Medically reviewed by
Fahad Mawlood

Published 30.04.2021

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only, is not a guide to action and should not be construed as medical advice or treatment recommendations by bookimed.com. All decisions about the choice of treatment methods and medical care should be made only by a specialized doctor after studying the patient’s medical case.

What is the Cost of Korean Plastic Surgery? — Real Prices & Packages

Is it true that by having plastic surgery in Korea, you can save so much that it will be enough for a full-fledged vacation? Read about the experience of more than 800,000 international patients and calculate for yourself.

Why do International Patients Choose South Korea for Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery in South Korea is a rapidly developing area in medicine. Local doctors perform over 1 mln plastic operations each year. There are many foreigners among the patients; most of them are from China and the United States. Also, many patients are from Japan, Russia, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Patients from other countries turn to Korean plastic surgeons for the following reasons:
  • Korea has high standards of medical care controlled by the local Ministry of Health and Welfare and authoritative international organizations as JCI (Joint Commission International).
  • Plastic surgery clinics in Korea are equipped with advanced medical technology. Most of the equipment is produced in South Korea by leading manufacturers like Hyundai, Samsung, LG.
  • Korea has one of the best aesthetic surgery schools in the world. Many foreigners come to study at universities in South Korea and learn from the local doctors’ invaluable experience.
  • Korean clinics have a loyal pricing policy. Most medical services, including aesthetic surgery, are up to 40% cheaper than in the United States or some European countries.

How Much Does Plastic Surgery in South Korea Cost?

The cost of plastic surgery in South Korea depends on the operation type but anyway it is 30-40% lower than in the US or Europe. The approximate price for mammoplasty in Korean clinics starts from $2,900; blepharoplasty is from $1,000; tummy tuck is from $3,550. What is the final price of cosmetic procedures in the country? The exact answer you will get only after a doctor’s examination is when it is clear what intervention volume is needed. However, the prices for aesthetic operations in the Republic of Korea are significantly lower than in some other countries. You can find out prices for cosmetic procedures in the Bookimed plastic surgery directory.

How Much can You Save Getting Plastic Surgery in South Korea vs. Other Countries?

One of the reasons why intercontinental patients choose plastic surgery in the country is the price. The Korean plastic surgery cost is much lower than in many other countries, while the level of medicine and service is very high. The savings mostly depend on the procedure you choose and the clinic brand name. In some cases, you can save up to 40% here compared to other countries. The table shows the most popular cosmetic procedures, their cost in South Korea and other countries. Each clinic has its own pricing policy, so the prices below are for reference only.
ProcedureSouth Korea United States United Kingdom Spain Italy
Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) $1,000 - $6,600 starting $3,282 $2,800 - $4,400 $2,250 - $11,100 $7,250 - $10,900
Rhinoplasty (nose job) $790 - $8,500 starting $5,409 $4,700 - $8,600 $3,900 - $11,500 starting $13,300
Facelift surgery $1,800 - $14,000 $7,700 - $11,780 $5,500 - $13,900 $5,550 - $12,900 starting $4,400
Hair transplant $3,900 - $8,000 $4,000 - $15,000 $4,150 - $20,770 $5,500 - $11,000 $4,900 - $9,700
Liposuction $2,000 - $24,500 $4,000 - $20,000 $2,800 - $8,300 $2,800 - $14,100 starting $9,800
Breast augmentation (boob job) $3,300 - $20,700 $5,000 - $12,000 $4,850 - $11,000 $3,200 - $15,800 starting $12,900
Otoplasty (ear surgery) $2,450 - $5,200 $3,000 - $5,000 $3,500 - $4,850 $4,150 - $10,700 starting $2,480
The difference in price between the countries does not affect the quality of medical services provided by a highly qualified doctor and a certified medical center. Prices are presented according to Bookimed statistics. You can compare prices in South Korea and other countries by clinics in a specialized directory where the best plastic surgery clinics are collected.

