Known as lip tail surgery, the lipft, and – more pejoratively – ‘joker smile’ surgery, Korean smile surgery promises to make you look happier.
Korean smile surgery is one of the newer plastic surgery trends to hit Seoul. A variation of the same surgery has been around for quite some time in the West, where it is known as the ‘corner mouth lift’.
As a result of genetics or advancing age, some people are concerned about the corners of their mouth turning downwards. This can convey a terse or even angry facial expression, which Korean smile surgery promises to alleviate.
Aside from its ability to instantly make you look happier, Korean smile surgery is capable of correcting natural asymmetries and also compliments a range of anti-aging surgical procedures such as the face lift.
Korean Smile Surgery Techniques
There are several variations of the Korean smile surgery technique. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages; it’s important to ensure that your surgeon has a good deal of experience in whichever technique he prefers to use.
Skin Excision Method
The above picture shows the skin excision method, where a triangular ellipse of skin is removed from the white portion above the corner of the lip. The amount removed in millimeters depends on your surgeon’s recommendations, together with your aesthetic situation and personal preferences. In general, the more skin that’s removed, the more dramatic the results.
This method is capable of rendering the most natural looking results possible. The main risks associated with this technique relate to the possible development of visible scars above the upper lip line, which may require future revisional surgery. Undercorrection or overcorrection on one side is also a possibility.
Muscle Cutting Method
There are three crucial muscles that affect the position of the corners of the mouth. The depressor anguli oris (DAO) pulls each corner down, and the zygomaticus major and the levator anguli oris pull them upwards. During the muscle cutting Korean smile surgery method, the depressor anguli oris is dissected into two parts, which are then attached to the zygomaticus major and the levator anguli oris muscles.
The risks associated with this type of Korean smile surgery method are greater than those carried by the skin only corner mouth lift. This is due to the fact that the muscle is cut in half, which can lead to permanent numbness and lip paralysis. Selecting a highly skilled surgeon for this type of procedure is therefore imperative.
Korean Smile Surgery Before And After
If you’re considering permanent smile surgery Korea style, it is important to relay your desired look in advance of the operation. As evidenced by the before and after pictures, Korean smile surgery is capable of rendering anything from a subtle improvement to a dramatic joker or ‘duck’ like smile.
Several Seoul clinics perform the Korean smile ‘lipft’ (which is a hybrid of the words ‘lip’ and ‘lift’) on a regular basis. In the promotional video above, some of the reasons why people undergo a smile lift are outlined.
For those who don’t want to undergo surgery, Botox can be injected into the depressor anguili oris muscles in order to temporarily alleviate downturned mouth corners. The cheapest methods of improving downturned mouth corners include makeup tricks, facial exercises for downturned mouth corners, or simply breaking out into a smile!