Went to the Plastic Surgery Capital of the World…

…Seoul, Korea!

Sorry for the long hiatus. I was on vacation.

I wasn’t just goofing off, though, mind you.

(Though Taylor Lautner can goof off as much as he wants. We’ll all just sit here and stare.)

I was looking out for signs of plastic surgery since, as pointed out by the title of this post, Seoul is the plastic surgery capital of the world…It was pretty obvious because, well…

There were literally advertisements everywhere: before and after pics of plastic surgery patients at various clinics, boasting slogans like, “Everyone has done it except you.”

I took pictures of some of the drastic ones because, well, it’s interesting. There’s a whole culture revolving around plastic surgery in Korea. People get it as birthday gifts or graduation presents. 1 in 5 women in Seoul has gotten plastic surgery (though many procedures are limited to minor tweaks like the double-eyelid surgery). The double eyelid surgery, in turn, is viewed as many Americans view ear piercings.

In a country where beauty lands you jobs and gives you a competitive edge, plastic surgery is an essential part of many Koreans’ lives.

Look at these pics…

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Crazy, right?

Though I have nothing against plastic surgery, there’s one thing with this whole phenomenon that really bothers me.

Take a look at all the “after” photos.

Big, round eyes. Tall, small, narrow nose. White skin. Smooth jawline and sharp chin. Small face.

Don’t all the girls look kinda…similar? I think plastic surgery can definitely be used to enhance your features, but in some cases, it seems to be turning many young girls into clones.

Pretty clones, I guess. But they’re still clones.

It doesn’t have to be this way, but it seems like everyone wants to look a certain way. These features have come to represent what it means to be beautiful in Korea. Most of the popular K-Pop stars and K-drama actors and actresses tend to have similar features, and it’s no wonder.

Many of them are getting plastic surgery in similar ways (why, some even have the same plastic surgeon!), thus producing almost identical faces. Of course, there are differences from face to face, but the overall appearance is strikingly similar.

Sure, many countries have this problem, a standard of beauty that everyone strives to fulfill. In other countries, however, I feel like the problem isn’t so severe. Or, at least, not in America. In America, there are various types of looks that one would consider beautiful.

There is the sexy-puffy-lips-sultry-eyes look of Angelina Jolie, or the girl-next-door look of Jennifer Aniston and Blake Lively. There is the hourglass figure of Sofia Vergara, the fuller figures of stars like Queen Latifah and Kim Kardashian,  and the twiggy, boyish bodies of actresses like Nicole Kidman and Kate Hudson.

In Korea, the standard of beauty seems much narrower and much more marginalized.

With such high plastic surgery rates within the Seoul population, people will definitely start to look similar.

And no, I’m not being racist. Koreans do not “all look alike” naturally, but if they get plastic surgery to look like a K-Pop star or an actress or one of those ads in the subway stations, they’re certainly bound to.

I support plastic surgery, but when people end up looking like clones, it saddens me.

It’s one thing to make yourself look better. It’s another thing entirely to change your face so completely that you look nothing like yourself and have transformed into an Asian barbie doll.

After all, if we are all beautiful, then what’s the point of being beautiful in the first place?

Clone-like Miss Korea 2013 Contestants (from KoreaBang.com)

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Nose Infections, Oh My!

At the clinic the other day, one of the patients came in with a, drum roll please…

NOSE INFECTION!

Yeah, that’s not that exciting. In fact, it sounds really unfortunate.

Correction: It was really unfortunate.

When a patient comes in for rhinoplasty or some other nose surgery, there’s always that tiny risk of infection. If the patient doesn’t carry through with the proper, post-op treatment, then this is certainly a possibility.

Not very fun, but very possible.

I tried to remember everything that was happening…

…but my facts may not be 100% accurate. I apologize in advance.

Anyways! The patient which came in with the nose infection had amazing results but was seriously miserable. She had had to inject a few IV’s prior to coming in with a different doctor and was positively exhausted by the time of her check-up.

Thankfully, Dr. Lee already had an action plan as to how to treat the infection. First, he had to inject salt water into her body to open up the blood vessels, etc. He then numbed several key areas of her face and nose and irrigated the infected area with a beneficial, antibiotic solution. (Or was it antibiotic? Forgive me, I’m only an intern.)

Unfortunately, though he had stuffed some cotton in the back of her nose to prevent the solution from going down her throat, some of it did escape. The medical team was well-prepared and had her gurgle some water to help with the burning. She was fine in no time.

This is kind of random, but…honestly, I can’t think of a better, more personal group of medical professionals. The people at Enhance Medical Center keep on amazing me with how much they actually get to know and interact with their patients.

Seriously. I’m not just saying that. It’s not like I’m being paid to say that or anything…

But seriously. I actually am not getting paid. They don’t even know about this blog yet.

Have a happy Memorial Day weekend everybody!

Crazy Medical Mysteries

Since the clinic is closed this weekend, I’ll post some crazy stuff instead.

Everyone’s heard of medical mysteries– medical cases which have no known scientific explanation. Cases which, frankly, almost seem to come from some other world.

Watch these videos– they’ll blow your mind away.

The boy who can’t eat food…

 

The girl who hasn’t aged…

 

After having a stroke, these people have been turned into modern-day Picasso’s!

 

Pretty strange and gruesome…But interesting, surprisingly! What does that say about me?!

More Junk Food For the Brain

Until I intern next…more junk food to rot your brain!

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Well, hey, my arm hurts, too, but I’M not complaining. Sissy.

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If I were that doctor…

Yeah, that would be me.

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Ah. The intricacies of the modern world.

The Infamous Doctor’s Handwriting

The Infamous Doctor's Handwriting

Does being a doctor ruin your handwriting…or do people with bad handwriting tend to become doctors?

Mind explosion.

Two words: Boob Job.

God, I haven’t posted in two weeks!

Two. Weeks.

I was crazy busy, since certain high school teachers like to cram exams before spring break starts. Oof. At least I’m finally on break!

Now, back to business. Last week was actually really cool. I entered the clinic and shadowed a few botox treatments, but things didn’t really get interesting until the very end.

A woman came in who had just recently gotten a boob job.

Boob jobs are very common here in ‘Murica. In fact, they’re the second most common type of plastic surgery, coming in at over 300,000 surgeries a year. That’s crazy.

In Asian countries, boob jobs aren’t as common, but they still occur in significant numbers.

I’d never really seen the aftermath of a fresh boob job. I guess I thought it would be a lot cleaner than the other procedures– maybe with some small stitches, all neatly sewn in and complete.

Well.

It was a lot messier than that. The chest was bound tightly, and a couple drains were attached, collecting blood. The patient was in a little pain, too, but I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything else since¬† she kind of just had surgery.

Dr. Lee was calm and professional throughout the check-up, which was a good thing because I wasn’t exactly calm and professional.

I still have to get used to the immediate aftermath of surgery, or risk being mistaken for a deer in headlights for the rest of my life.

Anyways, despite the messiness, the procedure actually produced great results. Dr. Lee checked up on the condition of the breasts, removed the drainage bags, made sure they were positioned and were developing correctly, and the check-up was complete.

Unfortunately, the patient could hardly move her arms! I helped her get re-dressed and she left the clinic all intact. Woo-hoo! Point one for Maddi.

It’s great how much I’m learning from this internship. I seriously can’t wait until I can watch an actual surgery live in action.

You know, as long as I don’t throw up.

Or almost faint.

Like last time.

Well, hey, I’m getting there! No nausea or sickness from seeing the blood this time. The desensitization must be beginning.

I deserve a special sticker.