Archivio tag | cosmetic surgery

Under The Knife Too Young

More and more Korean teenagers are flocking to beauty clinics.



Plastic surgeon Na Minhwa gets more teenage patients in July and August than at any other time of the year.

“The number of teen patients increases especially during the summer and winter vacations,” said Na who runs YEROM Plastic Clinic in Gangnam, Seoul.

“Most of them go under the knife for aesthetic reasons rather than medical.”

The patients getting younger at this time of the year is not a trend confined to Na’s clinic.

More and more teenagers flock to clinics, looking to change the way they look.

Those interested in cosmetic surgery are younger than ever. Not only adults but children rave about becoming

beautiful with the help of medical advances in plastic surgery.

Nose jobs and double-eyelid surgery are so common even among teens in Korea that they are no longer considered surgery, but mere cosmetic treatments.

The overall number of Koreans who receive plast i c surgery is striking.

When the entire population is taken into account, Korea has the highest rate of anaplasty in the world, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), an international group of plastic surgeons.

Korea topped the ISAPS list with 16 per 1,000 people going under the knife in 2010, followed by Greece, at 14 per 1,000, and Italy and Brazil, both 13.

A 2009 survey by Trend Monitor, a market research firm, suggested that one in five women in Seoul have gone under the knife.


People’s opinions on plastic surgery have also changed.

People have become more positive toward medical procedures to become prettier.

“We live in a time when appearances are one’s competitiveness. I cannot defy the trend,” said Kim, a woman in her 40s wishing to beidentified only by her surname.

“I have a daughter who is in third grade. I do not mind her having cosmetic surgery. But I wish the time would come later in her 20s when her personality and self-es-teem are fully developed”.

“Plastic surgery has become a means to gain the “competitive edge” over others, just as a pretty hairdo, expensive-brand clothes and makeup,” said Kim Jae-hwi, a psychology professor at Chung-Ang University.

Children these days are very interested in beauty. Some grade-school students as young as second grade carry a bag of cosmetics such as lip

gloss, a manicure set and other make-up.

“A classmate of my eight-year-old son even proudly told him that her mom would let her have doubleeyelid surgery,” said Choi Mi-na, 40,

who was with her son in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul.

“I am not against plastic surgery itself, but what I am worried about the most is, what if they lose their own uniqueness? I’ve had Asian blepharoplasty [double-eyelid surgery] myself, but I regretted it some years later realising I had lost my uniqueness.”

Middle- and high-school students say at least one or two, or even more, of their classmates have undergone cosmetic surgery.

“My teacher at school recommends us to go under the knife, and many classmates think of having it,” said Park So-hyun, who goes to an arts middle school in Seoul.

“She points out specifically where she thinks the students need improvement in their appearances.

Since the students major in dance, how they look is considered quite a bit more important than other factors,” Park said.


“The media often mislead people’s minds and thoughts by presenting distorted views on beauty. Today, a person’s appearance is considered more important than personality and ability,” said Lee Dong-geun, a freshman majoring in piano at Seoul Arts School.

The results of surgery may not be as expected or disappointing, surgeons warn, if people recklessly have cosmetic surgery just to resemble celebrities.

One 18-year-old high-school student suffered years of pain after she had eye enlargement surgery in 2009. The procedure entailed having the outside corners of her eyes slit and cost 1.8 million won (US$1,600), three times more expensive than a simple double-eyelid surgery.

The surgery, however, left scars on her eyes. She went through another surgery to clear the scars, but it was unsuccessful. She is now seeking

restitution from the doctor.

Experts say that mental and psychological maturity should be firstconsidered before surgery, and teenagers should think twice and get professional consultation before going under the knife.

“Since teenagers’ self-esteem is not yet fully developed, they are often unsatisfied with their looks. So, even after surgery, they might not be happy with the results. It is better to have it later,” said Oh Kang-seob, a psychology professor at Sungkyunkwan University.

“Since children are still growing, surgical procedures including cutting bones such as orthognathic surgery or corrective jaw surgery are avoided except for functional purposes,” Na said.

Beauty or Beast?

Tratto da AsiaNews




It used to be frowned upon, but changing perceptions of beauty and rising incomes have led to the surge of demand for cosmetic surgery in Asia, especially in Thailand.

Over the past 10 years, cosmetic surgergy has created a huge demand among Thai consumers, who contribute most of the 20 billion baht (US$638 million) in income that surgery clinics enjoy each year.

