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Global Plastic Surgeons Images Depicted in Motion Pictures

Hwang, Se Jin*†; Park, Sowhey MD; Hwang, Kun MD, PhD§

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: March 2013 - Volume 24 - Issue 2 - p e106–e108
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31826468de
Brief Clinical Studies

Motion pictures are made to entertain and enlighten people, but they are viewed differently by different people. What one considers to be a tearjerker may induce giggles in another. We have gained added interest in this because our professional pictures contain plastic surgery in their venue. We have recently reviewed 21 motion pictures that were made from 1928 to 2006 and that includes plastic surgical procedures in their content. As a habit, we tried to analyze them from a surgical point of view. About one third (35.7%) of the patients were criminals, whereas 14.3% of them were spies. One third of the procedures were done by illegitimate “surgeons,” whereas a quarter of the procedures (25%) were performed by renowned surgeons. Surgeons who were in love with the patients did the rest (25%) of the operations. The complication rate was 14.3%; the surgery was successful in 85.7% of cases, but were the patients happy with the results? This was not the case in the movies. Only 7.7% were happy; 14.5 % of them were eminently unhappy. Why the discrepancy? It is difficult to analyze the minds of the people in the film, but considering that the majority of the characters in the films were rather unsavory, one may deduce that a crooked mind functions differently. Motion pictures have advanced greatly in the past several decades with the advent of improved mechanical and electronic devices, and plastic surgery as also advanced in tandem. This surgical field has become a common procedure in our daily life. It is readily available and mostly painless. However, the public sees it in only one way, that is, that the performing physicians are highly compensated. Very few consider the efforts and the suffering that accompanies each and every surgical procedure as it is performed. 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 plastic surgeon makes.

From the *King’s College London, School of Medicine, London, UK; †Inha Research Institute for Medical Science, Inha University; ‡Department of Plastic Surgery, Inha University School of Medicine; and §Department of Plastic Surgery and the Center for Advanced Medical Education by the BK21 Project, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.

Received March 2, 2012.

Accepted for publication May 28, 2012.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Kun Hwang, MD, PhD, Department of Plastic Surgery and the Center for Advanced Medical Education by the BK21 project, Inha University School of Medicine, 7-206 Sinheung-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon, 400-711, Korea; E-mail:

This study was supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (KRF-2008-521-E00002).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Mutaz B. Habal, MD