To help thoroughly prepare for your Korean plastic surgery trip, our team has gathered all the best information, and tricks that other PS goers have shared and put it all in this complete A-to-Z preparation guide for you.

What is the best procedure for me?

There is really no such thing as the best plastic surgery procedure. Rather there is typically several right plastic surgery procedures for your specific situation or face/body structure. For example, the right nose plastic surgery procedure depends on things like is it a revision case or is it your first nose surgery? What is your original nose structure? What material would you like in your bridge? etc.

This is why you need to thoroughly do your research about what plastic surgery procedures are available and suitable for you. This is also important when you are having face to face consults at your clinics. You may have heard that upselling of additional plastic surgery procedures by clinics is quite common in Korea. If you have done your research you will be less prone to these upselling practices, since you already know about this and you know what you want and need. Also when a clinic tries to recommend you an “outdated” plastic surgery procedure (like using L-shaped silicone) you will be aware of this as you have done your research.

Where can I start researching these different plastic surgery procedures?

There are many great resources available online that explains the different plastic surgery procedures that are available to you. Here we will provide you with links to a few good resources that have been shared by other PS goers that will help you to start your plastic surgery research.

When you are interested in specific plastic surgery procedures/areas

We are assuming you are already familiar with Korean plastic surgery and want to research what plastic surgery procedures are available for a specific plastic surgery area like eyes, nose, chin and so on. Then good resources are the Korean plastic surgery clinic websites themselves, as well as the websites of Korean plastic surgery concierge services. We found that both provide good insights into what plastic surgery procedures you could undergo for different areas of your face/body.

At Clinics List there is a complete list of all the Korean plastic surgery clinics we have encountered during our research (with or without reviews/rumors) including their respective websites. And below we have listed a few websites of plastic surgery concierge services that you can use for your research:

Please note that we are not endorsing the services of these companies, but simply want tot provide you with a complete picture of these different resources you could use to help you prepare for your plastic surgery journey.

When you want to know more about the pros, cons and risks of your procedure

When you have specific questions about a plastic surgery procedure or you want to understand better what potential pros, cons and risks are of a plastic surgery procedure then a good resource to use is www.realself.com.

  • Click on the procedure you are interested in, for example click on Nose.
  • Click on the goal you want to achieve, for example click on Reshape your nose.
  • Scroll down and click on the plastic surgery procedure you are interested in, for example click on Rhinoplasty.
Please be aware that the information on these websites are provided mostly by US doctors though they are still valid and valuable for your research. Another website that provides information specifically on facial surgeries can be found here, but do note that the site contains explicit pictures of actual surgeries.

When you have more questions

If you cannot find an answer to the question you have, then you can always try to post a question on sites like realself purseforum and/or on message boards of plastic surgery concierge services like Mi Seoul, Docfinder and K-Doctors:

Another way you could find answers to your the questions you have is to have online consults with Korean plastic surgery clinics directly. We would recommend for you to have consults with Korean plastic surgery clinics you are not interested in, so you can “practice”. Please refer to the Clinics List page for a full list of Korean plastic surgery clinics you can use for this purpose.

Please remember though that people sharing information on forums, even with the best intentions, are not the same as doctors who share information.

Having said this, in our research we did came across a particularly informative posts from a forummer that we would like to share here to help you with your research:

When you have decided on the right procedure for you

Once you have (nearly) decided on the right plastic surgery procedures for you, it would help you to start examining the experiences of other PS goers who have undergone similar procedures like the ones you are interested in, so you can get a general idea of what you can expect.

When you are curious about how a PS procedure "looks" on you

A free plastic surgery simulator that allows you to make simulations using your own picture can be found at here. This can give you an idea of how a particular plastic surgery procedure looks on you.

How do I select the best clinic for my plastic surgery procedure?

Similar to finding the best plastic surgery procedure, there is really no such things as the best clinic. Rather you can only do as much research as you can to find the right clinic for you. And in our research, the conclusion of the majority of the PS goers is that it is almost never a good idea to make up your mind on only one clinic without you having had a face tot face consult with doctor first.

The recommended approach is to make a long-list of clinics you are interested in and then make appointments with these clinics for online consults first. This helps you get a first impression of a clinic and their services. And also you can ask questions about the plastic surgery procedures you are interested in and get an idea of what plastic surgery procedures different doctors from different clinics recommend to you. Then based on the impressions you have gained, you can narrow your clinics to a make shortlist of the clinics you want to visit face to face in Korea.

If you already have experiences with Korean plastic surgery or if you have limited time you can decide to skip making the long-list, but we advise you not to skip making a shortlist. Again almost all PS goers in our research indicated that making a shortlist for face to face consults is a must, as only after you have met with the operating doctor can you make the best possible decision for your plastic surgery journey.

Can't I just pick to most popular clinic for my procedure?

We noticed that there is always a clinic that is most popular at a certain moment in time among PS goers. However, our research that covers nearly 10 years we always see that this most popular clinic usually fades away and then another clinic becomes most popular.

So our recommendation is that you should examine the reviews/rumors PS goers have shared about a clinic to see whether there is a common theme in the positive and/or negative points mentioned. For example, if it consistently comes up that the aftercare of clinic A is bad, then this usually is an indication that there are problems with clinic A’s aftercare. On the other hand, if only one PS goer shares that clinic A’s aftercare is bad and you do not see other PS goers mention this, then you do not need to put too much weight on this.

And then using these positive and negative reviews/rumors make the long- & shortlist and so on. This is far better than to only base your decision on which clinics are most popular at the moment.

Can't I just pick the clinic with the B&A I really like?

Although B&A pictures can give some insights, it is surely not a good idea to base your decision solely on the B&A pictures of a clinic, because:

  • Almost all clinics will only show B&A of plastic surgery patients that have achieved the best results, which is a common marketing tactic.
  • There are rumors that (some) clinics photoshop their B&A pictures. If we consider that for most plastic surgery procedures the final result is only visible after a few months or even a year, it is likely that there is some truth to this rumor. Especially when considering that a foreign patient is unlikely (able) to return to the clinic to take an after photo.
So B&A pictures do give you some insights about a clinic, but it is certainly not recommend that you place too much value on B&A pictures when deciding on a clinic.

How do I select the best doctor for my plastic surgery procedure?

In addition to focusing only on finding the right PS clinic, it is even more important to research the right doctor for you specific plastic surgery procedure. Because no matter how reputable a clinic is, the one who will operate on you is most important.

In our research we noticed that there are a few key questions you should take into account when researching the right doctor for you, which are:

  • Is the doctor a specialist?
    Although there are no specializations in plastic surgery studies (source: http://bit.ly/2vjtkWJ), it is advisable is to research whether the doctor has a proven track record in the plastic surgery procedure(s)/area you want and is not a jack of all trades.
  • Is the doctor board certified?
    In Korea if you have a medical license you are legally allowed to perform plastic surgery procedures. However, to become a board certified doctor, a doctor requires more training and needs to spend more time studying. Furthermore, the Korea Consumer Protection Agency also recommends the use of board certified doctors.

