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Kim Byung-gun, founder and director of Seoul's BK Plastic Surgery Hospital, with a patient (Courtesy of BK Plastic Surgery Hospital)

The high-tech secrets of Gangnam-style cosmetic surgery

Stiff competition helps South Korea's surgeons sharpen world-class skills

KIM JAEWON, Nikkei staff writer | South Korea

SEOUL "Gangnam Style" catapulted the upscale district in the South Korean capital to global prominence, but Gangnam had an international reputation long before pop star Psy's catchy tune and distinctive dance became an internet phenomenon. Every year, the district's hundreds of cosmetic surgery clinics attract hundreds of thousands of patients, both from overseas and at home.

Seoul's Gangnam district is home to hundreds of cosmetic surgery clinics.

These prospective patients include people from China, Japan and Southeast Asia, all flocking to the nation's most affluent district in search of first-class treatments using state-of-the-art technology.

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