The Chinese embassy in Seoul, South Korea is warning citizens of the risks involved in undergoing plastic surgery in South Korea, which it says range from death, to deceptive advertising, to medical disputes.
It cautions visitors also against “ghost surgeries,” wherein assistants, non-healthcare providers, or others stand-in in place of a licensed medical professional.
It also speaks of surgery that changes one’s appearance so significantly that it can affect immigration procedures, and advises that proof of surgery be brought with one prior to traveling, if still in the recovery phase.
Visitors are advised to get surgery by professional plastic surgeons, such as members of The Korean Association of Plastic Surgeons.
South Korea is a popular destination for medical tourists, most of whom come from China and the United States, seeking less costly cosmetic surgery.
That fact has led to medical disputes, “surgery failures and even fatalities,” the Embassy warned.
The Embassy’s note to the public reportedly follows the death this month of a Chinese woman who underwent liposuction surgery at a clinic in Seoul’s Gangnam District, Reuters reports.
The Embassy’s warning suggests visitors:
- “Avoid blindly following advertising.”
- “Choose intermediaries carefully.”
- “Choose formal medical institutions and professional plastic surgeons.”
- “Strictly standardize the diagnosis and treatment process,” such as by singing a contract prior to surgery that stipulates who the surgeon is, what results are expected, who’s liable for breaches of contract, and what resolution options are in place.
- “When medical disputes occur, rationally safeguard [your] rights through legitimate channels,” by using such avenues as negotiating with the hospital, legal proceedings, or arbitration through the Korean Medical Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Court.
“If your appearance changes significantly after surgery,” the Embassy notes, “or you are still in the recovery stage, you should bring proof of surgery when you leave the country and return to your country, so as not to affect your check-in or subsequent immigration procedures.”
View the warning from the Chinese Embassy in South Korea here.