    It is of course a matter of your personal preference, as you might not need a dermatologist to be certified, but it might be better if your plastic surgery doctor is though.

  • Is the doctor I want still working at the clinic?
    It happens that well-known doctors at clinics join other clinics or start their own clinic, so always double check if the doctor is still working at the clinic or not.

How can I check whether a doctor is board certified?

You can check whether a doctor is a board certified surgeon at http://www.prskorea.co.kr.

  • Once on the you are on the prskorea site click on English.
  • Then click on Search Plastic Surgeons.
  • Then type in the doctor name you want to check using the following format; last name, first name and then click on the Search button.
  • Then scroll down to the bottom of the page to see whether your doctor’s name appears as a search result, if it does then it means that the doctor is board certified.
  • If the doctor’s name does not give any search results then the doctor is not a board certified surgeon.

What else should I check as well?

Korea has been tying to establish itself as the go to destination for medical treatment. As a result, every medical institution will have to renew its license to treat foreign patients every three years. This includes among other requirements that they need to have medical malpractice insurance for instance (http://bit.ly/2xoSUy3).

Therefore, it is always good to also check whether a clinic or hospital has a license to treat foreign patients or not. You can easily check this at www.visitmedicalkorea.com.

  • Visit the visitmedicalkorea site and select the language of your choice.
  • Hover over the tab Medical Korea and in the drop down list select the option Registered Provider.
  • And in the search box you can type in the clinic you are researching and if the name comes up as a result it means that the clinic or hospital has a license.

What is the legal age I can plastic surgery in Korea?

We could not find any confirmation on what the legal age is when you are allowed to have PS in Korea. Rather it seems like there is no official age on when you are legally allowed to have plastic surgery, which seems to be confirmed in this video.

However, to be certain, we advise you to confirm this in advance with your clinics, as it could be that you do need parental consent for your plastic surgery. Also good to know is that the legal age of adulthood in Korea is 19 years.

Is it a good idea to do all my plastic surgery procedures in one trip?

In our research we noticed that there is really no agreement among PS goers on how best to answer this question. Some have achieved great result by doing all procedures at once during one trip, while others who did the same thing were not as satisfied because the results of their different plastic surgery procedures do not seem to match each other.

Ideally we would recommend that you have your plastic surgery procedures performed separately by different specialized doctors (could be at different clinics or the same clinic) and then wait for it to completely heal first and then go back to Korea for other procedures. This allows your doctor to measure the proportions of your “new face” to come to the best recommendation for you without having to take any swelling into account.

We do understand that for most of us this is not possible owing to time & financial constraints. In these cases you can still undergo all your plastic surgery procedures if you are able to stay longer, as then you are able to coordinate with different clinics on how long you need to rest before you can undergo another procedure.

However, in our research we noticed that there are relatively more PS goers who are satisfied with their results, when they undergo all their procedures at one clinic, but with several doctors specialized in different plastic surgery procedures/areas. Another benefit of undergoing all procedures in one clinic is that you do not need to undergo (general) anesthesia twice.

What most of the PS goers agree on is that having only one not specialized doctor (a jack of all trades) perform all your plastic surgery procedures is generally not recommended.

How can I make appointments for online consults with clinics?

Go to a Korean plastic surgery clinic’s website and you usually can choose to contact the clinic via: telephone, email, questions board, whatsapp, wechat and kakaotalk. Though it depends on which method you choose, it usually does take time for the clinic to respond back to you, so be patient.

We found that calling directly and/or using kakaotalk usually generates the fastest response from clinics. While using email usually does not have a great response rate. Email is typically useful after you have already made contact with an employee at the clinic to explain things.

If you are not familiar with kakaotalk, it is the Korean version of whatsapp/wechat. And whether you decide to use it to contact clinics or not, we recommend you to download it anyway, as it also a good way to contact a clinic when you are in Korea. Kakaotalk is completely free and available in English. You can download kakaotalk here.

For a tutorial on how to install and add people/clinics in Kakaotalk just watch this video.

For a tutorial on how call people/clinics via Kakaotalk just watch this video.

Also beware that it is generally not a good idea to use a clinic’s response time or the completeness of a clinic’s responses as the main measure of how service oriented a clinic is. For example, there is no way for you to know whether a consultant or a doctor is answering your email. And a clinic that responds quickly is does not necessarily mean that their doctors are skilled, so always meet the doctor first!

What is the best time to go to Korea for plastic surgery?

It is best that you avoid peak plastic surgery periods when planning to book for your clinic consults. As during peak periods the clinics will have much more business from locals. This usually means that clinics, and especially doctors, will have less time to spend on their patients than is normally the case. Also a clinic does not really “need” your business and thereby decreasing your ability to bargain.

The peak plastic surgery periods in Korea are roughly:

  • Around July & August and December & Jan, which are long school holidays. You can find the full school holiday schedule here.
  • Around Korean public holidays. You can find the full Korean public holidays schedule here.
  • Around Chinese New Year, which usually is the time for many Chinese PS goers to visit Korea. As Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar it is best that you refer to sites like http://bit.ly/2vt1Xst.

Also when you are planning your PS journey, we suggest you to try to plan your consults at the beginning of the week, so you can plan to have your surgeries in the same week. This gives you the advantage as you can heal during the weekend when the clinics are closed.

Do I need to make consult appointments before I flying to Korea?

It is absolutely recommend that you book your consult appointments in advance, as this makes sure that you can have the consult at the day you are in Korea. If you do not book in advance you will often have to wait a long time at a clinic for a consult slot to open up or the doctor might not even be available due a trip or holiday. You can book a consult appointment with a clinic the same way you can book an online consult with them.

We suggest that you contact the clinic 2 weeks and again 1 week before you  fly to Korea to confirm you consult appointment with them, as there have been cases where a clinic did not properly record an appointment and/or the requested doctor was not available for the consult – in a few cases the doctor was abroad for a conference. You can save yourself a lot of grievances if you remember to contact the clinic to reconfirm.

How many clinics can I visit in 1 day?

There are many factors that can influence how many clinics you can visit in 1 day, like distance between clinics, actual consult time booked, waiting and consult time at a clinic. Based on our research we found that the best approach is to schedule a maximum of 3 clinic visits in a day. And the schedule roughly looks like:

  • Around 10:00 schedule the 1st clinic visit.
  • Around 13:00 schedule the 2nd visit.
  • Around 16:00 schedule the 3rd visit.

You leave in between clinics around 3 hours to account for waiting, consultation and travel time. This schedule also allows you to have lunch in case you have time left in between.

