by Jasmine C. from Singapore
Getting breast augmentation is no quick decision. You must consider the price, expectations and most importantly, the skill of your surgeon. COVID-19 creates a greater barrier in arranging consultations, but when looking at places in Korea you’ll realize online consultations are offered and I’m thankful to JW, and Emily especially, for making this process so easy and so seamless.
I looked at all the reviews, before and after cases and YouTube videos prior to choosing JW, and they provided a lot of real, informative information that made me feel other clinics didn’t deliver as well.
Now onto my journey. After considering places within the US, I felt that the post-operative care and benefits that came with going with JW Plastic Surgery was stellar compared to that of places I highly considered in California and New York. However, Emily, one of the translators who is part of the international team responsible for taking care of international patients, had informed me that anesthesia fees, medication and post-operation check ups were included in the final price. Being American, it felt natural to go to the US, but in the end Korea’s world-class reputation of being plastic surgery capital, the all-inclusive price of JW and my close proximity between Singapore and Korea, I chose to commit to JW Plastic Surgery in the end. I wasn’t worried one bit about the language barrier despite not knowing a word of Korean because Emily was the sweetest, most helpful and accommodating guide throughout the entire process!
Breast augmentation consultation process
Prior to arriving in Korea I had met Dr. Seul on Zoom, so he generally knew my concerns and we agreed that an in-person consultation would be the finishing touch in fully understanding what I wanted done. Emily arranged a taxi pick up service from my quarantine hotel once my mandatory two weeks were done, and I went straight to my consultation!
Walking into JW, you’ll realise this swanky looking building located in Samseong, Gangnam has seven floors dedicated to the clinic. I went up to Level 6 which was the reception area and it was gorgeous. The reception boasted tall ceilings, beautiful decoration and a comfortable yet classy environment. I met Emily, and we went upstairs to the consultation room with Dr. Seul shortly after.
Emily ushered me into the room and I met Dr. Seul, who had rows of awards, accolades and books dedicated to breast augmentation and its aesthetics situated behind him. Both he and the resident rhinoplasty surgeon Dr. Man Koon Suh has 21 years of experience, which was at least a decade more than the surgeons I had consulted with from other clinics.
A really great aspect about JW was that their technology used is phenomenal and very high tech. If you wanted a rhinoplasty procedure, certain body scans and facial scans were required to ensure they knew exactly what your bone structure was. On top of x-rays, I was required to have a body scan to see the structure of my chest and breasts before Dr. Seul could go any further in advising me. After all that, we discussed my original breast shape, skin elasticity (which is very important in whether or not you’re able to go as big as you want) and the realities of what I can and cannot achieve. I was around an A, and wanted to be a C/D at most. In the end, Dr. Seul recommended Motiva’s Ergonomix at 300cc and 340cc. As a disclaimer, they were not the same size since I had some spinal problems since a very young age, and Dr. Seul thought about what was needed for one side may not be the same on the other side.
After that, I went home and prepared for my surgery that would happen four days later. I was advised to have stopped drinking 2 weeks prior to the surgery amongst other things such as consuming ginseng, aspirin, and a few other restrictions.
Pro tip: Make sure you have laxatives handy, arrange a bunch of pillows in bed to prop yourself up for the recovery to come and prepare a comfortable zip-up jacket / top to wear before the surgery. You don’t want to be lifting your arms up at all, especially for surgeries like breast augmentations.
Breast augmentation surgery & recovery
I came into the clinic at around 08:00am to meet with Dr. Seul and have the markings drawn on me, then relaxing in the recovery room before the surgery. Markings were done with a black pen so that Dr. Seul could map out exactly what needed to be done, keeping in mind exact measurements between each breast. I opted for the implants to be under the breast as the recovery was said to be smoother, but the tradeoff was that there could be potential signs of scarring (you’re able to purchase creams for this at the clinic after – this will be arranged!)
We went through an air machine which was meant to clean off bacteria before you entered the surgery room. When it was my time to go in, I laid down and met Dr. Lee, the resident anesthesiologist, as she began to prep the anesthesia procedure for me. For those who are concerned about ‘ghost doctors’ in Korea, Emily reassured me that after the incident happened at other clinics, JW swiftly implemented video surveillance measures as a means to combat any worries patients may have about it. She reassured me she was able to see what was going on in the surgery room while I was asleep. Everything was very clean and sterile, photos of my desired breast outcome were stuck on the wall, nurses were attentive and diligently working on preparing me, and the last thing I remembered was seeing Emily, wishing me good luck and assisting me all the way until I fell asleep.
Waking up was strange, but it felt like I had just woken up from a deep sleep, and I remember dreaming! Thankfully, Emily was there as I woke up and said everything went smoothly. I rested in the recovery room for an hour before I was allowed to go home.
The hardest part of that point, in my opinion, was the one hour of no water allowed. You weren’t allowed to have water for exactly one hour after surgery, and that was the worst for me since I had fasted the night before, no food or water, and did the same in the morning. My lips were dry and I was desperate for water, so when that one hour mark arrived I was so thankful to be able to drink it again. I had no pain when I woke up, but I was tightly bandaged in the chest area, so I couldn’t feel what size I really was yet.
Emily gave me a little goodies bag full of pumpkin juice packets which were good for swelling and medication packets from the pharmacy (international patients have the great pleasure of having all this prepared for them!). She advised me to drink a pack or two a day to ensure my swelling would go down. These pumpkin juice packets were indeed yummy and light, and not at all creamy like pumpkin soup, which I thought would be the case.
Afterwards, Emily took me home (I lived nearby, and another pro tip is to stay close to the clinic if you can. Samseong has a good amount of airbnb rentals available) and the beginning of my recovery began. Needless to say, it was tough, but thankfully I was hooked up on an IV drip filled with painkillers, took my medication on time and had the support of Emily who would encourage me throughout the recovery process that everything is okay.
Checkup and follow ups
After two days, I was scheduled for a checkup with Dr. Seul, and prior to seeing him, a nurse helped me remove the tightly fitted bandages. It was then I saw my new breasts for the first time! They were plump and larger than I imagined, but it was so relieving to finally see them after this much anticipation.
I was then fitted into a shaping bra and a band around my chest specifically to lower the implants. The force between the shaping bra and the band was what encouraged the implant to move lower, forming a more natural shape. If you’re wondering what a shaping bra looks like, an image is attached below. It’s basically a bra with no cups and only the strap outlines. These were imperative for post-op care, and post-operative care is very important. I didn’t shower for a few days just because I was worried I’d mess up my augmentation. I reckon you can expect to shower three if not four days after your surgery, but be sure to ask the nurses or your translator.
For the ladies considering BA, remembering post-operative care is just as important as researching your doctor, location and all the other factors in between! Your chest will feel hard to touch but it’s okay, because it will soften and it just takes time to relax. Post-operative care is important, and Emily reassured me that the service from JW does not end after you’re done with surgery, which makes it one of the best places to do a procedure like breast augmentation.
I will be back with the recovery update 6 months after the surgery. Please look forward to it!