Sophia, a 29-year old Singaporean and PR Manager in Financial Services, underwent a Cosmetic Surgery Makeover Tour in Seoul with Eunogo exactly a year ago. She describes herself as a fairly confident individual who never had any serious issues with her appearance. There were of course flaws that she did not like, but she did not obsess over it or let that affect her self-esteem.
After going through the makeover, we interviewed her to find out more about her decision to go for plastic surgery and how the whole process was like for her. If you are interested to find out more about her journey, keep on reading!
Q: Why did you decide to go for plastic surgery?
The trigger for my decision to undergo plastic surgery was mainly because of my wedding in December last year. As a major life event and especially with the spotlight on the bride, it motivated me to get some procedures done. I wanted to look my best on this special day and as I mentioned before, I had some flaws which I didn’t really like. Thus, the wedding presented itself as an opportune moment for me to finally address those flaws. For example, the folds of my eyelids were not even and I did not like waking up with different eye shapes every day. To some degree, makeup has been able to help overcome this issue, but it was still a challenge and a chore to even it out with double eyelid tape every day. With plastic surgery as a permanent solution and knowing that risks can be mitigated to a certain extent under the care of a skilled and experienced doctor, why not?
That said, I have always been open to plastic surgery and the benefits it offers. It is a positive indication of the advancement in medical science to help not just women but also men change their looks for the better. And beyond the superficial, it can also help boost confidence or improve one’s physical living if there is a valid medical reason to support plastic surgery as a solution.
Q: Why Korea?
The cosmetic surgery industry and medical tourism industry in South Korea are very well established and advanced. It is not just the doctors who are well known for their skills, but even support staff like the nurses and front desk staff are all well trained and very customer-centric. There are also many affordable accommodations and restaurants near the clinics, and it is generally very easy to travel within the city. I also believe that the cosmetic surgery industry in South Korea is the leading one in Asia, hence as a pragmatic reason for someone living in Asia, it was an easy decision to decide on South Korea for my surgery.
Q: Why did you choose to utilise a medical concierge service? How did Eunogo help in your journey?
I must admit that I did not know how to go about planning a “medical” trip around my first plastic surgery. I was not sure as to which clinic I should seek consultation at, what I should look out for in terms of a clinic’s/doctor’s niche, how to ascertain the quality and track record of the clinic/doctor etc. Sometimes, desktop research just doesn’t cut it when search results of clinic/doctor reviews are only in Korean language, or sometimes there aren’t any reviews at all because of the private nature of plastic surgery. Moreover, as a full-time working professional, it was a challenge to research and plan the entire trip in advance. Planning for a “medical” trip is nothing like planning for a relaxing holiday!
Eunogo is a premium medical concierge offering quality services and they have worked with many established partners in Seoul - having them made me feel like I was in good hands.
A concierge service like Eunogo is a critical first stop for people who share my challenges expressed above because they are most aware of all the clinics and the quality of the clinics/doctors. In addition, as medical concierges have the experience of dealing with various customers, they can offer a first line of consultation by recommending a shortlist of clinics to a new client with similar concerns as a prior, satisfied client. Their strong network with established clinics also means that clients can be assured that lower quality clinics are filtered out, and only the best is recommended.
A medical concierge with local presence in Seoul would also be able to offer clients additional information/tips or even negotiate for a better price than the client might have obtained had he/she approached a clinic directly.
After going through my first cosmetic surgery experience through Eunogo, I can also share that on top of the professional concierge service they offer, the true value of a medical concierge is the extra mile they go to offer emotional support to their clients and helping clients build a stronger rapport with the clinics. The Eunogo concierge who attended to me waited for my surgery to end past 10 pm and stayed on for a while longer to ensure that I was comfortably resting in the ward. I did not expect that it would be so emotionally assuring post-surgery to have that comforting presence especially when I was in a foreign country alone. The Eunogo staff complemented the doctors and nurses very well, were warm and conscientious, and remained accessible and supportive during my recovery period.
To summarise, Eunogo set my plastic surgery experience on a positive start; the consultation, surgery and post-surgery experience with Gyalumhan was phenomenally positive; and Eunogo continued to value-add the experience throughout.
Q: How was the consultation and how did you decide which procedures to go for?
The consultation was an open and honest one, very informational and tailored to my concerns. The doctors offered holistic advice and through their experience working with different kinds of faces with different kinds of flaws, they enabled me to understand the best procedures that would achieve my desire for a more natural outcome.
Q: How was the pre-surgery therapy?
I went for the Evercell Anti-aging Facial (Stem Cell Therapy) which was inclusive of a Lymphatic Drainage Massage at Chaum during pre-surgery. The treatment is meant to help patients to be in their best condition before surgery.
Combined with cutting edge therapies that gently introduce their signature serum to my skin, the Stem Cell Therapy really made me feel much more relaxed. I could feel the effects of the products and the Lymphatic Drainage Massage helped my blood to circulate better and further amplified the effects of their products. After the therapy, my muscles were less tense and I felt emotionally calmer. I honestly felt quite prepared to step into the surgery room the next day.
I had a forehead lift, double eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty and facial liposuction as recommended by the doctors at Gyalumhan. My surgery was split into two parts over two days. The first surgery I had on the first day was the double eyelid surgery and it took approximately 30 minutes. The next day, I had a more major surgery which included the forehead lift, rhinoplasty, and facial liposuction. The 3 procedures took approximately 2.5 hours in total.
Q: What was your husband’s reaction?
He was already supportive from the very start, and the fact that I was confident of myself was something he valued about me. After the surgery, with the initial bandages and swelling, it was quite shocking for both him and myself. After 2 weeks when the bandages and stitches came off, we saw that the results were really natural. Over the recovery process of one year, as the swelling gradually subsided and as the results looked even more natural, whenever I asked him/colleagues/friends if they remember how I used to look, they said no, they think I have been looking like this all the while.
Q: What was your recovery process like?
My recovery after the double eyelid surgery on the first day was very fast, it did not affect my mobility and appetite at all. After the more major surgery I had on the second day, I did have a headache on that night itself, which is quite common for the forehead lift. Apart from that, I honestly felt energetic after the local anesthesia wore off and experienced very minimal pain (it was more of a mild soreness like going through wisdom teeth surgery). After being discharged the following day, I could walk and go out into the streets of Korea to explore and shop. My recovery process went very well, it was very smooth and quite fast. My daily lifestyle was not affected at all. I did go back to Seoul two times for check up sessions and each time I was able to track my recovery process through before and after photos of myself.
Q: How has your life changed 1 year after the surgery?
As mentioned earlier, before going for the surgery, I was already quite confident about myself. There were a few issues with my appearance that I was slightly annoyed about but that never stopped me from being who I am and embracing who I am. After 1 year of going through the surgery and recovery process, surprisingly I actually feel even more confident of myself, which is something that I never thought I would. Being able to wake up and not feel annoyed with the little things that used bugged me has also been such a relief. Looking back one year on, it's been such a wonderful experience.
Q: Any last thing to say to your doctor and people who were with you in your journey?
I am very thankful for them for all the attention they have given me. I must also say that the staff at Gyalumhan are very caring and they treat their patients like family members. I have been back twice and each time I go back, it’s like seeing friends again.