Korean Plastic Surgery: In-Depth Guide for Patients

JK Plastic Surgery Center

Medically reviewed by
Fahad Mawlood

Published 30.04.2021

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only, is not a guide to action and should not be construed as medical advice or treatment recommendations by bookimed.com. All decisions about the choice of treatment methods and medical care should be made only by a specialized doctor after studying the patient’s medical case.
Plastic surgery in South Korea is thought-out in the ranks of the most progressive specialities of medicine.This country leads the world in terms of the amount of cosmetic surgeries done per capita. Every year, on average, 20 plastic surgery procedures are conducted per 1,000 people in this region. At least once in their lives, about 20% of local women have used the services of plastic surgeons. As a result, Korean plastic surgery is still evolving: novel methods of improving physique appear and traditional techniques are being improved. Local specialists have vast experience in performing plastic surgeries. Every year a broad range of foreigners come to South Korea to take advantage of the aesthetic medicine in this country 800,000 multinational patients come to the country to change their appearance yearly.

What Makes Korean Cosmetic Surgery One of the Best in the World?

According to official reports, at least one cosmetic surgery has been performed on every fifth woman in Korea. As a result, the local physicians have a wide range of expertise, provide excellent outcomes, and create innovative, unique approaches that make plastic surgery less painful and recovery time shorter. The high-level qualifications of Korean doctors are recognised around the world. The Republic of Korea is one of the top ten countries for medical tourism, thanks to its advanced cosmetic surgery. Korean clinics conduct more than 1 million plastic surgery operations per year — the largest index over the globe.

What are the Benefits of Getting Cosmetic Surgery in a South Korean Clinic?

  • High-quality. Because of the best possible care, more than 800,000 people prefer Korean plastic surgery each year. Korean plastic surgery clinics are regulated and approved by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, as well as authoritative foreign organizations such as JCI, which ensure that the surgeries are safe.
  • Great doctors’ experience. South Korea is the major hub for plastic surgery education throughout the world. Experts from Europe and the United States come here for advanced training and expertise.
  • Plastic surgery costs here are 30-40% fewer than in Europe, the United States, Japan, or Singapore.
  • Innovative technologies — the local doctors use state-of-the-art devices produced by the outstanding Korean hightech companies as Samsung, Hyundai, LG.
  • Plastic surgery in Korea is relatively painless. Local doctors use laser and endoscopic tools to reduce the amount of time spent recovering after surgery. For example, some operations that are considered medium-risk in Europe are low-risk in Korea.
  • Confidentiality — 100% of universal patients do not want to advertise the fact of plastic surgery. This is one of the best aspects of Korean facilities. It is known that customers come to the country to fix the mistakes of plastic surgeons from other states.
  • The uniqueness of each patient is the primary focus of plastic surgeons across the state. That’s why most Korean plastic surgeries aim to preserve the natural shapes of the face and body as much as possible.
  • There are many specialized aesthetic medical centers in the Republic of Korea. There are 600 such clinics in Seoul alone. So patients can choose one that meets their preferences, possibilities, and requirements.

Korean Plastic Surgery Techniques That are Commonly Used

Facial Surgery

  • Facelift is a plastic surgery aimed at eliminating aesthetic defects associated with weakening of the muscles of the face and neck. During a facelift, Korean plastic surgeons help dispose of wrinkles, age spots and other imperfections that the patient wants to get rid of.
  • Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery helps eliminate the problem of drooping eyelids or bags under the eyes, making you look younger and more attractive.
  • Ear correction (otoplasty) is a cosmetic surgery that is conducted to correct the ear size, constricted/lop/cup ears and other aesthetic defects.
  • Nose surgery or rhinoplasty is one of the most trendy facial plastic operations. Korean doctors change the nose size, improve snub nose, correct crooked nasal septum, etc.

Breast Surgery

  • Breast augmentation or boob job in South Korea is obtainable of two types — with and without implants. Non-implant surgery is carried out with the help of lipofilling when fat cells taken from other areas of the body (buttocks, thighs, abdomen) are transferred to the breast.
  • Breast reduction is an operation to reduce the size of a breast. In some cases, such an intervention may be indicated for medical reasons since too large breasts puts a lot of stress on the spine.

