What are the popular cosmetic and plastic procedures in South Korea?
Over the last few years, South Korea has emerged as a global leader in the market for aesthetic surgeries. With a quick search and a click, patients are introduced to thousands of advertisements and before & after pictures.
The results mostly surprise patients and are attractive enough for them to pack their bags and head off to South Korea. Some of the most sought after procedures by domestic and international patients include:
1. Double eyelid surgery
- Double eyelid surgery, also known as East Asian blepharoplasty, tops the list of plastic and cosmetic surgeries performed in South Korea. To quote the numbers, 1 in every five individuals in South Korea have undergone double eyelid surgery.
- The surgery is performed under local anesthesia or light sedation, aiming to create an extra skin fold above the eyes to make them appear larger. Sometimes, it is also suggested to the patient to improve their line of vision or treat eyelid ptosis.
- The procedure involves making an incision above the eyelid, followed by the removal of extra fat and skin. The lid is sutured back to the muscles and the connective tissue to aid proper eyelid movement. The entire surgery takes up to 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the patient’s condition.
Recovery time: 2 to 3 weeks
Stay in the country: 10 to 14 days
- Rhinoplasty, widely known as nose job surgery, is a procedure to reshape or repair the nose. It can be performed for aesthetic as well as medical reasons.
- Rhinoplasty is the second-most performed cosmetic surgery in South Korea. According to Korean beauty standards, the nose should be thin with a sharp and elevated tip. Since most of the population lacks this particular feature, rhinoplasty becomes a preferred option.
- Various congenital abnormalities and injuries can also be treated through this surgery. Septoplasty is a surgical technique that corrects the shape of the cartilage or the deviated septum to alleviate breathing difficulty.
Recovery time: 2-4 weeks
Stay in South Korea: 10-14 days
3. Hair transplant
- With a 98% success rate, Hair transplant in South Korea is a great option to treat hair loss. The basic procedure follows the transfer of hair grafts from the healthy donor site to the recipient area.
- There are two popular hair restoration methods available in South Korea, namely FUE and Robotic FUE. The Follicular unit extraction method requires a hair transplant surgeon to detect and select healthy hair follicles from the donor site in the scalp or other areas around the jawline. Then, these grafts are sorted and implanted into the recipient area by making small incisions using a specialized micro-needling tool.
- The Robotic FUE method is an automated process and uses a clever combination of hardware and software programs to provide unparalleled precision and accuracy in hair transplant surgery.
Recovery time: 2-4 weeks
Stay in South Korea: 2-3 days
- A facelift is a commonly performed procedure in South Korea that helps repair loose, wrinkled, and drooping skin. The plastic surgeon lifts and tightens the facial tissue by removing excess skin around the face.
- Facelift surgeries are usually performed in combination with neck, eye, or forehead lifts. A forehead lift is a corrective method to treat frown lines, forehead furrows, and a hooded or saggy eyelids.
- In the last few years, doctors and hospitals in South Korea have been actively promoting a less invasive technique for treating facial ptosis – Barbed suture Insertion.
- Barbed suture insertion can only be performed on patients who have enough soft-tissue volume. Careful planning and technical competence of the doctor decide the fate of this procedure.
Recovery time: 2-3 weeks
Stay in South Korea: 1 week
5. Breast Augmentation
- Breast augmentation procedures are extremely popular among Korean women. The corrective procedure can be employed to treat a variety of conditions and sometimes just to elevate an individual’s self-confidence and esteem.
- Most women opt for breast implant surgeries to increase the size of their breasts or to change the overall shape. The procedure involves surgical placement of implants beneath the skin by making incisions around the treatment area.
- Implants can be of two types – saline-filled implants or silicone-filled implants. However, the outer shell of the implant is composed of silicone.
- Breast augmentation procedures can also be done through a fat transfer for better-looking and natural results.
- Reconstruction surgeries after mastectomy or Hypomastia are also common in South Korea.
- Active breast infection
- Active malignancy
- History of autoimmune disorder
- Current radiation therapy
- Unstable medical circumstances
- Silicone sensitivity
Recovery time: 6 to 8 weeks
Stay in South Korea – 7 – 10 days
- Liposuction is an effective method to get rid of excess stubborn fat that doesn’t go away with diet or exercise. However, it is not an overall weight-loss method or treatment for obesity.
- Patients who have already lost a significant amount of fat are a good fit for the procedure.
- This surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia uses a suction technique to remove fat from specific body areas, such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms, or neck.
- The success rate of liposuction procedures in South Korea is high. To get the best results out of the liposuction procedure, a patient should choose the best plastic surgeons in South Korea.
Recovery time – 3 to 4 weeks
Stay in South Korea – 10 Days
- Tummy-tuck or Abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that contours the body area in and around the abdomen. The surgery aims to remove the excess skin and fat from the treatment area and repair the separated or weak muscles.
- The surgery is performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation as recommended by the doctor. A 4 to 8 long incision is made around the lower abdomen. The doctor lifts the abdominal skin and repairs the muscles present below. The excess skin is removed, and the remaining skin is repositioned for a flat and firm stomach.
- A patient should postpone their plans to undergo surgery if they are trying to lose weight or looking forward to pregnancy. A mini-tummy tuck will tighten the muscles around the lower abdomen. Sudden weight loss or pregnancy will damage or separate those muscles.
Recovery time: 3 – 6 weeks
Stay in South Korea: 1 week
- Dermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure used to treat acne scars, sun damage, fine lines, and uneven textured skin.
- It is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed under tumescent anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia.
- The procedure involves the use of rotating equipment that removes the outermost layer of the skin.
- The skin soon starts to heal, and the old layer is replaced with a new one. The newly formed skin is soft and even-textured.
- Dermabrasion can also treat other skin-related conditions like Lentigines, actinic keratoses, rhinophyma, and rhytides.
- Patients with an active herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection should not undergo this procedure.
Recovery time – 2 weeks
Stay in South Korea – 1-2 days