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Foreign plastic surgery patient number South Korea 2009-2018

In 2018, there were around 67 thousand foreign patients at plastic and cosmetic surgery departments in South Korea, an increase from approximately 48.9 thousand in the previous year. Since international patients were allowed in 2009, the number of foreign patients in Korea has increased sharply above the cumulative two million in 2008.

”International patients travelling to South Korea“

Patients from China and the United States made up the largest proportion of all foreign visitors to Korea, followed by patients from Southeast Asian countries including Japan, Russia, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Among Chinese patients, who accounted for more than 30 percent of all foreign patients, the share of female patients in their 20s and 30s visiting plastic surgery departments or dermatologists was high. Americans visited internal medicine, health screening centers, and general hospitals to treat their diseases.

”K-beauty worldwide“

In South Korea, the beauty-related industry developed greatly, with people generally very interested in beauty regardless of gender. According to a global survey, K-beauty was one of the most popular emerging trends of South Korea behind K-pop, food, IT industry, and drama. People in Southeast Asia and the Middle East were especially interested in Korean beauty products, while Chinese people had a lot of interest in beauty services such as plastic surgery. Also, most of the respondents stated that excellent outcomes and quality are the biggest factors to use Korean beauty products.

Number of foreign patients who visited plastic and cosmetic surgery departments in South Korea from 2009 to 2018

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Release date

November 2019


South Korea

Survey time period

2009 to 2018

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Statistics on "Health care in South Korea"

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