"Round Head" Plastic Surgery Seems Excessive, Even for South Korea

Illustration for article titled Round Head Plastic Surgery Seems Excessive, Even for South Korea
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For better or worse, South Korea is famous for its plastic surgery. Maybe the procedures help some put a better face forward. One offers a rounder head.

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One plastic surgery clinic in Seoul claims to offer the surgery for those "ridiculed" for having a flat or sunken back of the head.

The procedure takes under an hour and involves a small incision. Surgeons use a type of bone cement to create a round head. Yes, bone cement. Apparently, it adheres to the skull, becoming part of the bone and only adding about 20 to 80 grams to the weight of the patient's head.

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Illustration for article titled Round Head Plastic Surgery Seems Excessive, Even for South Korea

Round head surgery isn't new; here's a story from 2011 talking about it, and here are photos from 2009 of patients who underwent the procedure. This month, it's once again appeared on South Korean internet forums. However, as far as plastic surgery goes, it certainly doesn't appear to be mainstream in the country. Recently, one South Korean site called the surgery "a bit much."

Perhaps, if someone suffered from an abnormally flat head, plastic surgery would make sense. But check out these before and after photos:

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Illustration for article titled Round Head Plastic Surgery Seems Excessive, Even for South Korea
Illustration for article titled Round Head Plastic Surgery Seems Excessive, Even for South Korea
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Illustration for article titled Round Head Plastic Surgery Seems Excessive, Even for South Korea
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Illustration for article titled Round Head Plastic Surgery Seems Excessive, Even for South Korea
Illustration for article titled Round Head Plastic Surgery Seems Excessive, Even for South Korea
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Illustration for article titled Round Head Plastic Surgery Seems Excessive, Even for South Korea
Illustration for article titled Round Head Plastic Surgery Seems Excessive, Even for South Korea
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Illustration for article titled Round Head Plastic Surgery Seems Excessive, Even for South Korea

It's hard to tell the difference! Also, most of those heads look pretty normal.

There is a condition called "plagiocephaly" or "flat head syndrome" in infants that is corrected by wearing a helmet for several months as the child grows, forming a round skull. Then, there are the rest of us, who might have slept a bit too much on our backs as babies, resulting in a somewhat flat head. That's... okay.

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But in the above before-after photos, it's kind of hard to see a marked difference—or maybe I just don't care about the back of people's heads. Some folks, it seems, do.

뒤통수 성형 [Nemopan]

Photos: Instiz, 네모판, 아이템성형외과, Itemyoon, DoctorBone

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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DISCUSSION

HokutoAndy
HokutoAndy

If a baby is left on their back for long periods of time, their soft skulls get flattened on the back. In East-Asia this is associated with neglect, such as an overcrowded orphanage where there are not enough staff to give personal attention to every baby. Korea has a particularly strong history with orphanages, with the sheer amount of death caused in WW2 and the Korean War.

So in Korea (and other East Asian countries) today flat back-of-the-head is associated with neglect as a baby. S. Korea is also only a few decades removed from the extreme poverty of the Korean War era, so people are more conscious of class indicators. That's why a flat back-of-the-head is undesirable in Korea and other East Asian countries.

Flat heads are also a growing concern among westerners since the 90's. Here's an example of a British baby that was operated on to correct their flat head:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2…