The Guide to Plastic Surgery in Seoul

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A guide for first timers coming to Seoul

South Korea is known worldwide for its distinct culture, delectable food, and first-rate technology, but did you also know that it’s the world capital of plastic surgery? With thousands of clinics located in Seoul alone, South Korea sees more than one hundred thousand foreign visitors each year for cosmetic and medical tourism.

Plastic Surgery in Korea

Almost all plastic surgery clinics in Seoul can be found in the shopping district of Gangnam. You likely know the song “Gangnam Style” by PSY, which speaks of the wealth and beauty of this iconic neighborhood. Gangnam’s promotion of an aesthetic lifestyle has played a major role in making it the plastic surgery center of Seoul. Let’s explore a few major reasons Seoul tops the list of plastic surgery destinations.
Firstly, with South Korea as the world’s capital for plastic surgery, the market has naturally become highly competitive. Such competition has led to a significant decrease in procedure costs. Each operation has a wide range of price points. Other factors that contribute to lower costs are the low costs of manufacturing medical equipment, strong exchange rates, and low operational cost for clinics.

Secondly, the technology used for plastic surgery procedures in South Korea is some of the most state-of-the-art in the world. Hospitals and clinics alike have adopted robotic technologies to ensure the safety of patients and to minimize infection rates. 3-D modeling systems help patients and surgeons more clearly understand what the final results will look like, as well as how much adjustment is required during the surgery. If you’re anxious about technology being involved in your operation, many of the doctors in Seoul are happy to perform humanized surgeries in order to account for a more personal judgment. All of this contributes to the high success rates of operations.

Lastly, patients never have to worry about their comfort. Most plastic surgery clinics offer high-class facilities and accommodation. There are over 150 nationally and internationally accredited clinics in South Korea that assure patients are met with international standards. These facilities promise a safe operation and a smooth recovery. We will see some examples of this later on through our list of recommended clinics.

Best Ways to Figure Everything Out

While many people visit South Korea for plastic surgery, figuring out which clinics to pick for a consultation, navigating language differences, and understanding the industry as a whole can be difficult. The best way to figure out what to do is to become informed. 

There are usually two different groups of people seeking for medical services in South Korea. People in the first group tend to want to look for everything on their own, including comparing clinics and tour information. The other group tends to look for someone to provide information about the whole trip, like a tour package. If you are in the second group, medical tourism concierge providers are for you.

Shin Medical

Shin Medical is one of the top medical tourism providers in South Korea. They spealize in online consultations, on-ground transportation, payment solutions, and long-term communication between patients and surgeons. Additionally, they provide their patients with pre-and-post procedure care, as well as any additional planning required for the trip.
You can simply get started with a consultation here: Shin Medical

plastic surgery clinics in seoul

Real Self


Real Self is an online healthcare marketplace for beauty treatments. They help potential patients connect with physicians, mostly in western countries, and they are a great place to read reviews about different doctors. In the past few years, Real Self has become popular with US residents. Real Self

Purse Forum

This web forum is primarily about handbags, but a sub-thread has become a flourishing community for plastic surgery discussions. Patients, clinics, and everyone else have been reading and reviewing on Purse forum for over a decade. Besides, it is not uncommon to have learned about a clinic or a doctor from someone's experience on the forum. Purse Forum​

Best Plastic Surgery Clinics in Seoul

We have put together a list of some of the best plastic surgery clinics in Seoul. Please read the following information carefully to discover which clinics best suit your unique needs.

1. ID Plastic Surgery Hospital

ID Plastic Surgery Hospital is one of the leading plastic surgery clinics in all of Korea with multiple specialized clinics located conveniently in one building. ID is highly respected for its detailed research, notable success rates, and highly trained staff. They are dedicated to using the latest equipment in medical technology as well as providing their patients with customized consultations, one-stop pre-op, and post-operative care. IP’s medical team is frequently featured in local media.

2. View Clinic 

View Clinic boasts a medical team of highly qualified surgeons (15+ years of experience). They combine dedicated patient care with the latest in medical technology for a truly VIP experience. What makes View Clinic stand out is its computer program, which allows patients to see a simulated version of their appearance post-surgery. Foreign patients are provided with a private apartment, transportation to and from the airport, as well as translation services.

3. Maxwell

Maxwell is one of the most popular hair restoration and transplant plastic surgery clinics in Seoul. It was founded by surgeon Doctor Noh Yoon-woo in 2007 and has been a leading hair clinic ever since. Over the years they have been hosting over 100k patients and are performing minimum 3 transplants a day. 

4. Minish

Minish is a leading dental clinic in Seoul which performs procedures like veneers, implants, whitening, orthodontics, prosthodontics and much more. They have been active for 16 years and have hosted many international patients, especially famous for one-day teeth whitening and straightening.

5. Lydian

Lydian is a top body contouring and liposuction clinic located in Gangnam. They focus on liposuction, Brazilian Hipup, liposculpture, fat grafting, tummy tucks and more. Lydian is also the best place to go to make a plan to maintain the results of your BBL after 10 years or longer.

Click HERE to register for a free consultation with one of these featured plastic surgery clinics.

