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Surgical Sweetheart
Cosmetic Surgery & Beauty, Issue 2 2006

“One couple from the UK indulges in a Valentine’s getaway of a different kind.”

For some, Valentine’s Day means a quiet evening with the one you love. Others may opt for flowers or greeting cards to express their sentiments.
Paul and Angela, a couple from the UK, decided to splurge this past February, indulging in a romantic getaway to Penang. However, this was one trip with a different twist – specifically, a nip and a tuck.
“We’ve been looking into it for quite a while, over the past six months to be exact,” says 37-years-old Paul. “We just thought, `we have the opportunity to come out here so why not?’” Angela, 41, agrees that combining cosmetic surgery with the trip with Paul to Malaysia will offer them the best of both worlds – relaxations in a tropical setting, plus high quality aesthetic service.
“Every summer I thought to myself, “someday I’m going to have it done.’” She says. “When we were discussing things in general, we saw a program about cosmetic surgery. So when I saw that, I said to myself, `I’d like to have that done.’ So we decided that we’d have it done together.

PREPARING FOR A BEAUTIFUL HOLIDAYS

Fantasizing about heading overseas for an appearance overhaul is one thing; choosing the right place to get the work done is another thing entirely. In the course of settling on a destination, Paul and Angela performed extensive research on a number of possible destinations. Their primary tool? The internet.
“We looked at quite a few places, including Europe and South Africa,” Paul says. “We also looked at and compared a number of different websites in other places.
Angela adds that they did not limit themselves to international destinations, as they even checked out a few surgeons in their own country.

“We even had a consultation in the UK,” she recalls. We really didn’t like it, and when you’re doing something this important we felt it’s necessary to get the right people obviously you’ve got to make sure that the hospital and the doctor is going to be right for you.
Ultimately, Paul and Angela’s search led them to Beautiful Holidays, a company in Penang that offers package combining resort-style vacations with aesthetic services.
According to Marloes Giezenaar, managing director of Beautiful Holidays, her company is one of the leading organizations in the world that provides high-quality cosmetic surgery and dentistry treatments using qualified and experienced surgeons and dentists. The philosophy behind Beautiful Holidays is that clients can get the cosmetic services they want, all against the backdrop of a luxurious resort environment.
“We ultimately found that Beautiful Holidays was our best option for getting what we want done,” Paul says. He adds that the medical side of their vacation is just one aspect of their Valentine’s getaway.
We plan to really visit the country, get a look at the way people live. We’re excited about sightseeing as well.” he says. “And though there will be some beauty therapy days, we also want to make time for shopping.

THE SURGERY
FOR HIM:
Dental work – Paul wanted to come back home with a fantastic new smile. Thanks to a Malaysian cosmetic dentist, he’s going to get his wish.
Surgical correction of gynaecomastia – Gynaecosmastia is a fairly common disease amongst men and involves enlargement of the breasts. Paul has opted for surgery to get rid of this excess breast tissue, giving him more muscular, manlier chest.
Liposuction – Paul has also decided to get liposuction in order to lose some of the excess fat in his abdomen. This will give him an overall trimmer physique.

Paul: “my family knows about this trip, and some of my friends know. Some of them think that I am only coming out here to have my teeth looked into, so some of them don’t know about the lipo, as well as the work on other bits. I suppose I wanted to do this just to feel better about myself. I don’t see myself as vain – I just want to look and feel better.”

FOR HER:
Dental work – Angela has also decided to get some veneers put in to add brilliance and sparkle to her smile.
Mastopexy (breast lift) – a properly performed mastopexy operation can give a patient’s breast the firmer shape, feel and volume they enjoyed during their younger years. Angela hopes to get these same results from her operation in Malaysia.
Liposuction – to get rid of some pockets of excess fat around her abdominal area, Angela is looking to liposuction surgery.

Angela: “My close friends know, and my sisters also very excited to see the results. Already they’re putting themselves on the list to have it done next! I am quite nervous, however, I think it’s really key to be with someone throughout the whole process – they are going to see you through from beginning till the end.


AFTER THE SURGERY

A week and a half after their aesthetic procedures, Paul and Angela sun themselves by the pool at the Eastern & Oriental resort. Reflecting over their experience with Beautiful Holidays, the couple says that they feel coming to Malaysia was the perfect choice for them.
“I would be honest in saying that it hurt more than I thought it was going to. I’m still a little sore, but I’m absolutely delighted with the results.” Angela says. “As for the liposuction, I think my sisters will be so jealous when they see me.”
Paul agrees that though his surgeries were a less-than-conservative approach to an appearance overhaul, he is happy of the results of his work.
“I did have a lot done to my body,” he says. “It has knocked me down a bit; I’m taking a bit longer to recover than I thought I would. It’s really taking time to heal. But I feel great, and the results are really good, and I can already see a difference, even though it’s still a bit swollen. Once you get pas that week-to two-week barrier, the result are amazing.”
Of course it has only been 10 days for Paul and Angela. Though they will remain in Penang for their next week or so of recovery, they won’t see the results of their procedures until all the swelling has gone down – about six weeks from now. Both report that most of the discomfort they are currently experiencing is from their liposuction procedures.
“I would say that if there is any possible way that you can lose weight without liposuction, then you should do it,” Angela says. “It’s not a quick fix.”
Paul agrees. “It is a painful surgery, but we’re both seeing some of the benefits of it already.”
Yet, Paul says that his shirts already fit more loosely than before he boarded the plane to Penang, even over the padding and compression garments that he currently must wear. Angela is so happy with her improved appearance that she says she can hardly wait to show off the results back home.
“We’re both ready to go home,” she says. “We’re s exited to see our families and friends and show them the results. Of course, we’re having such a wonderful time that we don’t want to leave.”


THE BOTTOM LINE 
For Paul and Angela, the final price tag for their vacation came to around ₤7,000 – or roughly RM49,000. Compare to what they would have spent at home, even for surgery alone the deal was a smart bargain.
“If we stayed and had it done at home, it would have been double that – around ₤12,000-14,000 (RM84,000-RM98,000),” Paul notes. “And we wouldn’t have the nice weather. It was 1°C when I left, and its 28°C here.”
In light of their experience, Paul and Angela say they are already planning on visiting Malaysia through Beautiful Holidays again, and Angela says that this visit could take place perhaps as early as next year. However, Paul adds that if a tourist is not fully certain that they want cosmetic surgery done, it would probably be better for them to take a vacation of a more conventional bent first.
“I wouldn’t put anyone off the idea of having cosmetic surgery,” he says. “What I would say, though, is that once you’ve the surgery you’re going to have quite a bit of pain, and you’ll have quite a bit of recuperation. It’s not as easy as they make it look in the makeover programs that they show on TV.”