Body Correction Surgery

  • Liposuction is among the most demanded surgical intervention for persons suffering from excess body fat. It is noteworthy that lipo is also performed on patients with normal weight, but with excessive fatty deposits in a certain area, for example, the buttocks or sides. This is a very effective technique that allows permanently disposing of excess fat in problem areas and emphasizing the natural contours of your body.
  • Body skin tightening (body lift)  is an operation that helps get rid of sagging, loose skin and wrinkles on the body, improve body contour and tighten skin.
  • Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) — eliminating the hanging skin on the abdomen. This elective surgery is popular with women after childbirth and those having lost a substantial amount of kilograms.
Some other aesthetic treatments that are considered too specific in other places are common in South Korea. Among them are hand rejuvenation, vaginoplasty and many others.

How Much Does Plastic Surgery in South Korea Cost?

In an international contrast, beauty surgery in Korea is not simple and cheap, although it is much cheaper than in European regions, the United States, Japan, and Singapore. By choosing this country for the correction of appearance, you can save up to 40%. People choose this country not only because of the reasonable price compared to Europe and America, but also on account of the highest skill set of plastic surgeons and the innovative equipment. It is hard to address the issue of how much plastic surgery costs in South Korea since each procedure is unique. Only a plastic surgeon can give an adequate answer to this inquiry after examination. The cost is determined by the following factors, which vary due to the complexity and method:
  • the area where the intervention is planned
  • doctors’ background and authority
  • the type of anesthesia
  • the type of equipment for monitoring the progress of cosmetic surgery
  • the type of surgical method
  • the number of additional services (drugs, consumables, implants, structures, etc.)
  • rehabilitation program.

The price of plastic surgery in South Korea according to the body area operated:

ProcedureSouth Korea United States United Kingdom Spain Italy
Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) $1,000 - $6,600 starting $3,282 $2,800 - $4,400 $2,250 - $11,100 $7,250 - $10,900
Rhinoplasty (nose job) $790 - $8,500 starting $5,409 $4,700 - $8,600 $3,900 - $11,500 starting $13,300
Facelift surgery $1,800 - $14,000 $7,700 - $11,780 $5,500 - $13,900 $5,550 - $12,900 starting $4,400
Hair transplant $3,900 - $8,000 $4,000 - $15,000 $4,150 - $20,770 $5,500 - $11,000 $4,900 - $9,700
Liposuction $2,000 - $24,500 $4,000 - $20,000 $2,800 - $8,300 $2,800 - $14,100 starting $9,800
Breast augmentation (boob job) $3,300 - $20,700 $5,000 - $12,000 $4,850 - $11,000 $3,200 - $15,800 starting $12,900
Otoplasty (ear surgery) $2,450 - $5,200 $3,000 - $5,000 $3,500 - $4,850 $4,150 - $10,700 starting $2,480
All prices are presented by the Bookimed partners. They are approximate and may vary depending on the decision of the clinic representatives. Prices are not discounted. Discounts special offers are usually limited in time, so you need to check their availability separately or find out in the Bookimed specialized directory.

Why is Plastic Surgery Less Expensive in South Korea than in Different Countries?

According to internal Bookimed statistics, medical tourists spend about 3 times less money without quality loss when choosing the services of Korean plastic surgery clinics in comparison with their European and American competitors. This is due to a variety of factors:
  • Korean clinics use innovative technologies from national manufacturers Samsung, LG, Hyundai. It allows significant savings on currency correlation and equipment transportation.
  • The expenses for aesthetic procedures in the Republic of Korea is controlled by the regional Ministry of Health and Welfare in agreement with the median income of the country’s residents.
  • Due to the tremendous flow of health tourists and the increased interest in plastic surgery, Korean aesthetic facilities compete, decrease prices, and offer packages to engage new clients.

Packages & Promotions

South Korean clinics of plastic & cosmetic surgery commonly quote the expense for the operation only. However, it would be best if you still calculated the expenditures for transfer, accommodation, and rehabilitation.

As part of the fight against competitors and appealing to more patients, Korean clinics offer so-called packages. What is it? A plastic surgery package is a unique proposition that covers surgery and some additional services at the same price.

A package in this Asian country usually includes:

  • the surgery itself
  • airport-clinic-airport transfer
  • pre-and post-surgery care
  • plastic surgeon’s consultation
  • accommodation at a reduced price.

Usually, packages are limited in time. Therefore, when booking a clinic, check their availability.

