South Korea has paved the way for a myriad of plastic surgery trends, from double-eyelid surgery to dimple injections to calf reductions. The latest trend South Korean plastic surgeons have pioneered is the “Smile Lipt” procedure, a technique that creates a permanent smile into somewhat of a sagging lip line.
A surgery that alters the appearance of emotion in the patient, the procedure mildly turns up the corners of the mouth. Seoul-based Aone Plastic Surgery recently patented the perma-smile surgery, according to the clinic’s blog, and offers patients the procedure for $2,000.
“After Smile Lipt surgery, mouth corners lifted upward even with just a little bit of movement and makes smiling lips, thus the middle part of upper lip won’t be lifted to show the gum,” Aone’s Facebook page claims. “If gum is exposed with smiling, Smile Lipt is the most effective and simple method. At the same time, the smiling feature becomes very elegant.”
According to the clinic’s blog, the surgery also benefits patients with a short mouth or with naturally downturned mouth corners. Dr. Kwon Taek-keun, head of Aone, believes that patients suffer psychologically from these innate facial features.
“Even when you are looking like your normal self, people keep asking you: ‘Why are you frowning?’” Kwon told Korea Real Time. “That’s a lot of stress.”
The procedure is increasing in popularity among men and women in their 20s and 30s. Flight attendants and consultants undergo the surgery in order to better offer service with a smile.
Smile Lipt is simply reviving a traditional surgery trend, known medically as “Valentine anguloplasty,” which has been around for 50 years. Few Western plastic surgeons perform this procedure anymore. Aone, however, has upgraded the older technique.
“Western people didn’t have the concept of adjusting muscle balance,” Aone’s blog claims. The clinic instead uses a new technique that moves the muscles used for smiling up toward the cheekbones.
The plastic surgery procedure causes patients to smile even when they’re not, but 'RocketNews24' comments that this ability can, "become problematic during funerals, breakups and fights with a significant other."
A number of other cosmetic procedures have risen in popularity in South Korea, as patients attempt to compete for jobs. The Smile Lipt may become the norm, as those with naturally downturned mouth corners reportedly struggle to contend with other prospective, smiling employees.
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