Do I need to pay a fee booking or having a consult at a clinic?

Most clinics we have encountered do not require you to pay a fee to book a consult in advance or to have a consult with the doctor. When you need to have additional services like for example a CT scan, then it is common that you need to pay a small fee. However, if you want to book a surgery date with a specific doctor, then it is customary that you need to pay a deposit in advance. This could be $100, 10% of the total surgery fee or even more as this depends on the clinic’s policy.

Do I need to pay a deposit to secure a surgery date?

We do not recommend you pay a deposit, since we also do not recommend you to decide on a doctor/clinic without having a face to face consult with a doctor first. Also keep in mind that most clinics are usually able to fit your surgery in their schedule, especially if you avoid going around peak plastic surgery periods.

If you are absolutely certain about a certain doctor at a clinic, in that case paying a deposit to secure a surgery date would be a good idea. However, if you are in a situation where you have already paid a deposit and do not wish to proceed with the surgery at the clinic, then you can try to ask for a refund.

The Korean Consumer Protection Agency deposit refund guidelines are:

  • More than 3 days before your surgery, you are entitled to 100% of your deposit.
  • 3 days before surgery, you are entitled to 90% of your deposit.
  • 2 days before surgery, you are entitled to 50% of your deposit.
  • 1 day before surgery, you are entitled to 20% your deposit.
  • Cancelling on the day of surgery, you forfeit 100% of your deposit.

However, it is up to the clinic to decide whether they adhere to these guidelines, so our suggestion is to ask the clinic what their deposit refund policies are before you actually deposit. And it is best to ask for this verbally first and then send an email to the consultant asking him/her to confirm your understanding of the policy is correct or not. This way you will have the refund policy of the clinic in writing and confirmed, so you can avoid possible discussions in the future.

What should I take into account when booking an accommodation?

First thing you should do before booking an accommodation is to ask the clinic if they have any partnerships with hotels or whether they provide complimentary accommodations to patients who have had surgery at their clinic.

If a clinic does not provide this or you simply want to book you own place, then you should take into account that most of the clinics are concentrated in the Gangnam area. So booking an accommodation there is convenient, but is also more expensive. If you wish to save money on your accommodation then you can easily book something elsewhere, as transportation like the subway and taxis in Seoul are really convenient and relatively inexpensive.

Another thing to consider is whether you need to have a kitchen in the accommodation or not. With major/invasive/multiple procedures this is recommended as going out to eat is usually inconvenient the first few days after surgery, so having a kitchen to prepare small meals is better. If you need a kitchen then we recommend you to take a look at sites like www.airbnb.com and www.bnbhero.com that usually have kitchens.

If you are really on a tight budget then you could consider goshiwons, which are rooms with shared facilities like bathroom, kitchen, toilet, etc. However, when recovering from a major surgery this might not be preferred. But with minor procedures or if you are only doing consults then goshiwons might be an inexpensive solution. 

For an impression of what goshiwons are just watch this video.

There are also motels you can book where you do have your own bathroom facilities and are also relatively inexpensive. However, in Korea motels are usually used by couples or for one night stands, which might not be suitable for you.

If you are considering to book a hotel, it might be good to know that there are hotels that provide tax refund to foreigners who are staying in Korea of less than 30 days. For more information on this tax refund policy for foreigners including the participating hotels, please visit: https://bit.ly/2H10nW3.

How long should I stay in Korea for my plastic surgery procedure?

There are many factor that determine how long you need to stay Korea like is it a minor or major procedure(s)? How many procedures are you undergoing? Naturally, it is preferable that you stay longer so the doctor can monitor your healing process and intervene in case there are complications. So best is to check directly with your clinic to see how long they recommend you to stay for your PS procedures.

However, below we want to give you an idea of how long you should stay for typical procedures like eye and/or nose surgeries. Please note that these estimates do not include time needed to have doctor/clinic consults.

  • Eyes
    If it is considered a minor surgeries like double eyelid surgery then typically 8 days is sufficient.
  • Nose
    The healing time is longer and typically 14 days is considered the minimum days you need to stay.
  • Eyes & Nose undergone at one clinic
    As the healing time for both eyes and nose are combined it is also recommended to stay at least 14 days.
  • Eyes & Nose undergone at different clinics
    In such a case it is best for you to ask both clinics directly, as they have to take into account how many days of healing is needed before you can undergo another surgery.

When planning for how long you need to stay make sure to take into account possible Korean public holidays, as clinics will usually be closed as well. For example, it could be that the day you need to take out your stitches is a public holiday and if you are scheduled to leave the next morning this could be a problem. Then you will need to take out the stitches out in your country which is not preferable.

Is there anything else I need to prepare before flying out to Korea?

There are many things you can prepare for your PS journey and here we will discuss the main things you should consider, which are consult questions, pictures, money, visa, useful apps, food & medicine and miscellaneous.

Consult questions

You should always prepare a list of questions & concerns you have in advance, as it could be that due to stress, time constraints, blackouts, etc. you forget what you want to ask. 

We have gathered and organized all the relevant questions we found in our research – which you can use to prepare a list of questions suitable for your specific situation – and put it into on pdf file. Just signup with your email below to receive this list of consult questions.

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Pictures

In our research we noticed that many PS goers recommend that you prepare pictures for how your “ideal” plastic surgery outcome should be. It is easier to explain what you want with some pictures. You can compare this with you getting a new hairstyle. You can explain verbally what you want to the hairdresser, it just easier for them to understand what you really want using pictures.

However, please remember that what your “ideal” outcome is might not always be possible, as this for a great part depends on your original structure. Similarly, at the hairdresser they will also tell you based on your hair type, what hairstyle you can achieve and what you cannot achieve.

Money

You will need to pay for surgeries in Korea and there are a couple ways you can do this:

  • Credit card
    You can pay via credit card, but you should check what the limit is on your card, whether this is sufficient for your plastic surgery procedures, as well as what the exchange rate/fees are. If you have some sort of loyalty program, then paying via credit card could be a good way to rack up these points.
  • ATM
    You can also decide to draw money from an ATM when you are in Korea. For this make sure you check what your daily withdrawal limit is, as well as what the exchange rate/fees are. Also keep in mind that:

    •  Not all ATM’s in Korea accept foreign cards.

    • There is usually a service fee you need to pay each time you withdraw, which can drive the costs up, as you likely need to withdraw several times.
  • Cash
    If you bring less than $10,000 to Korea there is no need to declare this at the Korean customs. Everything above you will need to declare, but in our research we did not encounter PS goers carrying more than $10,000 that had problems getting into Korea, besides having to fill in some paperwork.

If you choose to bring cash along with you, then you will find that there are many places where you can exchange your money like at the airport, at banks or at money exchange booths.