Cost

Korean Plastic Surgery Costs, Prices and Package

Check out the best prices and packages for plastic surgery in South Korea. Find out the cost-effective offers and compare pricing in other countries.

Photo Survey Before & After Plastic Surgery in South Korea

Finding a good clinic and a cost-effective procedure is only half of the way to change your outward form. Finding the appropriate surgeon is equally crucial. The desired outcome of plastic surgery can be predicated upon the accomplishments of the aesthetic specialist. When selecting a plastic surgeon, keep your eye out for his/her portfolio — before/after images of persons who have already undergone plastic surgery with this expert. The number of such photographs indicates that the expert has sufficient expertise and qualifications. View before & after photographs only on trusted sources, where pictures of only real patients are posted.
Before&After

Korean Plastic Surgery Before and After Photos

Before and after liposuction
Results of anti-aging therapy

Reviews on Plastic Surgery in South Korea

Patient opinion is also relevant when selecting a surgeon and clinic for plastic surgery in South Korea. In the comments, people discuss their experiences, the clinic’s service, the behavior of the medical team and the surgeon, and the nuances they discovered.

Read reviews only on trusted, authoritative sources, where only real patients share their experiences. You may read more than 100 validated patient reviews on the Bookimed website. It will be useful in gaining a comprehensive understanding of cosmetic surgery in the Republic of Korea and making the best decision possible.

Reviews

Korean Plastic Surgery Reviews

Anonymous
The patient underwent facial plastic surgery in JK Plastic Surgery Center
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I chose to have the surgery because of result that I saw with the advertisement. My experience was pleasant and I’ve seen gradual result. I love my new chin. Some friends did not notice and some said I looked a little different. Personnel, surgeons, nurses are amazing and very professional, they all made me feel very comfortable.
Darya Eduardovna
The patient was treated of ptosis in Severance Hospital
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The high level and quality of medicine in the clinic Severence city of Korea. The clinic is huge, everything is beautiful, clean. Our doctor really liked, quickly and easily found a common language with her and came to a single solution to our problem. Thanks to the Bookimed website for the organization and a special thanks to the coordinator who quickly responded! We will go with you and advise others !!!
Vladimir
The patient underwent rhinoplasty in Banobagi Clinic
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Everything was very professional ! The doctors were very honest and caring they really care about what isn’t the best for you!
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How would You Find the Best Plastic Surgery Clinic in South Korea?

The Korean plastic surgery facility that provides qualitative services has several essential features:
  • The facility must have all permits: a license for the provision of medical services, certification (from national organizations such as the Ministry of Health and transnational organizations such as JCI).
  • Medical personnel are obliged to anticipate any medical situation resuscitation equipment is required. It’s okay if the clinic has a whole intensive therapy unit. In some cases, the plastic surgery clinic collaborates with cross-disciplinary hospitals (where the latest intensive care unit and appropriate staff are obtainable). It guarantees the patient receives maximum protection and safety.
  • Full preparation for cosmetic surgery should be carried out — the day before the therapist’s examination is required. Even tests are not an assurance that a person does not have contraindications to plastic surgery.
  • There should be a fully equipped rehabilitation centre. Many surgeries are conducted under general anesthesia. Often the customer needs to spend several days in the clinic: comfortable wards and round-the-clock care speed up the recovery period.
  • It is quite tricky for yourself to cope with all the nuances. And getting to South Korea to find out the level of the clinic’s services is expensive enough. It is more advantageous to use special services for the selection of clinics. On the Bookimed website, there are about 30 Korean clinics, each of which provides high-grade treatment and has a strong reputation among universal patients.
Clinics

Best Korean Plastic Clinics

JK Plastic Surgery Center
4.9
Republic of Korea, Seoul
JK Plastic Surgery Center
Severance Hospital
4.6
Republic of Korea, Seoul
Severance Hospital
Banobagi Clinic
4
Republic of Korea, Seoul
Banobagi Clinic

Who is the Most Excellent Plastic Specialist in South Korea?

Choosing the appropriate doctor is essential for achieving the optimal results, avoiding side effects, and preventing long term complications after cosmetic surgery.

Follow these recommendations to select the appropriate surgeon:

  • Doctor’s experience. Pick up on the number of operations performed, doctor’s education, and the longevity of the practical period.
  • Reviews and photographs. Check patient reviews about the plastic specialist. Before/after pictures of persons who have undergone the corrective operation also prove the doctor’s capability and possible outcomes you’ll be able get.

