We asked and he answered…

Dr. Arthur is not just a professional and knowledgeable doctor but also friendly and very honest – he doesn’t promise false results and he listens to his patients – these are the things I commend him for. Also where can you find a doctor in Singapore who would spend time with patients on emails entertaining your questions without pay? I am talking about general questions/inquiry here not “consultation” (forgive me if I am not using the right semantic here but you know what I mean).

I am a curious person and during the X’mas break, I had extra time off from work and did more research about lipo. To share with you, I include some of the most commonly asked questions from the web here and Dr. Arthur’s answers to these questions.

1. How much weight is loss with liposuction? Is it correct to assume one liter of fat cells equals to 1 kg of fat removed per liter. Therefore if a patient had 1 litre of fat removed from the body then she should have lost around 1 kg of body fat?

No. Most patients don’t see any reduction in body weight. Liposuction is not for weight loss, but to sculpt the body.

2. If I gain weight after lipo, will it go to other areas of my body?

It will be distributed evenly to the whole body. Fat cells don’t multiply. They grow bigger. So, if lipoed areas now have less fat cells, they will be significantly smaller compared to non-lipoed areas. Hence, the wrong perception that fat goes to non-lipoed areas only.

3. Does lipo treat cellulite? can it also tighten up loose skin? 

No, cellulite appearance may worsen after lipo. Skin may also appear very loose, especially in overweight and obese people. That’s why we rarely accept overweight and obese people as the result is not going to be good.

4. What kind of recovery can we expect from arms, tummy and thighs lipo? 

Recovery takes between 4 to 12 months. Average is 6 months. Arms are the fastest, taking around 3-4 months, tummy around 5-6 months and thighs 6-12 months.

5. How long before we see the results? It says 3 to 6 months but I wonder why more than 3 months if swelling normally fades after 1 – 3 months?

Swelling takes 6-12 months to subside completely.

[Jsia] – I thought no more pain= no more swelling…so that’s it – after 2 months the results is there and I can stop wearing the corset (I hate corsets)…lol!

6. How long will the results last?

If you watch your diet and exercise, it should be permanent.

7. Is there age limit for liposuction?

We don’t do on people above 50 years old.

[Jsia] – I read some reviews on him – somebody said Dr. Arthur only choose young and slim patients so the results can be convincing and make him look good. This is not right, because obviously I am not young and slim and my body is ugly with loose, sagging skin. If you see his case studies – there are some obese patients too.

8. What if the results are not what we expected?  

There’s no guarantee of what the result is going to be. You come to us because you trust us. We do our best but we don’t guarantee result. Do you go to a GP for flu and after taking medications for 1 week your flu is not getting better, then you go and ask for your money back?

[Jsia] I did a lot of research before I decided to do lipo, it helps to manage my expectation. Communication is important and Dr. Arthur is not like some other arrogant surgeons who either don’t like questions or charged fees based on short or long consultation. So please do not hesitate to discuss and let him know your expectations – whether they are achievable. Be prepared though, because he is a very straight forward, blunt person. He wouldn’t promise you the moon and stars…. 


Medical tourism in Medan…

Why not exploring Medan before your lipo surgery?

Medan is the capital of North Sumatera Province – known as food heaven. The population consists of diverse ethnic groups – Batak, Chinese, Javanese, Aceh (Padang) and Indian –  they all live in harmony and create a unique culture blend. You will find the Batak people speak Hokkian fluently and chinese speak Bahasa in Batak accent (try speak hokkian with dr. Arthur..:-) ).  Medan is generally safe but just like anywhere else in the world (and we know there’s no 100% safe place on earth) – you always have to be cautious when travelling. As the Singapore slogan says “low crime doesn’t mean no crime” …and crime in Medan is obviously higher than Singapore.

If I have not mentioned it to you… I am originally from Medan so yes… being a proud “Medan lang” (Medanese) I am promoting my home town now.  I was born and raised in Medan and I moved overseas after I graduated from highschool. I still go back to Medan at least once a year. In this blog, I am going to share with you all the best things I know about Medan.

1. Lake Toba – It is one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, Parapat is the town by Lake Toba. It takes about 3 to 4 hours by car from Medan. You can do a day trip to Lake Toba or stay 2D 1N if you want to explore more. You can rent a car with a driver to get there ( I am not sure about this – but you can check with Jenny – she may be able to help you). Food you must have : “ayam goreng” (Fried Chicken). The sambal is super yummy!

lake toba

2. Berastagi – the closest town to medan, takes about 2 hours drive to get there. It is a small town and you can do a day trip. You must try the local fruits like Markisa (passion fruit), Persimon, Salak, Durian etc.


3. Saksang @ OnDo restaurant – pork cooked in pork blood, roast pork, gulai daun ubi (papaya and cassava leaves in coconut gravy and chilly padi). The restaurant is at Jalan Pabrik Tenun no. 45 – not too far from dr. Arthur’s clinic.


4. Bihun Bebek (Duck Vermicelli) at Jalan Kumango. This is my favorite breakfast, my mum said it is expensive – about Rp. 50,000 for a bowl of Bihun Bebek, but it is delicious so I don’t mind.

bihun bebek kumango

5. Nasi Padang – there are few nice Padang restaurants – Garuda, Siang Malam, Sederhana, Tip Top….., but my favorite is Garuda – try the ayam pop, gulai ayam and gulai daun ubi.

garudan padang jpg

6. Hokkian Mie at Jalan Bangka


7. Tip Top – a very old restaurant in Medan, famous with its freshly baked wood based oven cakes and pastries. I like the chocolate cakes and saucisjbrood.


8. Tiong Sim noodles at Semarang or Selat Panjang


9. Fine dining Chinese / seafood – Try Benteng and/or Jumbo restaurant. A place where you can have shark fins soup (I am against shark finning so I do not eat this anymore), cold dishes, hot plate deer meat, Pek Cam Ke (Hainanese Chicken), steamed shrimps …

10.  Sate Padang – the Satay from Padang West Sumatera – made from Beef or Chicken or Lamb – cut into small dices with spicy sauce on top of it. There are many sate padang stalls in Medan, but the best ones (in my opinion) are at Jalan Tilak, Jalan Brig Jend Katamso and the Berastagi supermarket at Jalan Gatot Subroto (near to dr. Arthur’s clinic) – if you choose this one, don’t forget to try the Indian egg Martabak

sate padang

To bring back home for family and friends, don’t forget to buy Bika Ambon and Swiss Roll (famous one is at Jalan Meranti. :-).

There are still a lot of Medanese food in my list but I think I should stop now. Aren’t we supposed to watch our weight before the surgery?

I hope this information helps to minimise your anxiety and stress before (or after) the surgery….

Pre and Post surgery information

Pre surgery information

What should you look for in finding the right Cosmetic surgeon?

– qualification and Board-Certification.
– experience
– rapport
– cost

Why I picked dr. Arthur?
Dr. Arthur Tjandra is a fellow of the International College of Surgeons, and member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. He is also a visiting doctor at the Institute of Plastic Surgery Singapore, as well as The Heal Medical Group. For more information about dr. Arthur, click here: http://elixirdevie.sg/about.html.  Dr. Arthur has done more than 1000 cases of liposuction in Medan. His reviews were awesome and I received a recommendation from one of his previous patients.

His patients described him as a friendly doctor, nice, detailed, open to all views and an athlete! My opinion? He is friendly, humble, caring, detailed and professional.

The cost? It is definitely cheaper than Singapore. I spent about $ 6.2 K inclusive of air fares, room, transfers, food and medicines. The good thing about Elixir devie is that all charges are included in the surgery fee so we do not have to worry about hidden charges.

– – – –

How to count the areas for liposuction? Dr. Arthur defines areas to be treated as follow:

Arms liposuction covers 4 areas : Arms, armpits, shoulders, upper back

Tummy liposuction covers 5 areas : Upper tummy, Lower Tummy, Waist, Flanks, Lower back

Thighs liposuction covers 7 areas : Hips, Buttocks (banana rolls and saddle bags), Outer thighs, Inner thighs, Front thighs, Back thighs, Knees.

– – – –

If you choose to go with dr. Arthur, he will ask you to send some pictures for his evaluation and you must pass the blood test otherwise he will not do the surgery for you.

– – – –

What to prepare for the lipo surgery?

Here are some tips that may help you prepare for lipo surgery:

  • Do not gain weight
  • Do not smoke and drink alcohol
  • Let your doctor know what medications and supplements you are taking. This is because some medications/supplements can inhibit blood clotting or causing too much blood clotting or even interfere with anasthesia – all this can cause problems during lipo surgery.
  • Buy antibacterial soap (Dettol) to bathe with for a few days before your procedure, this will help to reduce risk of infection.
  • Buy a good post liposuction compression garment (make sure you buy the right one  – don’t be like me! I bought the wrong one and it was too short and didn’t cover all areas!)
  • Buy some water proof band aids
  • Take Arnica Montana 5 days before the procedure – it helps to minimize swelling and bruising.
  • I have anemia so I take sangobion one tablet every day.

Post surgery information

What to expect after the Lipo surgery:

  • Paint and discomfort during recovery – you will be given pain medications.
  • Nausea and vomitting. My vomitting last for 2 days and I did not have appetite. I couldn’t eat anything and only had apples and bananas. I had fever after the surgery – probably because I was vomitting and didn’t take the medicines back.
  • Swelling during recovery time – in my case – swelling occured at about 5 days and it’s gone in week 2 but I felt firmness in week 1 to 2.
  • Bruising – if I am not mistaken, my bruises gone after few days. Electric tingling sensations is normal and it will subside.
  • Expect your menstrual cycle to be late.

Activity level:

I went down to Medan and had my surgery same day on Thursday. I only took 3 days off from work – returned to work on Tuesday. Looked very normal!

I started to take showers the next day after surgery but only upper and lower part of my body. I had fever after the surgery and sweat a lot so I don’t think I can skip shower – die die must shower! You may want to bring some water proof band aid to cover your wounds.

Compression Garment – after the procedure, the nurse will put the compression garment on you. The garment will help to decrease swelling and conform skin to its new position. I stopped wearing my compression garment on the 6th day and changed it to corset.

Massage – I did the massage myself (because I cannot afford a massage therapist in Singapore, too expensive!), it is not that difficult but very time consuming. You need at least 1 hour to get everything done start from massage to change the dressings. I used olive oil to massage my tummy twice a day for about 20 minutes.


After the surgery, you will be given the following medications:

  • Q-Cef 500 mg – Antibiotics
  • Danzene – Anti inflammatory
  • Paracetamol – pain killers
  • Ironyl – Multivitamins and iron supplements
  • If you wish, you can continue taking the Arnica Montana.

For the wounds:

  • Betadine
  • Gentamycin ointment
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Bleaching cream for scars – since I am a lazy and forgetful person – I always forget to apply this cream.

My Story

I am a 45 year old single Mom with two great kids. They are IVF twin – weighted 3.4 kg and 2.9 kg. I had a giant pregnancy and I gained 38 kg. I managed to lost it all within 8 months (thanks to breastfeeding and twins nightmare), back to about 60 kg but it made my skin loose and wrinkles. I never worried about weight much not until past few years. I guess, I gain weight as I grow older – it is 1 to 2 kg every year and it finally hit 69 kg! Though I still look “ok” with clothes on (I know how to hide my fats well) but one thing that I really hate is my tummy, thigh and butt! I have double buble belly and excess/loose skin with stretch marks. When I looked in to the mirror – I thought to myself – this is so so so ugly, I should not let it becoming worse, I must do something! So I decided it was time to do something for myself and get in better shape.

I had not thought of lipo at that time, not until I met my friend in Bangkok – she is a very beautiful Katoey (lady boy). She just had breast implant and abdoment liposuction and asked me to accompany her to the clinic for consultation. I met her doctor and asked some questions about lipo. Her doctor explained to me about Vaser and traditional lipo. He asked why I had to go to Bangkok for lipo when there is one very famous and good plastic surgeon in Medan. This is how I get to know dr. Arthur Tjandra. When I went back to Singapore, I started my research on him and I was very impressed with his qualifications, case studies and reviews. http://elixirdevie.sg/about.html. I decided to move forward and booked an appointment with him.

I am not a blogger and if I am now writing my first blog mainly because I want to share my lipo experience and results with people I do not know. I keep lipo as a secret only my daughter knows about it. The reason is because I know my family and friends will question my reasons for doing this. I know I am doing it for myself and not for anyone else but they wouldn’t understand. They  would say I look fine, I do not need to go that far with lipo, it is too risky, it is a waste of money bla bla bla. Anyway – I had my tummy lipo done with dr. Arthur and it went very well. I am going for my thigh lipo next month – this time, I am not sure if I can hide it from my family though… I hope I can – as long as I can walk well and heal fast!

Thank you for reading. I hope you will find this blog informative and useful. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

First stop of my lipo journey – Tummy….

I took the earliest flight and arrived Medan at about 8 am. When I arrived at the clinic,  dr. Arthur’s nurse greeted me. She is nice and friendly. The maid brought me to my room and showed me around the house. After that, I went down to see the nurse. She took my vitals and asked me all the standard questions about my health. She weighted and took my body measurements then she showed me to Dr. Arthur’s office, I went in and introduced myself. He was warm, friendly, informative and relaxed. I was asked to show him the areas I was concerned about. He took a look at my flanks, tummy then said what I need is a tummy tuck then lipo because apart from the excess fat and wrinkle skin/stretched marks, my muscles have also been weakened and have spread from the pregnancy. So with lipo only I will not be able to get rid of the excess skin and get a flat tummy. He asked me to think of it and let him know my decision later. He genuinely wanted what was best for me and no pressure to go for a tummy lipo. If I changed my mind and wanted to do tummy tuck, he would refer me to his colleague in Singapore.

My case is similar (or worse?) to the case studies no. 5,15 and 63  in dr. Arthur’s website. Lipo suction is to remove fat and shape body due to excess fat. What liposuction cannot do is to fix body shape problems caused by skin that is loose or hanging.  If you have loose/wrinkle skin and double bubble tummy (like me) and you want to achieve a flat tummy what you need is a tummy tuck. I know this very well and I did not expect Dr. Arthur to perform magic and gave me a totally flat tummy. What I want is just a tummy with less fat as long as I look good in clothes. I am a realistic person never think I will come out with a 6 pack or a body like Yoona of Girls Generation. I know I will never again be 60 kg but I am happy as long as I can feel comfortable in my own skin.

I had my surgery same day, in the afternoon. The nurse took me to the operation room. Dr. Arthur came in, asked me again if I want to change my mind and have the tummy tuck instead. I declined, so he proceeded to mark my body and take pictures of me as reference for before and after pictures.

To be honest, I cannot remember much about the procedure, I can only remember the pain (I have low pain tolerance) and I was holding his nurse’s hand very tight. Dr. Arthur took out about 1.3L of fats from my tummy. I guess he didn’t want to extract too much otherwise I will have more loose skin.

Here is my before and after pictures :

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 11.45.20 PM

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 11.43.56 PM

And here is the images of me 6 weeks after surgery. The swelling has gone completely, my tummy looks smaller and my back looks so sculpted now. I still have the bulge when I sit down but it looks so much better now.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 11.45.34 PM

My tummy lipo was well worth the pain and discomfort during the first few day of healing process and I am very happy with the result.