The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
Plastic surgery advertisement at Incheon International Airport in South Korea. (Shutterstock/Sorbis)
Some 50,000 foreign nationals visited South Korea last year to receive plastic surgeries and spent some 215 billion won ($189 million), a government report showed.
The amount spent by those who received plastic surgeries in Korea last year was almost four times higher than the figure for the same medical procedures in 2012.
Compared to 2016, 968 more foreign nationals visited Korea last year for plastic surgeries, while the total number of foreign patients who visited the country for medical treatments dropped by 6.5 percent from 2016-2017.
The medical fees for plastic surgeries also accounted for 33.6 percent of the total medical spending by foreign patients last year.
Those who visited cosmetic and dermatology clinics accounted for 23.2 percent of all foreigners who visited Korea for medical reasons in 2017.
Among all plastic surgeries, orthognathic surgery, a corrective jaw surgery, was the most expensive, costing 17 million won. Other costly procedures included breast augmentation (9.2 million won), liposuction (5.6 million won), and rhinoplasty (5.3 million won won).
Foreign patients also received double eyelid surgery, which costs about 2.2 million won, and hair transplant procedures, with each surgery costing about 4.8 million won.
Those who came to Korea to receive cosmetic treatments or procedures on average spent 4.4 million won per person, the largest amount among all foreign patients.
Those who received noncosmetic, general surgical procedures, such as knee surgeries, on average spent 2.9 million won per person, while those who visited pediatric clinics spent 2.7 million won. Those who visited neurosurgeons spent 1.95 million won each.
A total of 397,882 foreigners received medical treatments in Korea last year, and together they spent 639.9 billion won in medical fees.