South Koreans lead the way with the highest number of plastic surgery-enhanced residents, and it’s a pretty well known fact that the kinds of surgeries they opt for tend to be a little out of the norm. From double blepharoplasty surgeries to “Round Head” surgery, we have to give it to them, South Koreans are pretty creative with their procedures.

Many tourists travel to the country thinking the prices and choices will be better in the United States, but be warned, when things seem too good to be true, they usually are.

Smack in the heart of South Korea’s capital, Seoul, lies the “Gangnam” neighborhood. And right in the middle of the neighborhood, you’ll find the “Beauty Belt.” This infamous street is lined with hundreds of cosmetic surgery clinics and sees more than its ample number of patients each day. Koreans, Chinese and several other Southeast Asians have trekked to this little piece of plastic surgery heaven seeking some of the strangest surgeries known to man.

In a nation where plastic surgery is almost a prerequisite, it’s almost more common to see patients venture in and out of clinics than it is to see them stop for tea. But while the desire to have surgery is certainly there for a vast majority of residents, not everyone can afford the high-end clinics. So then what happens?

Well, a group of South Korean teens have decided to take matters into their own hands and have offered an alternative solution: Do-It-Yourself Plastic Surgery.

The teens pasted advertisements for their “clinic” on public transportation buses and subways. But is this DIY approach a penny saver or disaster waiting to happen?

Any experienced plastic surgeon can tell you that any DIY treatment – especially one that involves surgery – is a very bad idea. Here at Shafer Plastic Surgery, NY plastic surgeon Dr. David Shafer uses only the safest and most innovative surgical tools and never performs a treatment if the patient will not benefit from it or may suffer a health risk. So it’s shocking to see that these teens are using cheap tools they purchase online and don’t have the slightest clue what they are doing.

Several teens have already experienced injuries from the DIY treatments, but they don’t really mind. According to Na, a 17-year-old self-administered plastic surgery enthusiast, she just wants to “become pretty without spending all the money.”

“We know that these methods aren’t approved of, but lots of our peers do it,” she added. But sometimes these “peers” are as young as 12 years old. And when surgery is performed on such a young child that hasn’t fully matured yet, there’s no telling what kinds of errors will be made.

And because they are minors, they don’t fully think through the possible consequences.

“We know about the dangers, but we don’t think the dangers will come to us,” said Na.

So what dangers can really be come across? Is there a serious risk these teens aren’t seeing? Find out more in Part 2 of our story.