Sunday, November 10, 2019

2.5 - 3 Months Post-Op

Hello from 2.5- 3 months post op!

Updating at this point because it typically takes at least 3 months for all the swelling to subside.

After 2-3 weeks, I only wore the compression garment in the day. I still wear it! The bruising has completely disappeared. Swelling has also completely subsided. In fact, the bruises were totally gone and swelling was quite minimal if not zilch within the 2 months mark. The swelling I had was really not that bad! Only made a difference in my waist and love handles. After the swelling went off, my waist became smaller than in the initial weeks :)

For as long as I felt that there was swelling or hardness, I continued massaging every day. I would have gone for a professional lymphatic drainage massage but I had to slowly save up for my next beauty enhancement expenditure lol. I stopped applying the thrombophob cream and hydrocortisone cream after the swelling and itching stopped. (Have to leave some for my next liposuction :p). There was no more pain or tenderness. Wounds have also closed up leaving no scars.

Even after the liposuction, I still watch my diet and maintain an active lifestyle :) My weight has gone down to 44kg from 45kg. My waist is now 24 inches from 26/27 inches. Ever since I had liposuction, I am able to wear tight fitting outfits! THANK YOU!

Overall, I am satisfied with the results. Dr Arthur is a skilled, ethical and humble surgeon. If only he is based in my country! The only thing I can comment is, the upper and mid abdomen was not fully done. (And I understand it couldn't be helped because I was bleeding profusely during the operation and the anesthesia has worn off). The half a day and 3 months post op photos below may give you a better idea which part I meant. Also, the love handles were done quite well, except that the right side has just a tinyyyy weeenyyy part. (I say this because the left side is flatter).

When I have saved enough money for a 3D arms liposuction, I will go back to Dr Arthur for a touch up on upper and lower abdomen, and a very very light touch up on the love handles. After the touch up (and I pray I won't have the blood loss problem again) I am sure my front abdomen would be FLAT :D

My jaws and chin are now very good looking! However I don't know if the area below my cheekbones are chubby because of muscles or fats. But here are some photos of my face :)

I will be posting more photos on the blog!! Sorry for the late publishing as I am undergoing a huge transition in my career since I returned. Also I rarely have the chance to take photo of my torso in view of the bad mirror and hectic schedule.

Stay tuned!

Post-Op Week 2

Hello from nearly 2 weeks post op!

I am still religiously wearing the compression garment and massaging the liposuctioned areas every day and night! (Not going to let all the $$ and effort to waste!). Alas, I could only wear the jaw compression garment at night. 

Since I went back home, I would put on waterproof plasters on the incision sites before I showered. I did not want to risk getting an infection. Every morning and evening I would massage my abdomen and jaws, then apply the thrombophob cream and hydrocortisone cream.

The swelling has subsided significantly. Bruising has also improved. The bruises changed from brown to yellow. I was concerned when I saw yellowing of skin but Dr Arthur assured me that this was part of the healing process. Soon the bruises will be completely gone :)

My body was less sore, though I had to be careful not to be too rough with my movements. There was some hardness but it's just part of the whole post-liposuction journey. 

I must emphasize that my waist is much smaller, love handles are practically gone, and my chin....there's not a layer of anything even when I look down!

Here are some 2 weeks post-op photos taken in the morning on an empty stomach. (Sorry for the heavily censored photos as there is no decent full length mirror.)

View of jowls, jaw, and chin

Post-Op Week 1

I was so glad that I did not have to worry about getting food myself as it would be very inconvenient to move about outside on the streets and I was in a foreign place I have never been to. Thanks to doctor's team of nurses and assistants, there was someone to bring meals to me 3 times a day. 

On the day after my liposuction, after my breakfast, I went down to the massage room to have a lymphatic drainage massage. The massage was quite painful on certain areas. The nurse had to push the excess liquid out of my body. In this regard I really appreciate the traditional liposuction where the incision sites are not stitched up because I don't think I would want all those waste products stuck in my body. She also changed my dressing. The purpose of a lymphatic drainage massage was to 1) eliminate tumescent fluid and other waste product 2) improve lymphatic drainage 3) control swelling and bruising.

