Nine years ago, a two-year-old boy in South Phyongan Province faced a unique challenge: malformed nostrils and eyelids from birth. Hospitalized in the cosmetic surgery department of the General Dental Hospital of the Ministry of Public Health, the case seemed almost hopeless. The rarity of the situation left surgeons uncertain, and given the patient’s young age, success seemed elusive. The buck stopped with Pak Kum Son.

In 2003, during her postgraduate course at Pyongyang University of Medical Sciences, Pak earned a state patent for developing a tissue for facial wound grafting. However, facing this particular case, where no precedents existed, Pak felt a sense of unease. Undeterred, she proposed neoplasty, a novel initiative, determined to offer the young patient the best possible outcome.

With no prior practices to guide her, Pak’s decision was influenced by her mother, an esteemed professor and doctor experienced in face-lift procedures. Undaunted, she believed neoplasty would reduce the surgical burden on the child and minimize nasal defects.

After extensive simulations and meticulous planning, Pak successfully performed the challenging operation. A mere millimeter deviation in incision could have led to nasal distortion and respiratory issues. Over the past two decades, she has applied her expertise to restore appearances for numerous patients.

One touching account comes from a woman in Kwaksan County, North Phyongan Province, who, after enduring a wound at age 4 that obstructed her nostrils and deformed her nose and face, had secluded herself for 17 years. In her diary, she wrote, “The scars are gone, and it is just the face that I have ever seen in my dreams.”

Pak Kum Son’s contributions extend beyond surgeries. Her inventions in cosmetic surgery apparatuses have garnered recognition at national exhibitions, earning numerous diplomas and certificates. Additionally, she has authored works like ‘Maxillofacial Cosmetic Surgery’ and contributed to various journal writings, playing a pivotal role in advancing the field of cosmetic surgery.

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