If you’ve ever considered having some kind of cosmetic surgery done abroad, particularly cosmetic surgery in Thailand, Sacha El-Haj from 8 Miles From Home has written an in-depth review and personal account of her experience having a breast lift at Yahnee Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.
The decision to get cosmetic surgery in Thailand
I took the last mouthful of my fruit salad and dropped the spoon back into the bowl. The clattering of metal against glass broke me out of my quiet reverie and in that instant I clicked the button. ‘Your messge has been sent’ the screen informed me. The last half hour of staring at the laptop with my finger poised, nevers running through me as I ate my breakfast was concluded and any indecision waiting to succumb me was shattered.
It was done.
I peeped over the top of my computer and let out a high pitched squeal which caught Jmayel’s attention from the other side of the table, ‘I’ve sent it, can’t go back now’. He smiled as I tried to filter my unbalanced emotions of excitement mingled with apprehension. The years of thinking, wanting and talking about it were coming to an end, I had put the wheels in motion to right a heavy bane in my life.
It was the 8th August, three weeks after my return from England, and it was the day I made the decision to contact Yanhee Cosmetic Hospital in Bangkok.
Tips And Information On Having A Breast Lift Procedure In Bangkok, Thailand
When I was researching having the procedure, I couldn’t find the information that I was looking for all in one place. I wanted to know as much as I could about what it was like to have a breast lift as well as the all the little things that go with having surgery, so I could be as prepared as possible.
I was looking for lists of what I should take to the hospital, things that I might need after being discharged from under hospital care and generally what to expect. Which is why I’ve pulled together all of the information that you’ll need to know when getting cosmetic surgery in Thailand, in particular a boob job in Bangkok.
Things To Get Pre-Breast Surgery
Button or Zip Up Tops
Anything that is easy to get into or loose clothing which you can step into rather than pulling over your head. You will want to avoid lifting your arms up for a while, also avoid wearing anything tight or restrictive, comfort is key.
You won’t need any clothes while you are in the hospital as you are given a hospital gown to wear, just clothes to wear to enter and leave the hospital.
Packet of Baby/Cleansing Wipes (Large Size)
These will come in handy as you won’t be able to shower properly or wet the wound area at all until after the stitches have been taken out, which is usually one week after surgery. So having some wipes to hand are good to freshen up with.
I used these a lot while I was in the hospital and for a few days afterwards. You will be lying in bed or at a 45 degree angle for some time during your recovery period, so being able to drink without moving around and sitting up will help with the healing process. Reusable silicon drinking straws are a great option.
Post Surgery Bra/Or Sports Bra
My mum bought me two Front Fastening Post Surgery Bras from an online retailer. At first these seemed like a great idea, but the seam in the cups aligned right across and on top of my scars and left big indents whenever I wore them. Also the fact that you have to fasten them from the front is a good idea if you have no one to help you put it on, but if you do, in hindsight I would have been better off with a Seamless Sports Bra with no under wire. Make sure it is one that does up like a normal bra and not one that has to go over your head.
I purchased two of these soon after I realized the issues with the post op bras and they are much more comfortable. Plus they actually look prettier.
You should avoid wearing any bras with an under wire for at least a month after surgery and remember to take a soft bra with you to your stitch removal appointment as you will need to put something on afterwards once all the bandages are removed.
Lead Up To Surgery
Don’t wear any nail polish or jewelry on the day. You just have to take it all off. Nail polish has to be removed as does any jewelry, contact lenses and false teeth.
Personal Pre Op Preparation
Before going ahead with the surgery it was important for me to be in the best shape I could be. I exercise everyday and had got down to 52 kilos at the time of surgery.
Once I had booked the date for the operation I concentrated my workouts on chest, arm and lower back exercises as well as general cardio. I use a number of websites for exercise plans and nearly all of my daily workout regimes come from either fitnessblender.com or blogilates.com a great Pilates website which is great for strengthening, toning and stretching exercises.
