A WOMAN has revealed how she travelled 14,000km to undergo an incredible face and body transformation.
Nina Skalonja had always felt a little self-conscious about certain parts of her appearance, such as her breasts and lips.
But the 29-year-old from Adelaide, Australia, decided to take things into her own hands, and looked into undergoing cosmetic procedures to enhance her looks.
The mining operator first began getting lip filler at age 20, followed by regular botox injections a few years later.
She has also had cosmetic filler injected into her cheeks and chin, which she says was to help achieve balance and improve her side profile.
“I was about 19 when I started looking into lip filler,” Nina told news.com.au.
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“I had quite small lips, and virtually no top lip. I was working as a makeup artist, and I would wear lipstick but you couldn’t even tell I had it on.
“My side profile needed work, and I feel it is now a lot nicer. Fuller lips compliment my face well.”
However, Nina’s most life-changing surgeries involved her flying 14,000km across the world to Istanbul, Turkey, back in July 2022.
She underwent a breast augmentation and liposuction to her chin.
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All up, she has spent almost AU$16,000 (£8.5k) on altering her looks and says she could not be happier with her new face and body.
“I began thinking about breast augmentation when I was about 21,” she said.
“I had naturally large breasts, and wanted them lifted as they had started to sag.
“I decided to fly over to Istanbul, mainly because it was cheaper. I got quoted $23,000 (£12.7k) for a breast lift with implants from a clinic in Sydney.
“They also wanted to do two separate surgeries six months apart, and unfortunately with my job I just could not do that.
“I also was not willing to spend that amount of money. It was only $7,000 (£3.2k) in Istanbul.
“Turkey is one of the busiest plastic surgery countries in the world, and I got a nine week holiday out of it. It was a win-win.”
For Nina, flying to Turkey to undergo surgery was a much cheaper option and she says her experience was an extremely positive one.
“I had an amazing experience and wouldn’t change it for the world,” she said.
“My healing post-op was very quick. About two days after surgery I was out and about exploring.
“I plan on going back there in November to get liposuction on my stomach.
“It was great. I was in Turkey for just a week, and then I was cleared to fly. So I went and began travelling around Croatia, France and Italy.”
Nina says there are many misconceptions surrounding those who seek plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures.
“I think the most common misconception is that people who want these things done are trying to be plastic,” she said.
“Or that we want to look like certain celebrities or influencers. But surgery has become more popular than ever and it is not as taboo anymore.
“It is a lot more affordable and many people have body confidence issues and sometimes these enhancements help them.”
She has been very open and honest about her body and face transformation journey on social media, hoping to educate others who may be in similar situations.
While the majority of people’s comments are positive, there are some who question her decision to change up her looks.
“I’ve had many comments on TikTok about getting a breast augmentation,” she said.
“They were telling to ‘just go to the gym’. I’m not sure what workout would lift, tighten and fill out my boobs?
“Same with my chin, I had lost a lot of weight but still had a double chin. How could I have specifically targeted that area? It isn’t possible.
“In person, a few people had made comments prior to surgery. They were telling me I didn’t need it or asking if I was sure about it.
“They said that my boobs would be fake, and were worried about the implants popping.
“But these are mostly out of concern. Once the procedure was done, everyone agreed it was a great decision.”
Some of the most common countries people visit for surgery are Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, India, South Korea, Malaysia and Turkey.
Appearance-focused surgeries, such as dental and procedures, are extremely popular due to their affordability overseas.
Senior specialist plastic surgeon Dr Naveen Somia warned there were risks for any people wanting to go overseas for the purposes of undergoing plastic surgery.
“If you are travelling on a long flight for your cosmetic surgery overseas and then flying back, you need to be aware of the risks of air travel post surgery,” Dr Somia told news.com.au.
“During a flight, you are at risk of developing Deep Venous Thrombosis (blood clot in the legs) and Pulmonary Embolism (blood clots travelling to the lungs) as a result of air travel.
“Cosmetic surgery operations like tummy tucks, body lifts or large volume liposuction, where your mobility after the operation is limited or restricted, further increases your risk of clots.
“Combining air travel with surgery can significantly increase your risk of clot formation.
“While Deep Venous Thrombosis is usually not fatal if treated in time, a pulmonary embolism can be a medical emergency, with a risk of fatality.
“In some countries, the training, accreditation and registration requirements to become a surgeon may be different overseas.
“This can mean that the recommended criteria and standards that a surgeon has to fulfil to maintain his/her registration and licence to practise overseas, may vary.
“There is also the potential for misunderstanding and miscommunication due to language issues.
“In a cosmetic surgery setting this could lead to problems.
Dr Somia added that there were risks of complications occurring once the patient has arrived back home.
“Sometimes complications manifest a few weeks later, which can make finding specialist care more complex,” he explained.
“Treating complications is expensive. If you require hospital or intensive care admission following your surgery, you are at risk of increased costs.
“Prior to your travel, patients should ensure that all travel insurance policies cover emergency medical care, and medical retrieval back home.“Be sure to check the terms of your travel insurance in fine detail, if the trip is for a surgical procedure.”
This story previously appeared on News.com.au and has been republished with permission.
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