Home to the largest plastic surgery clinic in East Asia and one of the world's most dense congregations of cosmetic practices, Seoul has been called the "jewel" of Asian plastic surgery.
Apgujeong-dong, Seoul's glitzy center of fashion in Gangnam-gu, is so filled with plastic surgery offices, dermatology clinics, and hair salons, that long sections on busy streets are fully occupied by the beauty industry. Visit a subway station and the walls are covered with billboards aggresively advertising cosmetic surgery.
Half of South Korea's 1,300 cosmetic surgery clinics are located in Seoul, and half of those are in Gangnam-gu, many with waiting rooms that resemble discos with molded polycarbonate chairs, pink neon floor lights, and names that sound more like boutique dress shops than medical facilities.
Most plastic surgery practices in Seoul are one or two doctor ventures, but a few are huge commercial enterprises occupying entire tall buildings. Most direct their services at two lucrative targets: young Koreans yearning to look like celebrites and groups of wealthy travelers from China.
Vaguely surreal, the area had become a favorite place for tourists to visit and photograph.
"Plastic surgery in South Korea" is, essentially, synonymous with "plastic surgery in Seoul."
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