Category: Weird Articles
Published on Thursday, 24 April 2014 00:00
We all know that South Korea is plastic surgery paradise. Apparently, plastic surgeons in South Korea have gotten so good that they can drastically change a person's entire look to the point that they cannot be recognized anymore. Think “Face/Off” with John Travolta and Nicolas Cage, where they undergo a face-transplant surgery. People who go under the knife come out looking like totally different people thanks to their talented plastic surgeons. But this has posed quite a few problems for them though when they are happily making their way back home with their new faces.
Those who have flown in from abroad to have the surgeries are, in some cases, so transformed that they encounter difficulties getting through passport control on the way home. It has become such a common problem that many hospitals in South Korea are offering “plastic surgery certificates” to help overseas patients return back to their countries without much of a hitch.
These certificates are said to include the patient’s passport number, the name of the hospital they were treated at and the length of their visit to South Korea.
In 2009, 23 Chinese women are said to have struggled to return to China from South Korea after undergoing surgery. The women were stopped at passport control because they were noted to have bigger eyes, higher noses and slimmer chins than were shown on their passports, China Daily reported.
After meticulous checks had been carried out that the women were allowed int China, but they were all advised to renew their passports immediately.
“After they took off their huge hats and big sunglasses following our request, we saw them looking different, with bandages and stitches here and there,” Shanghai Hongqiao Airport officer Chen Tao told China Daily. “We had to compare their uncorrected parts with their photos very carefully.”
While the average photo-to-person verification process takes about 45 seconds, officers had to spend several minutes identifying each woman. “They told the officers that they are friends and that they had gone to South Korea together to have cosmetic surgery,” said Chen. “After they passed the identification, we asked them all to renew their passports immediately.”
Plastic surgery has become so common and almost a societal expectation in South Korea that it is actually very hard to find a South Korean woman who has not gone under the knife. Doing your eyes and nose is considered just the basics, the standard procedure for Koreans, and they think nothing about it, like as though it is a very casual practice. Some South Korean parents also save up money for their children so that they can have plastic surgery in the future, kind of like how some of our parents save up for our University education.
In 2011, about 2,500 medical tourists visited South Korea. The number increased ten-fold last year, to a whopping 25,176 visitors. Interestingly, a majority of these tourists are from China. While the Chinese are gaining in prosperity, they don’t seem to trust their doctors anymore. According to plastic surgeon Park Byong-choon, “Chinese parents come to Korea even for childbirth. The death of a young singer under a Chinese cosmetic surgeon’s knife a few years ago makes people think twice about doing it at home.”