We do not recommend you to exchange money at the airport, as the rates are not great. Korean banks provide much better rates and are also very safe. But the best exchange rates we found are at tourist shopping areas like in Namdaemun and Myeong-dong.

Our experiences with money exchange booths in Myeong-dong were excellent where we could easily exchange large sums safely and also with an exchange fee of as low as 0.3%. Here is a link with a description and pictures of the Myeong-dong money exchange booths: http://bit.ly/2w1w1it

Visa

Many countries are participants of the Korean visa waiver program, which allows you to enter Korea without a visa for a certain period of time. To check whether you need a visa for your plastic surgery just visit https://bit.ly/1MdHNVl.

If you are not eligible, please contact the Korean embassy in your country for instructions on how to get a visa to enter Korea. For plastic surgery a tourist visa should be more than sufficient.

Usefull apps

Kakaotalk is certainly a useful app to have in Korea, as it allows you to easily contact a clinic when needed. Below are a few other free appsthat will certainly come in handy when you are in Korea.

  • Subway Korea
    When you intend to use the subway, then this app is really a necessity, as it shows you information like, which subway to take, where to transfer, what the estimated departure and arrival time are. The app is available in English and for a tutorial on how to download and use this app, just watch this video.

  • Google translate
    If you are worried to travel to Korea while not being able to speak the language, then this app is essential. You most likely know how to use this (or a similar) app, but with google translate you can download languages in advance, so you can use it even when you do not have an internet connection. This is very convenient as can always use it to communicate simple sentences in Korean when needed. For a tutorial on how to download (languages) and use this app, just watch this video.
  • XE currency app
    This is a convenient app that allows you to compare Korean prices in your country’s currency. This is especially convenient when exchanging cash at one of the exchange booths, as you are able to compare the rates directly. For a tutorial on how to use this app, just watch this video.
  • Google maps
    This is a convenient app to find your way around in Korea or when you are searching for the location of your clinic. You can simply use for instance a clinic’s English address to find it in maps, but be aware that the app is not always 100% accurate. Also to use this app as a navigation you will need to be online, as the offline function does not work in Korea. For a tutorial on how to use this app
  • Naver maps
    This is also a navigation app, but it is entirely in Korean which makes it not really useful for non-Korean speakers. Nevertheless, if you are interested in how to use Naver maps offline then please visit http://bit.ly/2x4xeWU.

Miscellaneous

Besides food & medicine you can also consider to bring along the following items:

  • Dry shampoo
    Since you usually will not be able to wash your hair, the only choices you have are to wash your hair at a hairdresser or bring dry shampoo along.
  • Moist towels & q-tips
    Since you usually have to avoid your surgery area from getting wet, it is advisable to bring along moist towels and q-tips (especially with nose procedures).
  • (Mini travel) blender
    Besides soups you can opt to make smoothies and/or blend your “regular” meal to avoid prolonged chewing.
  • Small tooth brush
    Dependent on your plastic surgery procedure it can be useful to bring along a small toothbrush, so you can carefully avoid any stitches while brushing.
  • Comfortable clothes
    It is useful to bring along comfortable clothing to use before and after surgery. Clothing that can be fastened from the front or back is especially useful. And you should avoid clothing like t-shirts and turtle necks where you need to pull it over your face. A comfortable cap can also be convenient, as you often need to go out for a walk.
  • Entertainment
    After surgery it is highly recommended that you often go out to walk. However, in the case you are stuck inside then it would be good that you have some some form (light) entertainment prepared so you can for instance watch movies or listen to music. Best to avoid entertainment that requires prolonged focus like reading for example.
  • Travel adapter
    To see which electric plug Korea uses, please visit http://bit.ly/2voytNn. If the plugs are different make sure to bring along a travel adapter. The travel adapters listed below do have the right sockets for South-Korean, but make sure to check whether the voltage output matches the need of your appliances!

Is there anything I should do or not do at Incheon airport?

When arriving at Incheon airport there are a few things we would recommend:

  • Money exchange
    If you do not have any Korean won, you can choose to exchange a small sum like $50 at the airport. Though exchange rates are not great, it is useful as you need cash for the subway for example.
  • SIM
    It is advisable for you to get a SIM card that allows you to get online with your phone, so you can use kakaotalk and google maps. Though it is true that there are many places in Korea where you are able to connect to free WiFi, we still highly recommend you get a SIM, as you need to be connected to be able to navigate using google maps or contact a clinic using kakaotalk, for example like when you are delayed for your consult.

Where and what SIM card should I buy at the airport?

This depends on how long you intend to stay and how heavily you intend to use the internet on your phone. If you want to know how to buy a prepaid SIM including an explanation of the plans and costs, you can watch this video. 

What is the best way to travel from Incheon to Seoul Station?

Since everyone’s final destination is different, we will only discuss how you can get from Incheon airport to Seoul Station so you can better compare your travel options. And from Seoul Station you can easily travel further by taxi for instance to your final destination. However, irrespective of your final destinations you will have three options available to you at Incheon, which are the airport express (AREX), bus and taxi.

Airport Express (AREX)

Taking the AREX is the fastest and also the cheapest way to travel from Incheon airport to Seoul Station. And there are two different options:

  • All stop train
    This train will make 12 stops before arriving at Seoul station, and the tickets are around 4,250 won and the estimated travel time is around 58 minutes. The train departs regularly around every 6 to 7 minutes and operates from 5:20 till 23:57.
  • Express train
    This train does not make any stops and goes to Seoul station directly, and the tickets are around 8,000 won and the estimated travel time is around 43 minutes. The train departs around every 40 minutes and operates from 5:20 till 22:33.

Also keep in mind that the all stop train can be crowded especially during peak hours and if you cannot get a seat can be quite a long ride. The benefit of the express train is that there are pre-assigned seats and there is also WiFi. Once you arrive at Seoul Station you can easily transfer to other subway lines or get a taxi with your luggage, as the station has facilities like escalators and elevators (this is the case with most other stations in Seoul as well).

For detailed information about these two trains, ticket prices, time tables and station information please visit http://bit.ly/1GrAITN. And make sure to check this before flying to Korea, as the AREX information may change periodically.

Bus

The airport bus is a slightly more expensive, but is a relatively more comfortable way to travel. Here you also have two options:

  • Airport buses
    The tickets are between 5,000 to 16,000 won (to Seoul station is around 15,000 won) and these buses will make several stops along the way and can be crowded at times. 
  • KAL buses
    The tickets are around 16,000 won and these buses will make stops at major hotels and tend to be more spacious. To check whether your hotel is also a KAL stop, please visit http://bit.ly/2qdweJP.

The estimated travel times for both buses are between 70 to 90 minutes without traffic and typically these buses depart around every 15 to 30 minutes dependent on the exact bus line you are taking. In the bus, all the bus stops are announced in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese.

