5 Red Flags to Watch for When Choosing a Korean Plastic Surgery Clinic


Selecting the right clinic for your plastic surgery journey is a crucial decision that requires careful consideration and thorough research. Ensuring your health and appearance are in the right hands allows you to start your journey with less stress and anxiety. Here are some key points to guide you in making an informed choice.

1. Surgeon is Not Board-Certified

What does it mean if a surgeon is board-certified, and how can you check it? Board certification is the highest credential a medical doctor can achieve, indicating they excel in their specialty. For plastic surgery in Korea, the main organization responsible for board certification is the Korean Society of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgeons (KSRPS). Board certification signifies that the surgeon has undergone rigorous training and evaluation, ensuring they meet the highest standards of practice and expertise.

To verify if a surgeon is board-certified, you can visit the KSRPS website. They offer a searchable database where you can confirm a surgeon’s credentials. Here’s the link for your convenience: Korean Society of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgeons. Ensuring your surgeon is board-certified is a crucial step in selecting a qualified professional for your procedure.

For Korean plastic surgeons, you must ensure that the English alphabet transcription is correct. There are multiple ways of writing Korean names in English, and sometimes they are used simultaneously. Here is the proper transcription of our surgeons’ names:

  • Suh, Man Koon
  • Choi, Hong Lim
  • Seul, Chul Hwan
  • Kang, Hong Dae
  • Kim, Yeon Jun

2. Surgery and Consultation Slots Available on Demand

While immediate availability for consultations and surgeries might seem convenient, especially for those with limited time in Korea, it can actually be a red flag. Here are some potential concerns:

  • Overworked Surgeon: If a surgeon is performing excessive number of surgeries each day, they might not be able to give each patient the time and attention they need for both consultation and surgery.
  • Lack of Popularity: A surgeon with suspiciously many open slots may not be in high demand, which could indicate a lack of reputation or patient satisfaction.
  • “Ghost Doctor” Practices: In some cases, the surgeon you think is performing your surgery might delegate the procedure to an unqualified individual, such as a medical intern. This practice, known as using a “ghost doctor,” is illegal but can occur.

While occasional cancellations can make slots available, consistent on-demand availability warrants caution. Always verify who will be performing your surgery and ensure they are reputable and not overbooked.

3. Consultation is Performed by Someone Other Than Your Surgeon

It’s crucial that the consultation is performed by the surgeon who will be conducting your surgery. Sometimes, clinics might have a nurse or customer service assistant conduct the initial interview to gather basic information about your health and desired outcomes. However, the final consultation should always be with the surgeon. This step ensures that the surgeon fully understands your expectations and can plan and perform the procedure accordingly.

If a different person handles the consultation, it could lead to misunderstandings or miscommunications about the surgery. Additionally, it might be a sign that the clinic is not operating transparently. Insist on meeting the actual surgeon to discuss your procedure in detail.

4. Surgeon Agrees to Everything During the Consultation

If you bring a photo of a celebrity and the surgeon agrees to replicate the exact look without any questions or considerations, this is a warning sign. Good surgeons understand that each patient is unique and that achieving ideal results depends on various factors, including skin density, anatomical structure of bones and muscles, amount of fat, aging symptoms and more.

A reputable surgeon will discuss these factors with you and explain why certain results might not be achievable. They will focus on creating a customized plan that enhances your natural features while maintaining realistic expectations.

A good surgeon listens to your desires, asks insightful questions, provides honest feedback, and shares their professional opinion. Their goal is to achieve the best and safest outcome tailored to your specific needs.

5. Price is Too Low

An unreasonably low price for surgery is a significant red flag. While everyone appreciates a good deal, surgery is not an area where you should prioritize cost over quality. Here are reasons why low prices can be dangerous:

  • Lack of Expertise: Skilled surgeons with extensive experience typically charge more because their services are in demand.
  • High Patient Volume: Surgeons offering low prices might need to perform many surgeries daily to sustain their practice, which can compromise the quality of care.
  • Lack of Comprehensive Care: Quality surgical care involves a team, including nurses, anesthesiologists, and coordinators, who support you before, during, and after the procedure. This level of care raises the overall cost but ensures better outcomes and safety.

Cheap surgery often results in poor quality and can pose significant health risks. It’s essential to prioritize the surgeon’s expertise, experience, and the comprehensive care they provide over the cost. Quality care is an investment in your health and well-being.