I am very active and healthy and have a bust size of 10B / 32B (my right breast is smaller than my left). I have wanted to balance out and increase the size of my breasts to a C cup. In 2014, I was in a position where I could make that happen, so I began the research into surgical options, clinics, pros and cons of procedures.
After vigorous searching, I had settled on Stem Cell Fat Transfer to Breast and had found a clinic in Thailand called Stem Cells 21 - IntelliHealth Rejuvenation Centre. It that looked very professional and upmarket from the website and the price was on the higher end in Thailand as well - I was not looking for a "back alley" cheap job. Although Thailand is known for it’s cheaper cosmetic surgeries, I wanted to get the best doctors in Thailand for this procedure.
Thus I began emailing Faith, the liaison for the clinic about my interest and queries. This continued for about 4 months prior to the actual surgery as I took this very seriously and wanted to have myself fully informed about the procedure, recovery, expectations, results, and everything in relation to my body as well. The cost of the procedure was also settled at $8000NZD = $6030USD approx and would take 4-6 hours.
I was very satisfied with the communication and assistance of Faith. I had sent images of different angles of my body to see if the doctor could gage if I would be a suitable candidate. Of course this would be confirmed in the consultation, but Dr Jakarin Bunchongkit had told Faith I had enough fat in my thighs and flanks to balance and increase the size of my breasts. I was happy with this and booked in my consultation.
During the consultation, Dr Jakarin wasn't very open or warm; it did feel like I had to ask the questions to get information out. He was not fluent in English as well so there was that barrier there. He showed me Google images of implants to show me the negatives of them versus the positives of Stem Cell Fat Transfer. I did find that slightly odd, as I wasn't there to be convinced to go with the Stem Cell over implants – that decision was made months before.
I then had to prompt the question of whether I was a candidate now being here in person. I had to take my top off and he examined my body. I once again got the confirmation that yes I did have enough fat from my flanks and thighs to increase and balance my breasts, so I was happy with that feedback.
September 4th 2014 – Surgery Date. I arrived with my partner and we were escorted to the recovery room for him to stay while I was in surgery. I was then put into a robe, slippers, a hair cover, and underwear. I was taken to Dr Jakarin’s room where he began his very meticulous measuring and marking of my body. He told me then that in fact there was enough fat from my abdomen/flank area for the procedure. I was pleased as this meant fewer areas to be worked on and less pain and recovery. He marked and measured both breasts very precisely, even rubbing out some lines to correct them.
I was taken into the very sterile surgery room where there was a nurse and an anesthetic technician. I was put on the table and was put to sleep; all I remember is talking with the anesthetic technician and feeling them begin to prep my body cleaning it with antiseptic.
I woke up on the table to them finishing up the procedure. I could feel them bandaging up my right breast but not my left, immediately I had red flags in my head.
I was taken to the recovery room where my partner was surprised to see me so soon and asked if it was done. I said yes, he said that was quick as it had only been about 3 hours. Once again red flags popped up and I was immediately in a confused and anxious state.
I was put on the bed and had nurses come and check on me. Dr Jakarin came in soon after and explained to me that he had only operated on my right breast. As you can imagine I was shocked, angry, confused and not in a state to process this. He informed me that my fat was “strong” – I assumed this meant he was unable to get as much fat as he anticipated (which would be a fault on his part). He also told me there would be a discount because only one breast was operated on and that it was a shorter surgery (ended up being 160,000BHT = $5000 approx). He then tells me that this was his plan to balance out the breasts this time and next time increase both breasts.
I left with my partner and a nurse that would be staying with us that night to make sure I was fine. I left feeling furious, confused, annoyed, deceived and stressed. I had to email Faith that night to inform her of what had happened and my concerns. She apologized and told me all will be discussed on the follow up. But she told me she had asked Dr Jakarin after the surgery how things went and expressed her shock and her concerns for my reaction to him operating on one breast.
I came to the follow up and Dr Jakarin had a younger surgeon there to interpret my concerns and his response. I was given the same excuses that this was his plan all along to balance them out in the first surgery and increase them both next time. I said this was NEVER mentioned or discussed that I would need to come back numerous times to receive the results that were confirmed could be done. This only angered and confused me further. Anyone knows who has had or thought about surgery knows it’s a massive deal and you prepare yourself so much physically, mentally and financially to achieve what you want from it.
