Fly In

Do you like what you see on Dr. Chao’s website? Do you want him to perform your surgery BUT you live out of the area and think it’s not possible? Dr. Chao has patients coming from all over the United States as well as Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Middle East (and more!).

IT IS VERY EASY to get started…an e-mail will get the ball rolling. 




E-mail us with your questions and concerns along with some digital photos of the areas in question (including photos with arms at your side, as well as some goal photos – photos of the look you desire). Dr. Chao will review your e-mail and photos and discuss your options with you either via e-mail or phone. At this time, we will also be able to give you a price for your procedure. Please note, Dr. Chao offers complimentary consultations via email and for consultation by phone, there will be a $100-$200 fee (depending on how much information needs to be reviewed) that will be applied to your surgery when you decide to proceed. While phone consults are important, we have also found email alone to work well for our overseas patients, under the proper circumstances. You will be provided with a surgical assessment and preliminary plan of treatment (please note in certain circumstances your final assessment may require a phone call with Dr. Chao for the most accurate information). Our office does provide financing options for our patients and would be happy to review those with you


If after speaking with Dr. Chao you decide that you would like to proceed, a few e-mails will take care of the rest of the information that we will need. E-mail your personal information along with the dates that will work for you. Once the surgery date and pre-op date (usually a day or two before surgery) have been confirmed by both parties, payment options will be discussed (payment is due 4 weeks prior to the procedure to reserve the time at the surgery center). Payment can be in the form of cashier’s check or credit card. We can give you information regarding hotels accommodations, nurses to help after the surgery, that everything is settled before you arrive. When you arrive for your pre-op visit, we will have paper work for you to review and fill out. Dr. Chao will perform a thorough examination and discuss everything in great detail with you. If at the time of your visit Dr. Chao decides that you would not be a good candidate for the surgery, your payment will be returned to you and surgery will not be performed.


Dr. Chao strongly recommends that patients stay in San Diego for a minimum of 5-7 days after surgery (different procedures require different lengths of time and we can discuss your specific situation when the time comes). Our office staff will work around your schedule to get you into the office for your post-op visits. We ask that you keep in contact with us via e-mail and if you return to the greater San Diego area, please pay our office a visit (we love to see our patients as often as possible).

Nursing & Aftercare

If you are traveling alone, you will need someone to help you after surgery. We can arrange for someone with experience to be with you for the first couple of days. Just let us know that you will be needing this service. 

Testimonial from a “fly in” patient: 

After having surgery with a Dr. out of state, I went onto this sight for advice re: drain removal. Not only did Dr. Chao respond immediately discouraging me from removing my own drains, [Now I realize just how STUPID that thought was!] but, also spoke with me directly when I called his office to inquire if he could help me.Fate was definitely at work here! It was worth taking most of a day to drive 130 each way. He and all his staff made me realize the difference between my Dr. and Dr. Chao. Let’s just say it was worth the drive, in more ways than one! If you want an attentive, knowledgeable surgeon that’s also a “good guy”, look no further. Additionally, Dr. Chao is skilled in his field…. all this with a kind, welcoming staff. What more can a person ask for?? Thank you all for your help and compassion from another happy client! Head and shoulders above the norm!  

Testimonial from a “fly in” patient:

