In this article I’ve listed out the most popular plastic surgery procedures in Korea and why South Korea is known as the world’s plastic surgery capital.
South Korea is the hub of plastic surgeries and it is a big business. Seoul is like a capital for medical tourism. Around 16.6 thousand foreigners visited the country for plastic or cosmetic surgery in 2020.
In 2009, international patients were allowed in the country and since then, the number has never ceased to increase.
South Korea has 2,581 plastic surgeons making it the fifth country with the most plastic surgeons. The most popular plastic surgery in Korea is—Blepharoplasty (Double Eyelid Surgery).
On a per-capita basis, Korea ranks first. The completed cosmetic procedures are 13.5 per 1000 people, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (IASPS).
I have a Korean friend who knows a lot about these surgeries, and he has helped me gain insights on the topic.
Let’s get the ball rolling!
Most Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures in Korea
As you can see in the below image, South Korea ranks fourth in cosmetic surgeries globally.
Everyone has their own frame of reference regarding the look of a nose. Even I have views on it, and it depends on the person.
Some people may like their noses to be smaller than they have, and others might want a slightly more prominent or pointy nose.
Whether you want a nose job or you are satisfied with your nose appearance depends on the beauty standards in your mind or your city/country.
Like, in America, most people get breast augmentation surgery and liposuction. While in Korea, people usually get double eyelid surgery and rhinoplasty.
The nose is one-third of your face and must be made appropriately with proper measurements to fit your facial features.
Ideally, the angle should be at 45 degrees with its tip and bridge. 135 degree to -140 degree angle between forehead and bridge for women and for men, it would be 135 degrees.
You must listen to the surgeon’s advice and suggestions and consider them because their advice for your surgery would be the best. Of course, you should tell them about your nose shape and other preferences.
The minimum price of Rhinoplasty in Korea is $2500, and the average price is $8500.
Blepharoplasty (Double-Eyelid Surgery)
This is the most popular surgery procedure in Korea, with around 1 in 5 people having it done. Koreans have a particular eye structure, and they tend to do this surgery to get double eyelids.
They believe it makes them beautiful and appealing. It is not just restricted to women; men also get this surgery done.
It is pretty seen all around the world, and 15% of all the surgeries done across the globe are Blepharoplasty. Even the former Korean president had it.
Blepharoplasty has a dark past in Korean history. War brides used to get it done to mingle with the American population, and Korean sex workers had it done to get American business people’s attention.
But Koreans now deny the fact that the surgery makes them look less Asian and claim that it is all about beauty and choices.
Okay, now you are up to speed with the background of Blepharoplasty in Korea. Now let’s get into the specifics.
The overall appearance of your face depends a lot on your eye structure and shape. The ideal size or width of an eye should be 30mm to 35mm.
The inner corners of the eye should be perpendicular to the alars of the nose.
The operation exactly does that; it reduces the fat around the eyelid area and creates a crease, making it a double-eyelid from a monolid.
In Korea, a more extensive eye is considered to be charming, so a surgery called Ptosis is also done on a vast scale. Usually, along with the Blepharoplasty.
The face looks more alluring and perfect when the skin around the eyes— above the upper eyelid and lower eyelid is not drooling and is smooth. For this purpose, other eye surgeries are done to get the desired look.
Blepharoplasty costs around $1000-$3000, less expensive than any other surgery.
Jawline Reduction/Face Contouring Surgery
The overall shape of the face always comes to the notice of people. In Korea, the V-shape jawline is considered normal and, to an extent, essential.
But not all Koreans are born with those features, and that is when they opt for the Jaw reduction or face contouring surgery.
They shave off the excessive mandible from the inside the mouth and make the square jaw into a V-shaped jaw.
Some people like to add fillers like chin or cheek fillers to get a flawless look. So, surgeries like Zygoma reduction, chin alteration, and genioplasty are common.
The average price for this surgery is $3000-$6000 roughly.
Your body is going to age as ageing is a natural and inevitable process. But in Korea, people love everything perfect, flawless, and pleasant to the eyes. Hence, anti-aging surgeries are normalised too.
Science is yet to discover natural ways to cure the ageing process, but we have plastic surgery to do the work now.
Surgeries include eyebrow lifts, facelifts, neck lifts, fat addition or removal, and others. If you do not wish to opt for surgery or are pretty young, you can do botox to help you with ageing.
Also, fillers, laser tightening, thread lifting, and stem cell therapy are non-surgical options.
The average cost for the surgery is $2000-$18000.
Breast Augmentation Surgery
Breasts are a crucial part of a woman’s body, and in Korea, women want them to be sublime too. So, they go for breast enhancement surgery. It boasts many women’s confidence, and they feel attractive.
This operation can be done by fat grafting or adding implants. Fat grafting gives quick but temporary results and will leave you mostly dissatisfied.
Implants will give you better results and stay for the long term, so it is your permanent solution.
Using the right implants is necessary because they should feel real and natural on touch and appearance. If you opt for a cheaper implant from a not-so-good company, then it will give you poor results.
The right, high-quality implants are pretty expensive but if you want the surgery, then considering them is a wise choice. You can buy from companies like Motiv and Mentor, which produce high-quality materials.
A proper surgery will give your breasts a firm, attractive, and healthy look.
The cost is around $7500-$20,000 for this surgery.
Body Shaping Surgery
Yes, this is a major surgery because they have such thin bodies! Thin arms and legs are the usual standards of beauty over there.
They get surgeries to shape their bodies, and the common ones are—liposuction, laser toning (non-surgical), and fat dissolving injections.
They get calf reduction surgeries to create a thin and flawless legline.
The average cost is $7000-$15000.
To look younger and cute, having a round forehead is desirable. Most Koreans have a flat forehead and get this forehead augmentation surgery done.
The forehead is made to look ideal through fat grafting or by adding implants. The fat grafting option is not that feasible as fats may decrease over time and become temporary.
Fat is taken from some part of the body, processed, and then grafted over the other area.
Implants last for a lifetime and are a comfortable option.
The surgery takes approximately 2 hours, and you can leave the clinic after 2-3 hours.
The average cost of the surgery is $2500-$5000.
Almost everyone desires long, thick, silky hair, and I wish that too. But not everyone has gorgeous hair naturally. In Korea, you would see people, both men, and women, with soft straight hair.
Again a beauty standard…
So, people with less hair, dull or frizzy, brittle hair, curly hair, or those suffering from hair fall go for hair transplants.
During this process, someone else’s hair is transplanted onto your scalp. The hair follicles are transplanted.
The transplant costs around- $6000-$10,000
A smile is the first impression of a person, and when it goes wrong, then everything else does.
You are trying everything to maintain the charm and health of your teeth, but what if something goes wrong in the long run?
To dodge that, people prefer capping their teeth and preserving them.
In this process, a layer is coated on the teeth, and it looks like it is the original teeth, just like our false nails. The layer is usually of porcelain or of a material something similar.
The average cost of the procedure is $1500-$5000
Final Thoughts on the Most Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures in Korea
These are the most popular plastic or cosmetic surgeries done in Korea.
I think the beauty standards over there are a little harsh, and I have seen that people over there are always presentable.
They want to look beautiful and mostly opt for western beauty standards. The skin-lightening procedure is famous too.
Maybe the rise of kpop has brought these standards, but they are lovely people to be with.