South Korean Plastic Surgery

South Koreans are well-known for their love of plastic surgery. In fact, the country has one of the highest rates of plastic surgery procedures in the world. While some people may think that this is a negative trend, there are others who believe that South Korean plastic surgery is a way to achieve self-improvement and look their best. Whether you love or hate South Korean plastic surgery, it’s hard to deny that it’s an interesting phenomenon. Check out this blog post to learn more about it!

With the hundreds of horror stories involving plastic surgery, it should be relieving to hear of the optimism and level of happiness achieved after having surgery in Korea. Rather than a vain attempt at beauty, as it is in the West, Koreans believe plastic surgery is a good investment in the body. Not only does it symbolize a “coming of age” and an overall interest in the body’s health and welfare, but plastic surgery is believed to boost a woman’s prospects in her education, marriage, and career.

The gains are not only for women. Korean men will go under the knife as well. More men in Korea will opt for plastic surgery than is typically seen in Western countries. The idea is to look as much like the characters of popular manhwa cartoons and anime as possible. The goal for these men is to look masculine, while still having boyish features. The softened image for men may include prominent nose tips, less angular jaw-lines, and double eyelids. Augmentation to the abdomen may also be done.

South Korean Plastic Surgery

Korean women will opt for similar surgeries. The most popular cosmetic surgery in Korea, by far, is the double-eyelid surgery. This will create bigger, rounder eyes. However, rhinoplasty (nose jobs) and re-configuring the jaw-lines are also extremely popular.

So why do so many Korean women decide plastic surgery is their only option? Women in Korea are arguably objectified by males more often than in any other country. Due to these stipulations, beauty brings a degree of status within the community, and women will do whatever it takes to gain the beauty they so desire. First impressions are one of the most important aspects of Asian culture, so having a beautiful body and face are like stepping stones to higher achievement.

Just like there is criticism to all plastic surgery, criticisms abound for its craze in Korea. The latest Miss Korea pageant contestants shocked the world by looking almost exactly alike. Headlines screamed the contestants were cloned, and thousands admonished the plastic surgery craze that led to such a controversy.

This is not even the beginning for Korean plastic surgery. With the stipulations for beauty, and the idea that literally everyone should go through with any surgery needed to achieve it, men and women of all ages in the country will continue going under the knife. Some of the most bizarre surgeries already include the “smile lip” and the “double jaw surgery.” What will Korean plastic surgeons offer next?

Korean Plastic Surgery Statistic

Korea is fast becoming the world’s leading destination for plastic surgery tourism. Koreans are fond of using cosmetic surgery to improve their looks. As many as 20 percent of Korean women aged 20-49 reported that they’ve had some type of cosmetic procedure, the highest rate in the world. Koreans view plastic surgery as a practical method of keeping up in an extremely competitive world. To many cosmetic surgery tourists that visit Seoul each year, Korea’s welcoming and supportive attitude towards improving your life by improving your looks make them feel more comfortable with their decision to have plastic surgery.

South Korea is a popular destination for tourists of all kinds. More than 7.5 million tourists visit every year, and in 2010, 80,000 of those visitors came to undergo some kind of plastic surgery procedure. That’s a full one percent of all tourists. As more and more people become aware of Korea’s excellent facilities and affordable procedures, that number is expected to grow to 400,000 by 2015.

While Koreans have the highest percentage of people undergoing plastic surgery in the world, the total number, about 770,000, is much lower than the total numbers in larger countries. According to statistics compiled by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the United States has the greatest number of plastic surgery procedures overall, with 3.3 million surgeries reported in 2010, followed by Brazil at 2.5 million, Japan at 1.2 million, with Mexico and Italy not far behind.

South Korea Is Fast Becoming The Medical Tourism Leader

With medical tourism becoming more and more popular, and with South Korea’s growing reputation as a home to world-class medical facilities, skilled doctors, and low prices, Korea can expect to see a continuing upswing in the amount of people that take advantage of their expertise in plastic surgery procedures. The South Korean government is actively supporting their country’s ranking as the top destination for medical tourism in Asia and touts Korean plastic surgery info worldwide.