At this stage there was nothing I could do to change what had happened so my only hope now from this was to have breasts that were balanced in size to each other. Even though my right breast had been covered and bandaged up, from day one it did not visually or physically feel it was increased to match my left breast. But I still told myself to wait till the bandages were off before judging.
In the 2 follow ups I attended to change the bandaging, I was never given the chance to sit up and view the results in the mirror. Not even viewing the results to talk over what was done and where the incision sites were around my breast. Dr Jakarin also tended to talk a lot to the assisting nurse/nurses in Thai while I was just on the bed waiting for them to finish.
In the midst of this I had emailed the Managing Director of the company, Paul Collier, as I felt my situation needed to be known and dealt with. Paul understood my situation and offered a complimentary follow up surgery to correct and complete what was originally discussed. I had thanked him for this but said I would need to think about it.
In the final follow up, the bandage was removed (I was still not given the chance to sit/stand up and view the results) and Dr Jakarin even told me that he thought that the right breast would now be bigger than my left. I was in disbelief as I had strongly believed it was still smaller and also the fact that he would say it is going to be bigger means he’s not only lied but if it were true he has not done his job of balancing them out.
I went straight back to our room and had a look at my breasts now that I could see them. My gut feeling was correct and it was not increased to the size of my left breast. There was a small increase. But I was now brusied, scarred and swollen in my abdomen from the lipo, and for what? A small increase to my right breast but still not balanced.
I left Thailand 9 days after surgery and followed all their post op instructions and still kept an open mind about the small possibility that somehow it would be balanced. I had to lay off my normal exercise routine, not wear a proper bra, wear a compression garment around my abdomen for many hours of the day (initially all day, but could take it off in showers).
18 Days Post Op - the bruising had gone but my breast is still the same size as when I left Thailand. But I have also noticed I have a dip in my abdomen from the liposuction that wasn’t there before. I had informed them of this dip and they responded saying that problem can be corrected with liposuction the next time I come back. Once again this is just another thing that adds to the errors made. I went in to increase my breast, which was not done, and also they have left me with an irregular stomach that I did not have before.
1 Month Post Op – I decided to reach out to Paul and Faith and let them know my results and the entire process as a whole with the errors and complications had left me feeling there has been medical negligence which has left me physically and emotionally scarred and all for very little change. There was continued email communication and phone calls were attempted between Paul and myself but with the time difference and our livelihood it deemed very difficult.
3 Month Post Op – After difficulties getting a phone call with Paul, I decided to email my 3 Month Post Op results and had come to the decision to decline the complimentary surgery having had time to think it all over and what I’d be putting myself through again and potential errors. With that in mind I wanted to reach some type of resolve as I feel compensation is needed with the decline in surgery and disappointing results.
Paul told me over December 2014 via Text Message (as calling had been a failure on a number or occasions) that he and the clinic were on my side with my case and were going to support me. He also informed me that Dr Jakarin is no longer working for their clinic and he failed to give a full report to Paul on why the surgery was stopped prematurely even though he has asked for it many times. Paul recommended I write a letter addressed to Dr Jakarin explaining my experience and dissatisfaction with the surgery and that he would take care of things from there. I was feeling a lot better about things now as I thought my case may have just been swept under the rug and ignored.
But it has been over 6 Months Post Op, I still have 4 dark visible scars around my right breast and 2 dark scars on my abdomen and my confidence has dropped and I am not comfortable in swim wear or anything that shows my stomach.
It has been 5 months trying to resolve this with Stem Cell 21 – IntelliHealth Rejuvenation Centre. I have been emailing and texting numerous times this last month especially as things have been quiet on their end as to what has happened now with the letter and that situation. I have only heard back from Faith saying she will enquire about it but it has been busy there. So I am now feeling uncertain about my situation again and a bit like it’s being ignored.
To this day 21/2/2015 is has not been resolved. I am waiting to hear from them. In the mean time I just wanted to share my story and just make people aware of what can happen even with doing all your due diligence with research into the procedure and the clinic.
If anyone has any advice for me on what I can do with my situation at present, please get in touch with me.
Otherwise, thank you for reading my story, I hope it has helped.