plastic surgery in Korea Archives - Seoul Guide Medical

plastic surgery in Korea Archives - Seoul Guide Medical

Plastic Surgery in Korea 2021

By | Plastic Surgery | No Comments

The world has been on lockdown due to Coronavirus for over a year now, which means any travel plans had to be postponed. This was most unfortunate for people who were considering coming to Korea to have a medical procedure completed. Though Korea has been one of the countries that handled COVID-19 the most effectively and efficiently, it does not mean it has been able to eradicate the virus entirely. Additionally, to keep the virus under control, it has had to create many restrictive regulations such as:


  1. Keeping gatherings under four people.
  2. Establishments such as bars and restaurants all closing by 10 PM (though delivery is still available afterward).
  3. Fines for anyone caught not wearing a mask.
  4. Social distancing of 2 meters (particularly in schools, restaurants, cafes, etc.).
  5. Whenever there is a rise in cases or a local one (such as in a school), a temporary online ‘lifestyle’ is required with self-quarantine and an immediate Corona test. 
  6. Pop-up testing centers around the country, particularly in the cities, to prevent infected people from coming in contact with others and overloading the hospitals.
  7. A mandatory 2-week quarantine for anyone coming back into Korea (regardless of nationality) at home or in a government facility if visiting (paid for by yourself).


These are some of the regulations that have been instated in the past year to control and limit infection rates. Therefore, these are regulations to keep in mind if you are still planning to make the trip this year, as most incur a heavy fine if they are broken. If you are planning to come to Korea this year, as of now, some things to expect include:

  1. Temperature screening and filling out a Health Questionnaire at the airport.
  2. 2-week mandatory quarantine in your Korean home (for nationals or foreign national residents) or a government facility for short-term visitors or if a national’s home is considered ‘unfit,’ that will have to be paid for by yourself.
    1. Generally, costs about KRW 1,680,000 per person (~$1,600).
    2. Housing will be random and cannot be changed nor chosen.
    3. You will be escorted from the airport to your 14-day housing. 
  3. Must have a negative result on the COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to coming to Korea. 
  4. Re-testing for Coronavirus within three days of your arrival, during quarantine, regardless of having been tested before arriving in Korea.
    1. Visitors will be tested automatically at their quarantine facility. 
    2. Residents must go by foot to the nearest public test center. 
    3. Usage of public transportation is not allowed.
  5. Downloading an app ‘Self Diagnosis’ and updating it twice daily with any symptoms and a daily call from the KCDC.

If, for some reason, you do test positive once you are in Korea, you will be responsible for some, if not the whole, cost of expenses related to Covid-19. 

  1. Some costs:
    1. If you are visiting short-term, The Government of the Republic of Korea will cover costs related to (a) test and (b) the use of isolation facility, whereas individuals will bear costs related to (a) treatment and (b) food, among others.
    2. Long-term visitors (Alien Registration Cardholders) will have similar payments as short-term. However, due to the mandatory health coverage that long-term residents must-have, the individual cost will be decreased to about 20% of what a short-term resident would pay individually.
  2. Full costs:
    1. If you contracted the virus due to breaking quarantine or the regulations stated previously, submitting a false PCR test, etc., you would be 100% responsible for all costs.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to come to Korea insured or to be insured here prior to arrival. If, when coming to Korea, you do not comply with the quarantine guidelines, you may face up to 1 year of imprisonment or a KRW 10 million fine for violating the Quarantine Act and Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act. According to the Immigration Act, foreign nationals violating the regulations may face deportation or a ban on entry into Korea.

‘How can I be exempted from quarantine?’ may be a question you are asking yourself now. However, as of now, there are only a few options, being someone who holds an A1 (Diplomat) or an A2 (Government official) visa or a Quarantine Exemption Certificate that the Korean Embassy or Consulate-General issued prior to the entry. However, there is good news for long-term residents in Korea. Recently, the Korean government announced that if you are fully vaccinated in Korea, the quarantine regulations will be waived beginning May 5th, 2021. 

