Plastic surgery in Korea has become so crazy that some surgeons are now issuing out special certificates to prove that patients are who they say they are. I’m writing the SyFy Channel movie version as we speak. So far, I've got patients that have shark heads and human bodies terrorizing airport customs workers at their private homes on secluded islands.
The graph above shows how much South Korea is winning in the game of plastic surgery. The influx of articles written about their transformative surgeries keeps rising. "South Korea" and "plastic surgery" are basically becoming synonymous.
But seriously -- sort of -- this has become an issue for patients who undergo several facial reconstructive surgeries and look nothing like they used to, so their new faces don’t match their passport photos. It’s become especially troublesome when tourists come to South Korea for these surgeries and then have to return home -- fun fact: most of these tourists come from China and Japan.
In 2009 Customs detained 23 women because their photos were unrecognizable. These women, and some men, were (ans still are) getting their eyes enlarged, noses lifted, and chins shaved.
A young woman celebrates after winning China's first Miss Plastic Surgery pageant on December 18, 2004 in Beijing, China. They ACTUALLY have contests for this, which should be no surprise considering most of South Korea's tourist patients come from China or Japan.
To avoid these Brave New World issues, the new certificates include the person’s passport number, name of the hospital, and the length of their visit to South Korea.