Young Koreans Before and After Extreme Plastic Surgery (50 pictures)

The number of tourists visiting South Korea for cosmetic surgery has increased more than fivefold since 2009, to 15,428 last year, according to the country’s health ministry. Medical tourism industry logged revenue of 487 billion won ($453 million) in 2012. That’s triple the amount in 2009.

The modern Korean woman is said to have exchanged maternal and domestic femininity for a slim, well-toned body and beautiful face. And for many Korean women, cosmetic surgery is not only a symbolic practice of coming of age and care for the self but it serves to provide significant gains in education, marriage and career.

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