I do not know where to begin with my review.. I live in Illinois and had a BA done by a Plastic Surgeon here..I did have a minor complication and while researching other women’s concerns and similar situations as mine here on Realself I stumbled upon Dr. Chao and his reviews ..I could not believe how many women were thrilled with their life changing results that it made me want to look into possibly flying to La Mesa California for a thigh lift/lipo that I felt was necessary to make me feel better about my concerns I had after losing over 65 pounds.Let me just say that I never thought I would fly to California to see a surgeon, and I am so glad I did..Dr. Chao is not a surgeon he is THE surgeon to see.. before I even arrived his friendly staff contacted me to confirm everything and even went as far as to help me find a hotel, how to take public transportation, where I might like to go sight seeing since it was my first time traveling to San Diego… Alone by the way….When I got there I felt so comfortable…His staff was so upbeat,friendly and welcoming. Dr Chao took his time to listen to my concerns, went over all of the risks and benefits to the surgery I was interested in having done. Everything about my appointment exceeded my expectations. Lets be honest this is one of the busiest and skilled Plastic Surgeons in the country and any information and recommendations from him is valuable. I have never traveled to a different state and felt as comfortable and happy as I did after leaving Dr. Chao's office..This is an honest review and just my own personal opinion..If you are planning on having a Breast Augmentation, thigh lift or any type of procedure chose a surgeon wisely. If I could do it all over again I would have planned and took the time to fly to La Mesa California to take care of things…Not only would I have this spectacular surgeon and staff by my side, San Diego was truly a fabulous experience and mini break! Do not hesitate to fly out for a few days and make it a fun little vacation as well…It was worth it!!!!!! DO IT!

Testimonial from a “fly in” patient:

Best decision of my life. I’m beyond greatful and happy with the new joy in my life that Dr. Chao has given me. I felt deformed for an entire year after my first BA as things went wrong from the beginning ie deformed cleavage & pain. I have my life and confidence back. Pre op 475 HP unders. Post op 595 HP unders with internal revision. Here is a link to the review of my first doctor. Very intelligent! Comforting and charismatic. A true master of his trade. It’s hard to put into words just how amazing he was from start to finish, but my life is better after having met him.

Testimonial from a “fly in” patient: 

Wow. Just wow. Im living in dubai and i flew to london first for a consultation and walked out knowing something didnt feel right. So i kept researching and came across Dr. Chao. And what a god send he was. So so happy I kept looking. From the pre op session with daisy who was amazing and gave me so much info and made me feel so comfortable. Plus they let me talk to someone who was back in after 10 days for a check up. Was so great to talk to someone who jusy went through it. The communication was on point considering i was in dubai and its been amazing ever since with constant check ups from the nurses as they found my number at the hotel. They literally go the extra mile. Im only 2 days post op it does hurt and i am in a little pain but the pills prescribed really help and put you to sleep so you sleep well. Cannot be more happier. Honestly. 10/10. Thank you a million dr. Chao and team. Will keep posting further down the track for those who would like to know more.

Testimonial from a “fly in” patient:

I had my first BA in November 2011 performed by another PS. I was satisfied with the “natural look” at the time but as time progressed I wanted something more. After 8 months of research and deliberation I decided on revisionary ba with capsuloraphy. Every review I found about Dr. Chao led me to him. This made my decision even more difficult because I love in East Texas and he’s in California. All I can say is it was well worth the trip . From my initial email just inquiring for information to the scheduling, pre-op upon my arrival, surgery and post-op care. Everything was absolute top notch. Dr. Chao listened to my goals and concerns and followed through to provide me with amazing results. My interest in BA revision was because I desired a more “perky”, round, full and more upper pole look. Dr. Chao recommended the internal sutures (capsulorrhaphy) as well in order to support the larger breasts. I also went from silicone to saline on order to achieve the large and round breast I desired. My recovery so far has been fairly easy. Much easier than I expected. My BA was performed on Wednesday afternoon. When i awoke after the surgery I felt better than I did after my first BA procedure. After my first procedure I felt like there was an elephant sitting on my chest. It I didn’t feel that way at all this time. I was sore days 1 and 2. Day 2, my husband and I went out to dinner. By day 3, we went around town and out to lunch and dinner. By day 5, I felt good enough to spend most of the afternoon at the San Diego zoo. My recovery has been very smooth this far. Dr. Chao and his staff are wonderful. It was comforting meeting the OR nurse that would be in the OR with me at my in office pre-op appointment. Dr. Chao made me feel very comfortable and at ease. I am just now 1 week post-op and his office has called everyday except Sunday to check on me. I would highly recommend Dr. Chao.

