Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket’s secret souvenir: The perfect pair

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Breasts are big in Phuket. Big business, that is. In recent years, both Bangkok Hospital Phuket and Phuket International Hospital have seen dramatic increases in cosmetic breast surgeries, fueled by rising numbers of medical tourists. The Phuket Gazette’s Orawin Narabal reports on one of the island’s hottest tourist draws: The boob job.

PHUKET: Together, Phuket International Hospital and Bangkok Hospital Phuket did upwards of 1,600 breast augmentation surgeries – also known as boob jobs, or implant surgeries – last year.

“We’ve had a 50 per cent year-on-year increase in cosmetic breast surgeries,” said Peter Davison, Manager of International Services at Phuket International Hospital (PIH).

Considering that the hospitals also do breast lifts and reductions, and that prices for the three surgeries range from 115,000 baht to 300,000 baht, some pretty serious money is at stake.

The vast majority of women getting the surgeries at Phuket hospitals are medical tourists; about 97 per cent at PIH according to Mr Davison, with most coming from Australia and New Zealand. And there’s no reason to think that their interest will wane anytime soon.

Phuket's secret souvenir: The perfect pair | News by Thaiger
Breast augmentation stats. Click here to enlarge image.

First, because breast surgeries – augmentations, lifts, and reductions (for both men and women) – make up four of the 10 most popular plastic surgeries worldwide, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, with breast augmentations reaching number two on the list, outranked only by liposuction.

Second, because Phuket prices are a great bargain. Australian prices are up to three times higher, even factoring in the cost of travel to Phuket and accommodations here.

Last, because medical tourism has the support of the Tourism Association of Thailand (TAT), which has been promoting it since 2004 and runs yearly familiarization trips for foreign tourism and health tourism agencies.

MEDICAL TOURISM

On a TAT website dedicated exclusively to medical tourism, the featured Phuket hospitals are Phuket International, Bangkok Phuket (BHP) and Vachira, but only the first two have active links.

PIH and BHP homepages both have prominent links to their cosmetic surgery centers, and both make it easy for medical tourists to arrange a visit, offering detailed information not only about surgeries but also how many days the patient should plan to stay in Phuket. PIH even provides an interactive calculator to help estimate total costs.

HISTORY OF IMPLANTS

Silicone breast implants have been around for just over 50 years – the first surgery was performed in the US in 1962. But women have endeavored to increase the size of their bosoms for a lot longer than that – as far back as the 1890s, they injected paraffin, but it didn’t stay put. In the 20s and 30s women had fat from other parts of their bodies moved to their breasts. At other times, implants included polyurethane, cartilage, sponges, wood and glass balls.

There have been health scares: silicone implants were banned in the US from 1991 to 2006 over concerns that ruptures could cause cancer and auto-immune diseases, and a scandal arose around Poly Implants Prothese, a French implant company, in 2010 when their implants, which used substandard silicone, were found to rupture at a higher rate than normal. French health authorities – though not those in other countries where the implants were used – urged 30,000 French women to have the defective implants removed.

MOTIVATION

Despite the cost, the pain and the hassle, women are willing to get this unnecessary surgery. Why? The Gazette talked to several women, and the comments of one 44-year-old represent the group.

“After I had a child, my breasts were not firm. I was very slim, only 40kg at the time, and I felt like my breasts had disappeared.

“Back then, I liked to go to parties and I wanted to look beautiful and fit when I wore a sexy or open dress. I would not be happy if I looked at myself in the mirror and saw that I didn’t have beautiful breasts.

“I am very happy with the results. They meet my expectations.

“The only problem I have is that I lost some sensitivity around my nipples because the incision was there.

“Most of my friends don’t know that I’ve had surgery until I tell them.

“My husband liked my body even before, but afterwards he told me I look more curvy and balanced. He sees how happy I am, and whatever makes me happy, makes him happy too.”

THE PROCEDURE

Phuket's secret souvenir: The perfect pair | News by Thaiger
Choosing a surgeon. Click here to enlarge image.

Dr Chirayuth Toertmongkhol, a plastic surgeon at Bangkok Hospital Phuket, explained the steps to implant surgery.

“We start with a physical checkup to make sure the patient can tolerate the surgery. Then we discuss the options,” he explained.

Patients need to make a number of choices: breast size, kind of implant, and location of the incision.

“When women choose a size they need to keep in mind the size of their bodies. If the patient is small, they won’t be able to handle very big implants. The implant needs to be in balance with their body size.

“Implants are either saline or silicone. Nowadays the silicone implants are more popular because they give a better shape and are easier to take care of,” Dr Chirayuth said.

“Implants can be rough or smooth, and come in two shapes, round and tear drop. The tear drop gives a more natural shape,” he added.

Another major consideration is the location of the incision, since this determines where the scar will be – in the armpit, below the breast, or around the nipple.

While women used to prefer an armpit incision, nowadays they are wearing more sleeveless clothes and so opt for one of the other locations, Dr Chirayuth said.

The implant surgery itself normally doesn’t take longer than a long massage – about two hours.

Surgeons first try out tester implants for size. Only when they’re sure the size and shape are appropriate will they proceed.

“It requires a week in the hospital after surgery, Dr Chirayuth said, “and we recommend regular checkups for three to six months after the surgery to monitor the formation of scar tissue around the implant. The scar tissue helps support the weight of the implant and also shapes it.”

Following the surgery, patients are advised not to perform any activities that might affect the shape of the breasts. This means some sports are out, as is sleeping face-down.

RISKS

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that although implants are tested extensively, they still bring risks, including: Additional surgeries, capsular contracture (scar tissue that squeezes and misshapes the implant), breast pain, rupture with deflation of saline-filled implants, and silent rupture of silicone gel-filled implants.

The FDA recommends that women with silicone implants get MRI screenings to d

— Orawin Narabal

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Best of17 mins ago

5 best national parks in Phuket

Thailand39 mins ago

Australian man arrested for alleged child sex abuse in Thai border town

Best of42 mins ago

10 best fruits and vegetables in Thailand

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand42 mins ago

3 dead in 3 truck crash in Surat Thani

Thailand1 hour ago

Bangkok Post and Fazwaz join together to galvanise property listings platform

Bangkok2 hours ago

CCSA has yet to begin talks on lifting alcohol ban at Bangkok restaurants

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Yala enters lockdown today

Thailand3 hours ago

Thai police say they’ve gathered “strong evidence” on transnational drug trade

Phuket3 hours ago

Indonesian fisherman rescued after 9 days adrift at sea

Thailand3 hours ago

More than 100 cats rescued from owner

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: Cumulative case count exceeds 200,000; provincial totals

Thailand4 hours ago

Thai amulets come to blockchain, blessed by grandmaster of spells and charms

Thailand4 hours ago

Dogs from Thailand and more than 100 countries banned from US due to risk of rabies

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Bangkok elderly can register for vaccine

Thailand5 hours ago

“Bubble and seal” method to contain outbreaks at factories, keep business afloat

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending