Image: Rhiannon Langley before and after (via Instagram).
Over the past few years there’s been a lot of news coverage dedicated to the emerging trend of ‘cosmetic tourism’.
It’s been estimated that 15,000 Australians head overseas every year to have cosmetic procedures — including Botox, breast implants and tummy tucks — at a fraction of the price they’d be paying at home. Often these treatments are included in packages arranged by travel agents.
After years of feeling self-conscious about the shape of her nose — "Every time I took a photo the first thing I would check is if my nose looked big... to me it was everything I hated," she recalls — Langley began researching the cost of rhinoplasty in Australia.
When she saw the ballpark figures, the 24-year-old turned her attention to another, less expensive, destination: Bangkok, Thailand.
"A few of my friends had gone over for their boobs and I also knew someone who had a tummy tuck. I sussed all their photos and messaged them for their opinions on medical tourism, all of them said it was awesome," Langley writes.
She eventually decided on an agency called Cosmeditour, and made her booking. Last month, Langley shared the news with her almost 200,000 Instagram followers and kept them updated on her surgery experience using the hashtag #RhiannonGetsRhino. (Post continues after gallery.)
The six-hour surgery focused on re-shaping Langley's Hanging Columella, a 'drooping' at the tip of her nose which she believed made it look too long for her face. Langley wrote a detailed, day-by-day account of her recovery, which she's published on her blog along with some post-op selfies that will make you wince. You can read her full account here.
"I woke up [from my first sleep] so so swollen, burst a blood vessel in my eye from all the pressure and my left eye was almost closed over, my right was huge too," she writes on the first day. "I took one look at myself and wanted to cry, I knew I would bruise but not this much."
When she left the hospital, Langley was provided with five different kinds of tablets to take, along with a syringe to flush out her nose and avoid infection. She also had to sleep upright to avoid putting pressure on her face.
In the first few days Langley experienced intense bruising and swelling, and underwent a number of 'laser showers' to help this subside. She also lost her taste and smell, although notes this is a normal side-effect.