What Does the Cost of Plastic Surgery in South Korea Depend On?

The pricing issue is exceptionally relevant for international patients since there are no financial opportunities to solve their aesthetic problems, and insurance does not cover plastic surgery. That’s why choosing a country offering cost-effective plastic surgery as South Korea is the only way out of the situation. 

The cost of plastic surgery in Korea depends on:

  • the type and complexity of the surgery
  • the qualifications and authority of the plastic surgeon
  • preparatory step — various diagnostics and examinations
  • the number of additional services needed (drugs, consumables, implants, structures, etc.)
  • type of surgical technique (use of innovative technology or classical method)
  • type of anesthesia (local, general anesthesia).

The cost of the rehabilitation in the clinic is calculated separately.

Packages & Promotions

When calculating the cost of the plastic operation in South Korea, keep in mind that you will also have to pay for the examination, in-hospital stay, and recovery. 

However, the large influx of medical tourists and the great demand for plastic surgery have led to significant competition between clinics. Most Korean clinics offer promotional prices for cosmetic procedures or, even more often, package prices to attract patients. So you can always find a medical center that allows you to save money without risking beauty and health.

A plastic surgery package in South Korea usually includes:

  • the surgery itself
  • transfer from/to airport
  • pre- and postoperative care
  • consultation with a plastic surgeon
  • accommodation at a reduced price.

For the same price, you get not only the procedure but also some necessary additional services. Usually, plastic surgery packages in Korea are limited in time. Therefore, when booking a clinic, do not forget to clarify the availability of discounts and packages.

Accommodation

In most cases, plastic surgery is a type of outpatient treatment. It means that hospitalization after surgery is not necessary, and the patient can return home.

The first 24 hours after the operation are the most difficult — during this period, complications associated with anesthesia and heavy bleeding are most possible. During this period, you can stay in the clinic.

In some days after the procedure, follow-ups are needed. Therefore, book accommodation near the medical center. It can be a hotel room or a rented apartment. Besides, living near the clinic is also beneficial and helps save time and money getting to the hospital.

A rented apartment is usually cheaper. But Korean clinics often provide discounts on accommodation in neighboring hotels, and it may be even less expensive. So check the availability of such a service before booking accommodation.

The number of days of stay depends on the type and complexity of the plastic surgery. When consulting a surgeon, ask how long you need to stay in the country. Knowing the exact number of days you need to stay in South Korea will be easier to choose the most profitable accommodation option.

Aftercare Services

What postoperative care will you need?

Depending on the operation’s complexity, some patients need help with dressing, eating, and performing hygiene procedures for at least a few days after the process. Find out if the medical staff will provide you with such assistance in the chosen clinic and for how long.

How can the moving affect the postoperative period?

Even without any surgery, sitting for a long time in an airplane or car increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the veins of the legs) and pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the vessels of the lungs). After surgery, this risk increases because it will be difficult for you to stand. Most likely, you will have to take a specific position to avoid pressure on the postoperative area. Ask how long after the operation you should stay in the county and follow your surgeon’s advice.

What are the restrictions after the surgery?

The usual vacation activities like swimming, sunbathing, and drinking alcohol are not recommended after plastic surgery. Lifting heavy suitcases, long walks or standing on your feet also often accompany holidays abroad. It would be best if you avoided these after the operation.

How Long Does Recovery After Plastic Surgery in South Korea Take?

On average, recovery after plastic surgery takes from 10 days to a month, depending on the patient’s condition and surgery type. Various procedures are prescribed at different tissue healing stages and scar formation to help speed up the process. Cosmetological rehabilitation necessarily includes individually selected hardware and injection techniques. For each patient, the plastic surgeon develops an individual treatment plan depending on the patient’s request. Therefore, the rehabilitation time for each patient will be different. You can check the exact duration of rehabilitation with your surgeon during a consultation.

