Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Liposuction in Medan 3: Thighs (Day 1)

Clinic: Elixir De Vie
Doctor: Dr Arthur Tjandra
Country: Medan, Indonesia
Method: Traditional Liposuction under LA

::: Disclaimer:  This is based on my own experience and I paid for the procedures in full :::

It has been exactly 8day since my surgery on the 11th of May.  Time passed by so fast and I am already back at work on a brand new work week.  I had brought along with me a notebook where I jotted down what I did and how I felt through out the stay in Medan since I did not bring my laptop with me this time round.

So let's throwback to the 1st day of this 3rd liposuction journey in Medan.

11th May (Day 1)

5.35am - Had a rough night's sleep

No idea why I didn't lay out the mattress.  Woke up many times through out the night due to sore back and limbs.  Only manage 4hrs sleep as I woke up at 5am to catch the morning flight.  Had a brief shower and left the house to catch the first train at 5.35am (Moubatten).  To my 'horror', first train does not arrive at 5.35am.  What welcome me was a notice "Train arriving in 11mins" and a sudden wave of panic coz my flight was at 7.40am.  Would I be able to make it on time?

I mastered the courage to send my mum a whatsapp message informing her about my decision to leave town.  Guess I could not bare not to inform my mum after all.

6.05am - Waiting for train at Paya Lebar

Feeling complex.  Excited and yet very nervous.  Liposuction is a risky surgery.  In fact, every surgery has its risks despite the Dr having vast experience.  Maybe its because of that 1% chance that I may not be making it back alive, hence I am feeling jittery even if its my 3rd session there.  Or maybe because of the numerous air disasters these days, I am also worried if it will be a safe flight or not.

6.30am - Arrived at airport
Previously check-in a day ago and so, I proceed to collect my boarding pass before going into the departure hall.  Immediately searched the departure area for a bookshop to get the 'Straits Times' for Dr.  I also gotten myself a green tea latte from Starbucks to calm my nerves.

7.37am - Boarded the plane
Already seated in my seat.  I thought I was late for boarding cause I saw gate closing outside the boarding area.  Had to gobble down my latte quickly while entering the boarding area.  I was at the counter under 'Medan' where it says gate closed and no one was at the counter.

I just stood there waiting for someone to attend to me.  The counter next to me was a queue of passengers queuing and I look up it says 'Balikpapan' gate open.

The lady at counter while handling those passengers told me to queue up.  I was like "?" and I went to join the queue.  Damn paiseh.  But please, how would I know that queue was for Medan when the sign above says 'Balikpapan' right.  I kept on thinking, would I end up somewhere else in Indonesia instead.

My mum replied to my message earlier with not a hint of negativity as I requested and even transferred me some extra money.  Initially I did not have enough for thighs but now I do.  Thanks mum.

7.40am - Left on schedule

The plane started to move and taxi towards the runway. 

7.53am - Bye Singapore

It was a rather smooth take off but I was still very nervous and my heart was thumping non-stop.  The flight was about 3/4 filled.  So far so good, sat next to angmoh couple and the plane ride was relatively quiet.  I don't see any children on board, lucky me!

8.22am - Snack on plane
Snack was served.  It was chicken sandwich but the meat was quite tough to chew.  My jaws are damn sore now.  Didn't finish the sandwich and left 1/3  of the bread while I slowly chewed on the chicken.  Its like beef jerky but bland tasting chicken.  Having mild stomach ache already and I wonder if its psychological from the sandwich.

Note to self: Do not order fat free meal.

8.41am - Announcement for landing

Can't stop yawning and I can't seem to nap also.

8.52am (7.52am indo time) - Landed in Medan

The angmoh couple and I got a shock when plane landed.  We were asleep prior to landing and the bump while landing just shock us awake with me thinking if the plane crashed upon landing.  We look at one another and smiled, probably having the same silly thoughts.  There was a slight power fault and the door could not open, we had to wait for a few more mins in the plane.

Immediately went to the toilet to poop before exiting the customs.  It was a smooth exit (toilet pun not intended), wasn't question by the custom officer or anything.  Thank God.

8.33am (indo time from now on) - Seated in the airport train
Exited out of the airport and the train station was located on the left.  It was sheltered all the way.  I just crossed the zebra crossing and walk towards the station.  Ticket counter was near the entrance and I bought my tickets with no problems.  Staff encountered was able to speak English.

Ticket cost IDR100,000.  You will be issued a receipt (with seat details) as well as another card.  The card is for one time use to go through the boarding gate.  Based on the boarding section and seat number on the paper receipt, I found my seat with no problems.

