Medical Tourism | 8 Steps to Prepare a Plastic Surgery in Korea for Foreigners

Medical Tourism | 8 Steps to Prepare a Plastic Surgery in Korea for Foreigners

If you are reading this article, you are probably researching how to start preparing your medical tourism in Korea specifically for a plastic surgery. It really does require lots of research in many things before you come to Korea. Simply listing, clinics, surgeons, schedule, VISA, and your family/friend are merely few things to consider.


Here is the solution. Most of the people take either way to prepare their medical tourism in Korea. Some people prefer to have a professional medical tourism agent who can find the ideal clinic according to requirements and budgets. In other hands, some people prefer to do ‘hands-on’ personal research in contacting the clinics and arranging their schedules. This post will discuss ‘Do It Yourself’ method as planning with agents do not require much effort as much as a DIY method. Here are my tips for the overall process to prepare your trip.



8 Steps For Your Medical Tourism in Korea

prepare your medical tourism trip

1) Research and List Your Interested Clinics

What are the important keys in selecting the clinics? Let’s think. The clinic website, influencer’s reviews, the word of mouth, before&after photos, online review, forums? Yes, All of them are doubtlessly important.


However, do keep in mind that all the information online is not filtered and do not get swindled by biased reviews on the internet. Online is where anyone can write anything anonymously and the posts may not be true. Listen to what people say, but do not trust or bound to them completely. Try to research and gather clinic’s information (email, website) of all the clinics you are interested into contact. At this moment, you do not need to narrow it down to 2-3 clinics. You can list more than 10 clinics if you wish.



2) Clinic Reputation vs. Surgeon Reputation

Once you made the list, start browsing through their websites, social medias, and find more about them. Read what kind of surgery method/material they will be performing in your body. Also, find out what kind of services you can receive as an international patient.


At this step, it is important to search about the surgeons at the clinic and find out their credentials. Find which institution the surgeon studied or worked at, which organization the surgeon belongs to, and know what degrees the surgeon has. Rather than trusting the clinic’s whole reputation, recognizing the trustworthy surgeon will increase the chance of success of your surgery result. Do look at the general reputation of the clinics but do not forget that it will be “the surgeon” who will be performing your surgery, not the clinic itself. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Things You Should Consider When Choosing the Clinic

Many people consider the size of a clinic as one of the important factors. You may think a bigger size clinic will be better to stay at but the truth is that your plastic surgery experience will mostly depend on the people working there rather than the clinic size itself. A large scale of a clinic (almost like a big company) does not mean they are better in surgeries or customer service than the smaller size of the clinic. A Bigger clinic can provide a greater scale of customer service and facilities, but it is difficult to concentrate 100% on an individual patient. While the small clinic can provide a more 1:1 private care, the doctors have limited surgeries per day. You may have to reserve your surgery date early as possible to reserve the few available spots. Here are pros and cons.

Check which degrees your doctor has completed. Some doctors have M.D. degree, and some may have Ph.D. degrees. Check if they have any specialization such as ENT or plastic surgery. Plastic surgeries are one of the most sensitive and challenging surgeries as the doctor’s artwork will transparently appear in one’s face and body. Although degrees cannot fully present the artistic hand skills and surgery skills, at least you know they have all the knowledge required to perform the surgeries. Some of the plastic surgeries require extensive experiences and knowledge; if surgeries are not performed successfully, you may have to go through a revision cycle.

3) Email Your Interested Clinics


A lot of clinics provide an email consultation and Whatsapp consultation as well. It never hurts to ask inquiries and listen to the doctor’s comments. Write down your basic contact information and try to talk to them. Tell them what you are concerned about or you can simply ask for the doctor’s recommended surgeries or procedures. This is when you start asking questions you were curious about and see what services can they provide. It is also a good step to know more about what you want and to start a basic consultation before you have the actual consultation in Korea. As you are traveling abroad from Korea, they may provide airport pick-up service or accommodation during your stay in Korea.

4) Contact the Clinics & Arrange Your Schedule


Keep in touch with the clinics you have felt chemistry with! You can never ignore the chemistry or indescribable connection between you with your consultant. Start narrowing down your medical tourism clinic lists to 2-3 clinics and start getting ready to prepare your flight tickets and accommodation. Most of the clinics in Korea require an appointment to reserve the surgery date and consultation with the doctor. Moreover, most of them will accept a deposit before you arrive at the clinic so they can reserve everything for you.


If you are looking for a warm and a cool weather for the Korea medical tourism, I would recommend April, May, June, July, September, and October. April is beautiful because it has a cherry blossom season. September and October are also very nice because it has red maple trees. 🙂 Reserve the flight ticket as soon as possible once you make up your mind because tickets can be very expensive.

5) Check Your VISA and Passport

You do not want to ruin your whole medical tourism because your passport expires soon or you need VISA to travel in Korea. Check online or call the embassy to see if you are good to go! Every country has different standards in VISA and passport remaining expiration dates; check every detail to prevent any rejection at the airport.

6) Any Illness, Allergy, Medication, Or Health Condition?

There are lists of medication you need to avoid prior to the surgery: blood circulation medication, aspirin, some vitamins. On the other hands, you cannot stop taking diabetes or blood pressure medication. Your clinic will most likely ask you about these questions, but make sure to confirm with the clinic about your body condition or medications.

7) Confirm Your Flight Ticket and Accommodation

You are almost there. Check your flight ticket and inform to the clinic. If they provide the airport pick-up service, they will come and pick you up according to your flight schedule. If the flight gets delayed, then they will still know about it without your notification. Confirm your accommodation with them and know your address just in case you need to write down your Korea residency at the airport.

8) Just in Case…

Just in case, inform your emergency contact number to the clinic so they know where to call when needed. You will probably have wifi inside the airport but it may not work sometimes. Memo your clinic phone number and address just in case you need to ask Koreans to find your way there. 



RealSelf Patient Reviews of Myung Ju Lee, MD, PhD

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