As the nurse massaged, there was only very minimal bleeding from a wound or two and she was relieved because she said that I bled a lot during the surgery, even more than period. She also said certain areas were not finished due to excessive bleeding, and pointed to a small pooch on my abdomen. I was sad, but she said I could come back again for a touch up, but it must be 3 months later. The doctor repeated that I bled a lot and said I could come back for a touch up for free the next time i go back. But I expressed a bit of hesitation because what if I have the same bleeding problem again, plus actually it's very difficult for me to go to another country and be away for days (due to personal reasons).

Later on, the post-op recordings took place. I have linked it for you here :)

After the recording, I told Dr Arthur that I still felt nauseous. He told the nurse to give me another dose of the anti-nausea medication. That was godsend. Everyday after the massage, the nurse would apply some cream to help with bruising and itching.These ointments were available as part of the post-op care kit which I highly recommend you to buy!

My day went about ordinarily. I was more mobile and less weak. I did not bath at all during the 3 nights of my stay because the nurse advise against it in view of the water quality in Indonesia. Food was okay. Dr Arthur would still check on me even after I became more active. During the rest of my stay, I spent my day mostly on my phone or sleeping. So I Of course everyday I looked into the mirror and admire my new body. Even with the swelling, I looked better than my pre-op self. Thank you Dr Arthur!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Surgery

An IV was inserted into my left hand and then I was called to the operating room slightly later than 2.30pm. The doctor took photos of my pre-lipo body from each angle without revealing my face. He mentioned that I had a chunks of fat at my waist in particular that made my body look squarish and he said he's going to be nasty about it in the video. Lol! I laughed off and said it's okay. It's the truth and it's his style.

One of his assistants recorded the videos. I was perfectly okay with his verbal description but his pinching was very painful! As there is a video size limit on blogger, I am not able to upload the videos which I have downloaded from Elixir de Vie's website. Please click on this link to view the very comprehensive videos ! 

After the recording and markings on my body, iodine solution was applied onto my torso and I was asked to lie down on the operating theatre. The doctor then injected tumescent anesthesia into my torso. I remember feeling sharp pain when the jab penetrates but i think I went to sleep shortly thereafter due to the sedation.

I was woken up by a sharp pain on my abdomen. I had no clue how much time has passed but the anesthesia has worn off because the liposuction really hurt. I was screaming and had to squeeze one of the nurses' hand (so sorry!). Dr Arthur said I lost a lot of blood, and so had to stop for a while to see if the bleeding will be better. He said if the bleeding continues to be that bad, he would not be able to continue as blood loss can lead to death. I was upset and suggested to do tomorrow if today was not possible, but he has a new patient tomorrow. I was quite sad when I heard and seriously hoping that I could have the liposuction done. I think I said "huh.." in response and he said "no choice (pointed to the jar of blood) but I will do what I can". Though I was glad that Dr Arthur was being a very ethical doctor and puts his patient's health and safety first.

Shortly, he continued the liposuction on my abdomen while I screamed in pain as the anesthesia has worn off. Thank you to the nurse who let me squeeze her hand and sorry to everyone in the OT who had to bear with my screams.

At the end of the operation, Dr Arthur showed me the 800cc of what he extracted, mainly fats but with quite a lot of blood. He did say that he never really encountered any patient with such heavy bleeding. But to be honest, I did not feel dizzy. I just felt sad and upset that I bled so much, so there remained certain parts that did not go through liposuction to its fullest compared to other regions. (which I will explain in my post-op writeup).

I was given some time to rest on the table before I was ushered to the mirror to see the results :) I must say that I was very impressed by how there were no more love handles, in particular. My waist was smaller and had the hourglass figure! I could not judge the abdomen as I had not eaten anything and there was already post-op swelling. The nurses helped putting on the compression binder and brought me to my room.

Dr Arthur was so kind to check on me very frequently even though I assured him that I was okay. He was concerned because I had a lot of blood loss and reminded me to drink lots of water. Sometime later at night, I started feeling very nauseous. This was a side effect of the anesthesia / sedation as I experienced it once when I was sedated for a scan long time ago. Dr Arthur gave me an anti-nausea injection and I felt an almost instant relief!

