Plastic Surgery Clinic Fined for Tower Made of Patients' Bones

A popular plastic surgery clinic in Seoul's upscale Gangnam district has been fined for displaying a decorative tower made of chin bones that were carved off patients seeking to make their faces look slimmer.

The district office on Wednesday ordered the clinic to remove the installation and slapped it with a W3 million (US$1=W1,068) fine for violating medical waste disposal regulations.

A procedure to narrow a face by shaving off sections of jawbone costs around W3.5 million.

A tower made of patients bones at a plastic surgery clinic in Gangnam, Seoul A tower made of patients' bones at a plastic surgery clinic in Gangnam, Seoul

The clinic posted a photo of the grisly monument on its website telling potential customers that they will be able to check what has been cut off their faces. The move was apparently aimed at boasting of the surgeon's skill.

The sculpture consisted of around 2,000 bone fragments from around 1,000 patients with each person’s name written on them.

The bone tower went viral after someone posted a photo of it on social media Sunday, eliciting outraged comments. One person filed a report with Gangnam district office on Tuesday, prompting authorities to order its removal.

The owner of the clinic told authorities he was not aware that the installation violated laws and promptly removed it. A Gangnam district official said there are no plans to report the incident to police, since the owner was fined and the tower, which was encased in plastic, caused no pollution.

According to the law, hospitals must store by-products from surgery in special containers and transport them by dedicated vehicle to incineration facilities. Failure to do so entails a maximum two-year sentence or up to a W10 million fine.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 23, 2014 12:23 KST