When it comes to spa services, many airports feature massage kiosks and nail salons, but these are small potatoes compared to what Incheon International Airport in South Korea plans to implement: a 2,500-square foot cosmetic surgery center.
South Korea is one of the top destinations for cosmetic treatments in the world, and just in the last year, 364,000 people traveled to South Korea for medical procedures, a 22.7 percent increase from 2016. The country’s tourism board is eager to promote cosmetic services; however, it doesn’t seem as if any developer or airport official took into account the dangers associated with flying immediately after receiving a cosmetic treatment.
“It's generally considered safe to fly two weeks after a facelift and one to two weeks after a rhinoplasty,” Min Ahn, MD, a Massachusetts-based plastic surgeon told Newbeauty. “Flying before those times risks negatively affecting healing because of the air pressure changes with flying, the strain associated with traveling (luggage, walking etc.) and the potential exposure to unclean surfaces or sick people.”
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) also puts its foot down to flying post-procedure. Robert Buchanan, MD, a plastic surgeon in North Carolina and contributor to ASAPS recommends patients wait a month after any “significant surgery” before flying “in order reduce your risks of blood clots in the legs that can break off and go to your lungs and even cause death.”
Although the airport has only just announced plans for a cosmetic surgery center, the Korean Association of Plastic Surgeons (KAPS) and the Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons have already made some protesting remarks. “What if a patient cannot get on their scheduled flight due to some unexpected medical problems that occur after the surgeries or treatments,” a KAPS spokesperson said, according to Newbeauty.