Gangnam branded as heaven for plastic surgery

By treatment, plastic surgery and skin care were at the top with 47.1 percent, followed by internal medicine (12.6 percent) and medical checkups (8.7 percent). Photo: ST

The Gangnam district in southern Seoul is heaven for plastic surgery, local media outlets reported Monday.

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the district attracted around 56,000 medical tourists last year, the highest figure among all municipalities in South Korea, followed by Gyeonggi Province (56,000) and Incheon (17,000).

By nation, Chinese medical tourists topped the list with 24,000 (44.2 percent), followed by Americans with 7,200 (12.8 percent) and Russians with 4,200 (7.5 percent). The number of Chinese and Kazakhstani patients increased 46.4 percent and 236.1 percent respectively on-year.

By treatment, plastic surgery and skin care were at the top with 47.1 percent, followed by internal medicine (12.6 percent) and medical checkups (8.7 percent).

Gangnam has been ramping up efforts to attract more foreign medical tourists by carrying out diverse marketing and promotional activities. It is also running the Gangnam Medical Tour Center for foreign patients.

"This year, we are aiming to lure 62,500 medical tourists by diversifying promotional channels," said a Gangnam district official.