?
A: YES. I love it. I'm still trying to get used to it, but I think it's a decision I am glad to have made.
Q: Are you comfortable talking about this, or having people know?
A: I was initially a bit worried about it, but after having gone through the procedure and having my friends/family/colleagues' reactions, I realized I am ok with letting people know, because I am proud of the results. There's no point covering it up when it's something I did with the utmost research, care and detail, and extremely happy with!
Once again, this would never have been so smooth, so successful, and so joyous without the assistance of DocfinderKorea. If you are thinking of doing plastic surgery in Seoul, I’ll recommend for you to contact firstname.lastname@example.org NOW.