I wanted to strengthen my lower back as I anticipated that there would be some days of inactivity just laying on a bed and sleeping at an angle which would put pressure on my back. I also worked out my arms and chest a lot in the form of push ups, shadow boxing and cardio kickboxing as I knew there would be a full month after the surgery where I wouldn’t be able to do these kind of exercises and so got them in while I still could.
I read many accounts of other individuals experiences of all different kinds of surgery, not just breast lifts on realself.com – a website dedicated to cosmetic surgery where you can find peoples real life experiences as well as hospital, doctor and procedure reviews.
There are also a lot of pre and post surgery images on here which I found quite helpful (& some a bit scary!)
I spent many hours online, researching the best foods to eat for after surgery to help with healing and recovery and I actually enjoyed it so much that it prompted me to start training as a Nutritional Therapist, I am now doing an online course on the subject.
I am pleased that I did spend so much time researching and preparing myself pre surgery as once the operation was complete and I was discharged from hospital I was on my own. Apart from handing me a few leaflets, I wasn’t told much at all about the after care.
Things For Post Surgery Recovery After Being Discharged From Hospital
Recovery Foods & Vitamins
I think I possibly went a little overboard with the recovery food research. But judging by how fast the incisions are healing it was worth it. We all want an almost scar-less end result right?
I bought several varieties of natural unsalted nuts including Cashews, Whole un-blanched Almonds, Walnuts & Pine Nuts. These are great for the healing of skin tissue.
I found a selection of unprocessed Pumpkin, Sesame and Sunflower Seeds. These supplement the nuts and also help with tissue regrowth and are fantastic for skin health.
I was eating fresh Pineapple, Oranges, Kiwis, Banana and Apple pieces every day alongside the other foods. These foods will help to boost your immune system and aid your body’s natural healing process. Luckily, in Thailand, there are plenty of fresh fruits available.
As a meat eater and non Vegan I consumed Chicken and Eggs for my protein intake. Protein is one of the most important macro-nutrients for tissue repair. So you really need it after surgery.
Vegetarian/Vegans could replace the meat and eggs with beans, grains, soy and pulses. Although you should do you’re own additional research for this if you are interested in diet assisted healing.
With all the high nutritious foods I was consuming I had no need for any additional vitamin supplements, apart from Zinc. Zinc is found in fishy foods but because I prefer not to eat fish I bought the daily pills instead. It is also found in the nuts and seeds, but it would require a lot of nuts to get the required amount!
My mum also sent me out some Arnica Tablets. These are an alternative medicine known for their healing powers and can help with pain and bruising around the wound site and can aid in a faster recovery time.
Healthy Light Meals
The bulk of my lunches and dinners consisted of salads, meats, small portions of brown rice and home cooked Thai curries (without Chilli). Every meal was portioned by grams so that I could monitor how much I was eating.
It is important to have home cooked light meals so that you can keep tabs on what you are putting in your body.
I also kept an online Food Diary each day on MyFitnessPal.com, this is something I do anyway regardless of the surgery and it has been essential to my weight loss.
Eating smaller, lighter meals helps the body recover as it doesn’t have to allocate a whole load of energy to digesting large amounts of foods and can concentrate on repairing the wound areas, under less stress.
Avoid spicy foods. Living in Thailand I have got used to loading my food up with chilli and lots of flavor, however spicy foods can cause inflammation at wound sites and so it is recommended that you avoid spicy meals for at least a month.
The same goes for alcohol and caffeine. I very rarely drink alcohol so this was not a problem for me however I do love a coffee, but I avoided drinking it for 2 weeks pre surgery and 4 weeks post. I didn’t miss it at all, but I am back to drinking coffee again now.
I do not smoke, but the hospital advises that you try to refrain from smoking for at least a month as well.
After breast surgery in Thailand you need to avoid lifting your arms above your head or reaching up high i.e. shelves/cupboards, there should be no heavy lifting and generally avoid putting any strain on your upper body. All this plus no excessive walking or strenuous activities for a month following the surgery as it can cause inflammation and pain.
Another thing to try to avoid is getting too sweaty, having my surgery done in Bangkok, where it can get rather hot and humid, meant staying cool in our air conditioned apartment!
