S'porean manager flies to Seoul for 5 plastic surgery procedures in 3 hours

9 March 2014 / 2 years 7 months ago


Peek into any of the swish plastic surgery clinics that line the streets of Gangnam, Seoul, and you'll find that it's packed with women waiting for their turn. And the surprising fact is, many of them are not Korean.

These days, you'll find a medley of nationalities at Seoul's beauty belt, from busloads of Chinese tourists to solo Europeans travellers looking for a cheaper deal on Botox, reports Her World via AsiaOne.

Ever since the South Korean government encouraged the growth of medical tourism (which includes cosmetic surgery) in 2009, the country has seen a sharp rise in medical tourists.

Singapore is part of this wave, with the number of Singaporean medical tourists doubling from 239 in 2010 to 468 in 2011, according to the Korean Tourism Organization.

In March this year, Sam Joo Healthcare, a tour agency that specialises in nip-tuck holidays to South Korea, opened an office in Singapore -- a sign that such vacations are here to stay.

When Sofie Chandra, 30, flew to Seoul for a double eyelid surgery this January, she didn't expect to get a new look in an afternoon.

The Singaporean business development manager checked into a hospital at 2am and had five operations done in three hours, including removing her eyebags, creating a crease in her lids and "cutting" the muscles above her eyes to "open up" her peepers. She even had a complimentary Botox session thrown into her $5,000 package.

"I didn't think it would be so quick. After the anaesthesia wore off, I was free to leave the hospital -- just in time for dinner," she said.

Her doctor also recommended a hospital in Singapore where she could go to remove the post-op stitches a week later. Sofie spent the next few days sightseeing in Seoul, and wasn't shy about appearing in public with her stitches.

"When I took off my sunglasses on the streets, some Korean girls came up to me and asked who my doctor was. They said my stitches looked well done!"

The gallery shows Singapore bloggers who have gone under the knife, as well as their before-and-after transformation.

Join in the talk