Three Chinese women were stranded in South Korea after they were barred from boarding a flight back home due to a plastic surgery that rendered their faces unrecognizable.

According the Chinese publication, Shanghaiist, the women were not allowed onto their return flight after security officials couldn't confirm that their faces post the surgery matched with those in their passports. 

The unidentified women flew last week to the country during China’s Golden Week, a national holiday in which residents of the country are encouraged to take paid vacations that begins around October 1, said reports.

In pictures of the three women shared online, they were seen sitting at a South Korea airport, with their passports in hand, and their faces appeared to be swollen, wrapped up in bandages.

According to reports, the photo was first posted on Weibo by Chinese TV presenter Jian Huahua on Sunday and has since been taken down. Jian captioned that these women were detained and questioned by the immigration authorities after they could not be identified from photos on their passports even after they displaying their tickets and various documents.

Reports stated Jian also said in her caption: "Even your own mother would not recognize you."

"They look so scary," one Weibo user commented. Another commented on their decision to go under the knife: "Why can't you just love yourself the way you are?" said News Asia. The picture was liked more than 51,000 times and shared more than 23,000 times.

It wasn’t clear how long they remained at the airport — and if they were able to return to China as of Monday morning.

South Korea is being recognized as the plastic surgery capital of the world and is regarded as “natural and harmless.” The people of the country believe that getting the surgery done leads to better employment prospects and a happier life, says news.com.au.

The New Yorker reported the majority of people going under the knife in the country are women in their late-teens and early twenties hoping to enhance their facial features. Apart from this, breast augmentation surgery is also very popular. Men are believed to make up about 15 per cent of the cosmetic surgery market.

An incident similar to the one that happened with the three women took place last month with 'Human Ken Doll’ Rodrigo Alves, when the 34-year-old plastic surgery fanatic faced trouble on arriving at Dubai, where he was detained at the airport due to his passport picture.

It was reported that the British and Brazilian TV personality’s face no longer matched his passport photo. "I landed few hours ago in Dubai and when I reached the counter the immigration officer, after scanning my passport and using a face recognition machine, he politely referred me to an office where I had to sit and wait for 3 hours.” Alves told reporters at the time of the incident.

“I didn't question what was going on because I have had the same situation when landing in NYC at JFK when I was questioned for one hour then once I told the immigration officer to look me up they all were very apologetic just saying that they were doing their job,” he added.

South Korea is the country with the most cosmetic procedures performed per capita, with over 2.2 percent of people changing their appearance, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. In the U.S., it's about 1.3 percent.