If you decide to take the bus, then we suggest that you visit the bus ticket office or the travel information desk on the 1st floor of the passenger terminal (see http://bit.ly/2wzqr8A), so they can inform you exactly which bus line to take and where to you can board it as this may change periodically.

If you arrive after midnight then you can still take the night bus as this operates 24/7 and the tickets are around 16,000 won. For more information please visit http://bit.ly/2wzqr8A and click on the tab Late Night Bus where you can more information like time tables and destinations.

Taxi

This is the most comfortable and expensive way to travel from the airport to your destination. There are three different types of taxis:

  • Regular taxi
    These taxis are commonly orange, white or silver and the base fare is 3,000 won for the first 2 KM and an additional 100 won per 142 meters. There is also a 20% surcharge between 24:00 and 4:00.
  • Deluxe & jumbo taxi
    These taxis are commonly black and are a bit more luxurious than regular taxis. The base fare is 5,000 won for the first 2 KM and an additional 100 won per 142 meters. There is no surcharge after a specific time. 
  • International taxi
    These taxis can be orange or black and can be easily spotted as they will have the words “international” written on the side of the taxi and on the taxi sign. The fares of international taxis are fixed based on the area you are traveling to. For example to Seoul Station is 65,000 won (95,000 for a larger or more luxurious taxi).

    You can go to the international taxi stand to order a cab or if you don not want to wait or you are arriving late at night then it best that you reserve via http://bit.ly/2vqgQeZ. Here you will also be able to find information on the taxi costs when traveling to another area in Seoul and you can indicate what language you prefer your driver speaks (English, Chinese or Japanese).

For more information on where you can board the different types of taxis, please visit http://bit.ly/2vps7wo. Remember to take a clear picture of the Korean address of your destination to avoid miscommunication with the taxi driver.

To give you an impression of what to expect when you arrive at Incheon airport, just watch the video below. This video also shows the three different travel options we just mentioned. 

Before you decide on any of the above mentioned options, you should always check with the clinic you are visiting whether they provide any complimentary airport pickup.

What is the best way to get around Seoul for clinic visits?

Getting around in Seoul is quite easy and really depends on your preference. The options are bus, taxi and subway.

  • Bus
    If you cannot speak and read Korean than we do not recommend using the bus, as bus information and signs are usually in Korean only. 
  • Taxi
    On the (main) roads in Seoul you will have no problem getting a taxi (except maybe during rush hour) and the cost structure is the same as with airport taxis. Just remember to always bring along a clear photo of the Korean address of the clinic or accommodation you are visiting for the taxi driver to avoid miscommunication.
  • Subway
    Seoul has a very comprehensive subway system with English signs and announcements, making navigation extremely easy. You do need to ask your clinic for the exact directions to the clinic when traveling via subway like what is the station name, which subway exit should I take, how can I get from the exit to the clinic, etc. For a tutorial on how to use the subway in Seoul, just watch this video.

You can also buy a reloadable T-Money card for 2,500 won, which saves you time standing in line to buy a ticket each time you take the subway and it also provides discounts to subway fares.

  • To find more information on the subway map of Seoul, fare prices and applicable dicounts, please visit http://bit.ly/1WDXPRJ.
  • For a tutorial on how to use the T-money card and how you can use the subway locker systems to store (small) luggage,  just watch this video.

Besides the subway, the T-Money card can also be used to pay at convenience stores and at most Seoul taxis. The T-Money card itself cannot be refunded, but any excess funds that you have not used can be refunded at any T-Money sales points like S25, CU, 7-Eleven, Ministop, With Me, Buy The Way for small fee of 500 won.

Do you have any tips for when I am at the clinic for my consult?

This is one of the most important parts of your PS journey and it is also your opportunity to get the answers to the questions and concerns you have about your plastic surgery procedures. Besides these questions and concerns, some PS goers have also shared a few things you should keep in mind for your clinic consults.

  • Be social and try to talk to staff & patients
    When you are waiting for your consult with the doctor, you should try to talk to the staff and other patients. This will provide you with a general impression of how professional the staff are and how current patients experience the clinic.
  • Meeting with the consultant
    At most clinics you will have a meeting with your consultant before meeting the doctor, so they can address the questions you have in advance to make the doctor consult more efficient. Most of them will also try to give you recommendations on what plastic surgery procedure(s) you should do or not do. They may be experienced, but are not a doctor and will usually have a sales target as well. Also it seems that consultants are actually not legally allowed to recommend plastic surgery procedures (source: http://bit.ly/2voeUon).

    If this situation occurs, best is to keep your time with the consultant short, as you do not want to be recommended more procedures than you actually need. Do stay polite as the consultant will usually be your main contact during and after your surgery. 

  • Meeting the doctor
    It is a must that you meet with the doctor, who will be operating on you. Besides addressing the questions and concerns you have, you should also take particular notice of things like:

    • Does the doctor take the time to address your questions and concern or does the doctor get irritated quickly? 

    • Does the doctor make an effort to give you answers using terms that you can understand or does the doctor give you a I don’t care or factory vibe?

    • Before recommending a procedure to you does the doctor take the time to study your face first? And does he explain why another procedure(s) is needed?

    • Does the doctor provide clear instructions to you?

It is extremely important that you are comfortable with your doctor. And if for whatever reason your questions and concerns have not been addressed or you have additional questions, do not be afraid to schedule a second appointment with the doctor.

  • Ask for their revision policy
    You should try to ask the doctor what they will do or provide in case there are complications or when you are not satisfied. Though most doctor will usually let the consultant handle these types of questions. This is also the reason why after your meeting with the doctor you will usually have a second meeting with the consultant to further discuss topics like revision policy, price, discounts and surgery dates.

    Make sure you clearly understand the clinic’s revision policy and it is a good idea to get this in writing. You can get this by sending your consultant a mail/message where you summarize this policy and ask the consultant whether your understanding of this is complete and correct.

  • Be very specific about what you want
    Many times PS goers have shared that they are not satisfied with their plastic surgery results (too high, too low, too pointy, not pointy enough, too natural, too fake, etc.) and regret the fact that they did not research enough and were not specific enough about what they wanted and not wanted.

    Beauty is subjective and the doctor’s sense of beauty might differ from yours. So it is important to listen to recommendations as the doctor is the specialist, however, you absolutely need to make sure that you clearly explain exactly what you really want and what you absolutely do not want. And remember pictures help with your explanation.

  • Make sure to bring something along to take note
    Make sure you bring something along that contains the questions and concerns you have and where you can also take notes on. This will avoid you forgetting any of the questions and concerns you have, but also allows you to compare the notes you have taken before with the suggestions from the doctors of other clinics to see what make most sense to you. It is like getting a second opinion on what plastic surgery procedures you need.

