(Wed, 2013-03-13 11:14) Cosmetic Surgery & Beauty
"Asia has long been a leading destination when it comes to medical tourism, and people from all around the world visit the region every year, lured by lower cost procedures and high medical standards. With strong governmental support for their medical tourism industries, Malaysia and Singapore have grown considerably in significance over the past decade or so. And while Thailand remains one of the most popular countries to visit, in recent years several unexpected players have started to emerge as viable alternatives. Today, markets including India, Japan, Korea and China are all strong contenders, but are they right for you? Melinda Earsdon spoke to leading surgeons in each of these markets, asking for their thoughts on the local landscape, the pros and cons of their country as a medical tourism destination, and how to avoid a bad experience...
Q. How would you describe Korea’s cosmetic surgery landscape?
In Korea, if you want to get into medical school you need to rank among the top one percent of students, and only one percent of these students go on to become plastic surgeons. As a result, the market is fiercely competitive and so we have to continuously study and develop new surgical methods in order to survive. Because of this we have some of the finest surgeons in the world.
There are more than 1,000 plastic surgeons here and the number of dedicated hospitals is increasing every year. Thanks to the “Korean wave”, we have also seen an increase in medical tourism and a growing number of visitors come to Korea for plastic surgery and aesthetic reasons. As a result, many plastic surgeons now work hard to grow their business overseas.
Q. Is cosmetic surgery increasing in popularity in Korea?
In Korea, plastic surgery is seen in a more positive light these days. In the past, people tended to hide the fact they’d had work done, but nowadays they no longer try to conceal it, even celebrities. The general public has started to become more aware of how plastic surgery can help restore confidence, which means the number of patients and the surgeries performed are on the rise.
Q.What are the most popular treatments and procedures patients request?
The latest trend in Korea is two-jaw surgery. Many people with a square, overdeveloped jaw want to make their face look smaller or have a slimmer chin, and I can do this by trimming the chin line. Two-jaw surgery is also popular with people who have a protruding chin and mouth, facial asymmetry, and jawbone problems, because it can reshape both the upper and lower jaw simultaneously.
However, eyelid and nose surgery are also in high demand, primarily because Asian people have smaller eyes and a flat nose, compared with Caucasians.
Q. Has Korea produced any groundbreaking new procedures?
Several procedures have been developed to make the eyes bigger, and techniques such as the non-incisional method, inner corner extension, outer corner extension and outer corner reshaping can be applied on an individual basis.
The non-incisional method can create a double eyelid literally without making any cuts, so it doesn’t leave any scars. Small eyes can be made larger by removing the Mongolian fold that covers the inner corner, while outer corner extensions can stretch the width of the eyes. Outer corner reshaping can also make the eyes look bigger by lowering the outer surface of the eyelids.
Q. What new trends do you predict we will see in Korea in the next year or so?
In Korea, people are really interested in anti-ageing, and I predict non-surgical procedures such as botox and fillers will be in high demand. Rejuvenation surgery such as wrinkle removal and facial contouring will be also popular.
Q. How would you rate Korea as a medical tourism destination?I believe Korea plays home to some of the most talented cosmetic surgeons in the world, and our skills have been developed specifically with Asian faces and body shapes in mind. As a result, it challenges even established markets such as Thailand and Singapore.
Q. What are the pros and cons of choosing Korea for your surgery?
Given the continuing surgical developments in Korea, we offer outstanding techniques and procedures at a lower cost than many other developed countries. However, visitors should make sure they spend
extra time here just in case revisions are required after surgery.
Q. What advice would you give to patients looking to visit Korea for surgery?
There are a few things to check. The hospital must be qualified and have board-certified surgeons on call, and there must be open channels of communication with your surgeon. But mostly, my advice is to
make sure you are undergoing surgery for yourself, not for somebody else or to fit into a mold.
[Wed, 2013-03-13 11:14, cosmeticsurgeryandbeauty]
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