Thai Tuck, Anyone?

Mammoplasty for just over 1000 $? Facelift for 875 $? Catching my eye in Saturday's 'Bangkok Post' was a substantial advert on the front page. The Pratunam Polyclinic in Bangkok specialises in plastic surgery...

click on pic to see full size photo

Medical tourism is big business in Thailand. The recently published "Opportunities in Thailand Tourism" estimated that patients from abroad - for all types of treatment - would reach two million per annum by 2010 (mind you, the report came out before the credit crisis and global economic turndown began to bite).

For some reason orchiectomies (testicle removal) have been red-lined, although sex changes for a 'snip' at 1,625 USD are still on the menu. Unlike visits to Thai zoos, the ad takes care to point out that a foreign customer is not charged a premium because of his farang-sized wallet - nor indeed because of the alleged dimensions of the other farang appendage that also seems to fascinate the Thais (if to a slightly lesser degree).

So for those transsexuals dreaming of waking up in a woman's body, Thailand seems to be the perfect place for the M2F (male to female) op. It's called a vaginoplasty - I won't go much into the gory details except that one technique involves the degloving and inversion of the penis, following which it is inserted into the male vaginal cavity... ouch, glad that's over (empathetically speaking, of course). Sounds too good to be true cost-wise, but then again, as far as gender reassignment surgery goes, Thailand is the world capital. Hardly surprising really - the Thais are not hung up on the psychology of the process, don't put applicants through months of traumatic interviews first, and just get on with the job as it were. Clinics get through ten ops in the time it takes to do one in the West - so the surgeons get in a lot more practice.

We have our very own world-famous plastic surgeon here in Chiang Mai of course. He does the full range - sex changes, the lot - at the most reasonable of prices. So you can come to Thailand as a man, take in the wonderful natural and cultural heritage attractions of the region, return home in high heels after the ultimate makeover and still have some money in your handbag. Negotiating passport control might not be so easy, though?

Personally the sight of a cowboy-hatted plastic surgeon with a large grin on his face wielding a scalpel would scare me to death. The same image adorns all his ads in the local papers and tourist mags, and I've been thinking of emailing him to suggest his business would rocket if had a more subdued, serious, real doctor-like photo somewhere. But then again if I'm wrong - and I should find myself in need of emergency plastic surgery for some reason one day - I would hate to wake up with augmented breasts... or worse...

I'm sure that it will be immensely reassuring to you all to read in the good doctor's blurb that:
"his practical skill of Plastic Cosmetic Surgery started since he was a boy in the country village where he was taught to be a good humanitarian with good skills of drawing, carving, toy making, molding, agriculture, Buddhism and Christianity, Thai poetry. He loves music and singing. The song he loves most is the American National Anthem. Now he has all of the three of main objects of a good surgeon to meet you ie 1. Eagle Eyes 2. Woman Hands and 3. Lions’ Heart."
Time to change the subject, I think ... just a couple of pics and thoughts to close.

True love?

click on pic to see full size photo
Don't worry kids, I'll be ok - I've got a helmet

click on pic to see full size photo(Apologies... feeling a touch sardonic today).

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Lloyd said...

"True Love", you just may never know how much she loves that walking ATM.

Lana said...

So funny, I saw BOTH of those same ads over the past week and was left with a sense of wonder/bewilderment, too....esp with the cowboy surgeon!

Hope u had a good Loy Krathong...

FrogBlogger said...

Loved it lana, what a great atmosphere. Mind you with what sounded like WW3 going on until 5am three nights on the trot I've still some sleep to catch up on...

lloyd - I'm sure I heard her call him "Teerak" so it must be true... So thoughtful and considerate too. "Darleeeeng.. you hot mahk mahk! Give moneee - I go shop-PEENG. Wait bar..." (What more could a man want ;-)

Hoo Don said...

Little short of money at the mo. Could you possibly email Mr Lee with these suggested slogans for his advertising campaign. My fees are very low.

I promise to keep the new you under my hat

Can you believe I once was a man

The future's bright the future's yellow

Gone today queer tomorrow

The bottom photo looks like Santa has hit town,do all the parents out there know what santa is doing to his little helper.