In the list of the top 10 countries ranked by the raw number of plastic surgery procedures undertaken, South Korea stands out for being the smallest country in terms of population—thus, pound for pound, it’s fair to consider the nation fairly obsessed with plastic surgery. So perhaps it’s not so surprising that South Korea made the news this week for a mildly gruesome story involving plastic surgery. In the posh Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea (yes, that Gangnam district), which features a so-called “Beauty Belt” neighborhood with dozens of plastic surgery purveyors, the offices of one such joint briefly displayed a pair of impressive translucent cases filled with the jawbone parts of roughly 1,000 patients.
For reasons that resist brief summary, chin reduction surgery is very common in Korea. I would show you some impressive before/after pics from South Korea, but the ones I was looking at didn’t seem legit to me, and my command of the Korean language gets a little pyeongbeomhan after my third glass of soju. You can see a few typical pics here.
This diagram depicts one of the typical chin procedures:
Every jawbone in the glass cases bore a label with the name of the respective patient. The clinic in question mostly specializes in jaw procedures, as many women desire a thinner facial look. A procedure to narrow one’s face by shaving off sections of jawbone to get a more V-shaped chin costs more than $3,000.
The sculptures, if they can be so called, have gotten the clinic in a bit of legal trouble, as they “contravened regulations requiring the disposal and incineration of body parts removed in medical procedures.” An official from the Gangnam district office “visited the clinic after some people filed complaints” and intends to levy a fine of three million won ($2,796), which, coincidentally, is pretty close to the price of one jaw reduction surgery.