Our experiences with Dr Sanguan Kunaporn in Phuket Thailand.
Our first contact with Dr Sanguan was in December 2002. This followed on from our search through the internet. There is a great deal of information available and the biggest problem is often sorting out the subjective accounts from the many sources rather than a limit to the information available.
We found the following very helpful:
Cost of the surgery was a factor, as were logistics but the most important was to have an integrated programme which resolved other feminising issues such as breast augmentation and body shape and the primary issue of the most appropriate SRS technique.
We had made the decision to have our surgery together and in Thailand and out of the 9 or so choices open to us we agreed that Dr Sanguan at the Phuket Plastic Surgery Centre (**Add Picture Here**) was our favoured option. He has a very informative website which helped us both in our decision and in assessing our expectations. Many factors are unknown and in reality no-one can predict the final outcome with any certainty. We needed to be assured that the principles of surgery employed by Dr Sanguan would produce the results we wished. That the care whilst we were in the Hospital and the immediate post operative period was appropriate and that any complications should they arise would be dealt with in the most effective manner whilst taking into account our wishes.
The International co-ordinator for this hospital was Pim although we believe that she has returned back home and so no longer there. Many of our early discussions were through her but Dr Sanguan is easy to chat with and always answered the emails within a week so we felt comfortable in maintaining direct contact since our surgery we have spoken a number of times and again he always replies.
We arranged the dates for admission and understood the parameters so felt confident that we could book the hotels and flights(Link direct flights). We did so from the UK although the hotels can be organised by the hospital staff. We knew that we were going to have a great deal of surgery and so chose to stay at a nice location on Patong Beach.
**Add Picture Here**
Many cheaper hotels were available and some flights include free nights in certain hotels but we decided on the Amari Coral. We also planned on having hair transplant surgery by Dr Pathomvanich http://www.hairtransinter.com in Bangkok but this was later changed to Phuket. It's an indication of just how helpful people out in Thailand Pathomvanich whole of Dr Pathomvanich's team came down to the hospital whilst we were still in patients and performed the surgery for us there. The differences in culture and 'happy to help' approach has to be seen to be believed.
We decided to fly to Bangkok from London (LHR) direct, chose Eva Air (**Add Link Here** / **Add Picture Here**) and Business class the cost for this was less expensive than many of the major airlines. We felt that big seats, space and reclining would be very important for us on the way back. The airline, whilst small, is not an indication of how well we were treated. If we go back to Thailand (and we will) we will do the same again.
Bangkok to Phuket means transferring to the national flight it's a bit of a trek but no different from most other countries, we found everyone helpful and as we had booked business we rested in the lounge prior to the hour long flight.
On arrival we were met by Dr Sanguan's driver who was very helpful and although not able to speak very much English he was very pleasant. We were taken to the hotel and he advised us when he would collect us again. A little about the Amari Coral Hotel. In a word 'lovely'. Friendly, clean organised and relaxing, helpful staff, nice rooms and some wonderful meals!
We were collected as agreed by Dr Sanguan's driver and taken to the hospital. On arrival we felt as if we were honoured guest, people there to help, our luggage whisked away without any fuss, lots of happy smiling faces. We had our measurements recorded, x-rays and blood samples taken and then taken up to our rooms. It is important to point out here that Nicole and I are very close, we had already been through several operations and had supported each other during this time. We made a request that we would prefer to share a room rather be in our separate ones. We already knew that Dr Sanguan uses a technique that requires a constant suction device and as there was only one vacuum socket in each room but we asked anyway. The staff really pulled out the stops and commissioned an unused double room which had two vacuum units in and then they moved the electric beds. We were so pleased to be together we would have been happy to be on the front lawn.
We had learned a few basic phrases in Thai and feel that these help enormously but most members of the nursing staff understand some English and we never felt that were any problems communicating any of our needs (even the most basic of functions!).
Dr Sanguan came to our room for the pre-op consultation. He presents as a very friendly and approachable person and the overriding feeling was one of discussion and agreement. We were examined and Dr Sanguan explained the various procedures open to us this included SRS, breast augmentation, abdominoplasty and liposuction. We had researched the various options open to us and had a fairly well defined idea of what we wanted. Dr Sanguan listened and proposed a number of procedures to achieve our goals. He made us aware of the implication and the risks involved and we were happy to proceed.
The method of Dr Sanguan's technique is well documented as is the inpatient requirements of bed rest on his web site. Emma went first and Nicole the following day we both had breast augmentation on the first operation session and Emma had an abdominoplasty Nicole liposuction on the second procedure. Emma, having previously had spinal surgery, couldn't have an epidural, which is the preferred method of anaesthesia for the procedures following the SRS and so needed another general for the second procedure. Once again Dr Sanguan demonstrated an ability to ensure that his patients were treated in the most effective way. I also recall that Dr Sanguan visited us every to day to ensure our progress was being maintained. We progressed through the procedures and the post-op recovery period without too many issues. Nursing staff were always on hand at the end of the call button and at no time did we feel compromised. There were some difficulties following the anaesthesia with nausea but medication was available to use whenever we requested it. It did help having each other as mutual support and we would recommend that anyone wishing to undertake this type of surgery have someone with them throughout. The hospital caters for this and each room has a facility to allow a guest to stay in the room..
Let's face it no matter where you go, hospital food will never really gain any culinary distinction. It often arrives after a journey in a heated trolley which at best takes the crispness from any potential gastronomic delight. The advice we have about the food here is to be prepared for a few subtle differences, the cheese, ham and onion omelette looked very good but had a sort of sweet taste which did rather ruin it. Food was generally predictable as it was often edible but the hospital catering staff would do whatever they could to help you have the meal of your choice. There are a number of fast food restaurants nearby such a Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King and Dunkin Donuts and this was always available to us. Once again everyone seemed so willing to help and we never felt that something was too much trouble.
As mentioned previously we had planned our hotels and therefore looked forward to our discharge date again without fuss we were discharged and taken back to the Amari Coral Hotel by Dr Sanguan's driver. We settled our account in US Dollars following the surgery and even the cost of our regular Kentucky's was surprisingly modest. We were almost reluctant to leave the safe confines of the hospital as we had gone through so much and felt safe in our time there.
Walking along the private beach at the Hotel that evening is something we will never forget. Feeling a little weak but happy to know that we had achieved our dreams and the rest of lives were now for us.
Emma and Nicole