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Hello guys and gals

First of all, I am truly sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this forum. When I was researching and talking with others about where to have surgery etc I was so hungry for information i promised myself that I would write a long detailed log of my journey to help others with their decision like so many girls on here did for me. Since getting back (I had my surgery in March last year) my life has been crazy hectic. In fact I can't believe it has been nearly a year! But better late then never...

I booked everything through Global Health Travel. My surgeon was Dr. Teerasit. Originally I was meant to fly in October but the floods happened and so it was cancelled at the last minute. Dr Teerasit and his wife Juree were amazing even then, answering all my queries within a day or two by email. After months of discussing with Dr.T, Cassandra (the Managing Director of GHT) and people who had had surgery already, I was more than prepared. I packed everything I could possibly need and booked 3 weeks in Bangkok just across the road from the apartments. We did as much as possible in the first week before my surgery just in case I was sick or something post-surgery I wanted to see the city.

The morning after we arrived we met Daisy and Loverly. They are the kindest, most compassionate and hard-working girls and went over everything with me, when we will be going to appointments, etc. When you arrive at your hotel, GHT will have left a package full of info that you may need, including a mobile phone with all the GHT contact numbers already stored on there. We went shopping with some of the other girls- the shops over there are unbelievable! One day shopping will not cut it. Not if you love to shop anyway! We saw all the temples as well which were beautiful, Thailand is a stunning spiritual country with a lot of history. We also went out for dinner with Cassandra and some other people who were having surgery, it was nice to meet other people going through the same thing. We had a great night out.

Heading to the hospital for the first time for my consultation, I could see why GHT didn't want us to stay too far from the patient apartments. Although the hospital is literally a five minute walk, the famous Bangkok traffic can stretch it to an hour! Bumrungrad hospital is unbelievable. It looks more like a 5 star resort and works like clockwork. It was a huge shock to me, coming from the UK where the health system is badly disorganised and overflowing. There is no waiting around at any point, you simply walk in, hand over your details, and you get called through. Having Daisy with me at these appointments was invaluable. Flying overseas and having surgery in a country that speaks a different language was nerve wracking enough, it was a huge comfort having someone there who spoke the language, dealt with all the paperwork and knew exactly where to go (the hospital is HUGE!). Looking back I can not imagine just how much more stressed I would have been walking around that huge hospital not knowing where to go and looking after all the details like payments, admission, discharging and translations.

The next day was my surgery (8am- nice and early!). When I woke up, I was lovely and warm from the electric pads around my legs that they use so that the blood continues to pump around your body (great idea!). I was really sick from the anesthetic, Dr T wouldn't let me leave until I had eaten a proper meal which was really difficult to do. Later in the day they took out the drains and changed my bandages. The recovery suite was amazing. Loverly and Daisy came to check up on me and helped me get back to the hotel. I struck up a lot of friendships over the time I was there, but Cherie and I had our surgery the same morning with the same surgeon (her surgery was just after mine) so we spent a lot of time together while recovering, shopping mostly! I was bedridden for one day only, to my delight.

There was a complication with my left breast during surgery that couldn't have been avoided. Dr Teerasit took his time explaining to me how he had to make an extra incision in that breast and how to take care of the wound, which he still did for months afterwards until it completely healed. My stitches weren't ready to come out when I left two weeks later, so I had them removed by a nurse in Australia, they were really impressed with Dr.T's work! The hardest part of the recovery for me was sleeping. You have to sleep on your back propped up with pillows which was tough for me as I always sleep on my stomach. The hotel were sweet enough to give us extra pillows so I could stop myself from rolling over in the night.

Dr Teerasit told me to keep in mind that, due to most women's breasts not being perfectly symmetrical anyway, that they may not be identical after. Apart from the wound i had on my left breast, they are in fantastic shape and look perfectly symmetrical to me. I have some numbness on my skin below my nipples, but i have sensation in my nipples which is usually the biggest concern with breast reductions, so I consider myself really lucky.

My advice if you're considering surgery is to research, research, research. Don't go ahead until you are 100% confident of your decision and are completely aware for any possible complications. When I told some friends that I was having surgery done it Thailand, they were horrified. Anyone would have thought I said I was having it done in an alleyway! I had researched this surgery and weighed up my options for 2 years. By the time my flights were booked, I had so much faith in this hospital and this surgeon that had I won the lottery I still would have gone there. Knowing what I know now about the hospital's infection rate (something like less than 1% compared to Australia which is 17% or something), and "qualified" doctors in Australia that advertise themselves as cosmetic/plastic surgeons, I would go to Bumrungrad for any elective surgery. The standard of care there is unlike anything I have ever seen. I'm a media student, and am fully aware of the scare tactics broadcasters use to sway people away from having surgery overseas, preferring them to spend a large fortune here.

Some people weren't supportive of me having a breast reduction anyway, not seeing why I would want to do such a thing. My reasons for getting a breast reduction are multiple. If it was just one factor, i probably would have just lived with it. But the frustration of not being able to exercise, fear of premature ageing, not finding clothes that fit, being judged, back pain, self-esteem and not being in proportion were too many to ignore. It is terrible that having excess breast tissue (which is something that cannot be defeated with exercise) isn’t eligible for a tax rebate and is six times the cost of stomach stapling. I mean no disrespect to people who are overweight and don’t want to disparage them from seeking help but fat you can in time get rid of yourself, breast tissue you can’t and the pain is a lot more invasive and troubling in everyday life. My confidence has improved so much since the surgery. When I first decided that I wanted to have it done, my first thought would be to have it done back home in the UK as I would probably get it done for free on the NHS. After doing some research I found I would have to wait for years and that’s even if I applied as an extreme case. The next obvious choice would be to have it done in Australia where I was living, as the hospitals there have a better reputation. But the cost was astronomical. $16,000: for the surgery alone. I would get a 10% rebate from Medicare, but hearing that felt like a slap in the face considering people who have weight-loss surgery are considered more important than those suffering the agony and embarrassment of large breasts who can’t exercise them away. I am so glad I found Bumrungrad hospital, you get treated with nothing but respect, the hospital is unbelievable, runs like clockwork, the doctors and nurses are amazing, just being in the place you feel like you are in a five star resort. I am so glad now that I didn’t get it done for free in the UK.

I am happy to answer any questions. Just in case I don't log back on for a while and miss heaps more messages (sorry about that guys!!), feel free to email me and I'll get back to you anna2186@hotmail.com

Anna :)

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Thank you for story. I to am going to Bumrungrad Hospital with Global Health Travel. I have heard and read nothing but fantastic reports and am 100% certain after researching and blogging that I have made the right decision for me. After all the initial fear, I am so excited that I feel I have made this decision. just anxiously waiting for the day to arrive... woohoo!!!

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