Arch Craniofac Surg.  2012 Oct;13(2):95-98. 10.7181/acfs.2012.13.2.95.

Image of Plastic Surgeons and Plastic Surgery Illustrated in Korean Movies and TV Dramas

  • 1Department of Plastic Surgery and the Center for Advanced Medical Education by the BK21 Project, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.


Nowadays, plastic surgical operations are increasingly being performed in Korea. We have gained added interest in this because some professional pictures contain plastic surgery in their venue. In the films, we intend to see the recognition of society for plastic surgeons and which field of plastic surgery. The list of movies for analysis were 'Plastic Beauty (1975)', 'Penthouse Elephant (2005)', '200 Pounds Beauty (2006)', 'Cinderella (2006)', and 'Time (2006)'. The TV dramas were 'She is looking (2005)', 'Lovers (2006-2007)', and 'Before & After Plastic Surgery Clinic (2008)'. Films were analyzed according to the following: the chief complaints and names of the operations, character of plastic surgeons, result of the operation and its possibility in reality, and its effect of plastic surgery on the life of the patients. Most of the film contained facial transplantation or the change of the face or body different from the original shape. Character type of the plastic surgeons was mostly medical realism, rather than ideal humanism. Most of the plastic surgeons have capability as a doctor; however, some of them had extramarital affairs. The surgery was successful in most of the cases, but were the patients happy with the results? This was not the case in the movies. In only one movie, '200 Pounds Beauty', the patient became happy; rest of them were eminently unhappy with the outcome. Why the discrepancy? It is difficult to analyze the minds of the people in the films, but considering that the majority of the characters in the films were rather unsavory, one may deduce that a crooked mind functions differently. Perhaps it is too much to hope for a day that will come when we will see a film that portrays the mental anguish that accompanies each and every procedure the Korean plastic surgeons make.


Motion pictures; Plastic surgery; Body image

MeSH Terms

Body Image
Facial Transplantation
Motion Pictures as Topic
Stress, Psychological
Surgery, Plastic
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