Payment Options

Having plastic surgery in South Korea means full prepayment for all services of the chosen clinic — these are the rules for working with foreign patients in most countries. Korean clinics provide clients with the opportunity to choose the most convenient form of payment:
  • in cash directly at the clinic
  • by credit card
  • bank transaction.
Please note that you only pay for the plastic surgery program in a specific Korean clinic. Bookimed travel arrangements are free for every patient.

Beauty Tours

Hallyu or Korean wave is a fashion for everything Korean, especially for Korean show business sweeping Asia and Europe. How to look as brilliant as Korean actresses? To help tourists figure it out, the Seoul government suggests taking one of the Seoul Beauty Tours. A significant portion of these tours are devoted to reviewing the possibilities of Korean plastic surgery.

Korean Celebrities Who Changed Their Appearance

Lee Da-hae

The South Korean actress is famous for her roles as a simpleton in the TV series My Girlfriend, Green Rose, and the Slave Hunters. The Korean woman openly admitted that she had plastic surgery. The actress explained this with a tendency to obesity.

Roh Moo-hyun

The former South Korean president made a lot of noise when he released an official statement that he changed the eyes’ shape.

Park Min-young

The South Korean star of the series Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, and Healer at a very young age sawed off a significant part of her chin. Now, as they say in Korea, she has the correct V-shape chin. The actress also narrowed her nose and made a double eyelid.

Summary

South Korea is one of the leading countries in the plastic surgery segment. More than a million cosmetic surgeries are performed in the country every year and this number continues to grow. Affordable price without loss in quality is one of the main reasons for such a high demand. Korean plastic surgeons have vast experience, use innovative technologies, develop new approaches but the prices of plastic surgery here are 30-40% lower than in the United States or some European countries. Moreover, Korean cosmetic clinics help save even more money by providing their patients with hot offers, beauty tours, and plastic surgery packages.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The usage of minimally invasive and gentle techniques is a distinctive feature of plastic surgery in South Korea. The local doctors also pay much attention to speeding the rehabilitation period. Therefore, cosmetic procedures in the country are performed with laser and endoscopic technologies that are low-traumatic and safe. 

A circular (full) facelift is the most effective procedure in the fight against age-related skin changes. The procedure’s cost varies from $1,800 to $14,000, depending on the clinic’s brand name and the doctor’s experience. The average price of a full facelift in South Korea is $7,600.

Choosing a plastic surgery travel package in South Korea, the average American saves up to 40%. Such beauty tour packages, like any special offer, are limited in time. After some period, the all-inclusive special offers may be available again, but at a different price. The cosmetic surgery vacation package price depends on the number of services included and the type of plastic surgery. For example, a package offer for rhinoplasty (nose surgery) now costs $6,000-$7,000, and for blepharoplasty $2,250-$3,340.

Citations

  1. Bookimed (2019). Best places to get plastic surgery for Americans: Top 5 countries. https://en.bookimed.com/article/best-places-to-get-plastic-surgery-for-the-americans-top-5-countries/
  2. Sayah Institute. Extreme Plastic Surgery Causing Confusion at Airport Security in Asia. https://www.drsayah.com/blog/extreme-plastic-surgery-causing-confusion-at-airport-security-in-asia/
  3. Insider (2018). People have the wrong idea about the 3 most popular procedures in South Korea, the plastic surgery capital of the world. https://www.businessinsider.com/south-korea-plastic-surgery-gangnam-biggest-misconception-2018-6
  4. Bookimed (2019). Best places to get plastic surgery for Britons: Top 7 countries. https://en.bookimed.com/article/best-places-to-get-plastic-surgery-abroad-top-8-clinics/
  5. Statista (2021). Number of foreign patients who visited plastic and cosmetic surgery departments in South Korea. https://www.statista.com/statistics/804273/south-korea-foreign-plastic-surgery-patient-number/
  6. Bookimed (2019). Medical tourism to South Korea. https://en.bookimed.com/article/medical-tourism-to-south-korea/