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South Korea Hits the Top of Plastic Surgery Tables

South Korea Hits the Top of Plastic Surgery Tables

Tuesday June 19, 2012

When British magazine The Economist reported on global rates of plastic surgery on April 23, South Korea emerged as the most-cosmetically enhanced population in the world. Naturally, when the story was carried by various news outlets around Korea, it set chin implants wagging, with some netizens opening their wide, double-lidded eyes in disbelief while others lamented the demise of natural Korean beauty.

The data used in the report was from a 2010 survey by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS). While the total number of aesthetic surgical procedures carried out was highest in the US, when the data was adjusted for population size, it was revealed that for every 1000 Koreans, 16 had undergone plastic surgery of some description. However a Chosun Ilbo article commented that almost half of these procedures were non-invasive treatments such as botox and peeling.

Although plastic surgery is relatively common in South Korea, some foreign netizens have pointed out that the data presented in the Economist infographic may not give the full picture, since it does not include all procedures carried out by all surgeons (or by unlicensed practitioners), and also does not appear to have been adjusted for those patients coming into Korea from other countries, most notably China, for medical tourism. Furthermore, although most netizens assume that the majority of the recipients of this surgery are women, the data provided by the chart does not indicate the ratio of male to female patients.

Korean netizens were generally accepting of the fact that plastic surgery is a South Korean socio-cultural phenomenon, but their comments also highlight a backlash to the artificial beauty popularized by the media and picture-perfect celebrities. But what do you think? Are Koreans plastic fantastic?

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Tags: lipoplasty, peeling, blepahroplasty, South Korea, botox, rhinoplasty, plastic surgery, aesthetic surgery

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