Before and after: Patient transformations in the world’s plastic surgery capital

Eye Surgery 2

Seoul, South Korea, is the plastic surgery capital of the world.

The high-status neighbourhood of Gangnam has 500 aesthetic centres alone.

Tech Insider visited JK Plastic Surgery, one of South Korea’s leading cosmetic centres, to learn more about why plastic surgery is so central to the culture.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”/#jk-is-located-in-apgujeong-a-riverside-area-in-gangnam-seoul-1″
title=”JK is located in Apgujeong, a riverside area in Gangnam, Seoul.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5601566ddd0895ca198b45b3″
source=”Google Maps”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#it-sees-about-10000-patients-a-year-2″
title=”It sees about 10,000 patients a year.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5601566ddd0895ca198b45b4″
source=”Will Wei / Tech Insider”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#half-of-them-are-international-3″
title=”Half of them are international.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5601566ddd0895ca198b45b5″
source=”Will Wei / Tech Insider”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#dr-hang-seok-choi-plastic-surgeon-and-director-at-jk-walked-us-through-a-few-of-the-most-popular-operations-in-korea-and-explained-why-plastic-surgery-is-so-huge-there-4″
title=”Dr. Hang-Seok Choi, plastic surgeon and director at JK, walked us through a few of the most popular operations in Korea, and explained why plastic surgery is so huge there.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5601566edd0895ca198b45b6″
source=”Will Wei / Tech Insider”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#eyelid-surgery-is-obviously-the-most-popular-surgery-dr-choi-says-unlike-many-westerners-most-koreans-have-monolid-eyes-this-means-there-isnt-an-eyelid-crease-which-is-traditionally-taken-as-a-sign-of-beauty-5″
title=”‘Eyelid surgery is obviously the most popular surgery,’ Dr. Choi says. Unlike many Westerners, most Koreans have ‘monolid’ eyes. This means there isn’t an eyelid crease, which is traditionally taken as a sign of beauty.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc30badd08956d3a8b46dd”
source=”JK Plastic Surgery”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#most-koreans-dont-have-a-double-eyelid-line-so-in-that-case-sometimes-they-look-sleepy-and-tired-he-says-6″
title=”‘Most Koreans don’t have a double eyelid line, so in that case, sometimes they look sleepy and tired,’ he says.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc30badd08956d3a8b46e9″
source=”JK Plastic Surgery”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#ladies-want-to-have-beautiful-look-defined-look-says-choi-multiple-clinics-we-talked-to-say-that-the-double-eyelid-is-the-most-popular-by-far-since-its-cheaper-and-has-a-shorter-recovery-time-than-other-operations-7″
title=”‘Ladies want to have beautiful look, defined look,’ says Choi. Multiple clinics we talked to say that the double eyelid is the most popular by far, since it’s cheaper and has a shorter recovery time than other operations.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc30badd08956d3a8b46e1″
source=”JK Plastic Surgery”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#according-to-choi-koreans-previously-elected-mostly-to-have-facial-surgeries-8″
title=”According to Choi, Koreans previously elected mostly to have facial surgeries.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc30bbdd08956d3a8b46eb”
source=”JK Plastic Surgery”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#but-more-recently-body-contouring-has-become-popular-9″
title=”But more recently, body contouring has become popular.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc30badd08956d3a8b46e5″
source=”JK Plastic Surgery”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#as-have-breast-surgeries-which-dr-choi-specializes-in-10″
title=”As have breast surgeries, which Dr. Choi specialises in.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc30badd08956d3a8b46e3″
source=”JK Plastic Surgery”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#anti-aging-surgeries–like-face-lifts-and-hair-rejuvenation–are-also-popular-11″
title=”Anti-ageing surgeries — like face lifts and hair rejuvenation — are also popular.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc30b9dd08956d3a8b46d9″
source=”JK Plastic Surgery”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#but-why-is-plastic-surgery–as-extreme-as-restructuring-the-jawline–so-common-12″
title=”But why is plastic surgery — as extreme as restructuring the jawline — so common?”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc30b9dd08956d3a8b46da”
source=”JK Plastic Surgery”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#korea-is-a-very-competitive-society-choi-says-and-people-are-pushed-closely-together-13″
title=”Korea is a very competitive society, Choi says, and people are pushed closely together.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5601566edd0895ca198b45b7″
source=”Chung Sung-Jun / Getty”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#half-of-koreas-population-lives-in-seoul-a-city-that-has-the-6th-highest-population-density-on-earth-so-youre-confronted-with-other-peoples-images-all-the-time-14″
title=”Half of Korea’s population lives in Seoul, a city that has the 6th-highest population density on earth. So you’re confronted with other people’s images all the time.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5601566edd0895ca198b45b8″
source=”Tai-Jan Huang / Flickr”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#its-widely-agreed-that-people-who-look-better-have-an-advantage-in-the-job-market-dr-choi-says-especially-since-your-photo-is-included-in-your-rsum-for-most-jobs-15″
title=”It’s widely agreed that people who look better have an advantage in the job market, Dr. Choi says, especially since your photo is included in your résumé for most jobs.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5601566edd0895ca198b45b9″
source=”Chung Sung-Jun / Getty”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#its-not-just-women-choi-says-that-15-to-20-of-his-clinics-clients-are-men-16″
title=”It’s not just women; Choi says that 15% to 20% of his clinic’s clients are men.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/55fc30badd08956d3a8b46db”
source=”JK Plastic Surgery”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#dr-choi-says-that-the-future-of-cosmetic-surgery-depends-on-two-things-17″
title=”Dr. Choi says that the future of cosmetic surgery depends on two things:”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5601566edd0895ca198b45ba”
source=”Will Wei / Tech Insider”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#stem-cells-which-can-be-used-in-skin-treatments-18″
title=”Stem cells, which can be used in skin treatments.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/559d88712acae76e098b4d17″
source=”Flickr/Christina Tu, Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center”
caption=”Scientists have come up with a way to regenerate tissue that bypasses stem cells (in green).”
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/ucirvine/8126968874/”
]
[slide
permalink=”/#and-minimally-invasive-surgery-techniques-like-laser-hair-removal-which-require-very-little-recovery-time-19″
title=”And minimally invasive surgery techniques, like laser hair removal, which require very little recovery time.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5601566edd0895ca198b45bb”
source=”Ideal Image / YouTube”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#dr-choi-doesnt-think-that-plastic-surgery-will-become-as-prevalent-in-the-us-as-it-is-in-korea-since-the-us-is-so-much-more-ethnically-diverse-and-physically-spread-out-there-isnt-the-same-pressure-nations-have-a-different-need-for-beauty-he-says-20″
title=”Dr. Choi doesn’t think that plastic surgery will become as prevalent in the US as it is in Korea. Since the US is so much more ethnically diverse and physically spread out, there isn’t the same pressure. ‘Nations have a different need for beauty,’ he says.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5601566edd0895ca198b45bc”
source=”Republic of Korea / flickr”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]