Just a few weeks ago, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported that over 1.5 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2012 with a whopping 12.2 million minimally-invasive treatments. But while it appears as though the plastic surgery trend in America exceeds that of any other country, one nation is giving America a run for its money when it comes to cosmetic treatments.

South Korea is gaining a reputation not just for its history and culture, but because of its plastic surgery craze. The country currently leads the way with the most cosmetically-enhanced residents in the world. In fact, one in five women have admitted to undergoing some form of plastic surgery in their lifetime, starting at a very young age.

The United States does hold the title for the most plastic surgery procedures performed overall, but according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS), South Korea reports more plastic surgery treatments per person.

An ISAPS report demonstrated that about 20 percent of South Korean women living in the nation’s capital of Seoul and who are between the ages of 19 and 49 have undergone plastic surgery. Furthermore, one in every 77 South Koreans has had some sort of cosmetic work.

The most popular plastic surgery procedure performed in South Korea is double eyelid surgery. Eyelid surgery, known as Blepharoplasty surgery, is a procedure which removes excess skin and fat on the upper or lower eyelid. Blepharoplasty may be performed by itself or in conjunction with other facial cosmetic treatments, such as a face lift.

At Shafer Plastic Surgery in New York, Dr. David Shafer commonly performs Blepharoplasty for New York patients using only local anesthesia. It is an outpatient procedure that does not result in too much downtime for patients, making it very popular. However, most eyelid surgery patients in New York are older patients who have come to Dr. Shafer after the signs of aging have appeared on their eyelids, making the skin on the area sag. Yet, in South Korea, the treatment is performed even on young patients for purely aesthetic reasons.

In South Korea, the most popular treatment is a Double Blepharoplasty, also known as Asian Blepharoplasty. This treatment creates a crease in the upper eyelid, removing the epicanthic fold that the majority of Asians are born with. The epicanthic fold is the fold of skin in the upper eyelid which partially covers the inner corner of the eye.

In South Korea, plastic surgery is so common that even teenagers get Blepharoplasty surgery.

“To be Korean is to get plastic surgery,” said an anonymous South Korea university student to the GlobalPost. “You must do it, or young people will think you’re weird.”

In the U.S., plastic surgery isn’t as easy to get. There are strict rules that protect the patient’s health, especially when the patient is underage. Most cosmetic treatments for younger patients in the U.S. and here in New York involve corrective treatments following an accident or to improve a medical problem, such as Rhinoplasty to correct a deviated septum.

Dr. Shafer never performs a treatment unless he thoroughly believes the individual is in good health and state of mind. Patients who get surgery at a young age may later regret it, especially a permanent surgery such as Blepharoplasty.

If you have considered getting some form of plastic surgery, turn to Dr. Shafer today to discuss your options. Dr. Shafer always puts your health first and will see to it that you obtain optimal results while protecting your safety.