I wrote this list primarily to provide information for women going to Dr. Kamol for surgery.† I have written another page about Thailand for those who are going to any other Thai surgeon for SRS.
I was asked to arrive two days before my SRS (you need to arrive by the day before at the very latest), and was required to stay at least 16 days after my SRS date.† I chose to stay until I was 21 days post-op, and those extra five days reduced much of my physical discomfort from the long flights back home.
Dr. Kamol maintains a current price list on his website.† When you first set your surgery date, he will ask you to pay a 10% non-refundable deposit.† Once you pay this deposit, your price for surgery will not increase prior to your date.
After I arrived in Thailand, I paid the other 90% of my surgery price in American Express travelerís cheques.† Dr. Kamolís clinic also accepts credit cards and debit cards for payment.† I used a debit card to pay a little extra for my skin graft.† Jaruwan took me to Dr. Kamolís bank (very close to the clinic) on the morning of my surgery to pay directly into Dr. Kamolís account.
A set of six dilators was included in our surgery price.† Sizes start at one inch, or 16/16, and increase in increments of 1/16th of an inch, up to 21/16, which is just over 1ľ inches.
We were instructed to move up one size each week.† When I first used my second dilator, Angela instructed me to insert the first one for 15 minutes, and then the second one for 45 minutes.† Dilation takes one hour plus the time it takes to prepare for dilation and clean up afterwards, including douching.† They told me do dilate twice a day for my first three months, and then gradually taper my dilation after that.
My first week of cleaning/douche supplies was included in the cost of my surgery.† The clinic would then restock my kit for 500 or 600 Bhat for about one more weekís worth of supplies.† I purchased a few things such as pads and saline at the M-Mart.
Dr. Kamol recommends that his patients have genital electrolysis prior to surgery, but he does not require it.† I did not have any genital electrolysis before my surgery.† He will scrape the follicles from the scrotal graft for no extra charge.
I discontinued my HRT four weeks prior to surgery, and resumed them four weeks afterwards.† My friend was able to talk the clinic into allowing her to resume her HRT only two weeks after her SRS.† I also needed to discontinue aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Vitamin E.† It is OK to take Tylenol.
Dr. Kamol performed my surgery at Piyavate Hospital.† I was admitted to the hospital four hours before my surgery.† I spent my first night post-op in the CCU, and then five more days confined to bed in my hospital room.† The hospitalís finance department kept my cash, cheques, and passport in a safe.
I was able to choose some western foods from the hospital menu, which also offers some Thai foods.† Patients can also call Pizza Hut, McDonaldís or KFC and request delivery to their hospital room.† However, we were advised to avoid salty foods during our first two weeks of recovery because they told us that salt would prolong swelling.
Patients will receive frequent visits from the nursing staff.† They will check your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature five or six times daily, and provide two sponge baths each day.† Patients are fed four times each day: breakfast at 7:30, lunch shortly before noon, afternoon tea (usually half a sandwich and a beverage) at 2:30, and dinner around 6PM.† Meal times may vary a little from one day to the next.
Dr. Kamolís patients stay at Town In Town Hotel.† As of October 2005, Dr. Kamolís patients paid 1100 Bhat per night for one person, and 1300 Bhat for two people in one room. These rates include their breakfast buffet.
On my disembarkation form prior to my arrival in Bangkok, I wrote this address for my hotel:
Town In Town Hotel
300/1 Ladprao 94 (Sriwara Road)
The hotel does offer to exchange US dollars to Bhat, but exchange rates at Dr. Kamolís bank and even the airport were better.
Breakfast buffet is served from 6AM to 10AM, and was included in our room rate.† The hotel provided us with breakfast coupons for the duration of your stay when we first checked in.† Otherwise, the hotel restaurant serves western and Thai foods 24 hours a day.† Room service is available for an additional cost.† I often purchased sandwiches and slices of cake from a counter for lunch.† But this counter often closes in the early evening.† Sometimes I was too late to buy another sandwich even after returning from my afternoon dilation at the clinic.† The Pizza Town restaurant in the lobby serves pizzas (many but not all of them differ from western pizzas) and other Italian foods in the afternoon and evening.
Food and beverages are available at the M-Mart 24 hours a day, about one block from the hotel.† Jaruwan sometimes invited us to eat lunch with her at an outdoor Thai restaurant across the street from the clinic.† The hotel stocked some soft drinks and chips in our small refrigerators, but for an extra charge of 25 to 50 Bhat per can or container.
It generally costs more to eat at the hotel restaurants or buy food from their counter than to eat out elsewhere or buy food at the M-Mart.† Prices for many food items at the M-Mart were surprisingly low when compared to USA prices.† I sometimes had McDonaldís delivered to my hotel room (even with delivery, prices were much lower than those of my local McDonaldís back home), and my friends had Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken delivered.†
I would not use the hotelís laundry service.† This is one of the few things that were terribly expensive here.† The hotel charges 30 to 60 Bhat per item of individual clothing, and at this rate you could easily spend the equivalent of more than $20 US Dollars to have your laundry washed.† The staff at Dr. Kamolís clinic offered to wash our laundry for us without charge.† But please keep in mind that Jaruwan and all of the nurses do so much for us already, and have so much to do, that you might need to wait a day or two before your laundry is finished.† I would recommend that you not send any laundry to be washed less than 48 hours before your departure from Thailand.