There is a saying that goes: “how you do anything, is how you do everything”, which means how people behave at a certain moment is how they usually behave. If a clinic and/or a doctor does not seem to care, take the time, make you feel comfortable, then how do you feel what the chances are that this will improve after you have paid?

What are the prices of my plastic surgery procedures?

Unfortunately, there is no uniform standard on what each plastic surgery procedure costs in Korea. There are clinics charging only lower prices, while there are clinics with only higher prices. And what makes it even more complicated is that the plastic surgery prices between patients at the same clinic can even differ significantly.

As a foreigner, you can almost be certain that you will pay what we call a “foreigner’s price”, which is much higher than what a local would pay. This is unless you can either read and speak Korean fluently or you have a Korean friend/relative come along with you on all your consults (this is not the same as having a Korean interpreter!).

It has been mentioned that the Korean government has began to make efforts to make the plastic surgery industry more transparent (source: http://bit.ly/2irLSC3). Unfortunately, after 2 years it seems that not much progress has been made, as there are only a few plastic surgery procedure prices listed on the government’s official site: http://bit.ly/2vZpeFY. The same website did publish a more comprehensive list of plastic surgery prices a few years back (http://bit.ly/2fCSmgO), but can still be useful as it contains the prices of more plastic surgery procedures.

Another way to gain insights into the prices of specific plastic surgery procedures and of specific clinics is via plastic surgery forums. A popular thread where plastic surgery goers share the prices of PS clinics can be found here http://bit.ly/2vpVTRp.

And also one of the Korean plastic surgery concierge services we mentioned has table with price ranges of popular plastic surgery procedures listed on their site http://bit.ly/2vXoq6d, which can help you in your research. Do note that these prices are from a few years ago though.

Can I get a discount when I pay with cash?

This will mostly depend on your clinic and is not a certainty. In our research we did find that there were several PS goers whom have shared that they have received additional discounts when paying with cash instead of by card or bank transfer, as the clinic does not have to pay VAT.

However, please be aware that the government regularly has VAT refund programs for foreigners getting plastic surgery  procedures in Korea, which amounts to a 10% discount. Therefore, if you do get a cash discount at the clinic, make sure you ask whether you will still get a VAT receipt for your plastic surgery procedure(s) so you can claim it back the VAT at the airport.

Currently, there is a VAT refund program active that is valid until December 2018. If you go after this date, then it is best that you go to www.visitmedicalkorea.com to check whether a new VAT refund program is applicable. Below is a tutorial on how you can check this yourself.

Visit the visitmedicalkorea site and select the language of your choice.

  • Then click on Useful Info.
  • It will take you the section Notices & News where you can typically find notifications on any current (if any) government VAT refund programs.
  • After you have clicked on the text after Notice you can see the details of the VAT refund program including information like when the program begins and until when it is valid.

How can I get more discounts?

From our research there is no one sure approach to get a more discounts from a clinic. We did certainly come across several reviews, where PS goers have successfully bargained for discounts. Therefore, we have listed a few do’s and don’ts that will help prepare you for when you are bargaining with a clinic for additional discounts.

Do's before your surgery

  • Research the market price
    The key aspect of being able bargain is that you have a general understanding of what the market price is of your plastic surgery procedures, so when bargaining with the clinic they will not be able to take advantage of you. The best way to gain an understanding of the market prices for your procedures is via:
    • Forums: there are many forums where PS goers share up to date information on plastic surgery prices of specific clinics, like babitalk (Korean only), naver (Korean only), soyoung (Chinese only) and purseforum (English only).
    • Email clinics: email clinics, but not the clinics in your long- and shortlist, to ask for prices of the plastic surgery procedures you want. On the Clinics List page you can find a full a list of Korean clinics including their website that you can use for this purpose.
    • Enlist the help of a Korean friend: if you have a Korean friend or relative have them contact the Korean plastic surgery clinics on your long-list to ask for the plastic surgery prices. Though you will usually not get these exact prices yourself, it will give you a good point to start bargaining.
  • Use the lowest price from your face to face consults
    This approach seems to get good results among a few PS goers, and that is that once you have decided on you clinic to then start bargaining with them using the lowest quote you have received and see whether they are able to match these prices.
  • A friend’s plastic surgery price
    If you happen to have friend who recently got a good price for the same plastic surgery procedure at the clinic, then you can consider to give this price to the consultant when bargaining. This way you can make sure that at least the price of your plastic surgery procedure will not deviate too much from your friend’s price.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Group discounts: when you are with more PS goers you should be able to get group discounts.
    • Multiple procedures discount: when you are doing more plastic surgery procedures then you should able to more discount.
    • Seasonal discount: when you avoid going in peak plastic surgery periods you should get a better price than when you go during peak periods.
    • Referrals: if you know people interested in plastic surgery, you can try to convince the consultant that you will and can recommend people to him/her specifically, as this will mean more commission for the consultant.
    • Ask: always ask for a discount as most clinics are accustomed to clients asking for discounts. Put this differently, they might even find it weird if you do not ask. The worst that can happen is that they say no.

Don'ts before surgery

  • Asking prices via email yourself
    You should not ask for plastic surgery prices from your long-list yourself. Though it is understandable that you would like to know in advance, it is better to research prices yourself. Reason is that it is common practice for clinics to give you a price at the higher end of their pricing range. This is a normal pricing strategy as they expect you to bargain when you are at their clinic, so starting higher allows them to still get a good price even when a discount is given.

    If you really want to know beforehand from the clinic, then we suggest that you ask a friend to email the clinics for the prices of your plastic surgery procedures.

  • It is generally not recommended to use an intermediary
    Now this is a topic where most PS goers do not agree on, however, we still feel it is valuable to inform you on this. It has been rumored that intermediaries receive commissions from the clinic you decide to have your plastic surgery  procedures at. This automatically means that the price you get will include a markup for the intermediary’s commissions and thus minimizing you ability to bargain.

    When considering an intermediary’s business and pricing model this does seem plausible, as most of them ask a minimal fee for the services they provide and some are even completely free. Now since they are not a non-profit businesses they will have to make money somewhere.

    Please do not misunderstand, we are not suggesting that you should not use an intermediary at all, as we have seen cases of PS goers who are very satisfied with the services intermediaries have provided and could be especially interesting when you are travelling alone and/or are not accustomed to travel abroad. However, we want to give you as much information as possible, so you can make an informed decision.

The key to any form of bargaining is to understand what you are bargaining about, know what a market conform pricing is, and then start the bargaining process as low as realistically possible. If you do not prepare properly, then a clinic will have control and will usually start with a really high price making your bargaining position less favorable.

As mentioned, none of the above will guarantee that you get a discount, as there are clinics with fixed prices, higher price range, a famous doctor, etc. Then it is best to remember that you are ultimately looking for the right doctor/clinic and not necessarily the cheapest doctor/clinic. If you are on a tight budget, perhaps it is better to wait a bit longer to get the doctor you want instead of the doctor you afford now, as the latter might turn at to be more expensive in the end.