I slept and I recalled Dr checking on me now and then even though it seemed very late already. I felt very well looked after. This was one of the reasons I would without any hesitation, recommend Dr Arthur to anyone who is looking for a liposuction surgeon. I have read from other bloggers who had liposuction in Thailand and Korea where after the liposuction they had to go back to their hotel/airbnb themselves?? That sounds daunting.

I will be writing about my post-op experience during the rest of my stay in my next post!

Arrival at Elixir de Vie

I remember waking up very early and feeling quite anxious. I am going to a foreign country alone for a surgery. Sounds mad lol!

I felt really restless but as the sun rose I felt more energetic. I had arrived at Kualanamu Airport around 9am local time (GMT +7). It is important to prepare your return ticket and (fake) hotel confirmation slip in case you need to present it to the immigration officer. For me I was only asked my purpose of coming to Indonesia and duration of my trip to which of course I replied "holiday for 3 nights". The immigration officer's pronunciation was quite difficult to catch and I had to ask him to repeat. Thankfully he didn't give me a hard time.

I forgot to buy waterproof plasters so I bought them at the airport pharmacy. Elixir de Vie offers airport transfer for S$22 per trip, but I chose to take the train as I get motion sickness very easily and I read that the traffic in Indonesia can be very bad. The train ticket costs S$5 per trip after the 50% discount as part of a promo which the railink had.

Kualanamu train station is just right outside the airport. However don't choose a train that departs too soon from your arrival time as the queue at immigration can move quite slowly and you may need to undergo enhanced bag inspection at the customs.

The train schedule is fixed everyday and it departed pretty on time! The train is very clean albeit a bit too cold especially when it's not crowded. Air-cond was set to 21-22c! It was a 47-minute journey from Kualanamu to Medan station.

Free transfer was provided from Medan train station to the clinic. The driver greeted me at the station. The drive from the station to clinic was about 10-15mins. There were a lot of cars and A LOT OF HONKING. Lol!

Elixir de Vie clinic is a three storey bungalow. It is very clean and neat. The doctor has 1 nurse and 2 assistants. The doctor and his 2 assistants live in the same house so rest assured that you will be taken care of after your surgery.

Upon arrival, I filled up the registration form and signed the consent form for photographic and videographic documentation. She also showed me a food menu from which I have to order my lunch and dinner. The menu is from an Indo-chinese restaurant which to be frank, did not appeal to me. (I'm fussy!). The average price per meal is S$4.00-5.00.

Subsequently one of the assistants showed me the way to my room which came with an ensuite bathroom. I was asked to shower, wear the hospital gown and eat before the pre-operative consultation. In anticipation that I won't be bathing for the next couple of days, I showered with Dettol.

At about 1pm was the pre-operative consultation. Dr Arthur explained the liposuction process, the method he uses, complications of liposuction and how he minimises the risks. If you haven't already known, Dr Arthur is probably one of the last few (if not the last?) doctors who uses the traditional syringe method while other surgeons perform liposuction with machines, eg, Vaser lipo. Although syringe method is very time and energy-consuming, it is the safest as it is entirely controlled by the surgeon himself. The cannula used is also very small and blunt compared to the cannula used in machine-assisted lipo. Machines are too powerful, too traumatising and dangerous in that they may cause oversuctioning, irregularity, burns, or even death if the cannula penetrates through your muscles and into your vital organs. Dr Arthur also performs liposuction only under local anesthesia and where necessary, a little bit of sedation. In other places, it is a general practice or even a legal requirement that the patient be put under general anesthesia. When one is under GA, you are completely unresponsive. This means that in the unlikely and unfortunate event that the cannula pokes your muscles, you wouldn't feel anything. The doctor also cannot move you around during the procedure as it may cause dislodging or dislocation of the breathing tube, in which event, you may die. This also means that the surgeon can only do 2D liposuction for you - just your front tummy, not the sides and the back. Unlike GA, LA enables you to be awake and aware of what is going on, albeit slightly drowsy but conscious enough to know if you're being poked at the wrong places. The doctor can also move your body slightly to enable a 3D liposuction and really sculpt you from every angle.

