South Korea's Obsession with Plastic Surgery

Part 1: Seoul has become a plastic surgery mecca for women seeking to reshape their facial features.
9:14 | 06/22/14

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for South Korea's Obsession with Plastic Surgery
Next we're going to take you to the face that is literally the plastic surgery capital of the world. Ups of thousands of people come here for a deal too good to resist. But is it really worth it? We're with two women as they learned the actual price is more painful than they ever could have imagined. ? It's official. We're obsessed with plastic surgery. Constantly speculating on which celebrity had work done and where. Dishing out an estimated $12 billion on cosmetic enhancements last year alone. But there's a place where it's even more extreme. A plastic surgery Mecca where 7.5 million people have travelled to go under the knife. Gangnam, the ritzy district in South Korea that was put on the map. It's full of Korean women like the ones featured in this hip-hop video and in the band "Girls generation." A stunning cee have beens had plastic surgery. The streets lined with clinics and 19-year-old Christina is about to join them. . It's a Normal thing not like you're getting plastic rurg R surgery? It's like you're getting plastic surgery, congratulations. Wow. I have friends that go on vacation and come back with a new face. You have friends that you don't recognize? Yeah. She's getting surgery on her chin and nose. She's has aspirations of broadcasting her career and also feels pressure of making changes first. I got a lot of hate comments, why is she on TV. I don't have the looks. I don't have that figure, that face. Do you feel like you're doing it to fit in and look like everybody else? I guess everyone wants to look like models. You have to look pretty. Double eyelids. Your v-line face. You have to have big breasts. In Korea, you go down the street. You see this girl. You walk down the street and you see that girl again. Actually it's a different person. Because everybody looks -- Looks the same. So identical? Of course. I've been living with my jawbone for 20 years now. I'm cutting it off. I'm taking a part of my bone out, it's kind of nerve-racking, I guess. I have all these Korean actresses that I wish I looked like. It's not just women living in Korea. 6,000 miles away, living in los Angeles, Jessica Choi is ready to go for her own plastic surgery overhaul. I haven't been to Korea since I was 3. I don't remember much. Many Koreans are drawn to the city fo their expertise and the price. They know the face better. Jessica is hoping to have a procedure she had in America and new ones. My mother is naturally beautiful. People would make fun of me when I was little. That's not your daughter. So it sort of just stuck. In high school my first procedure is getting this double eyelid crease put in and just recently I had my nose done by a Beverly hills plastic surgeon. But it's still not what I'm looking for. I went to a renowned doctor. He said $8,000. In South Korea it's $3,000 to 4,000 or 5,000. I think the results will be better. She consults with jk plastic surgery. A leading clinic led by Dr. Jk. Jessica. Tell me what you don't like about yourself? I think my forehead could use rounding out. My eyes can be extended so they're a little longer and bigger and not so slanted upwards and correct my rhino plastic and some lip injections and the major thing is bone contouring of my jaw here and my chin. But my personality is a-okay. She makes final preparations and soon is on the plane heading to Seoul. Part of the J.K. Experience, five-star experience at every turn. Upon landing met by an attendant and wlifked away to a rolls Royce. The next morning. Attention to detail and meticulous customer service is evidence. ? That evening, Jessica settles into her luxurious accommodations. What was your reaction when you first saw the place? I was blown away. It's like a five-star Beverly hills hotel. This is my room. Oh, wow. This is like a living room. They have 24-hour staff in case I have a medical issue. This is all included in the price of the surgery. Right? How much are we talking about? It's a town payment on the house. . If I were to do it in America, it would be a down payment on two houses. Does it ever occur to you you're trying to fix something that's not on the outside but on the inside. I do. Beauty comes from win. I believe I'm a beautiful soul. I want my outer beauty to match what is on the inside. I'm comfortable with making these changes. Soon she reveals motivation is far more profound than any of us expected. If I can be completely candid. Completely. I was married to an abusive man that abused me and caused some of my facial disfigurement. I was madly in love with him. He went into prison. I divorced him and went into years of depression, eating, unhealthy behavior, just not really taking good care of myself. So fixing your jaw actually has deep meaning for you? It does. And it's sort of coming back to repair old wounds that have sort of set in. So it's not just what's on the outside. Sure. It feels like I'm shedding my old skin, leaving a lot of baggage behind. Uh-huh. Despite their deep desire to have the surgery done, the reality of the risks involved kicks in. The morning of their procedures. The woman's fear is palpable. I just want a pretty face. Christina is prepped for surgery and led to the operating room. I want to call my mom and say, I'm sorry it's so weird. I lived with it for 20 years and I'm cutting it off. When was the last time you talked to your mother? This morning. My mom was like, please don't die. With Christina unconscious, Jessica is in a second waiting room, awaiting her surgery. Hello. How are you? How are you feeling? A little nervous. Okay. She leaves a message for her mom just before going in. I just want to say that I'm going into surgery and I love you and if anything happens which it won't, but if it does, please pick up my puppy at go dog L.A. Because I raised him as well as you raised me. Okay? I'm just kidding. I'm going to be just fine. I'm nervous ? say a little prayer for me ? This is the last time I'm going to see my face looking like this. Face off. Her many doctors make their final markings where the incisions will take place. I know you don't miss doctors very well. I can understand English. Are we starting now? Yeah. We're starting? Okay, Jesus loves everybody. Signing off. Soon, Jessica is out cold and the extensive multi-part surgery begins. Jessica is having her nose redone, her jaw contoured, her eyes enlarged and fat from her abdomen grafted to her forehead. Next door Christina undergoes her own nose surgery and jawline slimming. Between them the women endure ten hours on the operating procedure and six different

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"9:14","description":"Part 1: Seoul has become a plastic surgery mecca for women seeking to reshape their facial features.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Nightline","id":"24249663","title":"South Korea's Obsession with Plastic Surgery","url":"/Nightline/video/south-koreas-obsession-plastic-surgery-24249663"}