Many Korean doctors meet these criteria. Discover the most excellent one in your particular situation in the Bookimed specialized catalog.

Doctors

Best Korean Plastic Surgeons

Joo Kwon
Joo Kwon
Plastic surgeon, Facial plastic surgeon
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Dr. Kwon is the founder of JK Plastic Surgery Centre, one of South Korea's finest plastic surgery clinics. The surgeon has over 30 years of practice and is a representative of numerous decorative surgery communities.
Kwon Soon-Hong
Kwon Soon-Hong
Plastic surgeon, Specialist in body contouring and breast surgery
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Is a cosmetic surgeon with Board Certification. The doctor has about 20 years of practice and is widely recognized as a Korean plastic surgery expert in breast surgery, abdominoplasty, and liposuction, lifting procedures.
Bae Joon Sung
Bae Joon Sung
Plastic surgeon
Read More
A member of 9 authoritative plastic surgery associations and societies. The doctor has 20 years of experience. Dr. Bae Joon Sung is a doctor of the highest category expert in the field of lipo, tummy tuck, and body lifting operations. In 2018, Dr. Safiye Kurt received the Bookimed Award as the Best hair transplant specialis ...
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The Cost of Plastic Surgery and Consultations in South Korea

The cost of a consultation with a plastic surgeon in the Republic of Korea depends on the service record and skill set of the doctor. Therefore, the price of a consultation will vary between different doctors. The online consultation is several times cheaper than the offline one. In South Korea, the cost of a consultation with a plastic surgeon and intervention price is 40% less than in Europe and the United States. The most famous procedures performed by Korean practitioners, according to Bookimed internal statistics, are:
  • Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) — $1,000 – $6,600
  • Rhinoplasty (nose job) — $800 – $8,500
  • Facelift surgery — $1,800 – $14,000
  • Hair transplant — $3,900 – $8,000
  • Liposuction — $2,000 – $24,500
  • Breast augmentation — $3,300 – $20,700
  • Otoplasty (ear surgery) — $2,450 – $5,200.

Summary

About 20 million cosmetic therapies are carried out annually, with about a million of them conducted in South Korea. Due to the great demand for plastics, Korean practitioners have a wealth of expertise that affects the achievement of the desired outcomes and the avoidance of complications after beauty surgeries. That is why the choice of a doctor plays such an important part in the success of your cosmetic surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Brazil, Japan, Italy, and Mexico are the overwhelming intercontinental destinations for corrective procedures adjusting to ISAPS (American community of plastic surgeons). In spite of the fact that South Korea isn’t in the ranks of the best five states for cosmetic operations, Seoul has long been acknowledged as the world’s plastic surgery principal city. Likewise, the Republic is the universal pioneer in terms of the amount of plastic surgeries per individual. The regional plastic specialists have vast experience, utilize state-of-the-art technologies, create and use new techniques to cut down complications after the operation, and speed up the rehab time. This is often why South Korea is one of the preeminent nations for plastic surgery. 

The answer to this question is very subjective since each person selects the best surgeon according to different criteria — experience, price, before/after photos, etc. But like any other country, Korea has top-notch plastic surgeons. Among them Dr. Joo Kwon, Dr. Kwon Soon-Hong, and Dr. Bae Joon Sung.

South Korea is a major centre for cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine around the planet. Almost all Korean actors have visited a plastic surgeon for the reason that it is just so ordinary as visiting the dentist regularly. Korean celebrities who have had plastic surgery are Lee Jong-suk, Lim Soo-hyang, Park Min-young, Lee Joon-gi, Kim Hyun-joong and many others.

Citations

  1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2019). Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2019/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2019.pdf
  2. Bookimed (2019). Medical tourism to South Korea. https://en.bookimed.com/article/medical-tourism-to-south-korea/
  3. Sayah Institute. Extreme Plastic Surgery Causing Confusion at Airport Security in Asia. https://www.drsayah.com/blog/extreme-plastic-surgery-causing-confusion-at-airport-security-in-asia/
  4. Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors (2020). Do you love your nose? — Complete survey data. https://www.cosmeticsurgerysolicitors.co.uk/our-services/rhinoplasty-nose-reshaping/resources/do-you-love-your-nose-complete-survey-data