Purple Dragon
Bulletin from Bangkok


Billy Loved His Face Lift (and Richard loved his Lasek)

By Richard Holm, Caribbean Consulting

The idea of 'Medical Tourism' sounds wonderful. Travel to an exotic destination and combine a fantastic vacation with getting a facelift, liposuction, LASIK eye surgery, dental work and more… all at a fraction of what it would cost at home! Sign me up!

However, when you actually get down to planning for medical procedures abroad, where do you start? A friend of mine found his plastic surgeon on the Discovery Channel's show about Thailand. Another just Googled 'cheap face lift thailand' and got on a plane with no idea of what he was getting. Or you could just pick up a copy of the Bangkok Post and see the ad for $600 facelifts or $1,200 sex change at a shopping mall! (Really, some people do this!). How do you choose where to go for doctors, hospitals and background/reputation checks? Unlike the USA - you can't just go to court and sue a doctor for malpractice - so you'd better do your homework before you go!

Since we had used Purple Dragon for a great tour of Cambodia a few years ago, I emailed Douglas for help!

We sent photos, brief medical background and what Billy wanted to have done… and Douglas gave us several choices of doctors and medical facilities. We finally choose Bangkok Hospital in Pattaya due to their facilities, reputation and recuperation by the beach sounded great! For a small fee, Douglas made all the medical appointments, hotel reservation and arranged transportation directly from the airport to Pattaya. From the initial evaluation to the surgery, recovery and follow-up everything went extremely well. Douglas had gotten us an appointment with one of the best plastic surgeons in Thailand (our hotel manager was amazed that we had gotten an appointment since he was so much in demand). Since Billy is a doctor he was very, very thorough during the evaluation process and very happy with the surgeon's qualifications, explanation of procedures and realistic expectations for what the results would be after surgery.

Since surgery would be scheduled for the following Monday, we went back to Bangkok for a few days before returning to Pattaya. The morning after surgery Billy said "They should warn people that this isn't easy!" (remember, he's a doctor himself). But by the next day, he was much more comfortable and was already happy with the results! After two nights in the hospital (more like a very nice hotel room) he was ready to go back to the hotel for 'quiet time'. This only lasted another two days and he was back on the streets of Pattaya at, least to look around… Its six months later now and Billy would recommend the experience to anyone who is planning cosmetic surgery with a few conditions:

   1.  Don't do anything without a local contact like Douglas to help with arrangements and recommendations.

   2.  Don't be cheap! Purple Dragon's fee is reasonable and you don't want to mess around with your face, eyes or smile!

   3.  Don't expect miracles. You won't look like Brad Pitt afterwards (unless you are Brad Pitt, of course), but you will look younger, more relaxed. And if you fell better about yourself, that's worth it!

   4.  This isn't make-up. It is major surgery and recovery can be uncomfortable for a few days to a week, but beauty has its price!

   5.  Be realistic - Douglas is a travel professional, not your private nurse (although he probably does have the uniform!). He'll make the arrangements, but you have to be responsible for managing yourself during the process.

   6.  Leave some extra time for follow-ups or scheduling. You cannot jump on a plane right away anyway, so take some extra time to enjoy Thailand!

The experience at a hospital in Thailand is more like having a 'private shopper' at Bloomingdales than a stateside hospital where you fend for yourself and spend hours waiting around. Appointments are kept, waiting times are minimal and you have a 'personal concierge' to accompany you through every exam, test and procedure.

I was so impressed with the hospital and facilities that I had Lasik eye surgery while Billy was recovering - less than half the cost of the procedure at home with much better facilities! Results were almost immediate and the cost was less than a few years contact lens replacement! No more geeky-nerd look for me!

I also checked out a sinus condition and a few other minor things while hanging around the hospital - about $50 each visit including doctors, tests, X-rays and meds. When they said 'less than an hour' that's wasn't the waiting time… that was the TOTAL TIME from start to finish!

So, if you're considering any medical procedures and a trip to Thailand, consider Purple Dragon's medical tourism services. The only complication this time is that due to scheduling, we didn't have enough time for Purple Dragon's Laos tour before our flight home, but we'll be back!

Douglas comments...

Wait a minute! I am a geeky nerd. And no, we did not pay for this endorsement.

While we do not give medical advice, we can make the process of finding the right professionals and arranging for the care you want as easy as it can be. We began researching medical options in Thailand more than ten years ago when our customers first asked us where they could get an eye lift or a tummy tuck on their vacation. My considerable personal experience with the Thai medical system includes cosmetic procedures. I have interviewed many patients and doctors, visited facilities and even watched procedures in progress. I have also seen the results of shoddy workmanship. You have probably figured out that fake boobs all look pretty much the same and are easy to spot. Here, so are cheap "out-of-a-box" rhinoplasties (nose jobs). I see them on the street every day.

We have found some real stars in the medical profession here and we are still searching and learning. Whether you need new knees, dental implants, a full face lift, some liposuction or non-invasive "lunch time" procedures, we already know the best options available based on a decade of experience. We charge a fee of $200 to $500 to make referrals and handle the logistics of your visit. You can apply all but $200 of our fee to the "recovery holiday" we create for you. We think think that is quite a bargain.

Ask Douglas

Let's call this "Before"

the day after
The day after the surgery

One week after
One week after surgery

The bangages are off!
One week after surgery? Joe cool, back in action on the streets of Pattaya

One month after surgery!
One month after surgery. Puffiness and bruises are almost gone.

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