South Korea has long been a favourite destination for cosmetic surgery tourists, but political tension is prompting surgeons to travel to other countries to perform procedures
When the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) released its annual set of global statistics in June 2017, and South Korea was not among the world’s 24 countries that performed the most cosmetic procedures in 2016, there was considerable surprise. ISAPS has since confirmed to Cosmetics Business that South Korea was not listed owing to data not coming in on time.
In fact, South Korea’s cosmetic surgery market, composed of more than 2,000 plastic surgery clinics, with an estimated total revenue of US$10bn (source: Eunogo) has regularly made ISAPS’s top five countries for the number of cosmetic procedures in the current decade.
South Korea’s market has been driven by an extremely beauty-conscious citizenship and an inflow of foreign customers drawn by the country’s...
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