Ten years ago, both surgeons and customers sneaked into backrooms in hospitals and beauty clinics for the operations. Now, clinics have  mushroomed in all parts of the country as consumers welcome the idea of how a tiny appearance change can lead to greater beauty.

A recent survey shows that market value of the cosmetic surgery business has increased from 15 billion baht in 2010 to 20 billion baht in 2011. And this year, the value of this industry is expected to increase by another 20 per cent.

Meanwhile, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting estimates that cosmetic surgery will be the most popular business among investors this year as more and more teenagers want to undergo the surgery.

Records from the Public Health Ministry’s Health Service Support Department showed that the number of cosmetic surgery clinics registered

with the department has increased from 317 clinics in 2004 to 350 this year.

“The world has changed,” Dr Supot Sumritvanitcha, a director of Yanhee International Hospital, told The Nation.

“Every girl wants to be a superstar like Patchrapa Aum Chaichua who is being shown everywhere,”he added.


In the past, people would feel significantly bad and embarrassed if their friends or relatives had known they’d been to cosmetic surgery clinics. Thai society, at that time, had strong feelings against plastic or cosmetic surgery and stigmatised those people who’d had surgery as being unhappy with their genetic heritage.

“Sometimes, people would lie to their friends or relatives about travelling abroad for vacation for two weeks – but in fact, they went to Hong Kong or Japan to undergo cosmetic surgery. When they came home [they were] more beautiful,” Supot said.

But now, appearance and personality have become more and more important for people to find opportunities and their dream job.

Some parents have taken their kids to undergo cosmetic surgery at the age of 15 to pave the way for their success or to enter the entertainment industry.

Nose and eyelid surgery is the most popular among teenagers. Supot said 500 teenagers aged over 18 had visited hospital every month to undergo nose surgery and about 450 patients had undergone eyelid surgery.


Not only the number of domestic patients had increased during the past few years, the number of foreign patients had increased as well.

According to the hospital’s records, the number of foreign patients had increased from 25,611 cases in 2008 to 34,440 cases in 2010.

They are from many parts of the world such as US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.

“For Western customers, many underwent nose and breast reduction surgery, and mid-facial lift,” Supot said.

Yanhee Polyclinic was opened in 1984 in a 2-block 4-storey building near the Rama 6 Bridge in Bangkok to provide medical services including weight control, general medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, intensive care, and dialysis.

Following the rise inpatients, Yanhee had opened a 10-storey, 40- bed capacity hospital building on ten rai which became the Yanhee International Hospital in 1997.

Now the hospital has opened 36 treatment centres to provide general medicine and a wide range of cosmetic and plastic surgery services such as breast augmentation, facelift, tummy-tuck, liposuction, botox injection, dental whitening, facial treatment, and hair transplant.

The hospital recently opened a vaginal repair centre to restore the anatomic arrangement of structures surrounding the vaginal wall. This centre had attracted a lot of attention from customers aged between 18 and 60. At least five patients aged over 40 undergo vaginal repair surgery per day.

Supot expects the hospital will earn Bt3 million a month as revenue from this centre.

“We want to be an aesthetic institute which provides a one-stop shop for beauty,” he said.


To prepare for the Asean Economic Community in 2015, Yanhee has invested over 1 billion bath to build two new buildings and purchase new mediacal devices.

The hospital has planned to crease its full-time surgeons from 130 to 150 and increase the part-time surgeons from 120 to 125.

It will increase the number of professional nurses from 500 to 700 and import nurses from the Philippines to work as assistants as they can communicate well in English with foreign patients.

Apart from Yanhee International Hospital, the Wuttisak Clinic group also plans to join in the competition by increasing its skincare clinics in local and foreign markets.

The company now has 109 skincare clinics across the country with more planned. The company will also expand into Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia.

At least 20 skincare clinics are marked for Vietnam next year, with four clinics located in Cambodia and four more to be set up in Laos, he added.

” We know everyone wants to be more beautiful so we’ll change the public perception of beauty. We’ll help people think [it’s] doctors who make them more beautiful and not a cosmetic product,” Wuttisak Clinic’s chief executive officer Nakorn Kornherun said.

Because of the rising demand in skincare treatment, the company has employed 200 general physicians to provide for customers nationwide and send others to work in neighbouring countries.

The company has invested in building its brand in the region to win over their local markets. It has spent Bt600,000 to Bt700,000 a month to rent the most famous building in Vietnam located near the Louis Vuitton shop, and about Bt80 million to renovate the building.

” We want to be the number-one player of this business in this region. It would waste our time, if we could not be the number one,” he added.