Plastic surgery has long been big business in the US, but now the trend is sweeping across Asia.
Figures released by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), suggest that when population is taken into account, South Korea is now the world's largest market for cosmetic procedures.
In a bid to change their looks, 20 percent of women between the ages of 19 and 49 in Seoul, the country's capital city, admitted they had gone under the knife.
The most popular surgical procedures include double eyelid surgery - which reduces excess skin in the upper eyelid to make the eyes appear bigger, lipoplasty - which uses high-frequency sound waves to eliminate fat - and nose jobs.
While on the nonsurgical front, Botox and laser hair removal remain firm favourites.
Overall more than 5.8 million enhancements were performed in Asia during 2010, while just over 4.5 million procedures were carried out in the US the Economist revealed.
It is believed that the rise of South Korea's pop music industry is behind the boom, and many patients visit clinics with photos of celebrities, asking surgeons to emulate nose angle or eyes.
One of the country's largest clinics, JK Plastic Surgery Center founded by Joo Kwon, recently opened a hotel to better serve customers, who spend an average of $17,675 during a single visit.
An increasing amount of clients are non-Koreans, from China, Japan, the Middle East and even Africa, and ministers believe medical tourism will help boost the Korean economy.
However Mr Kwon warned that young people should be cautious when seeking such operations.
'I think South Korea has a very rigorous and narrow definition of beauty because we’re an ethnically homogenous society and everyone looks pretty much the same. It is also related to low self-esteem.
'I think the situation will somewhat moderate in future as society becomes more diverse. But it will take quite a bit of time until we get there,' he told the reporters.
2012-04-28 09:58 编辑：crystal156
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