Like I said, I’ve been in plastic surgery industry in South Korea for 5 years before I moved to another country to pursue my other careers. There might be some of success plastic surgery example walking around the upscale Gangnam district, known as 강남미인 (Gangnam Miin) which literally means the beauty of Gangnam. It’s not a praise if you heard someone told you this word, it’s basically means your face looks like someone who have had plastic surgery. But, what the surgeons and the industries tried to cover up and didn’t tell you that there are many failure cases, which might even makes you looks worse, or worst case losing your own life. During the 5 years, there are three majors accidents (either being disclosed or not by the media) happened in three different hospitals that I known of.
GXXXX PLASTIC SURGERY CLINIC
Located somewhere around Sinsa-dong area, there’s a really tall building which is owned and operated by this hospital. The accident happened somewhere around December 2013, but the hospital was quick to cover everything up, so no one knows (even other than the hospital staff’s who was in the surgery room that night didn’t know about the accident) until the victim’s family and friends were having a demonstration in front of the hospital building. It quickly get into the news in television and online media, but once again since the hospital owner has “the connection” everything is being pulled down very quickly, so basically very little people know about this accident, not to say the foreign patients won’t even know about this at all.
The story starts when the recently high school graduated student should be having an eye and nose surgery. Little that she know, after the surgeon finished eye surgery and inject her with a sedative medicine, the surgeon didn’t continue the nose surgery, but instead going out as per instructed by the hospital owner to do the consultation for other patients who have been waiting. After long hours of consultation, the surgeon went back to the surgery room only to find that the patient lying in bed is no longer breathing. They tried to call an ambulance and do some emergency action, but it was too late. The little girl fell into a vegetative state permanently for 2 months before pronounced dead on February 2014, where the family and friends of the girl came down to the hospital to do the strike.
How do I know something like this? Because I worked in this hospital as an interpreter before. I still remember how they treated every of their patient just like some products in the factory. How they asked their doctor to work long hours. And how they asked their doctor / surgeon to just come out of the surgery room in the middle of the surgery just to give consultation to catch more and more patients. And how sometimes they used a shadow doctor to get the surgery done.
WXXXXX Plastic Surgery
This hospital is another hospital which is quite famous with foreigners, and the accident happen somewhere around 2014. I remembered it happened not long after I moved to another hospital from GXXXX hospital. It was a patient who undergo the double jaw surgery. Double jaw surgery (please don’t mixed it with facial contouring surgery, it’s a two different things) can be considered a big scale facial bone surgery, where you can correct not only the aesthetic side of your jaw problems, but also the functional problem with your jaw. There’s not much surgeon would recommend you doing this double jaw surgery (again, NOT facial contouring surgery) unless it’s really necessary. Because the surgery is going to be big, there’s so much to prepare before the surgery and so much to follow up after the surgery.
The surgery finish successfully, and the surgeon and the nurse team moved the patient to the resting room, where the patient’s condition is going to be controlled every each hour for at least 12 -24 hours after the surgery, depends on the patient’s condition. But, then the patient’s condition quickly deteriorate and pronounce dead in the resting room. After receiving the news, the father of the patient come with a bottle of soju, get drunk and make a mess in the hospital. The hospital was quick to respond to cover up the matter by canceling all the surgery on that day, and ask the other customers who was still in the hospital to go home with the reason, “there’s a mad drunk man that’s making a scene, it’s dangerous for you, so please go home,”. Wow, what a smooth reason! They even used the victim’s family to cover up their own mess. So, no media even able to get the coverage of this news.
How do I know something like this? Because one of my Korean friend worked as their nurse staff cum interpreter, so I get to hear this insider news from her.
Unlike the two other cases above, this hospital didn’t able to cover up their mess. Why? Because the victim is not a nobody, like the other two victims, The victim of their medical negligence is Shin Hae Chul, a quite famous South Korean singer. The singer had a abdominal surgery with them, and due to an improper post surgery care, the singer passed away in October 2014. The death of the singer caused an uproar, since it was so sudden and the singer’s family makes a ruckus all over the media. And since the victim is famous, the prosecutor went on to proceed with the case, and not until 2016, that the case get a conclusion by having the surgeon sentenced as guilty and has to pay for a compensation for around 2.3 billion won due to his medical negligence.
It was not too hard to find information on this case since it’s all over the media. The name of the hospital was initially mentioned in the news as well, before they reported by using an initial. The news mentioned that the hospital is being closed down, but truthfully, every local people knows that the hospital has just changed their name and still operate per usual up to today.
I’m not disagree with people who wants to have a plastic surgery. It’s their choice anyway. If they feel comfortable and happy by doing do, why not? What I want to share by writing the accident cases above is that I would like to remind everyone out there to know very well on the plastic surgery clinic you’re going just to make sure you’re going to have the safest surgery and make sure you will be able to make it out alive after the surgery. A surgeon skill is one of the important factor, but what you must bear in mind is the hospital / clinic management itself is the most important factor. No matter how good the surgeon who’s giving you consultation, what the point if by the end of the day, once you get into the surgery room, and the hospital management ask the surgeon to go out of the surgery room and change your surgeon with another one? And I must say this “hospital management” factor, is one of the factor that the plastic surgery customers didn’t really pay attention to. They just busy finding out who’s the best surgeon, without even considering whether the hospital is being managed properly or not.
So, by the end of the day, either it’s the surgeon’s skill or it’s the hospital’s management, please keep in mind that both of them are equally important to have a success plastic surgery.
I love to travel and eat!! I'm a freelance Korean English Chinese Bahasa Indonesia interpreter, who love to blog and write. I worked in a plastic surgery hospital in Korea for 5 years before pursuing my interpreting and writing jobs. My previous blog on plastic surgery (which has been permanently closed down T-T) has been published in a book.