Breast reduction/lift Review - Seoul, South Korea

23 yrs, 5'9", 155 lbs., 30H bra I've always had...

23 yrs, 5'9", 155 lbs., 30H bra

I've always had extreme back/shoulder pain so I've finally decided to undergo surgery.

I live in South Korea so there is really no shortage of plastic surgery hospitals to choose from. However, breast reductions are not common here so I searched for places that specialized in breast surgeries.

I decided to have my procedure at Grand Plastic Surgery in Sinsa-dong, Seoul. The facilities are very clean and professional. Grand is a plastic surgery "complex" and has it's own 13 floor building. It's quite famous and popular in S.K. with many celebrities and international customers.

So, now I'd like to share my personal experience with Grand so far. During my first consultation the staff were very helpful and the consultant surgeon was knowledgeable and concise about what would happen during the procedure (technique, time, size after). The price was not too bad either. Other clinics quoted between $6,500-$15,000.

All things considered, my experience so far has been positive. albeit a bit too "Korean". Allow me to clarify; Korean doctors do not provide much in the way of "hand-holding" and only give information on a need-to know basis.

Since my first consultation/examination, I have only visited the clinic one more time for blood tests and x-rays. I will meet my surgeon on the day of the surgery and discuss specifics like nipple placement/final size then. Also, I've been given no pre-surgery information packet to prepare me mentally/physically for the surgery apart from a small list provided on their business card (pictured in my photos).

Most people are unfamiliar with Korean culture and doctors here are normally like this. Especially with plastic surgery, the medical profession here is a business. Doctors know best and patients don't give opinions or request preferences. Also, doctors don't often explain the steps of a procedure to patients. It's very hard for me to adjust to this style of interaction with my doctors, but I'm trying.

I wish there would be more hand-holding but I'm already quite knowledgeable about what will happen because of my own endeavors to learn about the procedure.

TL;DR
I think the procedure will turn out well. Grand PS is a professional and high-quality clinic in Korea. I'm not too pleased with the "Korean Doctor" culture but I understand and accept my situation.

Post-surgery

I finally had the procedure done and I couldn't be happier with the results.

I was kept overnight in the hospital and had drainage bags for two days. There was never any severe pain (apart from first waking up after the surgery) just some discomfort and irritation. It was mostly sore and I would feel the occasional "zing" of pain where the stitches were placed.

Now, it's been almost two weeks and I feel nothing but mild itchiness near the stitches (yay healing!). I will have the stitches removed tomorrow and finally get a good look at my breasts without bandages.

I'm very happy and the size seems a little bit smaller than before. The main difference is that my breast are up without a hint of sagging! It's amazing! I've never had perky breasts and I feel 100X more confident. I just need to work on correcting my posture from years of hunching over and slouching.

Overall it was a good experience for me and I'm excited to go bra shopping when the swelling subsides (4-6 months).

Week 3

All of the stitches have been removed and now I just need to wear tape strips over the scars. I was told that this will keep the scars from "widening" and getting bigger. These need to be changed once a week until September 15.

The pain is nearly the same as my last update; occasional "zings" and mostly itchiness.

I caught a look of my nipples today sans tape/stitches and WOW! They're tiny! And jut out really weirdly :/ I'm just going to avoid looking at them until everything is healed. I know it takes a long time for the final shape to emerge but I'm so impatient to show off my pretty new boobs hahaa!

Week 4

I have to keep putting tape on my incisions until Sept. 15 but I took some photos of my progress. The scars look pretty good and there isn't much bruising. My left breast is still more swollen than the right one.

It's going quite well and there's no pain! I'll keep updating as the weeks progress.

Week 5

I changed my steri-strips again and took another progress photo. I know it will take a long time for the scars to heal but they still look so raw! It seems as though I just had the surgery last week and not last month. I can't wait to start scar treatment in two weeks!

Week 6

I just changed my steri-strips again. This is the final week I have to wear them and then I can start applying scar treatments!

The scars look really great but I have a ton of dry skin and scabs that make the skin look darker than it actually is. I'll try some SUPER gentle exfoliation next week when I no longer wear the steri-strips.

Also, the swelling under my left breast has reduced significantly so the skin looks less "puckered".

Week 7

Freedom!
I no longer have to wear steri-strips or any other bandages. I can begin scar treatments next week according to the surgeon.

The scars look quite amazing, especially the vertical incision lines. I notice that my areolas do protrude a bit though... I've heard this can happen after surgery and it should hopefully go away after fully healing.

To be honest, I'm so happy with the new overall size and shape that I don't care if my areolas are a bit herniated.

One last thing, I had soooo much flaky skin and old scabs under the tape. I gently exfoliated and removed some of the scabs. A word of caution, don't remove scabs that are still healing! The ones I had were old and would have fallen off if I hadn't been constantly covering them with tape. They pretty much came off on there own but some were pressed against my skin for so long that they wouldn't just fall.

1.5 years post-op

So, it's been over a year and here's my final review: Very unsatisfied.

My breasts are exactly the same size (volume) as before my surgery. I still wear the same bras from pre-surgery. However, my breasts are more perky than they've ever been. I did not gain or loose weight, so this means the surgeon gave me a "lift" rather than a reduction.

I can't express how disappointed I am to have spent $10,000 and endured so much pain to end up exactly where I started.

I would advise all interested parties to avoid Grand Plastic Surgery clinic in Seoul, South Korea. I would also like to discourage medical tourism in general. If a country with such a "good" reputation for plastic surgery can fail, it's likely that others will be bad too.

Stay away from Grand PS. They'll take your money and cut you up how they want. I'm already saving up for a REAL reduction to take place in the USA.

Final Update

I just visited Grand PS to collect my records and chat with the surgeon.

I'm happy they didn't push me to schedule a revision with them, but I'm disappointed they didn't seem to care about my satisfaction.

Essentially, the surgeon just droned on about how "successful" the reduction was and that I may have another revision if I want to reduce further. He didn't even ask if I liked my results/felt satisfied. He felt that the post-surgery volume was correct even though it's not what I wanted. I want SIGNIFICANTLY smaller breasts.

Pardon my French, but what a load of bullsh*t.

The surgery was a "success"? Since the day I took off my compression bandages, my breasts fit into the cups of my pre-surgery bras. They only gave me a lift and not a reduction.

Stay away from this company (I refuse to acknowledge it as a hospital or clinic) at all costs. They'll take your money and do what they want.
Unknown

Haven't met my actual surgeon yet. The surgeon who preformed my initial examination was knowledgeable and explained everything in detail. He was frank and honest about what I needed and could achieve through this surgery.

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