What do I prepare for my surgery?

Generally, all clinics will provide you with detailed pre-surgery instructions to help you prepare for your surgery as there may be differences depending on your specific PS procedure(s). However, to give you an idea of what to prepare we will list a few commonly shared do’s and don’ts you should keep in mind before your surgery, but make sure to double check this with your clinic.

Do's before your surgery

  • Arrange (help) to get back
    Arrange in advance how you can get back to your accommodation after surgery. With minor procedures you are usually back on your feet quickly, but with major and multiple plastic surgery procedures you should arrange this in advance. Best is to ask the clinic directly as they have experience with solo PS travelers and perhaps they can even arrange for you stay at the clinic overnight.
  • Wear comfortable clothes & shoes
    You should wear comfortable clothes & shoes like clothes that allows you button up in the front or the back.
  • Read other PS goers experiences
    You should read the experiences of other PS goers who have undergone similar plastic surgery procedures as you, so you can mentally prepare yourself for what you can expect, as it can be shocking for you to wake up after you just had surgery.
  • Ghost doctor
    Make sure that in the contract you sign with the clinic before your surgery, it is clearly stated what the full name is of the doctor that is operating on you. The clinic is legally obliged to put this in the contract (source: http://bit.ly/2ivYckV). This is to avoid a clinic using another doctor for your surgery.

Don'ts before your surgery

  • Don’t smoke
    You should stop smoking 2 weeks before your surgery as smoking can severely increases the risks of your plastic surgery (source: http://cle.clinic/2c7TYwp).
  • Don’t eat or drink anything
    This depends on your specific surgery, but usually with general anesthesia you should not eat or drink anything 8 hours before your surgery. This is very important as it is a common reason why patients have complications when under general anesthesia.

    During general anesthesia your body’s reflexes are temporarily stopped and if your stomach has food or drinks in it, then there is a risk of vomiting. If this happens than there is the risk of the food spilling into your lungs causing damage to your lungs and affecting your ability to breathe (source: http://bit.ly/2w1RyaV).
  • Don’t wear
    Do not wear hairpins, wigs, jewelry, false eyelashes, contact lenses, nail polish/gel/acryl/extensions, and make up.

What kind of foods, drinks and supplements should take or avoid before my surgery?

Many different types of foods, drinks and supplements have been mentioned by PS goers that will help you or potentially harm you during your recovery process. We have gathered the most commonly mentioned items here, which you can use to gain some insights on this subject.

Please be reminded though that the PS goers who have shared this are not specialists and the items mentioned have not been verified. So always ask your clinic first before taking any of the items mentioned below. Make sure to also have them inform you on when you should or should not take a supplement. 

Take before/after surgery

Vitamins
Most vitamins will aid in your recovery and they can also be beneficial when taken long time before your surgery (but are generally to be avoid 10 to 14 days prior to surgery).

  • Vitamin A
    Supports immune system functioning and aids collagen strength. Also required for bone development.
  • Vitamin B
    Cellular metabolism, tissue repair and immune support.
  • Vitamin C
    Necessary to build and rebuild collagen throughout the body. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune response. You can take vitamin C starting 2 months before your surgery as this will help you with your recovery, but make sure to stop taking them 10 to 14 days before surgery.
  • Zinc
    An essential trace mineral used in enzymatic reactions involved in tissue and wound healing, regeneration and repair.
  • Vitamin K
    Aids the natural blood clotting response and is important for bone health.
  • Vitamin D & Calcium 
    Important for bone health.
  • Magnesium
    Mineral involved in approximately 300 biochemical reactions.
  • Amino Acids (L-Arginine, L-Glutamine)
    Two key amino acids for wounds repair and immune function.

Medicine

These medicines have been recommended to be taken after your surgery as they can assist in speeding up the recovery process.

  • Sinecch and Bromelain
    Has been shown to reduce swelling, bruising, healing time and and pain.
  • Arnica
    May be helpful for controlling soreness and bruising especially in the early stages of healing.
  • Papaya enzyme
    Can help the body to heal wounds, to reduce inflammation and purify the blood.

Foods

Each of the foods listed below has an explanation on why they could be helpful with your recovery.

  • Vegetables
    Are a great source of vitamins & minerals that you need for your recovery.
  • Protein & Carbohydrate powder/bars
    Both elements are required for recovery and these powders ensure you get sufficient amounts. They are especially convenient after a major procedure(s) when prolonged chewing is not desirable. 
  • Soup powder without bits
    Does not necessarily assist in recovery, but are convenient after major procedure(s) when prolonged chewing is not desirable.
  • Instant porridge
    Does not necessarily assist in recovery, but are convenient after major procedure(s) when prolonged chewing is not desirable. Also most convenience stores in Korea sell them. 
  • Manuka honey
    Methylglyoxal is a major compound in manuka honey and is believed to have antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties.

Drinks

All the drinks listed should contain specific enzymes and vitamins that are said to help with your recovery.

  • Pumpkin juice
    Pumpkin juice has consistently been mentioned by many PS goers as it appears to help with deswelling after surgery. Some clinic provide you with this and in the case that your clinic does not provide pumpkin juice, you usually are able to buy this at a Korean pharmacy.
  • Pineapple juice
    Pineapples are nutritionally packed members of the bromeliad family. This delightful tropical fruit is high in the enzyme bromelain and the antioxidant vitamin C, both of which plays a major role in the body’s healing process (source: http://bit.ly/1RvzxYb).
  • Green vegetable juice/powder

Avoid before/after surgery

Medicine, vitamins and supplements
  • Aspirin and Vitamin E
    You should not take aspirin or related products and vitamin E, 2 weeks before your surgery, as both reduces the ability of your blood to cloth increasing the risks of bleeding during and after surgery.
  • Weightloss products
    You should not not take any weightloss products 7 days before your surgery.
  • Herbal supplements
    You should not take herbal supplements like; Alpha-lipoic acid, Echinacea, Gingko biloba,L-carnosine, Omega-3, Acetyl- l- carnitine, Ephedra, Ginseng, , Licorice, Resveratrol, Cinnamon, Camomile, Fish Oil, Garlic, Glucosamine-glutamine, Chondroitin, Kava, Milk thistle, Skullcap, St. John’s wort, Creatine, Ginger, Goldenseal, Evening Primrose Oil, Royal Jelly, 7 days before your surgery. 
  • Other medications
    You should stop taking any medications, with the exception of high blood pressure medication, 10 days before surgery.
 

Foods and drinks
Each of the foods and drinks listed below has an explanation on why they could be harmful to your recovery. Furthermore, we also found foods like beef, chicken, eggs, fungus and mushrooms whom PS goers have shared they are better to be avoided, but no information have been given as to why they could be harmful after surgery and thus are not included in this list.

