You’re thinking about getting plastic surgery in Korea but don’t know how and where to start, what the whole process looks like and what requirements you need to meet to enter Korea in 2023 and where to search for the most recent and confirmed information? Gathering and confirming all these data might be overwhelming to anyone and might effectively tone down your enthusiasm. Therefore, we are coming up with an easy guide about plastic surgery in Korea for foreigners which walks you through the whole process – from your first online consultation to the very moment of the operation and further.
Step 1: Check the latest entrance requirements to the Republic of Korea
Visitors from most countries do not need a visa to enter the Republic of Korea. It applies to almost all countries, which were previously under the “Visa Weaver Agreement” with ROK. You can check if the visa is necessary in your case on the official website of the Korean Embassy in your country of origin.
The list of embassies, you can find here: http://overseas.mofa.go.kr/
If the visa requirements listed on the embassy page are somehow unclear, please contact the embassy directly via email. Only they can provide you with reliable and up-to-date information.
If you are about to enter Korea without a visa (countries under visa weaver agreement), you need to register on K-ETA (Korea Electronic Travel Authorization) before the departure. The registration interface is intuitive and will guide you step by step through the simple process. K-ETA costs 10.000 KRW (approx. 8 USD).
You can apply for K-ETA here: https://www.k-eta.go.kr/portal/apply/index.do
This is the only website to register for K-ETA. Please be sure to use this link, as there might be some scam websites, posing as K-ETA. They usually require higher payment for the application. K-ETA is always 10.000 KRW. No less no more.
PCR test before departure to Korea is no longer required. Starting 1st October 2022 arrival PCR test is not required as well. However to ensure the safety of our patients, doctors and staff, we require to get a rapid antigen test (a kit test) at the clinic.
Step 2: Online consultation
Every case is different, so to give you surgery recommendations and pricing, we offer an online consultation before the onsite consultation with the doctor. You can contact our consultants via several comfortable channels:
During the consultation, you will be asked to provide your personal data, surgery history (including non-plastic surgeries) and photos of the areas you want to correct via the aesthetic procedure.
After providing this information and explaining the result you want to achieve, you will get the recommendation with surgery pricing.
TIP: For the best accuracy, make sure that your photos are good quality, without filters or makeup and that the areas you’re interested in are not distracted or covered by hair or clothes.
Step 3: Securing your consultation and surgery slot.
Our consultant will inform us about available slots for doctor’s consultation and surgery. To the consultation with the doctor, you will need to pay a consultation fee and to secure the surgery slot, a relevant surgery deposit will be required.
Consultation fee and surgery deposit can be sent via international wire transfer, Pay-Pal, or money transfer application such as Wise. How to pay for plastic surgery? On the site, we accept card and cash payments in Korean won. You will get confirmation of your booking from your assigned consultant. Should you need any changes in the booking, please inform your consultant as soon as possible as booking flexibility might be limited in the peak season.
TIP: It’s good to contact the clinic couple of months before your surgery. Slots for some popular surgeries might be an available couple of months later. High flexibility in peak season, might be a red flag and a sign of a clinic that’s involved in “ghost doctor” practice.
Step 4: Arriving at the hospital
If you are going to the clinic straight from the airport, we will arrange the transfer for you. However, please wait at the airport until your get the PCR test result. You can visit the clinic only if the result is negative.
Do you need to know the Korean language to get plastic surgery in Korea? No. Your consultant and interpreter will meet you at the clinic and will assist you all the time. We offer consultations in English, Chinese and Russian language.
Step 5: Consultation with the doctor
Depending on how many surgeries, you’ll be having you might have the consultation with several doctors. Our doctors are specialized in different fields, so for example, if you want to have breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, and double eyelid surgery at our clinic, you will be consulted with a different doctor for each procedure.
Before the consultation, coordinators will take your photos and CT scan if needed. For the best accuracy, we advise coming without make-up.
TIP: It’s good to bring photos of the effect you want to achieve. It will help to advise the best surgery plan and asses the effect possible in your case.
Step 6: Examination and paperwork
To ensure safe surgery you will be required to take a set of necessary health examinations, such as an X-ray, EKG, blood test etc. The set of tests depends on the surgery plan and the advised method of anesthesia. In our center, you don’t need to worry about them, as they will be provided at the site in the price of the procedure.
Before the surgery, you will fill out the surgery agreement form. Your assigned consultant will thoroughly explain each and every paragraph of the document.
Step 7: The surgery
The surgery can be performed after the consultation. If possible and convenient for you, even on the same day. There are a few precautions for the surgery day, including a strict diet restricting from drinking or eating anything before the surgery day, including water or chewing gum (!).
Here you’ll find a full list of surgery precautions: https://jwbeauty.net/safety/precautions/
You will be assisted by your assigned patient coordinator until you fall asleep. Anesthesia and surgery will be assisted by an anesthesiologist doctor who will watch over your safety and comfort. Please make sure, that the clinic, you’re getting your surgery at, has an onsite anesthesiologist doctor as it’s not a standard.
Will you be able to eat or drink after waking up? Yes, but probably not right after. Your assigned coordinator will tell you when you can drink and eat after the surgery. It depends on the surgery complexity, area, type of anesthesia and your body characteristics. But don’t worry it’s usually 30 min to 3h after the operation.
TIP: It’s good to wear comfortable loose clothes with zippers or buttons, so you can easily wear them after the surgery.
Step 8: Discharge
There are some surgeries that might require an overnight stay, e.g., abdominoplasty surgery. However, most surgeries in most cases don’t require hospitalization and you will be discharged as soon as your condition allows.
During your discharge, your coordinator will give you medicines and will explain post-operation self-care. They will also give you a schedule of post-operation check-ups.
Step 9: Check-ups and stiches removal.
After the surgery, you will be required to have several check-ups with the doctor. The number of appointments depends on your surgery and will be communicated by your assigned coordinator. All post-operation check-ups should be performed by the doctor, whom you had the surgery with. The doctor will check if your recovery is going smoothly and will advise you about care and treatment.
Stitches removal is usually performed 5-7 days after the surgery. Therefore, it is advised to stay in Korea for at least 7 days after the surgery. What if you can’t stay in Korea that long? In such case, you can remove the stitches at the clinic in your country, but you need to make sure to do it on time!
Step 10: Going home
Now you are after the surgery, check-ups and stitches removal and you can take a plane heading to your country. Many people ask whether it’s safe to take a plane so early after the surgery. We confirm it is safe, and you can read about it in detail here. What about a PCR test after the rhinoplasty? You easily can take a PCR test 7 days after the rhinoplasty when the stitches and nasal tampons are removed.
Our consultants will be of your help even after you come back home. Should you have any concerns during your recovery process, or need a doctor’s advice, just contact your assigned coordinator and they’ll assist.
Even though the process of getting plastic surgery in Korea for foreigners got slightly more complicated during the pandemic times it is still easier than expected. With our guide, you can be assured that there will be no surprises on the way. The only thing you need to do is to start by contacting our consultants and all the rest will go smoothly. Just take courage, make up your mind, and fly for your dream plastic surgery in Korea.