Overall, suppose you had or have been looking at Korea as an option for plastic surgery due to the quality offered here, as well as reasonable pricing. In that case, quarantine restrictions may be a factor to add to your expenses. If you can comfortably meet quarantine regulations, getting a procedure in Korea is generally painless. Companies offer packages to help combine all costs and translators, so your experience is as comfortable as possible. You will also be able to enjoy Korea as you spend a week or two in Korea for recovery purposes as most places are running as regular aside from 10 PM curfews. As Corona cases fluctuate, so do the regulations. Make sure to stay up to date on the current rules if you make the conscientious decision to visit to make your stay here as enjoyable as possible. 

getting a plastic surgery in korea as a foreigner

Getting Plastic Surgery in Korea

By | Plastic Surgery | No Comments

Plastic surgery has been on the rise and brimming on the line of a trend for some years now. Many people have had a difficult time achieving comfort and confidence in their life due to complexes they have built over the years towards their body. Some people are limited in everyday bodily functions due to some irregularity.

Plastic surgery has been a solution they have turned to help face their problems. Originally, plastic surgery carried a stigma of shame, and many feared not only criticism from others, but the surgery itself.

Nowadays, many negative stigmas have progressed towards acceptance and indifference, as many embrace the mindset of “your body, your choice.” This mindset can mainly be seen as body positivity has been a forward trend. If you have been considering addressing long-term insecurities or living a more comfortable lifestyle, this article will hopefully guide your decision-making process.


First, you may ask,

why is plastic surgery so popular in South Korea?

Korea, in particular, is a society who has ingrained in their culture that appearance is key to achieving many of life’s successes. They are very prideful of the cohesiveness the culture boasts when it comes to keeping up with their appearance. In recent studies, most Koreans, particularly women in their 20s, voted that they care about their appearance.

The mindset in this culture is very accepting of self-improvement, and they embrace that one should feel confident in their skin, if not, change it. The idea of cosmetic surgery is viewed as an investment in one’s body as opposed to a sign of vanity, as it is often misinterpreted in Western culture. There are controversial discussions as far as whether a person truly wants to change, or if it is being forced upon them. Even in Korea itself, we can see this divide, though most people here opt for surgery out of their own will.

You may hear of cases where people feel they were ‘botched’ or regretted a procedure. In most of these situations, the patients themselves did not seek the surgery but were usually pushed into it by friends, a significant other or family.

Many patients as well do not regret having plastic surgery, but often regret only one procedure if they did not receive the desired results. This information should speak volumes on the fact that plastic surgery itself is not the issue, but the mindset of the patient undergoing surgery is significant in the perception of the outcome.

Under-eye fillers have several benefits not only for those who want to improve their appearance, but also those who are not a fan of surgical procedure and are too busy to take several days off to recuperate from a procedure. Some of the benefits of this treatment are the following: 

  • It is non-invasive and requires no downtime after the procedure
  • It is painless and safe 
  • The treatment is quick and will not take too much of your time 
  • Hyaluronic acid fillers that are used natural dissolve in the body over time 
  • The doctor can easily revert the results when it is not to the liking of the patient 
  • Provides solution for dark under-eye bags 
  • Improves appearance and gets rid of fatigue looking appearance  

Why South Korea Is the Plastic Surgery Capital of the World.

South Korea has a delicate balance of having the highest competition among surgeons as well as high demand for their skills. This fact in turn has generated the best quality of plastic surgery. This competition also creates the need to have an edge in pricing, since generally, the skill here is already quite impressive. Due to the perfect mixture of low prices but high-quality treatment, people from all over the world choose to have their procedures here.

Though plastic surgery is relatively new to South Korea and began being mastered around 50 years ago since then, it has evolved in its techniques. So much so that many plastic surgeons here have become leading specialists in some of the most common procedures such as rhinoplasty, double eyelid surgery, and breast augmentation. Additionally, they are also to be recognized for the creation of some treatments, such as calf reduction. There is a multitude of other reasons on a more personal scale that you can browse through here when considering your options.

Is it worth the risk to get plastic surgery in South Korea?

Understandably, an immediate concern for someone considering plastic surgery in Korea would be the fact that many patients do not live in South Korea. This concern can bring hesitation to many patients, as most are in a fragile and sensitive situation post-surgery, both mentally and physically. Many feel assurance from merely knowing they can contact their doctor in any case of emergency or simple inquiry.

The distance can sever the security a patient may feel with their doctor. Doctors are aware of this, which is why many offer their services for extended hours or through the aid of medical guide companies such as Seoul Guide Medical. This way, they can provide after-hours consultants, so there is always someone available to help.

They also advise an appropriate amount of time to remain in the country until they feel comfortable that the procedure was a success and the healing is simply in the patient’s hands. Many surgeons also follow-up with patients anywhere from 1-3 years after surgery to assure that the procedure went accordingly.

