I had plastic surgery in Colombia-- and I would do it again in a second!
When I read that Colombia and Brazil were both named on a list of the countries with most cosmetic surgery, I wasn't surprised. Not only does Pitbull rap about it in his hit "International Love", saying that "In Colombia women got everything done but they some of the most beautiful women I've ever seen" but I actually have first-hand experience with plastic surgery in Colombia. You see, when I've talked about my gastric bypass in the past there's one thing that I didn't mention: I got my gastric bypass from a doctor in Colombia and, a year and a half later, had body reconstructive surgery there, too.
Read more ¿Qué más? Why I chose gastric bypass over a lap band.
Now, when I tell people that I had surgery in Colombia most of them start to imagine dinky little surgery rooms with bad lighting and unsanitary equipment . They tell me I'm lucky to have survived the experience. But the truth of the matter is that it really was nothing like that.
I heard about my doctor through a friend of my parents and I did my due diligence in research as much as I could about him. I got three references and read anything I could find about him. He was actually pretty reputable and well known, especially since he had operated on a famous footballer's daughter. He had a stellar reputation so, although I was a bit scared, I knew that I was making the right choice.
The whole experience was actually pretty pleasant. Despite all of the pain and discomfort that comes with any kind of surgery, I felt pretty good throughout. Besides my gastric bypass, when I stayed in bed for about a week at a caregiver's home and was attended on, I also got my post-weight loss surgery body reconstruction done in Colombia with the same doctor. What happens when you lose 100 pounds in 10 months is that, well, skin gets pretty saggy and gross and I had to get a lot of things nipped and tucked—including a lower body lift (pulling up saggy skin on my legs), upper body lift (same thing but in reverse), liposuction to get rid of any leftover fat, arm lift (getting rid of that arm jiggle that always happens when you lose weight) and breast implants because I went from a small C to a tiny and very saggy A in the process of losing weight and didn't want to remain that way age 24.
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That sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Well, it was. I had a solid three week recuperation period and, let me tell you, I've never been treated so well in my life. I stayed in the apartment of a friend of a friend with my mom, who was there to help as needed, and had a nurse come and attend to me every single day. It was really nice, since it was basically her job to give me a massage and make sure that I'm healing up just fine. It wasn't the most pleasant experience, the healing, but I've never heard of such good post-surgery care here in the U.S., so I know I made the right choice for me.
When it comes down to it, I would never recommend that anyone do what I did and go abroad for plastic surgery—but I do know that plenty of people do it and that there are many qualified doctors. Colombia was literally filled with women who had gotten tons of work done. I would walk down the street and my mom and I would take turns guessing how many surgeries these women have had, all in the name of beauty. Although I feel that my surgery was mainly for health reasons (since I couldn't lose weight and maintaining the saggy skin really isn't good), I did have a touch of cosmetic improvements. Would I do it again? Absolutely. But I would make sure to do it the same way as I did before: by carefully researching the doctor, talking to him beforehand, getting at least 3-5 references, sleeping on it for a month and doing a lot more research.
My surgery went well and I'm really happy with the results. It felt like something that I needed to get done and I'm happy that I was able to afford it in Colombia.
Not that I'm even close to considering having something else done but, if I ever did, I think I know where I would go.
Have you ever had or considered getting plastic surgery abroad?
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