Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Top Korean plastic surgeons at half UK prices

My choice for top plastic surgeon in Korea.

Whether you need plastic surgery to enhance your looks, to address a congenital disfigurement or for anti-aging, with sky-rocketing UK prices of between £4,000 and £7,000 per plastic surgery procedure, it is no wonder Brits are looking abroad for top plastic surgeons who cost less. After all, we know the cost of living in the UK is high versus other countries, so surely we can get the best board certified plastic surgeons elsewhere for less. Well I went on such a journey to the other side of the world to do just that and here are my findings!

The first step was to choose the country. It became clear that Korea with its 3,000 plastic surgeons in Seoul alone has made itself into a global industry in plastic surgery for locals and foreigners. Yet we hear for approximately every 1 board certified plastic surgeon, there may be 9 who may not be. And as I delved deeper, I uncovered the dark side of plastic surgery in Korea...a death of a 19 year old patient at the Grand Hospital in Seoul and the sinister shadow or ghost plastic surgeons and/or anaesthetists. This practice of switching doctors or anaesthetists while a patient is asleep and substituting with a nurse or cheaper doctor has been frowned upon by the Korean government but regulation is scant and for foreigners, it is more frightening as clinics know foreigners do not know how to sue clinics especially once they leave Korea and therefore may ignore phone calls and email complaints. And if that was not enough to scare me off plastic surgery abroad, I came across a website called written by a 47 year old Asian in California who had spent $36,000 to end up a botched victim trying in vain to correct her facial disfigurement.

Okay is there a safe way of approaching surgery in Korea and are there success stories? Yes! Second, you'll need to join the purse forum blog and the real self forum to read the latest updates from foreign patients either in Korea or contemplating visiting to read the list of blacklisted plastic surgery clinics in Seoul. Mind you these are poster opinions based on their personal experience of the clinic or surgeon. Still it is important you read this thread and also the ones on negative experiences under the Asian plastic surgery section of the purse forum. Yes I know it has nothing to do with designer purses but it does fall under health in this forum.

After combing through a year of postings, it became clear which clinics only get positive rave reviews from patients and which get negative reviews, mostly for postoperative infection. Reviews are useful to read which plastic surgeon uses hallucinogenic anaesthesia, which clinic surgeon slaps their patient if she complains of pain, which one caused a recent patient to cry out in pain 50 times during the operation and so on.

Okay I shall save you time and give you the result of my research. I chose Dr Hyo-Seok Seo of MVP clinic in Apgujeong, Gangam district, Seoul, South Korea as the winner as top plastic surgeon in Korea!

Magazine with examples of their work in the waiting area.

Looked at  the wall and confirmed plastic surgeon Dr Seo is board certified in plastic surgery.

I ranked Dr Hyo-Seok Seo, MD, board certified plastic surgeon,  top  in Korea for aesthetics and surgical skillskill, based on feedback and interviews with his patients, his before and after work and the amazing plastic surgery he did to rejuvenate my aging eyes!

The surgical theatre and several postop recovery rooms are on the third  floor of MVP. I ranked the anaesthesia and nursing care top. Adequate analgaesia and sedation and the most caring nurses in recovery.

I also came across a blog written by Rebecca, the smitten kitten, from Australia, who had been a victim of a botched double eyelid incision surgery in Thailand, and after much research had chosen Dr Seo, a board certified plastic surgeon at MVP clinic, not only to revise her botched eyelids but also perform an open rhinoplasty on her. She has given me permission to reproduce her before and after photos to my blog for you to see her amazing transformation under the skilled hands of Dr Seo and what is more, she has updated her blog with photos a year out and no complications! Her motivation for writing her blog was to prevent others from falling victim to botched operations.

Before photo of Rebecca:

After photo of Rebecca:

I know what you are thinking when you see her before and after, I want Dr Seo and how do I book him. How long is his waiting time? Well  I was super cautious and then went back to the purse forum to read as many patient reviews on Dr Seo at the MVP clinic as possible and read positive review after review and could not find one negative review on him!

Okay the next thing is to open a free kakao account, much like a whats app account. I did this and this allowed me to add Ellen, the English interpreter (called consultant in Korea) and Rebecca herself to verify she had not been sponsored by MVP. Rebecca confirmed she had paid for her operations which amounted to 4.5 million korean won or approximately £2800 for open rhino and revision eyelid surgery.

 I, decided, to follow Rebecca's path and also added Ellen. This enabled me to book a consultation for May 17 and tentative operation date for May 18. is brilliant at catching when prices drop for seats to Korea. It was not long before it dropped and I could book a flight on May 16.

I stayed at the Hotel Gangnam Art Nouveau City II for £65/night x 7 days and the flight cost £545 with Korean Air. In Korea, there are 2 prices for plastic surgery, one exorbitant hiked up fee for foreigners and one super cheap price for locals. However, it is normal practice to bargain! Consultations are free with plastic surgeons in Korea and some book several consultations at different clinics in Gangnam (Beverley Hills of Korea) to then be able to haggle a final price. Offering to pay in cash helps, as does accepting a Saturday or same day or next day operation.

Ellen at MVP gave me her best price for fat grafting to the eyelids, revision incision DES (double eyelid surgery crease) and ptosis correction to achieve rejuvenated younger eyes for....less than £2000! This meant with flights, hotel and the cost of the operation, plastic surgery in Korea came out to be less than half the cost of UK plastic surgery on Harley Street.

Here is a photo of one week postop of my eye (s) already rejuvenated. Total cost including travel and accommodation came up to £2800 which is less than the £5000-7000 UK price for upper lid blepharoplasty with fat graft.

Another top plastic surgeon is Dr Kim of DAPRS clinic for full face fat grafting based on assessing another patient before and after immediately postop and on postop day one of her full face fat graft in person.