Korea: Land of K-Pop, K-Dramas, and kimchi. The irony is that none of these are what attracts the majority of foreign tourists; it’s the cheap and advanced plastic surgery in Seoul.
The chances that your favorite Korean celebrity has undergone the knife are high; 20 percent of Korean women have admitted having undergone a procedure of some sort and even many men are choosing to alter their faces. In fact, it’s common knowledge that the number of plastic celebrities far outnumber the natural ones.
If you’re considering plastic surgery or simply want a consultation, we’ve compiled a guide of the best plastic surgery clinics in Seoul for foreigners. Please keep in mind that prices will vary depending on the clinic and the procedure of your choosing.
Led by Dr. Jeongho Cha, Mina Plastic Surgery has one of the highest satisfaction rates among patients in Korea. Dr. Cha has been interviewed by renowned news outlets such as NBC News and studied in both America and Korea. As stated on their website: “Our goal is to enhance your beauty utilizing the most natural, minimally-invasive, and painless techniques possible.”
The clinic takes pride in catering to every client’s unique needs and their site has a section detailing the operations they provide for men. In fact, Dr. Cha has performed operations for members of the ROK military.
Note: Mina does not provide a specialized online consultation system; instead you’ll need to fill out a contact form and a consultant will reply.
JW Plastic Surgery gives their clients specialized coordinators in 5 languages: English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, and Thai. The coordinators will work with you 1:1 and serve as your guide, from the moment you land at the airport and to the moment you depart Korea. They have online consultations and will provide a translator during your visit. Also, the majority of their surgeons earned their medical degrees from Yonsei University, which is considered to be one of the top universities in all of Asia.
One interesting procedure available at JW is known as “revision surgery” for the eyes, nose, and breasts. Essentially, revision surgery is for patients that have already undergone an operation but wish to improve upon the initial results.
Note: Be aware that constantly operating on one or multiple parts of your face can result in unwanted facial defects, which can be almost impossible to rectify and potentially damaging to your long-term health.
Banobagi is a plastic surgery hospital in the heart of Gangnam that brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘detailist’. Their philosophy is paying attention to every little detail for each one of their patients with the utmost care. The hospital has a reputation for outstanding surgery techniques, but never recommends unnecessary procedures for financial benefits, and stands firm by its principles of honesty and integrity in medical practices. Banobagi offers full English support for its patients, alongside other languages, as they have a very high volume of overseas patients.
Banobagi offers a variety of plastic surgery procedures with state-of-the-art equipment for safety that includes a cardioverter, emergency kit, central line kit and an emergency cricothyroidotomy kit. But safety isn’t the only important thing at a plastic surgery hospital: Banobagi’s surgeons are highly experienced in each type of offered procedure, and use secret know-how Banobagi methods that are the most beneficial for each surgery type.
Accredited by the World Health Organization as a leading provider of safety, The Line Clinic offers seven plastic surgery centers: Eyes and Nose Center, Face Outline Center, Lifting and Anti-aging Center, Breast Surgery Center, Body Contouring Center, Anesthesiology Center, and the Postoperative Care Center.
As stated on their website: “The Line Plastic Surgery promises not to merely rest on our laurels, but to be a top leading clinic in the field of cosmetic plastic surgery keeping in patient-oriented mind. We are constantly studying and developing.”
It’s important to note that not all of the doctors at this clinic speak fluent English. However, there’s no need to fret because every patient is provided with an English speaking translator.
The clinic has developed their own anesthesia program titled: “THELINE Safety Anesthesia”, which is designed to minimize pain while maximizing comfort. Patients can make reservations online and browse through a gallery that features celebrities the clinic has worked on. The clinic also hosts various plastic surgery workshops, seminars, and hands-on courses in order to stay true to its goal of innovation.
Located in the affluent neighborhood of Sinsa-dong, JK Plastic Surgery employs doctors who specialize in every operation imaginable, from breast enhancement to facial contouring. They even possess anti-aging procedures that utilize the latest in stem cell technology. Their website is formatted in multiple languages including English, Japanese, and Russian.The clinic has been featured on shows such as ABC News Nightline and Arirang, where audiences were given an in-depth look at one of the top plastic surgery clinics in the world. JK’s CEO, Joo Kwon, received his medical degree from The Catholic University of Korea and his staff includes six experienced surgeons.
If you’re debating undergoing surgery, you may receive a free consultation via their website.
VIP International provides its patients with modern state-of-the-art facilities and the most seasoned surgeons, who have over 20 years of experience in the field of cosmetic surgery. The clinic provides transportation to and from the airport and, when available, patients can stay at a shared studio apartment.
Unlike other clinics, most of VIP International’s patients come via referrals from former satisfied patients. Languages available at the clinic include Korean, English, Vietnamese, and Japanese. Their mission goal is to “Bring out each individual’s hidden natural beauty as well as to enhance their self-confidence.”
Wonjin employs over 40 medical specialists who each focus on a certain plastic surgery procedure. For international patients, the first step is to receive a consultation via email or phone; available languages include Chinese, English, Japanese, Thai, Mongolian, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Russian.
Wonjin offers its patients the most advanced postoperative care, which includes technologies like ultrasonic waves and miracle jet. These methods are designed to ensure a faster and painless recovery.
Out of all the clinics in Seoul, Wonjin boasts arguably the most impressive roster of celebrity patients. Superstars such as G-Dragon and Gong Seung-yeon have visited Wonjin.Available Procedures
The only plastic surgery hospital in Korea that is certified by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. ID Hospital has over 40 specialists in plastic surgery, anesthesiology, dermatology, internal medicine, and dental medicine who are highly experienced in performing different surgeries.
ID Hospital provides interpreters in 10 different languages (English, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Mongolian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Arabic, Russian, and Spanish) so that patients can have the consultation in their mother tongue and understand the surgery procedures perfectly. Online consultation in those languages is also possible prior to coming to Korea.
Virtual Plastic Surgery is available for every potential patient to show them their surgery results virtually. If you upload your photos on the Virtual Plastic Surgery Page, you can see the result in 1~2 days.
Unlike most of the clinics in this article, Item Plastic Surgery is a fairly mid-sized plastic surgery center. However, the smaller size can ensure that the care you receive is more tailored for your specific needs. Their slogan is to create miracles for those that really need it, in fact, their website states that plastic surgery isn’t for everybody. All the surgeons at Item have experience working in not only Korean university hospitals, but also in various locations abroad.
This clinic has three forms of consultation: online, video, and on-site. With the video consultation, you can speak face-to-face with an English speaking consultant, who can immediately provide a quick analysis of your needs.
Foreign patients will enjoy airport transportation and assistance in booking housing. There is also a 24-hour hotline you may call regarding any before or after surgery questions and concerns.
The ME Cosmetic Clinic is a government approved plastic surgery clinic, which is specifically designed for foreigners; every employee at this clinic will be fluent in English.
Some of the available packages will include housing for the duration of the procedure, transportation, and a tour of Seoul. However, consultations require a reservation in advance and patients must deposit 10% of the total cost beforehand. Remember, these deposits are non-refundable even if you choose not to receive surgery, but every procedure will have a fixed price and it’s relatively cheaper compared to most clinics in the Gangnam area.
Note: Replies to consultations may be delayed during weekends and holidays. The clinic starts from the third floor of the building and has four floors, with each one specializing in areas such as hair, laser treatment, and plastic surgery; the plastic surgery center is located on the sixth floor.
Breast Fat Graft
Thanks for checking out our guide to the best 10 plastic surgery clinics in Seoul for foreigners. If there’s a clinic we missed that you believe should be included, feel free to contact me with your suggestions!