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The swelling pride of medical tourism

Phuket’s medical tourism industry is booming, having enjoyed an influx of Australian female patients travelling to the island for breast enhancement surgery, especially at Bangkok Hospital (BHP).


By Saran Mitrarat

Sunday 28 September 2014, 09:00AM


“We are sending about 80 clients per month from Australia to Phuket and we also handle about 69 surgery groups per year, with each group consisting 20 ladies,” said Raychell Marchant, Consultant at Restored Beauty Getaways.

The Phuket News recently interviewed an Australian model who came to Phuket for her first time to undergo breast augmentation at BHP.

Ashleigh Jade, 26, also known as “Ashiie” is a stunning Australian model based in Perth, Western Australia, and a self-confessed “Serial Pageant Competitor” with over 10 year’s experience in general photographic, catwalk and glamour modeling, and not to mention promotional work, presenting, swimwear competitions and pageants.

“This is my first time in Thailand, and likewise my first time for surgery in the kingdom. On Tuesday (September 16), I came here to Bangkok Hospital Phuket for Breast Augmentation. I had it once already in Australia, and it’s been exactly four years since, it’s a present for me,” said Ashiie.

“I’m loving it. Everyone is so lovely, very profession, and very caring. Although this is not my first time for such surgery, but I was a little nervous. I felt better when I got here – they are very welcoming.”

“When I came through, I did some testing, and I was fine that everyone looked after me very well. I got sent to my room, and it was perfect. It has a bathroom, some wifi and TV, as if I’m just here to relax at the hotel,”

Asked about the differences between Thailand and Australia, she replied: “The surgeon and the nurses, for one. Here I found that the nurses are so very nice, from the minute I walked in the door until leaving the hospital, [they were] so very welcoming and they are open-hearted and very friendly. At home, the service is not as good,” she laughs.

“Every time they came into my room, they told me what they were doing and explained to me what the tablets are. But in Australia, nurses just come in and go, and you don’t even know what’s going on.”

“Moreover, this place doesn’t even smell like a hospital. Usually, hospitals smell like medicine.”

“The next day, when I was discharged from the hospital, I was standing up fully all by myself, was even able to go to the bathroom, curl my hair, and do make up. The first time I had surgery, I was unable to move and couldn’t do anything.

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“But this time when I got back to the hotel I had some lunch and dinner, slept by the pool for sunbathing and relaxing. There was no pain.”

However, there were some activities that were restricted post surgery – no heavy, bouncing, jumping or swimming “It’s commonsense that everyone should know.”

So how much more busty did she get in Phuket?

“I have used to have 345cc [implant size], but now I’ve got 550cc, and I’m so happy with that. Before I did not have as much projection and it was quite flat, and now I look pretty good. Everyone is waiting for me to put the bikini on.”

“Now I will have so much more confidence, and I have a competition coming up, the Las Vegas Model Search International, next month (October 18). I hope to finish in the top five and get the money.”

Asked why she chose Bangkok Hospital Phuket, she said, “A lot my friends have come to Bangkok Hospital Phuket, and it’s highly recommended. It’s so amazing and everybody has been so happy with the result.”

“In Perth, doctors aren’t able to perform what we want and we waste a lot of money at home. The first time, I did research from Facebook and Instagram every single day. Friends also sent me a lot of information. And now, people will soon see my results.

Asked whether she thought Phuket’s medical tourism industry is ready to stand out internationally, she immediately answered, “Absolutely, I’m very happy with the surgery and being able to travel at the same time.”

“It’s a big deal for Australians to come here and get surgery abroad. Everything happened so quickly and it was all professional dealing with the agency and hospital.”

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