In the case of an extreme emergency, you should go to an emergency room regardless of how far your surgeon was from your current living location. Surgeons in South Korea particularly pride themselves in low incident rates but high satisfaction rates. People here are quick to blacklist clinics that have multiple incidents or forms of false advertising

What is the best way a foreigner can get plastic surgery in South Korea?

When considering getting plastic surgery, you should make a list of 5 main priorities;

  1. The Clinic

There are quite a handful of clinics in Korea, and it can be overwhelming when faced with the choice of which clinic will suit your needs best. There are a handful of websites that can be used to narrow down the search, with your most trusted being google. Simply typing “(Clinic Name) Reviews” is an underrated but handy tool. Make sure you browse a couple of pages into google. This is to assure you have done a thorough search of all positive and negative things that could come forward about the clinic. Some other great resources are;

  • RealSelf boosts reviews of millions of plastic surgery patients.
  • PurseBlog reviews Asian plastic surgery clinics.
  • Reddit is known for its variety in content relating to sifting through
      1. The Surgeon .

    Another huge factor in your decision is the person that will be in charge of the whole process. An important tip is to try searching for your specific procedure, as mainly plastic surgeons in Korea specialize in a few treatments. It would not be the same if a surgeon that specialized in facial contouring did your breast augmentation surgery. You can again turn to google, or the popular search engine in Korea called Naver, though a lot of information will be in Korean. You can then search for “breast augmentation doctors in Korea” to try to generate as many accurate results as possible. Make sure to browse their profiles thoroughly and check for their accreditation. Don’t be afraid to check the websites of the organizations they say they are a part of to see if their name truly is on the list of members.

Extra tip;    the standard structure of names in Korea is to put the last name first. Therefore when searching for reviews in English, remember that the name may be reversed from what Western culture is accustomed to. For example, “Cha Eun Woo” and “Eun Woo Cha” could be the same person.

  1. The Consultation

This step should always be free. If a clinic is asking you to pay for the consultation fee, your alarms should be going off that this may not be a trustworthy company. Many companies offer free online consultations as well. This way, you can message all your information and pictures to get an accurate plan before you arrive in Korea, or you can do a video consultation. This step is essential for setting up the best treatment plan. This step should also relieve some of the stress that may form from traveling for your procedure.

  1. You should ask for:
  2. Procedure steps
  3. Recovery process
  4. Post-op visits
  5. Pricing/payment options (for example installment plans)
  6. Before/After pictures of their patients
  7. Accommodation

       4. Accommodation

Make sure you find accommodation as close to your clinic as possible. Regardless of your procedure, you will not be 100% of your physical condition when leaving the clinic, and proximity will be a massive factor in how comfortable this experience is. It may also be difficult for you to navigate the public transportation if you cannot read Korean. Many companies now offer transportation and accommodation packages. These packages allow for your stay to be planned for you while being at the most proximal location to the clinic. Make sure to ask for the packages offered in regards to this.

    1. Price

Pricing is the most challenging topic to address. It can vary vastly depending on what procedure you are having done and if you are having more than one procedure done. On average, a few of the most common procedure prices are listed below. For more information, you can search for previous blog postings as most include general costs.

  • Rhinoplasty ~ $2000-$6000
  • Revision Rhinoplasty ~ $6000-$12000
  • Breast augmentation ~ $6000-$14000
  • Double Eyelid Surgery ~ $1500-$3500
  • Liposuction ~ $2000 depending on treatment area

How much money do I need to get plastic surgery in South Korea?

Pricing will have quite a wide range, but to be on the safer side, keep in mind you will need to pay for the travel to Korea as well as the procedure. You will also need accommodation, which is discussed previously in this blog as far as possible options you may have. With all these considerations, for a single simple procedure, it is safe to have at least $5000 saved up before considering surgery.

Is it cheaper to get plastic surgery in Korea?

On the same note, it is worth to discuss that even though the inclusion of travel to Korea, often the prices are still lower than you may find in your home country. The quality of treatment is also a significant consideration, mainly if the prices do fall closer to each other when deciding between coming here or receiving the procedure locally. Overall, coming to Korea for plastic surgery can be overwhelming. It is also important to remember that no surgery is going to be an easy process, as a lot of effort and consideration should go into every procedure. If you have been on the fence about receiving your procedure in this country, carefully comb through this article and make sure you are ticking off all things listed. The procedures here are meticulously performed by experienced surgeons who care about your results. The competitive pricing is, of course, something to note as well, but it is always most important to recognize quality is above all when receiving cosmetic surgery.