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Mona Lisa The story of the Mona Lisa Mona Lisa after the aesthetic surgery

Mona Lisa - The Aesthetic Surgery

The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci has been described countless times as the mirror image of the master’s soul. The portrait has fascinated me since my early youth and it is constantly on my mind. I too have been captivated by her aura and she has never released me. Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile and her captivating gaze attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world to the Louvre every year. I too have been captivated time and again by the Mona Lisa and her strong presence.

The world-famous painting has inspired many important artists to create their own interpretations. Recently, when studying intensively the proportions of the human face as drawn by Leonardo da Vinci and comparing carefully the proportions of Mona Lisa’s face, the mysterious woman – now more than five hundred years old – revealed herself as in a dream: I was performing an aesthetic operation on Mona Lisa’s face in a baroque period concert hall, to the accompaniment of organ music. The images of this dream haunted me obsessively, and I pondered how to alter her face to bring her closer to today’s ideal of beauty.

The result of this train of reflections is expressed in the figures at the top right (Mona Lisa after). The “operating techniques” used in the various regions of the face, together with the corresponding “operating results”, are reproduced in the figures below.

By way of clarification: the result was by no means obtained by using a computer, nor was it done at my own discretion or merely as I thought. Rather I proceeded as if Mona Lisa were my patient. In order to achieve the result shown, I decided in favour of operating techniques that are technically feasible and that make sense in the light of current scientific knowledge.

Forehead/EyesForehead/Eyes: Lifting of the temporal region with a slight raising of the outer part of the eyebrows. Lower eyelid plasty with a slight excision of the orbicularis muscle.


Nose: Aesthetic rhinoplasty. Removal of the bony and cartilaginous hump, osteotomy to narrow the nose, excision of the cephalic part of the alar cartilage to reduce the size of the nasal tip and to create a more harmonious tip-contour. To achieve a narrower tip, the alar cartilage on the dome is weakened by micro-incisions. A small amount of cartilage of the lower part of the septum is removed to improve the angle between upper lip and base of the nose.


Lips: Lifting of the upper lip by skin excision on the base of the nose and the nostrils to enlarge the vermilion of the upper lip in proportion to the lower lip, enlargement of the upper and lower lip by filling.


Face/Neck: Micro-liposculpture in the lower cheek, lower jaw and neck region to improve the contour of the lower face and neck.

Extract from the book Art & Aesthetic Surgery
by Urs Victor Burki.

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