Testimonial from a “fly in” patient:

Dr. Chao is everything I wanted in a plastic surgeon. I started my search online and Dr. Chao definitely lives up to his reviews. I came from outside the country his office staff were extremely accommodating to all of my needs. I wanted to go larger than the existing silicone implants I had and went with overfilled saline implants. He listened to exactly to what I wanted to have done and I am extremely pleased with my results. The office and support staff are extremely professional. His pricing and costs are terrific. I would recommend Dr. Chao to any friend or relative without hesitation. If I have a need for more cosmetic surgery in the future, I will defiantly return to Dr. Chao without hesitation. If you are looking for a skilled cosmetic surgeon that you can feel safe with, I definitely recommend Dr. Chao.

Testimonial from a “fly in” patient:

Today I am exactly four months post op from my tummy tuck. I couldn’t be happier with the results. I love it!! Dr. Chao and his staff have made this experience enjoyable, if one can say that about major surgery. Background: I turn 50 tomorrow. I had two c-sections in my twenties, but had always been thin. But, as the years passed, and as my weight began to fluctuate I develop this “flap” that was really affecting my ability to wear certain items that I had always taken for granted. I started to feel fat. Then as I would lose weight, this flap, this ridge, would never go away. So….about four years ago, I started investigating my surgical options. I googled “Best Board Certified Plastic Surgeons” and +”San Diego.” I stared at the top of the list and over the next two years I consulted with three physicians. I selected physicians in La Jolla because I thought, “You have to go to where the money is at.” Well, they were all technically capable of doing the surgery, but I still wasn’t satisfied for whatever reason. It was in December 2013, while I was shooting footage for a major daytime talk show, that I was over the top and done with my gut. If I didn’t like what I saw on the small screen, imagine what I looked like on someone’s 52-inch high definition television! So, I started researching again. And, again this Dr. Chao located in La Mesa kept coming up, I had looked at his website no less than 20 times, and I knew I was doing myself a disservice if I didn’t at least meet with him. See, the thing is, I have a natural distrust of doctors, I’ve literally been at death’s door due to negligence. And, what saved me was my instincts. I’m not saying the others I consulted with would be negligent, what I’m saying is that I have to “feel” good about the doctor as a person, and that I can trust them with my life. Otherwise, I really have no respect for the M.D. status. Well, I met with Dr. Chao. Finally, who is equal parts doctor and human. LOL I love this man!! He is an artist, and for me a godsend. At my first consultation, I was placed in a room, and when he came in, we just talked. I told him what I wanted done, and if a tummy tuck is the best option to get rid of the flap. He took the time to actually have a conversation with me about my concerns and was prepared to answer any question I threw at him about himself. He did not come in, look at my body, tell me, “Oh yea, we need to get rid of that,” mark up what he could do, and leave me to his assistant. He shared with me who he was, as a person, about his family, his background, etc. I didn’t have a lot of questions about the procedure as I had already done the research and watched the surgical videos. I just had to determine whether I liked him, and if I felt like I could put my life in this guy’s hands. When I left that initial appointment, I knew that I was going to let him do the procedure. I was schedule for another appointment the following week. It was at that appointment that I scheduled my surgery. It was for three weeks later. During the next three weeks I had a few pre-op doctors appointments. Finally the big say arrives. Everything went smoothly, and before I knew it was I was waking up. The next few weeks were interesting. Dr. Chao had installed a pain pump, so between that, the Oxy, and the Valium, I wasn’t feeling any discomfort. I had a few scary moments when I was coughing, trying to clear my throat. But, it was because I was afraid that I might experience intense pain should I start coughing. I didn’t. I started taking stool softeners on day two, so I had no problems there either. On day two, Dr. Chao paid me a house call. A house call!! He showed up with his gorgeous wife, and flowers. He checked me out, and said I was doing well. On day four, I stopped taking the Oxy. I was tired of the drugged feeling. However, I continued the Valium for another two – three weeks. On day seven, the pain pump was removed. Didn’t feel a thing, On day 14, the drains came out. The drains are necessary, but a pain in the ass. And, as I got closer to that two week post op appt, I was ready for them to come out. They had become slightly uncomfortable and irritating. They gave me a local where the drains were coming out. The feeling taking them out was weird, but not painful. Once the drains were out, I felt like I had a new life. I was so happy, and excited. The next few weeks, due to having to stay bent over, my back was killing me. Gawd!! It really was painful. The most pain I experienced with the whole thing was the back pain. And, this was with me using a walker. The main issue I had was my lack of energy. It took a full 8 – 10 weeks before I felt I was back to normal. It took about 12 weeks or so before I could completely stretch out in the bed. I’m currently 4 months post-op to the day. I’m feeling fabulous, I look great again (in a bathing suit, and my clothes), and I’m no longer self -conscious about the fat flap. During those initial pre-op appointments, I told Dr. Chao that I needed my body back in time for my 50th birthday celebrations in Jamaica. Well…as I type this I’m on my flight to Jamaica. And, I couldn’t be happier with the results. I can not recommend Dr. Chao enough. He will always be the guy who gave me my body back, and for that I’m eternally grateful. Oh yea…I must give a special shout-out to Daisy. All of the girls in the office were nice, but Daisy, made me feel special. I will always appreciate her kindness and care during my pre and post op appointments. 1) DON’T BE A HERO!! Get ahead of the pain!! Start taking the pain meeds immediately, and keep taking them until you think you’re good to go. Meaning, you feel like you don’t need them. You’ll know. 2) Hire a nurse for the first day. I had one for the first two days. I viewed it as necessary, and I’m glad I had Gloria there for me. 3) Get the walker!! 4) Get some cheap tank tops and wear them under the compression garment.