Local calls: 6 Bhat
I donít remember the hotelís rate for long distance calls.† My friend purchased 45 minute (International calls from Thailand) cards from M-Mart for 300 Bhat, plus she paid the local call charge of 6 Bhat.
The hotel provides two bottles of drinking water without additional charge.
The clinic will generously let you use their computer.† I did not find any internet access at the hotel or in the hospital.
The hospital will administer an IV several hours before surgery.† They removed our IVís after we started to eat solid foods.† The catheter will remain for six days, and the drain for five or six days.
My HRT doctor performed CBC, Comprehensive (blood), RPR (for STDs), HIV, EKG, and a chest X-Ray a couple of months before my surgery.† Dr. Kamol administered these tests again several hours before my surgery.
Heavy lifting Ė My own HRT doctor restricted me to 20 lbs until I am three months post-op.
Sexual Intercourse Ė Not until 12 weeks post-op.
Stair climbing Ė I was told to always use elevators until I was three weeks post-op.
Swimming Ė Not until two months post-op.
Walking Ė Dr. Kamol didnít let me take one step until I was six days post-op.† Then Jaruwan and Angela asked me to keep my walking to a bare minimum until I was 14 days post-op, and remain in the hotel except to go to the M-Mart for shopping or the clinic for our dilations.† Kamolís staff provided rides to and from the clinic, and they would stop at the M-Mart and wait for us if we indicated that we needed to buy anything.† Sometimes Jaruwan took us to an outdoor Thai restaurant across the street from the clinic.
M-Mart is a 24 hour convenience store which sells food and basic supplies (pads, toiletries, stationary, etc.), and is located about one block in front of the hotel.† I had to do all of my shopping here during my first week after release from the hospital, because Dr. Kamol did not want us to walk too much until we were two weeks post-op.† There is a five-story mall about half an hour taxi ride from the hotel.
I didnít familiarize myself with the local custom of bartering very much, but I found that I was able to lower the price a little bit on a few clothes at the mall.
SRS Letters (Post-op)
Dr. Kamol provides post-op letters, which verify that weíve had SRS, for presentation to government agencies back home.† I requested four copies.† Dr. Kamolís patients receive these letters when theyíre about 15 days post-op.† I donít think the clinic will give us our letters much sooner than that, because they do not want us taking these letters to the embassy before weíve recovered enough for extended walking and standing.† We went to the embassy when I was already 16 days post-op, and my friend was 15 days post-op.† Even then we suffered quite an ordeal.
I carried with me a copy of a post from a mailing list written earlier this year.† Even in October 2005, this information was apparently outdated.† I provide this advice with the warning that it too could easily be out of date when you go to Thailand.
Before you leave Thailand, you will need to ride a taxi to the US embassy to have your surgery letters notarized.† Authorities in the USA are much less likely to accept your letters if you donít notarize them.† You need to present your letters in person.† If you donít have your letters notarized here, your only option for having your letters notarized would be returning to Thailand in person.† My friend tried to notarize another friendís letters on their behalf, but the embassy told us that her friend would have to return to Thailand so she could appear in person.
The US embassy charges $30 US dollars to notarize one letter, and $20 more for each additional letter.† I decided to have all four of my letters notarized, just to be sure I would have what I needed back home.
The US embassy opens at 7AM until lunchtime, and then reopens for a shorter period in the afternoon.† First, we waited in line for their security checkpoint.† They searched our bags and had us walk through a metal detector.† They will hold any cell phones until you leave the embassy.† After going through security, there was a station of three windows and very slow lines of people waiting for these windows.† We made the mistake of waiting in these lines, which were mostly for Thais applying for visas.† We should have immediately taken the sidewalk around the right side of this area, and through a door.† In the front room is a window for ĎAmerican Citizen Servicesí.† This was the place to go first.† We handed our documents to the clerk, and she directed us to a window in the next room where we paid our fees for notarizing our letters.† After we paid, we returned to the front room and gave our receipt to the clerk.† Then we waited for a short while as they notarized our letters, and then called our names.
Dr. Kamolís surgery price includes transportation from airport to hotel, from hotel to hospital, from hospital back to hotel, rides to and from the clinic back to hotel, and back to the airport on the day of departure from Thailand.† The clinic did not want us to walk very much during our first week out of the hospital, and the staff was more than eager to give us rides between the hotel, clinic, and M-Mart.
As of October 2005, Dr. Kamol does not have a long waiting list.† Two American women had SRS on short notice while I was there.
More links pertaining to Dr. Kamol:
Testimonies by patients of Dr. Kamol:
Hospital: Piyavate Hospital
Hotel: Town In Town Hotel
SRS In Thailand for women considering any Thai surgeon.† Please read membership requirements on the front page.