Asian Plastic Surgery Update

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Korean eyelid surgery: Any cheaper and it's free

Think Korean plastic surgery is restricted to only that country occupying the southern half of the Peninsula? Think again.

According to an article by Kim Young Jin of China that appeared in the DailyNK, the world's first dedicated North Korea online news site, plastic surgery is quickly spreading among young North Korean women. Although the article is nearly four years old, it's fresh news to us and very interesting, even if its details cannot be readily verified.

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According to a local businessman using the pseudonym Trader Kim Man Gil, “North Korean young women have increasingly gotten plastic surgery on their eyes. At a glance, more than half of the young women walking in the streets have signs of plastic surgery.”

The article continues, "North Korea has implicitly allowed plastic surgery hospitals in Pyongyang, Chongjin and Shinuiju to complete simple double-eyelid surgeries and tattooed eyebrows. Officially, the North Korean government does not permit plastic surgery, yet defectors said that in big cities plastic surgery is commonly performed in secret."

Rumors from visitors hold that the North Korean government actively encourages plastic surgery for women who work at North Korean tourist resorts.

According to Mr. Kim, “Starting in 2004, plastic surgery by non-licensed operators, not doctors, has been in vogue. Although the government does not allow plastic surgery, because of its extensive popularity, the government is reluctant to crack down on it."

Here's the best part (if you're a patient) and the scariest part (if you're a plastic surgeon in another country): How does one dollar for two eyes sound to you?

Double eyelid surgery on one eye cost 500 won (US $0.17) in 2004 and around 1,500 won (US $0.50) in 2006. Both eyes cost 3,000 won, or just one US dollar.

For eyebrow tattooing, one eyebrow cost 200 won (US $0.06) in 2004 and rose to 500 won (US $0.17) by 2006.

A later article from the same year suggests that breast augmentation and facial plastic surgery are also becoming more popular "among the wealthy class."

Data on current costs is unavailable.

Full article here.

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Cost of plastic surgery in North Korea