Train was air-conditioned and pretty clean.  There was also a mix of Indonesian pop & English songs playing through the sound system as well.  Quite comfortable.  Due to privacy of other passengers, I did not take any photos of the interior.  Sitting arrangements in cabin were like some facing one another some facing ahead.  There is also a place to put your luggage as well.

8.43am - Called the driver

Shortly before the train is due to depart, I called the driver as per instructed by Jennifer.  A lady picked up the call and hanged up after speaking in Indonesian.  Called the clinic but no answer so I have no idea if the driver got my message to pick me up.  Its ok, I shall try again later when I arrive at Medan station.

8.45am - Train left on scheduled

Train ride was really smooth.  There was a brief delay in the middle but was resolved in few minutes.

9.22am - Reached Medan Station

Took my time to exit the train and just follow the crowd since it's my first time there at the station.

9.29am - Got into driver's car

I exited at the Jl. Jawa exit (on the right) where Centrepoint shopping centre was and was crossing my fingers that the driver was there.  Saw the driver holding up paper with my name printed as I was coming down the escalator.  Immediately wave and smiled at him.  It was the same driver I saw before in 2012 & 2013.

Encountered the morning jam.  The ride thou short was quite bumpy and I think I got a bit car sick.  This time instead of Buddhist hymns playing, it was Indonesian pop songs.  Not bad, I quite like the music thou I had no idea what they were singing about.

10.10am - Arrived in clinic and showered
It was about 10-15mins later or so when I arrived at the clinic.  After the necessary paper work and instructions (taking panadol and antibiotics) I went up to my room (the same Room 5).  Not my first time there so the nurse did not have to spend time to bring me around the house.  I took a thorough shower and changed into their clinic gown.

::: strange that there was no emphasis on showering with Dettol but I did anyways :::

Nurse say I cannot go to Sun Plaza before surgery where I intended to get the thrombophob gel from Guardian. 

This time round, I am not getting any medications (only antibiotics) or post-op wound care kit from the clinic.  As for the balance of the thrombophob gel from 2013, no idea if is expired but I will just used it first, same with the balance of danzen tablets.  If I am up for it, I may just go Sun Plaza a day before I fly back to get the gel.

10.50am - Body Composition
Done with measurements for the body.  This time round, I could not look at my records as per previous 2 rounds so I can't list down the measurements for comparison.  What I could remember was Hips: 100cm, Waist: 76cm, Arms: 31(L)/31(R), Weight: 70.1kg (down from 73kg during consultation in Singapore)

Waiting for Dr now.

11.10am - Consultation

I went back up to my room earlier because Dr was not ready.  Got a call to came back down for consultation.  Was asking Dr if I could skip the knees and buttocks to do the lower abdomen and flanks but was told no. So in the end, I have decided to do all 7 areas for the thighs.

::: 7 areas include - Inner/Outer/Front/Back Thighs, hips, buttocks and knees :::

12.10pm - Back in room

Using the unstable laptop in the kitchen to try transfer the surgery cost to the Dr.  Had a lot of trouble cause either the laptop shuts down suddenly or I am having trouble with my DBS ibanking token.  Manage to transfer the money in the end.  Went back down to see the Dr and it was decided that we both have lunch first before surgery.
Before heading back to room, Dr inserted the drip thing on my left hand and did the video taking while marking on my thighs.  There were a few points he mentioned wrongly in the video thou about my profile.  Nurse filmed with Dr's camera while the maid filmed with my hp (or was it the other way round? I can't see)
one of the 2 recovery rooms
Its damn funny where I had to cover my face with shower cap and put on tinted glasses during the video.  LOL!

Apparently I am a good case study whereby even if I gain weight, I will still retain the shape from liposuction.  So if I did lose my weight, the result will be back to immediately after post op.

He also mention in the video that my skin elasticity is not as good as there were already stretch marks which indicated skin ruptured.  There will be loose skin after surgery unfortunately which is something I had to accept.  Prior to surgery, I did have some loose skin at the inner thigh and stretch marks around my hip areas so I suppose it will be more obvious after surgery.

2.35pm to about 5.22pm - Surgery
surgery room
After lunch of porridge which I ordered from the nurse, I was watching Jackie Chan's movie Project A on cable TV.  Got called down for surgery at about 1.50pm.  Surgery did not start till about 2.35pm.

can see the bite marks? it has faded by time I was at the recovery room
Towards the end it was so damn painful that to endure, I was biting on to my left hand.  I was told by nurse later that I grab onto her hand so tightly that my nails dug into hers.  When surgery was almost over, I opened my eyes and look at my left hand and saw that it was so bad that I thought my flesh could be bitten off if I bite it any harder.