  • Salt and MSG
    Especially large quantities increases your body’s ability to hold fluids and thereby increases your swelling.

  • Seafood
    This is a rather difficult one, as seafood (especially shellfish) are known to cause allergies, but can be a good source of protein (fish).

  • Heavy, greasy and spicy food
    There is a myth that says that it is best to avoid food that requires a lot of energy to digest and/or could cause an upset stomach.

  • Soy sauce
    There is a myth that says that eating soy sauce after surgery will darken the scar.

  • Milk
    Stimulates the production of phlegm & mucus and can restrict you ability to breathe and also milk can lead to constipation.

What should I do after surgery?

Generally, the clinic will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions to help you optimize the recovery process for your specific PS procedure(s). However, to give you an idea of what you can do to enhance your recovery, we will provide you with a few commonly shared do’s and don’ts you should keep in mind before your surgery. Make sure to double check this information with your clinic and also make sure you stick to their instructions!

Do's after surgery

  • Apply ice pack
    Applying and ice pack helps deswelling after surgery. A typical schedule is to apply an ice pack for 5 to 10 minutes every hour for the first 48 hours and then 15 to 20 minutes around 3 times a day. Do not apply the ice pack for more than 20 minutes as this is not good for your skin.
  • Sleep elevated
    Sleep with your head elevated at a 45 degrees angle for at least 2 to 3 weeks, as this will help with your deswelling.
  • Apply warm pack
    Applying a warm pack helps with healing as it enhances blood circulation. A typical schedule is to apply a warm pack after 4 to 5 days. The warm pack should be comfortably warm and should not burn your skin.
  • Walk a lot
    Walking will help with your healing and deswelling as this enhances blood circulation and you should make it point to walk everyday.
  • Apply scar cream
    Some clinics provide scar creams for their patients. However, if they do not provide this, then you can ask the clinic whether they can write a pharmacy note for you to buy it yourself or you can buy one before your trip. 
  • Take vitamin C
    As mentioned you can take vitamin C to help with your healing.
  • Meet with doctor
    It is common that you will start to panic after surgery, which is why it is recommended that you (request to) meet with the doctor during your post-operation checkups, so you can address any questions or concerns you have. This will help to ease your mind, which is beneficial to your recovery.

Don'ts after surgery

  • Avoid direct contact with water
    Avoid contact with water on the surgery area until your clinic indicates you can clean the surgery area, which is usually after the stitches are removed.
  • Avoid vigorous physical activities
    Swimming, running, aerobics, etc. should be avoided for typically at least 1 month or longer, as this may cause stress on the surgery area or cause your implant to shift.
  • Do not wear glasses
    In the case of a nose surgery you should not wear glasses for at least 2 months.

How long will it take for me to deswell and I am able to see my results?

There is no standard recovery process as every person will recover differently. Also it is dependent on factors like what procedure(s) have you undergone? What materials are used? etc. Even clinics will not be able to give you an exact answer, but will give you estimations based on the experiences of their patients. What you can do is to lookup the experiences of other PS goers who have done similar plastic surgery procedures so you can see what you can likely expect.

Generally speaking with regard to deswelling:

  • Swelling is most significant during the first 3 days after a surgery.
  • And will then gradually decrease within 3 to 4 weeks, which means 60% to 70% of the swelling will subside.
  • The remaining 40% to 30% will take 6 months to 12 months to completely subside. For major surgeries like facial contouring it can take even longer for the swelling to completely subside.

Again we stress, it will be different from case to case and the key thing is for you not to panic. Simply give your body the time to heal properly!

What should I take into account before flying back home?

Three things that you should take into account before flying back home are:

  • Surgery certificate
    It is advisable to get a certificate from you clinic that confirms you had surgery performed at the clinic. This can be used in case there are any issues at immigration like if your current passport photo does not match with your new face.
  • VAT refund
    When you are eligible for a VAT refund then make sure you get the appropriate receipt from your clinic so you can apply for the refund at the airport. For a detailed description on how you can apply or your VAT refund at Incheon airport, please visit http://bit.ly/2xfNxOH.
  • Contact details in case of questions/concerns
    It is useful to ask your clinic (or even better your consultant/doctor) directly what the best way is for you to contact them like via email, kakaotalk, phone, etc. in case of questions or concerns you have when you are back in your home country. When people agree to do something, they are more likely to stick to what they have said.

What is the best way to travel to Incheon airport?

The options we discussed previously in What is the best way to travel from Incheon to Seoul Station? also applies when traveling from Seoul to Incheon airport. We will therefore not describe each option again in detail, but we will provide you with additional information that could be useful to you when traveling back.

  • All stop train
    You can board this train at any station listed here http://bit.ly/1GrAITN, but beware that it can be crowded. And if you use the subway to get to a boarding stations listed, it could mean that you need to transfer to different lines, which could be inconvenient.
  • Express train
    You can board this train at any station listed here http://bit.ly/1GrAITN and get your tickets at the express train ticket booths at the station. As an example, please visit http://bit.ly/2wFYLOr for instructions (including pictures) on where you can find the express train booth at Seoul Station.
  • Airport buses
    When taking the airport bus you can simply take the bus stop across the stop you arrived at. In the case that you did not take the airport bus before, please visit http://bit.ly/2v7s6ll to check which bus line and what boarding locations are most convenient for you.
  • KAL buses
    When taking the this bus you can go to the stop you arrived at and buy a ticket. In case you did not take the KAL bus before, please visit http://bit.ly/2vZ2gig to check which boarding locations are most convenient for you and where you can buy a ticket, which is usually in the hotel near the bus stop.
  • (International) taxi
    You can grab a normal taxi to the airport anywhere, but for international taxis you need to reserve them in advance via http://bit.ly/2vqgQ.

What can I do when there are problems with my surgeries after I go back?

If you are back the most important thing is for you to relax and give your body time to heal, and this will take time. However, if you have any concerns and questions, you can always contact the clinic (usually your consultant and sometimes your doctor) to address this.

However, if your problems persist or you have completely healed, but you are not satisfied. Then you will have to arrange with your clinic to go back to Korea for a revision. There is no way around this and if you have followed the suggestions in this report that you should have the revision policy of the clinic in writing.

Unfortunately, there are cases where you will get into a dispute with the clinic about the results of your plastic surgery procedures. What you could do then is to contact the:

Their contact details are listed on the websites and together with these organizations you can explore what (legal) options you have to take against your clinic.

We also recommend you to take pictures daily/weekly of you before, during and after your surgery like a diary, as this information will help support you in your claim if needed. And when taking the picture make sure you include some sort of date information, so there can be no dispute about this later on.

We have carefully selected a few products that will help you on your beauty journey!

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