An invoice was rendered after the consultation. My total bill including accommodation and medication was S$12,353. Medication was slightly less than S$200. I made payment via bank transfer and the transaction turned out to be very smooth!

I will be elaborating on my surgery in the next post..


I am skinny fat. Although I look slim, I actually have a lot of fats because my bones are small and only occupy half of the space (eg, my arms).

I have always hated my torso too. I had a bulging stomach and love handles even as a teen in high school. This was when my limps were relatively slim (and definitely slimmer than now).

I have always toyed with the idea of liposuction but it seemed very far-reaching because I never came across any ad or posts on liposuction in my country. And obvously I didn't have the money to afford any procedure like that. My parents also would not support such idea.

On a random day, I was googling liposuction (again?haha) with no particular purpose. Then I came across Elixir de Vie's website/youtube channel. I also started reading on liposuction experience of people from my country on the forums and blogs. It all seemed really promising. I have also worked for a few years now, which means I can fork up funds to beautify myself. Lol!

I emailed Jennifer enquiring on the current fees for abdominal liposuction and was told S$2,000 per area after subsidy. To qualify for subsidised rates, I would have to consent to photographic and videographic documentation. The standard rate without subsidy would otherwise be 30% more. This rate is effective from 1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019.

She also sent me emails explaining the areas that can be lipo-ed and what constitutes an area. Dr Arthur's signature procedure is his 3D liposuction. Because fats are not just on one side of your body, you can only achieve the best results by sculpting all angles - front, sides and back. I opted for the 3D abdominal liposuction as I want not just a flat tummy, I also want my upper abdomen to be flat, love handles gone, an hourglass shaped waist, zero noticeable bra fat and a nice lower back arch that emphasises my perky butt. The 3D torso liposuction consists of 5 areas, hence, S$10,000. It is not a small sum but it is worth it for people who have a body like mine.

Apart from my abdomen, I have also always despised my chubby face. I don't really have a double chin but my jaws are hopeless and look connected to my neck sometimes lol. So it's definitely important to go for face and jaw liposuction. Because if your face is fat, you naturally look fat even if your body isn't. The jowls, chin and neck are considered as one single area. That's S$2,000.

All potential clients are required to answer 10 questions from the doctor and send photos of your problem areas. If Dr Arthur accepts your case, you will have to undergo a blood test. The blood test report is only valid for a year.

After checking Dr Arthur's availability, I proceeded to purchase my flight tickets. Although a deposit is not required to book a surgery slot, you would need to email Jennifer your flight ticket details in order to book a slot from Monday to Saturday. It is important that you schedule your surgery not too close to your menstruation.

As Elixir de Vie is not a hospital, it offers lodging like an AirBnb instead. The nightly rate for an ensuite room for single occupancy is S$60 as at 2019.

There are a few things that you need to prepare:

1) Compression garment
I bought my abdomen binder and face binder from Marena. The abdomen binder is a 3-split panel binder, which gives a lot more versatility because the width of our abdomen varies from the ribcage, waist, and hips.

2) Arnica Montana/ Yunnan Baiyao
These are supposed to reduce bruising and swelling. It is recommended to start taking it 5 days prior to the surgery. I took Yunnan Baiyao but I am not sure whether it actually does anything. I did not take on and after the day of surgery, neither was I prescribed with any.

3) Dettol
Patients are required to shower with Dettol soap 3 days before surgery and after surgery to minimise the risk of infection.

4) Roaming and increase of daily bank transfer limit
For those who opt to pay via bank transfer or card , it is important to increase your account/card daily transfer limit and to activate roaming if an OTP is used.

5) Waterproof plasters
As incisions are not stitched in order to allow drainage of waste products from your body, waterproof plasters should be used to cover all incisions before shower until the wounds have closed.

I will be writing about my experience on the day of surgery in my next post!

2.5 - 3 Months Post-Op

Hello from 2.5- 3 months post op! Updating at this point because it typically takes at least 3 months for all the swelling to subside. ...