I asked the Dr if I said any rubbish things earlier and he said yes.  I told him to bring me to Korea and then he asked me, why would I want to go Korea?  To be honest, I think subconsciously I wanted to go Korea for plastic surgery that's why. LOL!  Did not tell him that thou.  Now he knows if he reads my blog *oops*.

Then Dr told me to stand and he did the finishing touches at the buttock area.  I could stand fortunately while the nurse supported my body.  Lied back down on the surgery table.  After the nurse was done cleaning my thighs, I started to shiver and felt really cold.

It lasted for a short while only and after I was shifted to the recovery room, I was advised to be put on the drip as a precaution since 2.5 litres of fat were drawn out.  When drip was done, Dr came to check on my status and advised me to drink plenty of water if not the kidneys may shut down due to dehydration.
Nurse had to re-bandage my knee again as blood was leaking.  My dinner, which was pre-ordered earlier (porridge again with pineapple juice) came and she brought it up for me while bringing me back to my room to rest.  I could walk up the flight of stairs without much problems.

The only discomfort was the bandages on both thighs and across my hips.  It also feels quite strange not being able to wear underwear with those bandages.

6.40pm - Feeling nauseous
taken when I was back in my room after surgery. feeling great actually.

silverfish porridge with pineapple juice.  I had pineapple juice every lunch and dinner
Couldn't finish the porridge and had the juice in the middle of the night.  Based on past experience I had to be given the anti-vomit jab after surgery coz I kept on throwing up due to the LA.  This time round, I was feeling nauseating but I could not vomit anything out despite having porridge earlier.  I kept on burping non-stop in the washroom.

I lined the area I slept with towels (just in case of drainage) and went to bed about 7.35pm after watching 'Avengers' dvd midway.

9pm - Woke up

The nauseating feeling was gone but my thighs began to have this burning sensation.  No idea when I was suppose to start taking medications but I did it anyways to alleviate the pain.  So I just took the antibiotics, Pandaol, Danzen and iron tablets and went back to bed.

9.30pm - Dr came to check on me

Dr came into my room to check on me. Surprisingly, this time round I did not even vomit and therefore, I do not require any jab which meant I saved myself some expenses.  He told me he is leaving the house and will come back about 12mn to check on me again.

Shortly after Dr left, I actually had to pee.  It was hard trying to pee with bandages around the thighs.  I sat down carefully and clean myself with Dettol wet wipes thereafter since I did not have any underwear on.

I noticed that my feet began to swell slightly as it was visibly slightly bloated than before.  I then took some Arnica Montana tablets and went back to bed.

12mn. (Day 2) - Dr came to check on me (2)

By time Dr came, I had already peed about 3 times.  Because I sat down on the toilet bowl to pee, the bandages started to roll down and create a dent on the upper inner thighs.  Dr helped to re-bandage the loose bandages before leaving.  He also advice to pee while standing up to avoid bandages loosening.

from the knee area
Also notice that I did have some drainage as expected.  Thankfully I lined the bed beforehand.  I took some more Arnica Montana tablets cause my legs began to have that burning sensation again.  Went back to bed soon after.


Damage: (prices for your own estimation)

Accomodation - S$240 (single room with attached toilet 5D4N)
Surgery - S$4,900 (old rate because I had blogged on my previous 2 session back in 2012 & 2013.  Prices have increase since 2015, you might want to email them and enquire)
Medications - S$92 (antibiotics + IV drip only)
Food - S$32 (lunch + dinner)
Airfare - S$300.80 (silkair + travel insurance)
Newspaper - S$0.85
Train Tickets - S$20.50 (IDR100,000 x 2 @ 9756)
Thrombophob Gel (2 tubes) - S$12.68 (IDR123,700 @ 9756 - from Sun Plaza's Guardian)

Pre/Post-Trip Expenses:
2XU running tights - S$125.09 (ebay)
2XU 3/4 running tights - S$113.91 (ebay)
Blood test - S$86.20
Miscellanous - ~S$50.00 (snacks, waterproof plasters, hydrocortisone cream)

Total: ~S$5,974.03

P.s For new patients, its best you get the require meds and post-op wound kits since you would not know how or what you need to recover.

P.P.s I bought the wrong size of Stage 1 compression garment from Rainey (worn usually the first 2 weeks after surgery or as per Dr's advise).  Please refer to "Stuff to Go" if you are interested.


-♉- Stay tuned for the next update -♉-

Quoted From Clinic's Email:

Remember: liposuction is not the answer or solution to your current problem. A change of your lifestyle should be the answer! Liposuction is only a sculpting tool to sculpt your body and get rid of stubborn pockets of fat which are resistant to exercise and diet.

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