Want cosmetic surgery? South Korea is the answer! - GO.CARE Blog

Looking for Cosmetic Surgery? South Korea is the answer!

Author: Jonathan Pham
Review Date: 09/10/2019 | Last Modified: 17/10/2019
Looking for Cosmetic Surgery? South Korea is the answer!

For decades, South Korea has been known as one of the world’s hubs of plastic & cosmetic surgery. This can be seen from the proliferation of beauty clinics across the country, especially the capital of Seoul and large provinces such as Gangnam. These clinics provide a variety of high-end beauty services, ranging from simple hair transplantation to more complex procedures like rhinoplasty and liposuction.


Why people perform plastic and cosmetic surgery

With recent advances in medical technology, there has been a massive increase in the popularity of Plastic & Cosmetic surgery. People choose to get aesthetic treatment for various reasons, including:

  • Self-confidence: When it comes to outer appearance, a visible malformation may result in a massive hit to your esteem. Cosmetic surgery provides the perfect solution to this dilemma.
  • Health: Cosmetic surgery may prevent diseases and improve overall health. For instance, nasal reconstructive surgery helps prevent sinus infection and remove tumors that can cause cancer.

Cosmetic tourism in Korea

Over the years, Asia has become a popular destination for people seeking medical treatment abroad. South Korea, in particular, has been the top choice for those who wish to improve their outer appearance. Every year, the country welcomes approximately 650,000 overseas patients, who come there to perform plastic surgery. These people come from numerous places in the world, including Japan, China, Australia, Singapore, Mongolia, Vietnam, etc.

The reputation of South Korea as a plastic & cosmetic hotspot stems from a combination of hospital quality, staff qualifications, long-term reputation, and foreigner-friendly services.

You may want to read: The 5 Most Popular Medical Tourism Destinations in Asia

5 Reasons for the development of cosmetic tourism in South Korea

1. Competitive prices

One critical factor that makes South Korea an appealing choice for those seeking cosmetic surgery is the availability of high-quality, yet affordable treatment. Compared to those in developed countries like the US and Australia, aesthetic services in South Korea are 70-80% cheaper, yet the quality is not to be underestimated.

2. An extensive history of cosmetic surgery

The development of South Korea’s aesthetic industry is partly due to a long-term tradition. After graduating from college/ reaching maturity, most children are granted the privilege to perform plastic surgery as a “gift” from their parents. In addition, job applicants often resort to cosmetic treatment in order to improve the chance of getting their dream jobs. Hence, getting plastic & cosmetic surgery has become a “culture” among the local community for decades.

Nowadays, South Korea accounts for 24 percent of the plastic surgery market in the world. A study in 2009 showed that one out of every five women in Seoul had performed plastic surgery. South Korea’s beauty clinics offer a wide array of aesthetic treatments, ranging from simple hair transplantation to more complex ones like nose surgery and fat removal.

3. Clinics and hospitals that follow international standards

South Korea is known as the country with the most plastic surgery centers in the world – with more than 4,000 clinics & hospitals offering aesthetic services. Every year, these beauty centers welcome patients from China, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Mongolia, as well as other parts of the world. Most beauty clinics of South Korea have received international certifications, including the Joint Commissions International (JCI) and International Standardization Organizational (ISO).

4. Certified plastic surgeons and medical staffs

As a cosmetic tourism hub, South Korea prides in their abundance of highly qualified and experienced plastic surgeons. At leading hospitals like Seoul National Hospital and Asan Hospital, a number of surgeons are either members of the Korean Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (KSAPS) or certified by the Korean Board of Plastic Surgery.

5. Foreigner-friendly services

For international patients, aesthetic clinics and hospitals in South Korea offer various benefits, including:

  • Airport pickup & transportation services;
  • Accommodations for patients and their families;
  • Free consultation with experts;
  • Digital storage of patients’ information;
  • Individualized pre and post-operative care;
  • Ease of communication: Most medical personnel, specialist doctors, nurses, and hospital staff can communicate fluently in English. In addition, some can also speak Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Malay, etc.

Because of the above-mentioned service,s more and more overseas patients, especially those from Southeast Asian countries, have been traveling to South Korea to do plastic surgery.

Most popular cosmetic services in South Korea

South Korea’s clinics & hospitals offer a variety of aesthetic services. Some of the most common include:

  • Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery): Eyelid surgery is among the most popular cosmetic services in South Korea. The procedure involves the removal of excess fat on the eyelids, thus enhancing the overall appearance. According to the Crux List, a 2010 survey showed that more than 44,000 patients have performed eyelid surgery in South Korea. The popularity of eyelid surgery partially stems from the fact that many Koreans and Asians have small or slanted eyes.
  • Jaw reduction: Jaw reduction surgery is carried out to make one’s jaws and cheeks look thinner. As a result, it is meant for those who wish to have a V-line face shape.
  • Rhinoplasty: Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery, aims to change the nose’s appearance.
  • Hair transplantation: Hair transplants are meant for those who suffer from hair loss/ thin hair. The procedure is carried out by taking hair follicles from the head’s back, then grafted into areas affected by hair loss.
  • Chin Implantation: Most Koreans decide to place an implant on the chin to make it look pointy.
  • Breast enlargement: Generally, Korean women perform breast augmentation to make it look more attractive and have an S-line body shape.

