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South Korea: The World’s Capital for Plastic Surgery

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Korean Plastic Surgery FaceI  just returned from a week in Seoul S. Korea, visiting with a manufacturer of US medical devices. This first time visit to Korea was eye opening. My pre-conceived images of Korea, probably formed by watching re-runs of MASH, were of a struggling people recovering from the ravages of Japanese occupation and the Korean Civil War. They have reversed the sufferings of the last century. Seoul is now a sophisticated metropolis, ringing with commerce and populated with meticulously dressed urbanites, rushing from offices, restaurants, karaoke bars, health clubs and university classrooms. South Korea has made an astonishing move from shanty-town poverty into a modern high rise industrialized economy in a span of 50 years. 

Of particular interest to me was the Korean attention to beauty. They dress stylishly, pay careful attention to grooming and consider looks to be an important element to success. This value allows them to be very open to plastic surgery as a means of achieving their ideals.

South Korea has the world’s highest per capita rate of cosmetic plastic surgery, according to the 2009 and 2011 statistics of the International Society of  Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. 

For Korean college graduates seeking employment, 27.4% get plastic surgery to fare better in the hyper-competitive job market. Every year 74 out of every 10,000 people undergo cosmetic surgery, a rate 1.8 times the United States. One in five women between the ages of 20 and 45 is reported to have cosmetic surgery. 

Korea is followed by Greece, Italy and the United States in the per capita rate of choosing plastic surgery. The people of Brazil and Taiwan also value and utilize plastic surgery with a high degree of frequency.

The Asian specialized procedures that are performed frequently in Korea include the double eyelid surgery to make the eyes appear larger, cheek implants to create an “apple” shape, jaw contouring to decrease the width of the face and rhinoplasty to raise the height of the nose.  Forehead shaping with fat grafts, liposuction and breast implants are also popular. 

For more information consult:

International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, www.isaps.org

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/top-plastic-surgery-countries-world_n_2590757.html

Category: Anti-aging, Beauty, Blepharoplasty, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Fat Transfer / Fat Grafting, Rhinoplasty, Skin Care

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