South Korea the next plastic surgery tourism destination?

Tom at RealSelf on 16 Nov 2008 at 3:10pm

In South Korea, the demand for plastic surgery is high. In recent years young Koreans are increasingly viewing their facial appearance as a critical path to getting the right job.

The patients crowding the waiting rooms of plastic surgeons in upmarket neighbourhoods such as Apgujeong want jobs with industrial conglomerates such as Samsung or LG. They are rushing to clinics for chieop seonghyeong or "employment cosmetics," surgical procedures designed to improve a job seeker's chance of being hired. [Source]

Beyond employment cosmetics, the big decline in the value of the South Korean Won (KRW) has led to predictions that Seoul will become a draw for medical tourists seeking plastic surgery. 

The New York Times describes that the South Korean government is building a massive medical complex called Health Care Town to "lure foreigners in need of medical care."

The Apgujeong district in Seoul is already famous for it's ubiquitous plastic surgery clinics. These clinics use aggressive advertising and promotion to get patients in the door.  For instance a clinic called the Dream Medical Group offers what they describe as pain-free surgery.  "We practice an operation causing no pain caring any minor pains in patient’s shoes. You will have your operation completed like waking up from a pleasant dream and you may feel it as if you had been to somewhere enjoying a comfortable relaxation. With conscious sedation and painless treatment after operation, we will take care of you like our family member."

Buyer beware!