Once you’re on your way to recover, don’t miss out on getting a massage in Thailand.
Sex and Contraceptives
This was not something I had thought about until I was told by the hospital that you are required to stop taking the contraceptive pill for two weeks before the surgery as well as any other supplements, including vitamins. The reason for this is that it can cause the blood to thin and so there is a risk of triggering problems during the surgery.
As well as smoking, drinking and spicy foods, sex is another one to avoid for 4 weeks post-surgery. It counts as a strenuous activity, and so along with my daily exercise routines, sex was off the cards for a while too!
Drink as much of this as you can stomach. It is essential for your body to function!
Personal Post Surgery Care & Scar Treatment
Saline Solution & Alcohol
Essential for cleaning the incisions during the early stages after being discharged from the hospital. My cuts were very neat and healed nicely so I didn’t need to do too much wound cleaning at all.
I was given a bottle of this at the hospital after my stitch removal. This solution looks a lot like Iodine but it is used to help reduce redness and inflammation around the cuts and healing skin.
Large Swabs & Cotton Pads
To Apply the cleaning solutions effectively.
Silicone Gel Strips for Scars
I bought two packets of Cica Care Scar Silicone Gel Strips, they come in different sizes but the ones I purchased, each strip was 12 cm long, I cut them in half length ways to make them go further (do this depending on the width of your scar).
You have to keep reapplying the same strip over the scars daily. The stickiness wears off after one month and apparently they help to create the perfect healing environment for skin.
I started using these once all my scabs were off and the wounds were fully closed.
I started using Bio Oil, again, once all scabs had gone and the incision sites were fully closed up. This was around the 4 week mark for me.
Bio oil helps with scar fading and also helps with any dry skin after the scabs have gone.
Summary of Having Cosmetic Surgery in Thailand
The cosmetic procedure I underwent in Bangkok was a Mastopexy, a full breast lift with anchor technique.
I have plenty of good things to say about having cosmetic surgery in Thailand, the staff at Yanhee were fantastic, the hospital is to a high International standard and very efficiently run. The price for my procedure was more than half price than what I would have paid to have it done in the UK.
One thing I will say is that is it important for you to do your own research on any procedure before going ahead with it. Once at the hospital there wasn’t a whole lot of advice given for after the actual surgery was complete and I was pleased I knew what I did before going there.
I contacted Yanhee Hospital online directly and it is a good idea to do this, rather than going through an agency. There are some companies set up for ‘Medical Tourism’ However after speaking with the International Representative team at Yanhee they said a lot of people that come through an agency are not given the correct information before they arrive and it is always best to arrange your surgery with the hospital directly. You will also get more of a personal touch as you can meet with the staff you have been dealing with and any problems that may arise can be sorted out easier rather than going through a 3rd party.
It is also beneficial to have someone with you when you go for surgery. As well as a hand to hold, it is comforting to know you are not alone and without Jmayel with me I would have been lost. Having his support both in and out of hospital was invaluable. (and you will need someone to carry the bags when you leave hospital!!)
Costs of Cosmetic Surgery in Bangkok
The full cost for my cosmetic procedure at Yanhee was 92,020 Baht (1,826 GBP/ 2,960 USD) – note that this was in 2014. This price included the actual surgery as well as two nights in hospital, the follow up appointment, stitch removal, registration fees and all medications. There were no hidden charges.
As well as the surgery costs I had to pay for a flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok which in the past cost 7,700 baht (155 GBP/249 USD) for two return flights, flying with Bangkok Airways. Search for affordable flights.
Plus a week’s accommodation in the City while I waited to go back to the hospital for my one week follow up appointment. We paid 9,000 Baht (182 GBP/292 USD) for the Airbnb apartment for 7 nights, which I highly recommend.
Other Procedures at Yanhee Hospital
Yanhee Hospital is not only good for breast surgeries but offers a full range of cosmetic procedures.
See their full treatments and procedures price list here.
We hope that these tips will give others the information we didn’t have when looking for tips for cosmetic surgery in Thailand.