Last updated on September 10, 2021.
If you are thinking about liposuction, breast augmentation or a nose job in Hong Kong, being well informed is the first step, and it is essential. Here is everything you need to know about plastic surgery in Hong Kong: risks and safety, common procedures, practitioners, costs and insurance cover.
Methodology: This guide does not aim to be exhaustive. It is informative only and based on our independent research.
What is a Plastic Surgeon?
A plastic surgeon is a medical doctor who performs operations, i.e. plastic surgeries, to alter the appearance or shape of the body, to correct and reconstruct tissues, and to restore normal functions of them. Although such surgeries are often known for their aesthetic effects, plastic surgeons actually do more than improving and reshaping appearance. They also perform reconstructive surgeries on patients injured in accidents or burn, or with congenital defects such as cleft palate.
What to know about Plastic Surgeons in Hong Kong
There are 64 registered plastic surgeons in Hong Kong. You can find the official list of registered plastic surgeons in Hong Kong here.
In Hong Kong, all plastic surgeons have to complete a degree of MBBS (medicine degree) which takes 6 years, followed by an additional 6-year specialist training programme. This programme comprises a 2-year fundamental surgical training and a 4-year professional clinical training. To be qualified as a plastic surgeon, doctors must pass an examination after completing their training. In addition, all registered plastic surgeons should be fellows of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine and the College of Surgeons of Hong Kong in the Specialty of Plastic Surgery. Note that it is a crime for a doctor to unduly claim him(her)self as a cosmetic surgeon or aesthetic surgeon.
Risks and safety issues of plastic surgery
Plastic surgery has gained substantial popularity worldwide, but should not be taken lightly. It is essential to properly inform yourself, ask questions and be advised by a trained professional. Amongst others, it is important for you to consider the following risks when considering a possible plastic surgery:
- Appearance dissatisfaction: The results are not guaranteed. The outcome will likely be different than your expectations and this is why it is very important to take the time to discuss the pros and cons with your doctor.
- Possible scarring: It can be reduced by not smoking and following strict compliance with your surgeon’s instructions.
- Infections: Different infections can occur, as surgeries create breaks on the skin that can introduce bacteria into the body.
- Bleeding: Excessive bleeding can lower blood pressure with serious outcomes, such as a need for transfusion.
- Nerve damage: Depending on the site where the nerves lie, it can lead to a variety of consequences for example inability to control facial expression, numbness and change in sensitivity. In extreme cases, the damage can be permanent.
- Hematoma: It is an accumulation of blood outside of the damaged blood vessels. It looks like a bruise on the skin and can cause significant swelling.
- Death: Although it is rare, it has happened. In Hong Kong, a woman died after receiving botox injections from a plastic surgeon in 2012 while another woman died during liposuction in 2014.
What should you check with your Plastic Surgeon?
Because of the potential risks of plastic surgery, it is of paramount importance to clarify every detail of your procedure. Here are essential questions you should ask and for which you should get satisfactory, understandable answers from your plastic surgeon before going ahead.
- Registration: Make sure your “plastic surgeon” is qualified and registered in Hong Kong. Click here to view the list.
- Necessity and appropriateness: Every patient is different and certain plastic surgeries may not be suitable for you.
- Possible risks of the procedures: As mentioned, plastic surgery can have life changing/threatening effects and you should systematically ask about risks, no matter how small.
- Total costs and breakdown of fees: Charges of operation room, additional staff and materials, etc. can add up to a large sum of money.
- Type of anesthesia and who will do it: Anesthesia is critical in ensuring a safe procedure.
- Before and after photos: Images of yourself are helpful to compare what you looked like before the procedure.
- Recovery: This will help you understand the time required before you can go back to your normal activities, and any important points to know related to that period.
- Surgeon’s experience: Experience is crucial. The more similar procedures the surgeons have performed, the safer and smoother your surgery may be.
Regulation of plastic surgery in Hong Kong
At present, there is no specific law in Hong Kong that regulate plastic surgeries despite the occurrence of several accidents. That being said, the government proposed a regulatory framework for medical devices in 2017, including those used in cosmetic procedures. Certain medical devices can only be operated by registered medical professionals or under their supervision. The bill has not yet been passed and we are hoping for better patient protection in the years ahead.
How much does plastic surgery cost in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong the cost of plastic surgery in the private sector varies greatly depending on the procedure, doctor, location, and facilities.
Here are examples of costs for common procedures:
- Botox (per region): average costs from $3,000 to $10,000.
- Rhinoplasty (implant): average costs from $20,000 to $33,000
- Breast Augmentation (implant): average costs from $25,000 to $80,000
- HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound): average costs from $12,000 to $60,000
For a comprehensive list of average cosmetic surgery costs in Hong Kong, click here.
Please enquire at your clinic of choice for the specific costs.
* All amounts are in HKD and were last updated in May 2020. No responsibility is accepted for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. It is always best to call ahead to make sure the information is still up-to-date.
List of Plastic Surgeons in Hong Kong
To make it easier for you, here is a list of Hong Kong plastic surgeons and specialised clinics.
Plastic surgeons in the private sector
Address: 6/F, The L. place, 139 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: 2824 9112
Address 1: 4/F, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Phone 1: 2868 9333
Address 2: 28/F, 26 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Phone 2: 2723 1999
Address: 25/F, Unit 2503-05, No.9 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: 2156 5888
Address: Suite 308, Central Building, 1-3 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: 2868 2184
Address: 222 Waterloo Road, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
Phone: 2339 8888
Address: 41 Mount Kellett Road, The Peak, Hong Kong
Phone: 2849 0111
Address: 2 Village Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Phone: 2575 0211
Address: 327 Prince Edward Road, Kowloon
Phone: 2200 3434
Address: 18 Fu Kin Street, Tai Wai, Shatin, New Territories
Phone: 2608 3388
Address: Room 402, 4/F, Hong Kong Pacific Centre, 28 Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Phone: 2312 1603
Address: Room 706, Argyle Centre, 688 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon
Phone: 2392 9368
Address: Unit 602-3, 6/F, Manning House, 48 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: 2316 2686
Address: Room 615, Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: 2810 9831
Address: Suite 1201, Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: 2899 2398
Does insurance cover consultations and treatments with Plastic Surgeons in Hong Kong?
According to Alea, plastic surgery consultations and procedures are only reimbursed by insurance when arising from an accident or medical illness. These medical fees are reimbursed under the surgery and doctor specialist fees. Generally, high-end medical plans will reimburse such consultations in full without any sub-limit whereas local plans usually have doctor specialist limits. As for purely cosmetic or enhancing consultations and treatments, these are explicitly excluded from health insurance policies and therefore not reimbursed. For any health insurance questions, contact an Alea advisor at [email protected].
This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and should never be relied upon for specific advice.