It’s important to remember that plastic surgery should never be a rushed decision. Patients should look carefully at clinic websites, refer to online reviews and explore before-and-after photos. Also, new clinics appear consistently in Seoul, it’s beneficial to see what they have to offer.

Best Korean Plastic Surgery Procedures

With so many plastic surgery options, how can one know where to start? There are three key cosmetic procedures that top the rankings in South Korea: V-line surgery, rhinoplasty, and eye surgery.

1. V-line Surgery

What is a “V-line”? A V-line is a face shape with an angular, sharp chin and slim cheeks. Many patients with square jaws or bulbous chins are interested in this surgery, but it’s important to note that V-Line surgery often includes two operations at once. The first is jaw reduction surgery, followed by chin reduction surgery. In some cases, a patient may also opt for liposuction to achieve an overall slimmer appearance. This type of surgery is known as “contouring surgery”, which refers to all operations on the facial bones. 

v line surgery seoul

2. Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty, known popularly as a “nose job”, is not only popular in Korea but worldwide. South Korea is celebrated for its rhinoplasty procedures, as many surgeons are trained in this particular operation and provide high levels of hygiene and patient care. Rhinoplasty operations include all or some of the following: (de)construction of a nose bridge, (de)construction of a nose tip, and alar reductions. A consultation with a clinic is required to determine the final cost. For more information on rhinoplasty, read a detailed guide here.
rhinoplasty surgery seoul

3. Eye Surgery

A doe-eyed look is popular among South Korean patients, placing eye operations third on our list. One of the most common operations is love band surgery. Other operations include reducing a droopy-eyed look, double-eyelid surgery, epicanthoplasty, and lateral canthoplasty, among others.
eye surgery seoul

Plastic Surgery Prices in Seoul

Curious about the price of plastic surgery in Seoul*? Prices vary depending on the clinic, but for general reference, we’ve assembled a common price guide for popular plastic surgery treatments. Please refer to the following table carefully.

*Most clinics accept major credit cards.
Average prices for common surgeries in Seoul
Treatment Name Avg. Price
(in 1000 krw)
Double eyelid (Non-incisional) 1400
Double eyelid (Incisional) 2000
Droopy eyelid (Upper Blepharoplasty) 2500
Ptosis 2750
Lower Blepharoplasty 1550
Rhinoplasty 3750
Alar Reduction 1500
Deviated nose 7000
Nose reduction 6500
Hair transplant 8000
Facelift 12000
Jaw surgery 7000
Chin surgery 4500
Breast augmentation 11000
Breast reduction 12000
Nipple reduction 2000
Breast reconstruction 18000
Fat grafting (depending on location) 2000~15000
Vaginoplasty 5000
Botox 200~800
Laser 500~1500

Korean Plastic Surgery Before and After Pictures

collection of surgery before and after photos from South Korea

Planning Cosmetic Surgery Trip To Korea

1. Consultation
The first thing you want to do after deciding you want to come to South Korea for a plastic surgery procedure is to book an online consultation with a clinic in Seoul. This may seem daunting, especially when you don’t speak the language. Thankfully, most clinics today have English speaking staff. In addition, you can use one of the many translation services offered by Gangnam Medical Tour Center. Lastly, to avoid any confusion whatsoever, you may want to consider working with a medical tourism company. This service is guaranteed to avoid miscommunication surrounding any questions or concerns you might have. 
2. Book Procedure
Before purchasing your plane ticket, be sure to check how long the recovery time is for your specific procedure. It is highly recommended to schedule consultations and procedures in advance before making travel arrangements. This is because availability differs depending on the time of the year. Additionally, some clinics may require a deposit to reserve your date and operation type.
3. Book Flights
Once your procedure is confirmed and the deposit has been paid, book your flight tickets. Additionally make sure to check visa requirements, find more info here
4. Make travel arrangements
Booking a room near Gangnam is strongly recommended for plastic surgery visits, as its convenient location will aid in your recovery period. What’s more, Gangnam is located directly on a major subway line and is within walking distance from three more plastic surgery centers: Apgujeong, Sinsa, and Sinnonhyon.



Expert doctors, affordable procedures, conveniently located clinics, and plenty of sight-seeing opportunities make Seoul the best place in the world for plastic surgery operations. To get the most out of your trip, be sure to contact Shin Medical for expert advice and guidance.
No matter what you decide to do, you're sure to find the plastic surgery you are looking for in Seoul!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to have plastic surgery done in Korea?

Plastic surgery prices vary depending on the operation. The three most popular operations are rhinoplasty (around $4,000 USD), double-eyelid surgery (around $2,000 USD) and jaw surgery (around $7,000 USD).

Is South Korea good for plastic surgery?

South Korea is the world capital of plastic surgery. Not only are the clinics hygienic and the doctors’ trained experts in their fields, but the booming medical tourism industry guarantees the well-being of all its customers.

What is the most popular area of Seoul for getting plastic surgery?

The district of Gangnam is celebrated for its safe, friendly, and affordable plastic surgery clinics. It’s located in the heart of Seoul, making it easy to sight-see and explore before and after your operation.

*NOTE: The information in this article is meant for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any medical decisions.