Since the beginning of COVID19, many markets have struggled, and medical tourism is no exception. Though South Korea boasts one of the most successful markets for plastic surgery, mainly plastic surgery clinics in Seoul, it has also had a drastic decline in foreign patients due to the closing of borders and quarantine restrictions implemented to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Previously, some of the most sought-after cosmetic surgeries and procedures included anti-aging, face contouring, breast surgery, and of course, rhinoplasty. Korean plastic surgery holds an international standard with competitive pricing, especially compared to the United States prices. This makes traveling to Korea for rhinoplasty an enticing idea for many. However, the global pandemic halted the plans of a large majority of people who had started taking steps towards realizing this goal. Thankfully, most recently, the Korean government has begun talking about lessening quarantine restrictions, which is a positive sign for potentially starting to open borders up again soon. Here are some guidelines for what to expect when getting rhinoplasty in South Korea if you are a preemptive planner.
Rhinoplasty, which is also often referred to as a ‘nose job,’ is altering the nose structure and shape. The main goal of any nose job is to balance all individual parts of the nose and the face. In the past years, this procedure has shifted its focus more so on augmenting parts of the nose that lacked to achieve said balance, as opposed to changing the natural anatomy of the nose and risk potential side effects later on. This surgical procedure has two different approaches: ‘open’ or ‘closed surgery.
-As stated, the main goal of this procedure has shifted to cartilage preservation and small changes to the structure of the nose. Plastic surgeons will create a small cut on the column between both nostrils, referred to as the columella. Though the scar is created exteriorly, most of the scars left behind are quite discrete if not entirely inconspicuous. This gives plastic surgeons the clearest view of your nose structure, therefore generally allowing for the most favorable results to be achieved. This method is most always used for any secondary or more nose jobs. Some steps you might expect during a successful open rhinoplasty include:
- Opening the nose
- Dorsal hump reduction
- Spreader grafts or flaps
- Nasal base stabilization
- Nasal tip contouring
- Dorsal augmentation
- Alar rim grafts
- Alar base reduction
- Taping and casting
-Plastic surgeons will create the cut inside the nose, which means all scars will be hidden. This method is mostly only available as an option to people getting their primary rhinoplasty, meaning their first. As mentioned, the focus is on the retention of as much of the original structure as possible. Some steps you may expect in this procedure include:
- Creating the cut inside the nose
- Hump removal
- Tip modification
- Turbinate reduction
- Taping and Casting
This is for anyone who has already had a primary rhinoplasty as is receiving a second or more. This sort of rhinoplasty is significantly more tedious than an initial rhinoplasty. There is always some uncertainty about what the previous surgeon did and the next steps that will need to be taken to correct them. This is also why open (external) rhinoplasty is virtually mandatory for patients with more than one surgery. This allows the surgeon to see what the previous surgeon did and what they can do to correct it.
Secondary rhinoplasty is generally only done to correct previous mistakes the plastic surgeons made structurally or aesthetically or to correct breathing problems. Typically a second nose job will focus on augmenting; therefore, grafts from the ribs or ear will probably need to be taken and used to create that structure.
This is often referred to as a liquid nose job, as it only involves fillers. The standard fillers used are Hyaluronic acid (HA) or calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHa). These are used for subtle changes in the nose without any surgery or in combination with a procedure (post-surgery is best). These have the advantage of being cost-efficient, offering minimal downtime, and being dissolvable if you do not like the results. However, there are some things to consider, such as the fact that they are not permanent, so they will require continued injections and some dangerous side effects if not performed by an experienced surgeon, such as blindness or tissue death at the injection site. If you are looking for significant reconstruction of the nose, surgery is still the best method, as too much filler to try to imitate the results of surgery can put you at a higher risk for these problems.
If you are looking for clinics or medical facilities to begin your journey with, it is highly recommended to reach out to clinics through their online consultations. These should be free and a great way to accumulate any information you might need before making any final decisions. If it is not free, that is a big red flag to stay away. It’s never too soon to start planning for a decision that may make a world of difference to you and your daily life.
Korea is commonly referred to as the plastic surgery capital of the world and has lived up to the reputation since stepping into the spotlight a few decades ago. It offers some of the most highly skilled plastic surgeons, who not only have perfected the skills necessary to perform the perfect rhinoplasty but who have even improved upon current methods. It has also created a medical tourism market that is easy to navigate, so it’s painless and minimum effort from you when you do come here.
Yes! You can expect the range of prices to sit anywhere from $3,500-$4,500 for a simple, first-time operation, which may increase up to $10,000 for more complex surgeries. This is quite favorable, considering in the USA, the starting price for a simple, first-time operation tends to be about $5,000- $10,000.