plastic surgery

Plastic Surgery Phenomenon in Korea

South Korea has been popular for plastic surgery for decades. As “the capital of Plastic Surgery”, many Korea people like to get surgery to enhance their physical appearance. Usually, K-Pop idols are being offered or are being pushed by their company to get the plastic surgery with many reasons behind that. Some of them take it while some of them do not. In this article, we will check out K-Pop Idols before and after surgery transformation and also some interesting facts about plastic surgery.

Plastic Surgery Facts in Korea

plastic surgery facts

Plastic surgery in South Korea is popular among Koreans and also overseas tourists that mostly come from China, America, Russia, Japan and Mongolia. About 80% of tourist are medical tourists are there to get plastic surgery. 70% of patients are male who undergo plastic surgery with 40% of them there to visit plastic surgery clinics for consultations. Surprisingly, 30% of South Korea’s income comes from the plastic surgery industry.

Here are several other facts about plastic surgery in Korea:

  1. Plastic surgery in Korea makes people look more natural and look like an Asian beauty.
  2. Most people that have plastic surgery do so to boost their confidence.
  3. People often get plastic surgery to look like their K-Pop Idols who have had successful surgeries.
  4. Double eyelid surgery is the most popular surgery in Korea.
  5. If you ever go to Gangnam District in South Korea, most of the advertisement around the district are plastic surgery advertisements.
  6. There are around 500 clinics offering plastic surgery in Gangnam District in South Korea.
  7. Korean people like to get plastic surgery as gift more than other things.
  8. Even though South Korean plastic surgery a little more expensive than Thailand, South Korean surgery results give a more Asian look and the treatments are better.
  9. In 2015, 70% of medical tourist were Chinese tourists.

How Much Does Plastic Surgery Cost?


As “The Capital City of Plastic Surgery”, Seoul has a lot of clinics and is way cheaper than America, Singapore and other countries as well. Well known as the most popular city among medical tourist, Seoul offers many types of surgery to make patients appearances more appealing. In the table below, here is the price range for several plastic surgery treatments that clinics offer in South Korea.

SurgeriesPrice Range
Eyelid SurgeryUSD $1,000 – $6,000
Nose SurgeryUSD $2,000 – $8,000
Premium Laser Skin TherapyUSD $4,000 – $9,000
Female SurgeryUSD $ 2,500 – $9,000
Hair TransplantUSD $5,000 – $12,000
FaceliftUSD $5,500 – $12,000
Breast SurgeryUSD $6,500 – $12,000
Liposuction (Arm, Thigh, Belly)USD $4,000 – $11,000
Facial Contouring (Jaw, Chin, Cheeks)USD $5,000 – $7,000
Advanced Facial ContouringUSD $10,000 – $30,000
Entire Body MakeoverUSD $20,000 – $35,000
Entire Face MakeoverUSD $25,000 – $55,000

*note: this range is just an estimation. Prices can differ from this range.

Korean Eyelid Surgery Cost Estimation

eyelid surgery

There are many type of eye surgeries in South Korea, some of them are non-incisional double eyelid surgery, incisional double eyelid surgery, double eyelid revisions, and ptosis. The cost of Korean eyelid surgery starts from USD $1,000 to USD $6,000.

Korean Hairline Surgery

hair surgery

For hairline surgery, there are 4 types of surgery, such as male hair transplant, female hair transplant, cosmetic hair transplant and laser hair removal. The cost of Korean hairline surgery starts from USD $5,000 to $12,000.

Korean Nose Surgery Cost

nose surgery

Several nose surgeries are nasal augmentation, base reduction and rhinoplasty. The cost of Korean nose surgery starts from $2,000 to $8,000.

Before and After Comparison: K-pop Idols Plastic Surgery Results

plastic surgery 1

Some idols have revealed that they have had plastic surgery in their life. Here are several celebrities who have talked about their experience with plastic surgery.

Kwanghee ZE:A


Kwanghee revealed that he had plastic surgery to boost his confidence. His mother who recommended him to undertake surgery has since said “If you want to be celebrity, you need to have good looking face”. He has been known as an idol who has gone through many plastic surgeries in Korean history, he received surgery on his nose, eyes and forehead. From his experience, he got a chance to be model for a clinic which promoted how to choose a perfect clinic for plastic surgery.

