| Guus Hiddink, 68, former head coach of the South Korean national soccer squad, will visit Korea next week to become younger. During his one-week trip to Seoul with his girlfriend Elizabeth Pinas from January 5, the Dutch coach will take "total anti-aging care" from a reputed plastic surgeon in southern Seoul.
Hiddink is suffering from chronic arthritis in his right knee. Although he underwent a surgery in the Netherlands in 2001, when he was serving as the Korean squad`s coach, he still suffers from aftereffects. He finds it difficult to stretch his knee and thus has trouble walking.
Another problem is that he has gained weight. Reportedly, he stands 182 centimeters tall and weighs nearly 100 kilograms. Korean doctors presume that Hiddink is highly obese with more than 35 percent of body fat. His waist size is longer than that of his hip. He is in urgent need for weight control in order to maintain his health and treat his arthritis.
Also troubling his everyday life is his sagging eyelids caused by the loss of skin elasticity. It is likely that his habit of making facial expressions using the muscle between his eyebrows during soccer games has aggravated the condition.
Korea`s top-notch plastic surgeons will launch a "Hiddink project" to try to turn back the clock on the Dutch coach, who is scheduled to visit Seoul JS Hospital and JK Plastic Surgery Center on January 6. He also plans to have a tour of hospitals in Seoul`s Apgujeong-dong area where numerous foreign medical tourists come for treatments.
The Hiddink project will begin in earnest on January 7. Dr. Song Joon-seop at Seoul JS Hospital who is the doctor for the Korean national soccer squad will perform a surgery on the Dutchman`s right knee. The operation will be followed by a recovery and rehabilitation program for about two days.
"Many Korean athletes have a vague fantasy about getting surgeries at foreign hospitals and tend to go overseas for surgery when they get injured," Dr. Song said. "The fact that Coach Hiddink is getting his surgery in Korea shows that Korean medical services has reached a world-class level."
Hiddink will then start a project to lift his sagging eyelids and reduce abdomen fat. In order to fundamentally resolve the eyelid sagging, doctors will incise five spots on his hairline, put an endoscope and lift forehead wrinkles and eyelids.
"Coach Hiddink`s condition cannot be fundamentally addressed by a double eyelid surgery," said Choi Hang-seok, head of JK Plastic Surgery Center. "I have opted for the (endoscope) surgery because a double eyelid surgery might make him look awkward and fierce."
Doctors will also use "Lipposinix," which uses focused ultrasound waves to permanently get rid of abdomen fat cells without damaging the skin. The therapy can remove body fat without incising the skin. After a one-hour treatment, the affected fat will melt and be discharged from the body naturally over a period of three months. The treatment has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The cost of the Hiddink project will total 26 million won (24,880 U.S. dollars).
His girlfriend, Elizabeth, also plans to enjoy Korea`s anti-aging programs including an anti-wrinkle treatment, an anti-aging skin care program and a skin whitening treatment.
"The `Korean Wave` of Korean medical services is spreading so widely that many VIP (very important persons) customers, including the First Lady of Kyrgyzstan, are visiting Korea," said Joo Kwon, head of JK Plastic Surgery Center. "On the occasion of the Hiddink couple`s visit for treatments, we plan to target Europe where we performed relatively poorly in attracting foreign medical tourists."