The Biggest Plastic Surgery Hotspots in Korea

The Republic of Korea has a diverse and rapidly expanding economy and a growing population now numbering over 50 million. Its capital, Seoul, is megalopolis with over 10 million citizens, but Korea has many other important and beautiful cities. The majority of the 1,245 self-employed plastic surgeons in Korea are located in large cities, with over 80 percent in big metropolitan areas like Seoul, Busan, Daegu, and Incheon. A whopping 60 percent of the total are located in Seoul.

Seoul’s population is so large, and plastic surgery is so popular, that it has two distinct neighborhoods famous both at home and internationally for the amount and quality of their plastic surgery clinics.


Gangnam means south of the river in Korean, and it’s the most affluent district in Seoul and South Korea overall. Gangnam-gu is about half the size of Manhattan, and is home to about 1 percent of Seoul’s population. Gangnam-gu is known for its money, nightlife, cafes, shopping, and especially for its many plastic surgery clinics. According to Korean plastic surgery info from the Korea Herald, 40 percent of all the nation’s cosmetic surgery clinics are located in the Gangnam district. The Korean Medical Association reports that as of 2013, there are over 540 cosmetic surgeons with clinics in Gangnam-gu.


Seochu-gu only has about 20 percent of the number of plastic surgery clinics that Gangnam-gu has, but it still represents the second-largest number of clinics anywhere in Korea. Like Gangnam-gu, it’s common to see advertisements posted everywhere with before and after photos of Koreans that have undergone plastic surgery procedures in the local clinics.


Busan is the second-largest city in South Korea. It’s located at the far southern tip of the peninsula. It has 3.5 million inhabitants. The city is a popular destination for tourists of all kinds, and it’s home to many clinics that offer plastic surgery to both Koreans and medical tourists.


Incheon is another large city with 2.8 million citizens located just west of the capital, Seoul. Incheon is called South Korea’s English City because of the success of a program to make English language the second language of the city. The city and its large population of plastic surgeons hope that the ease of communicating in English will draw medical tourists from the United States and Northern Europe to their city.


Daegu is a city that has been rapidly growing in recent years. It’s known as the “Apple City” because it houses many technologies and fashion industries, which attract people from all over Korea to this area for work or leisure activities such as shopping at one of its popular theme parks like Everland children’s amusement park located within its borders!

Recently Daegus beauty industry leaders have started trying their hands with plastic surgery clinics-looking forward not only domestically but also internationally since there are no laws regulating if/how much someone can earn until they finish school so long term plans would be best suited here where opportunities abounded even for those who were only willing to work hard for a little bit.

Pre-operative Preparations

No rundown of plastic surgery in Korea info would be complete without a list of preparations you should make if you’re traveling to any of Korea’s cosmetic surgery centers. In the recent past, plastic surgery was rare and expensive, and most people couldn’t take advantage of procedures to change their appearance. Now almost anyone can afford to look their best to boost their confidence and feel younger by undergoing plastic surgery procedures. With today’s modern techniques, many procedures are quick and easy, and patients need not worry so much about complications or long recovery times.

How To Dress

To make your procedure and your recovery as comfortable as possible, Korea’s plastic surgeons recommend that you wear large, loose shirts with buttons, baggy pants or a long skirt, and bring along a hat and sunglasses. It’s best to avoid any tight-fitting clothing, including undergarments, in order to rest as comfortably as possible after your operation.

What To Eat

If your operation will require general anesthesia, you should avoid eating anything for eight or more hours before the procedure, while for local anesthesia, a four-hour fast will be sufficient. If you’re having a breast augmentation, carefully shaving the armpits will aid in avoiding infections. It’s never advised to operate an automobile after an operation, so transportation back to your home or hotel should be arranged beforehand. Many clinics offer transportation as part of their service.

Consult Your Regular Physician First

Patients with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, thyroid problems, and hypertension should consult with their private physician before undergoing any plastic surgery procedures. You’ll be required to stop taking regular medications like birth control pills, aspirin, and hormone replacement pills for up to two weeks before your procedure.

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