The Back Story
After years & years of consideration, small talk, & research, I have decided to really take the plunge this year. My timeline for rhinoplasty went from early October, to late October, & finally, the end of July. I read on the Purseblog forums that one of my top choices, MVP Plastic Surgery, was having a sale this summer. In this case, a sale doesn’t mean it’s going out of style or anything. China recently placed a travel ban to Korea for three months (or so), so supposedly a lot of the clinics are having summer specials to attract customers. Since I was already considering MVP as one of my top choices, I moved my timeline up in hopes of benefitting from their summer special. Also, tickets to America this summer were ridiculous, so my mom suggested that I take care of my nose in July and go home in October or December instead. The final push for me to finally do this was work. Every year for the past seven years, I’ve put work first. Something always comes up, and I was always afraid to inconvenience people and let them down. A recent incident this year reminded me that I need to put myself first for once. And I’m doing just that by doing something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time.
My research included years of stalking Google & meticulously combing through posts on Naver. I also found that forums like RealSelf and PurseBlog were extremely helpful when I was doing my research. I still visit PurseBlog almost daily in preparation for my surgery. Because there is a language barrier, I decided to contact DocFinderKorea to help me narrow down the choices. Unfortunately, I found that their prices came with a “foreigner mark-up.” And, they only promote a few specific clinics. I actually got a better quote when I contacted one of the clinics myself. Yes, the convenience of having a guide help you is nice, but honestly, I live in Seoul… I don’t really need it. After going back to my own research, I narrowed my choices down to:
- MVP Plastic Surgery – clean, great reviews on forums with B+A photos, not a factory
- Banobagi – famous, great post-op care, great B+A photos, tons of reviews
- April31 – famous for rhinoplasty, but kind of pricy
In early June, I booked consultations with both Banobagi & MVP. I held off on April31 just because I didn’t have a lot of free time in my schedule. While on PurseBlog thread, I read that MVP was having a summer event (sale) for rhinoplasty. I contacted their consultant (Mindy) and asked about it right away. I guess a lot of the clinics are having summer sales because it’s sort of off-season & they’re trying to attract customers due to the China travel ban. Or so I heard. Anyways, I moved up my consultation with them to June 17th out of pure curiosity. If there is a deal, I am snatching it up!
MVP Plastic Surgery is about 25 minutes from my place & located down the street from Apgujeong Station Exit 4. All you have to do is keep walking straight down until you see the building on your right. Trust me, you cannot miss it.
I love how EXTRAAAAAAA the building is. From the golden rabbit perched on the second floor to the “Hello~Honey!” greeting… I was already loving this place haha. When you walk into the first floor, you’ll see a waiting area along with a receptionist desk. I was greeted right away and asked if I had a reservation. I told them “yes” and was promptly directed to head up to the second floor. Apparently the second floor is where all the action happens. The 1st floor is the pre-reception(?) area, while the 2nd floor is where the main reception area is. After checking in at the front desk, I was given a form to fill out in the waiting area.
The form was pretty standard. It asked a few questions regarding my medical history as well as contact info. I appreciate the English option versus having me try to navigate through a Korean form. After returning the form to the front desk, I waited around for another five minutes or so.
The interior is very clean and bright. Aside from the grand stairs, there apparently was also an elevator that I didn’t even notice. The lobby wasn’t full when I got there, but there were already a few people waiting. One guy was heavily bandaged & was probably there to get a check-up for his new nose. After a few minutes, a staff member took my photos in one of the rooms. I had to take pictures from various angles… various UNFLATTERING angles -___- Next, Mindy (the consultant I had been in contact with through Kakao) came to retrieve me for my consultation. She is very fluent in English and was thorough with everything. She talked with me about my past surgeries and what my goal was with my upcoming surgery. After listening to me and taking notes, she went to bring in Dr. Seo.
That’s Dr. Seo ^ Yes, his hair is just as luxurious in person ^_^ He was soft-spoken and calm, which made the consultation a lot more smooth. He took a q-tip and proceeded to poke and pinch my nose. I showed him some pictures of what I wanted. I appreciated his honesty when he told me what was possible and what wasn’t. After prodding around for a few minutes, he told me the plan was to break the bones around my bridge to slim it down. After that, he would take out some tissue from the center of my nose to reduce the flatness. To build up my bridge, he will use super soft silicone. For tip refinement, donor cartilage will be used. After looking at my ears for a minute, he could already tell that my ears are too weak to donate cartilage. His plan aligns with what I wanted… a slimmer nose with heigh and a defined tip. I want that “profile nose.” Here are some of my nose goals:
After showing him these pictures, Dr. Seo was able to see what I was going for. He also told me that the bridge in the third picture was too high for me, but he would draw it out as much as possible for a more defined look. He said he was going to focus on my tip since it is currently flat and wide as fuck. Damn these Vietnamese genes -_- After he was done, he left for a surgery, and I was left with Mindy to continue the rest of the consultation. She went over the plan with me again. I also took this time to ask her questions about financing and post-op care. Although I am a foreigner, I am not exactly a foreign patient. I don’t have a time limit in Korea, so I told her that I hope to be able to pop in from time to time for a check-up. True to her word, I was given a special summer price for rhinoplasty. 3 million KRW with 10% VAT. That brings the total to 3.3 KRW. The cool part is that if I travel abroad within 3 months, I can get a tax refund on my surgery at the airport. The only catch is that I would have to move my surgery timeline up to the summer to take advantage of the event. From what I’ve read on the forums, MVP is still one of the more reasonably-priced clinics out there. They’re known for giving foreigners a close to local price when it comes to procedures. I appreciate that. I was planning on spending up to 4.5 KRW on my nose later this fall so this was a nice surprise!
The Final Decision
After thinking it over for the weekend, I paid a deposit the following Monday! I think everything works out for a reason. I booked a 2-week vacation this summer with the intention of going back to California for my usual shenanigans. However, flights were ridiculously expensive starting in April. I could spend that much for a trip home, then rush to save for my surgery when I come back or… like my mom suggested… stay in Korea and get surgery this summer. Mama Vu knows best, so I decided to listen to her. Yes, I will miss out on the OC Fair and Walmart runs, but there’s always Chuseok. I can just go home during the fall or winter. I’ve been wanting this new nose for so long that I might as well do it sooner versus later. On July 22nd, I have to revisit the clinic to dissolve my nose fillers. On July 31st, I will get a new nose! I am so excited!!!!!!!!!