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A Look Into Popular Cosmetic Procedures in Asia

There’s no doubt that North America and Europe dominate the global plastic surgery industry, but did you know that now more women in Asia have plastic surgery than any other area in the world?

In fact, 1 in 5 South Korean women has had some form of cosmetic surgery, compared to around 1 in 20 in the United States. With staggeringly high numbers in procedures performed in Korea, we look at the emergence of popular Asian plastic surgery procedures that are taking over the East. Plastic surgery is fiercely gaining momentum, with research indicating that China and India are the new expected countries of growth in the cosmetic plastic surgery industry.

Big Business

In the capital city of plastic surgery, Seoul, cosmetic plastic surgery clinics line the roads as a fundamental part of the lucrative industry that rakes in $5 billion a year. Both the South Korean government and the people of the country are becoming increasingly conscious of the benefits and profitability that plastic surgery can produce for both the citizens and the country.

Governmental Support

In April 2017, South Korea started offering visitors a tax break on cosmetic surgery procedures for a year. The outbreak of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) led to a significant drop in the amount of visitors that enter the country, therefore negatively impacting Korea’s medical tourism. The tax break is an attempt to revive the declining plastic surgery tourism industry.

Other popular Asian countries with big medical tourism segments include Thailand, Singapore, India, and Malaysia, along with high-budget cities like Dubai. Other countries like the Philippines and Vietnam are emerging markets.

Emerging Cosmetic Trends

The new emerging cosmetic trends seem to have taken over the Asian communities with very little attention to the risks and complications that may arise from these high-level augmentation procedures. Patients must seek a certified plastic surgeon if they are interested in seeking these newly developed procedures with little evidential research that proves their safety over an extended period of time. New extreme procedures are often irreversible, and their end results display higher risks than benefits. Patients should proceed with extreme caution when considering Eastern Asian procedures that are not commonly performed in North America or Europe.

Advanced Research and Development in Skincare Products

Eastern Asian countries are taking the leap in innovative skin care products that are geared for beauty junkies who cannot get enough of the latest new fads in skincare. Korea’s big-business products include comprehensive skincare lines, targeted skin care such as skin whitening or anti-aging, and other best-selling products like sheet masks with key ingredients that are exclusive to their geographically located herbal plants, making them highly attractive to consumers who seek specific products based on ingredients.

Radical Facial Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

The beauty norm in Asia is a bit different than in North America. For example, light, tan-free, porcelain skin is the idealistic skin tone for most Asians, while golden, sun-kissed, tanned skin is desirable for most North American people and for the majority of European countries. Other beauty-driven cosmetic goals include V-shaped chins, smaller noses, higher nose bridges achieved with nasal implants, and eye-enhancing that either enlarges or opens up the shape and size of the eyes.

More recently, there has been a social media circulation of unusual procedures that actually reverse the look that most women and men in North America want to enhance. Fuller lips are associated with youthfulness across Europe and North America. But meanwhile, the Asian community admires thinner, more fragile facial attributes. The following are some of the new radical facial cosmetic surgery procedures.

Perma Smile Surgery: The Lipt (Lip Lift)

The outer corners of the mouth are lifted and curved upwards to create a permanent lift and smile.

Lip Reduction Surgery

This surgical procedure reduces the top lip to reflect Caucasian features (along with narrower cheek bones and deeper-set eyes, to name a few).

Lingual Frenectomy: Tongue-Lengthening Surgery

This procedure involves the removal of a band of tissue that connects the under portion of the tongue with the floor of the mouth to help South Koreans pronounce English words better.

Epicanthoplasty: Eye-Widening Surgery

This procedure widens the eyes by excising and releasing the corners of the eyelids to make the eyes appear larger. The “epicanthal folds” are removed to soften the corners of the eye. This is often paired with a double eyelid surgery.

Forehead Augmentation

For a rounder forehead contour, the Asian population iundergoing forehead augmentation with a surgical implant that is placed underneath the skin of the forehead or non-surgically with injections in the forehead like saline injections, fat, or dermal fillers to achieve a smoother, rounded forehead, as is often seen in Caucasian faces.

Calf Reduction

This common request by the Asian population can be achieved by surgically augmenting the calf muscles or with Botox injections into the calf muscles. Despite the high risks with these procedures such as immobility or mutation, Asian women and men still receive calf reduction surgery to lean out their lower legs.

Limb Lengthening

This extremely high-risk and painful procedure can add up to 3 inches to someone’s height. This procedure yields many disadvantages over the actual benefits. Originally adapted from orthopedic surgeons in the treatment of stunted growths or traumatic events, this surgery can lead to the amputation of the limbs if improperly healed.

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