Below are the average costs of some popular plastic & cosmetic surgery procedures:

  • Eyelid surgery: $2,000 – 4,000
  • Breast enlargement: $8,500 – 10,000
  • Breast reduction: $5,000 – 7,000
  • Nose job (rhinoplasty): $1,200 – 8,000
  • Facelift: $4,500 – 6,500
  • Liposuction (fat removal): $3,000
  • Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty): $15,000

Best aesthetic hospitals & centers in South Korea

1. JK Plastic Surgery Center

JK Plastic Surgery Center

Since its foundation in 1998, JK Plastic Surgery Center has become one of the best hospitals for international patients in Seoul. The clinic is the first officially designated medical institution for foreign patients by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Matters of Korea.

JK Plastic Surgery specializes in various aesthetic treatments, including facial & body contouring, jaw correction, stem cell-based anti-aging treatment, breast enlargement, and autologous fat transfer.

Address: 835 Nohnyeon-ro, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu

2. Hyundai Aesthetics Plastic Surgery

Hyundai Aesthetics Plastic Surgery

As one of the best beauty centers in Gangnam, Hyundai Aesthetics Plastic Surgery specializes in eye surgery, nose job, facial contouring, and anti-aging treatment. The hospital is equipped with world-class technologies and devices, including Cooltouch 2, Scarlet, Q-Switched ND YAG LASER, and Gentle Laser. In addition, the medical staff here are well-known for their expertise, academic research, and experience in treating patients from all over the world.

Address: Sooil Building, 2-15, Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu

3. View Plastic Surgery

View Plastic Surgery

Established in 2005, View Plastic Surgery clinic has long been a popular destination for international patients seeking aesthetic treatment.  The beauty center provides a wide range of plastic & cosmetic services, including breast lift, facial contouring, eye and nose surgery, liposuction, tummy tuck, hair transplantation, etc.

View Plastic Surgery prides in their world-class team of plastic specialists. For example, Dr. Jeong Jin Wook here used to be the head of the Orthopedic Department at Hyundai Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Hospital. For 20 years, he has conducted more than 12,000 surgeries for patients from all over the world. His clients include famous celebrities from Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand like Kim Cheol Jeong, Wongtawan Lin Panuprateep, etc.

Address: 107 Bongeunsa-ro, Nohnyeon Il-dong, Gangnam-gu

4. Banobagi Plastic & Aesthetic Clinic

Banoagi Plastic & Aesthetic Clinic

Since its establishment in 2000, Banobagi Plastic & Aesthetic Clinic has become a famous beauty center in Seoul, with moderns facilities and advanced equipment. Banobagi offers a wide array of cosmetic services, including eye surgery, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, face contouring, etc. Each of these treatments is presented with several options. For example, patients who wish to change their nose’s appearance can go for a basic nose lift, nose reduction, or crooked nose re-shaping.

Banobagi’s medical staff have had years of experience in cosmetic treatment. In fact, top Korean stars such as Kim See Ah, Kim Ki Ri, Sin So Yul, etc. have received aesthetic treatment here, and achieved satisfactory results.

Address: 517 Nonhyeon-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

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Click here to learn about the best aesthetic clinics & hospitals in South Korea.

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GO.CARE does not provide medical advice, diagnosis and treatment.

South Korea Cosmetic Surgery Culture: Plastic Surgery is Not Taboo. http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/beauty/cosmetic-surgery/south-koreas-cosmetic-surgery-craze-is-still-booming/news-story/2183fc1b0c4a90193104ea9031e36f1e. Accessed on May 4, 2018.

What Is The Cost of Cosmetic Surgery Abroad? https://www.placidway.com/article/2037/What-is-the-Cost-of-Cosmetic-Surgery-Abroad. Accessed on May 4, 2018.

Average Cost of Plastic Surgery in Korea. https://smartexpat.com/south-korea/seoul/forum/health-fitness-beauty/average-cost-of-plastic-surgery-in-korea-2477027. Accessed on May 4, 2018.

Top 10 Reasons for People Choosing South Korea for Plastic Surgery. https://www.placidway.com/article/1873/Top-10-Reasons-for-People-Choosing-South-Korea-for-Plastic-Surgery. Accessed on May 4, 2018.

South Korea the Mecca for Plastic Surgery. https://www.placidway.com/article/1353/South-Korea-the-Mecca-For-Plastic-Surgery. Accessed on May 4, 2018.

Why Is Plastic Surgery So Popular in South Korea?

https://www.koreaexpose.com/plastic-surgery-popular-south-korea-history/. Accessed on May 4, 2018.

Korea’s Plastic Surgery Culture. https://www.theodysseyonline.com/koreas-plastic-surgery-culture. Accessed on May 4, 2018.

9 Most Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures in Korea. https://www.koreaboo.com/lists/9-popular-plastic-surgery-procedures-korea/. Accessed on May 4, 2018.

Starting from Rp. 15 Million, This Is The Range Of Plastic Surgery Costs in Korea. https://wolipop.detik.com/read/2014/11/28/112243/2761919/234/make-from-rp-15-juta-ini-kisaran-credit-operational-plastik-di-korea. Accessed on October 11, 2018.

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