It’s no secret that East Asia is a hotspot for foreigners wanting to get plastic surgery procedures done for a fraction of what they might pay back home. Korea and Thailand are two countries that certainly know their stuff when it comes to attracting foreign clientele. But did you know that Taiwan also offers high-quality plastic surgery services at reasonable prices? I’m going to depart from the norm here at Taiwan Savvy, and share with you my personal plastic surgery journey, and my experience getting plastic surgery (rhinoplasty) at WiSH Aesthetic Surgery Clinic in Taipei.
I’ve never been satisfied with my appearance. But before Facebook and Instagram, it was easy to avoid being photographed, and even easier to avoid sharing those photos with others. But after the mid-2000s, one’s appearance became even more important, as digital photo-sharing and “selfies” became an international competitive sport.
Now, most things are easy to fix with a little nudge from a photo-editing app: a pimple here, a bit of extra weight there…you can even enlarge or shrink features you want to enhance or diminish receptively. But in my opinion, that only really works if you’ve got a nice canvas to work with in the first place. Because the one thing that isn’t easy to change is the basic shape of said feature.
For me, it was my nose.
It’s the first thing the camera latches onto, making it look even bigger and exacerbating the problems in my eyes. Besides, I had these great big curving nostrils…so I couldn’t turn to the side, either. I wasn’t a monster, I just didn’t see who I wanted to see in the mirror. After I watched infamous blogger queenXiaxue go through two rhinoplasties (nose jobs), I knew that was what I was going to do. So in 2012, I began researching clinics, procedures and prices in Taiwan, finally settling on the WiSH Aesthetic Surgery Clinic.
I arrived in Taiwan for the first time in January, 2013. It would be the start of an ongoing love affair with a tiny nation I’d previously known nothing about, but I won’t get into that here. For now, I was staying in a hostel in Wanhua district: Mr. Lobster’s Secret Den (this was before they became popular, moved premises and went through a big design overhaul).
The clinic was in the ritzy business district on Dunhua South Road, on the second floor of an office building with a large, gated courtyard. Inside the sliding glass doors of the clinic, everything was white, modern and pristine. At the consultation a few days before surgery day, I told them I wanted alarplasty to move the nostrils down, and some general miracle-working to reduce (what I perceived to be) the enormous proportions of my nose. But Doctor Chuang decided a simple tip plasty would do. It would diminish the appearance of the nostril curvature and maybe make it appear smaller. Okay, let’s try that, I said.
Surgery and Post-op
I was excited the day of my surgery. I went in, waited around, then got undressed and prepared for surgery in one of the back rooms. The rest is kind of a blur. I remember the staff holding my hand and telling me to count backwards from ten, and then I was gone. Thankfully, unlike Xiaxue, I would be completely knocked out for my surgery!
How much did it cost? I know that’s the question on everyone’s mind! Well, it would be on mine if I were you. From what I remember, it was around 1200$, but I was happy with that since I’d originally budgeted much more for a full rhinoplasty.
Potato-camera selfie. Surgical mask (tucked under my chin in this photo) definitely helped to hide the swelling during recovery. It was HUGE.
When it was time to go after a little post-op nap, the staff just took me out to the curb, got me a taxi and sent me on my way, back to the hostel. There, the hostel staff were a little surprised to see me all bandaged up, and I told them I got plastic surgery.
“You didn’t need surgery, I thought you were already beautiful!” said Cool Guy’s adorable, tiny-nosed girlfriend. Please.
The Healing Process
This was the worst part. It was swollen and sore, and I had to keep it clean. But one great thing about getting your nose job in Taipei is that it’s totally normal to go outside shopping and running errands while wearing a mask. So that’s what I did, and no one ever suspected a thing! I hope.
Full disclosure, a tip plasty is not nearly as severe or invasive as a real nose job! Healing times will vary. Mine was only a few weeks.
Thankfully, mine were dissolving stitches, so I never had to get those taken out – I heard that can be excruciating. I had to go for a couple of follow up appointments to make sure it was healing properly, that it wasn’t infected and so on. The staff were always really kind and many spoke great English, so I always enjoyed my visits. They also had a UV lamp they’d let me lie under to help reduce the swelling.
After surgery, at the National Taiwan University club fair
I was pretty much all healed in time for my first semester at National Taiwan University. At first, I was really happy with the results. I mean, it was a small difference, but it helped to boost my confidence. I felt like I could pose for photos more spontaneously, I could find my “good side” and feel almost normal! Eventually, though, I started to wish I’d gotten something more invasive, since I still believe my nose is too big!
Would I ever get plastic surgery in Taiwan again? Yes, I would, and I probably will! Or maybe Thailand…
I hope you enjoyed my story! Whether it includes plastic surgery or not, I wish you the best of luck in your journey for self-improvement, self-confidence and self-love.