Gong Minzy


Ex-member of 2NE1, Minzy confessed that she had gotten nose surgery in 2013 when she was still with YG Entertainment. Through her previous agency, she get her nose done to cure her rhinitis.

Kim Hyun Joong

kim hyun joong

SS501 leader, Kim Hyun Joong, admitted he had received a nose bridge. The second lead of drama “Boys Before Flower” said that he did it because when he was younger, his nose was hit with a rock. So he had surgery to raise his nose when he got his nose bridge surgery.

Min Hyo Rin

Min Hyo Rin surgery

Actress and model, Min Hyo Rin has said that she had eyelid surgery in 2012. She, who is Taeyang Bigbang’s girlfriend, also clarified that she has only gotten eyelid surgery and admitted that her nose was natural.

Kyuhyun Super Junior

Kyuhyun SJ

One of Super Junior’s main vocals, Kyuhyun, admitted that he had double eyelid surgery. He revealed this on one of the “Radio Star” episodes. He said that both of his parents and sisters had double eyelids but he did not. Kyuhyun added that he has only had that one surgery as many people believe he also had nose surgery.

Goo Hara

Goo Hara

An ex-member of KARA revealed on an episode of “Happy Together 3” that she had undergone several procedures. “I do procedures like laser or Botox little by little. I diligently went to the dermatologist and even did a lifting,” she said. Well, she has tricked us with her natural look!

K-pop Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong

chinese protest plastic surgery

Behind the beautiful advertising of plastic surgery clinics, there are many hidden truths about industry as not all surgeries go smoothly and end up how people planned.

In 2013, there were a lot of woman from China who were complaining because of failed operations, dodgy middleman and also “shadow doctors”. Taken from an article on Her World, one of the patients, Zhou Jun, 44, a Beijing native suffered from misaligned teeth after undertaking a jaw procedure. Because of that Zhou Jun has needed to wear a mask up until now. Another patient, Chen Yili, who has received a botched operation in South Korea suffered from a crooked nose, facial numbness and severe depression.

plastic surgery chen yili

Zhou Jun and Chen Yili are just 2 patient among thousands of patients from China who become the victims of unprofessional doctors and clinics that have made them suffer for the rest of their lives. Even though there are already many unsolved cases about this from several years before, the unsolved cases keep increasing each year up until now.

Every year, there are some protests in Seoul from a group of plastic surgery victims from China who are looking for justice and responsibility from the clinics. Because some of the cases were leading to crimes committed by the clinics, such as taking patients passports and belongings. The reason why they are doing that is to show the world about what will happen if surgeries go wrong and to prevent more victims to join them.


Victim do not only come from overseas, there are also many sad stories from South Korea which has been taken from an article on Reuters. In 2014, Kim Bok Soon, a Korean woman, underwent a nose surgery because she disliked her nose and was attracted to an advertisement of plastic surgery in a magazine at a hair salon. Even though her family objected, she kept getting surgery. After she had had around 15 surgeries on her face, she found out that her doctor was not a plastic surgery specialist. The effect of the surgery was that she had a broken her nose and made her face look more terrible than before. Not only that, she also suffered from depression.

Kim Bok Soon

Here are several reason why peoples plastic surgery goes wrong:

  1. People who are just attracted to an advertisement without consulting more with their families and plastic surgery doctors, may lead to false operations.
  2. Overseas tourist who haven’t done further research about the pros and cons of plastic surgery and just go through with it.
  3. Overseas tourist who can’t speak Korean fluently can have miscommunications when consulting with Korean doctors and can attract “ghost doctors”.
  4. Also, people who are just going through to the operating table without knowing the doctors background can lead them to “ghost doctors”.


plastic surgery

There are many pros and cons if you want to have plastic surgery. Until now, there are many people who compare themselves to the other appearances because of jealousy. While they are busy and hate their own beauty or handsomeness, they are forget the important of inner beauty from their heart. Well, it’s people choice actually. But, let’s not lose the real you above all else. Best wishes to all of you.