Testimonial from a “fly in” patient: 

I flew in for surgery so I had my pre-op the day before surgery on the 18th May. I shared my concerns and desires with Dr Chao. I wanted a internal bra and an increase of volume to around 2000-2200cc. Next day came around quick early start had to be at the surgery centre at 5.45am, so my family dropped me off. Dr Chao came for a quick visit to go over the pros and cons for this type of surgery. Surgery started at 7.00am and around 10.00am I was calling for my family to come and pick me up, they were already there waiting for me. I felt pretty good not much pain to start with. The nurse wheeled and helped me into our huge hire car. The next day I was pretty sore from the internal bra so I had to have the pain killers I didn’t need the muscle relaxers. And for a couple of days I needed the nausea pills. With the pain killers block you up so you need to get some stool softeners. Day 3, I went back to Doc office and Dr Chao said everything looks good. I did ask him about the size of the shells and he put in 650 shells overfilled to 2030cc, he said that the 800 shells would have been far too big for me and I would have had uni-boob problems. I came back on day 7 just to make sure everything was ok and I got the all clear to fly to Honolulu with my family. I took pain meds on the plane just to make sure I didn’t suffer. At this stage I was only taking one pain pill per night. We relaxed in Honolulu for another 10 days which was very nice. I am now back home (3 weeks post op) still slow but getting much better. Looking forward to taking off the medical bra and bolsters. I will not post any photos until I can take these off. You can have a look for me on Dr Chao website, its says that I am 41 from Oakland New Zealand as there are photos already there and I will be sending him updates at one month, three months, six months and a years time. I cant wait until six months time to see when they have settled to see a more final result. Many thanks to Dr Chao and his team of staff. 

Prime Plastic Surgery consists of the top board-certified surgeons in the country providing the highest caliber of patient care. We offer cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, to help patients achieve truly life-changing results. Our surgeons are members of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities

Discover what the Prime difference can do for you. Request a consultation online or call our practice at (858) 285-4667.

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