Ideally the female facial structure looks attractive when it is like an inverted triangle. A wide or square mandible (jaw) is more common in men. However many females inherit a broad jaw line from birth. And if the jaw looks disproportionate with the neck, the face looks distorted, even in men. The broad jaw makes the face look masculine and older. Ideally to look more youthful and feminine, females look forward to a V-Line shape. To have the perfect V-Line shape face, candidates look for a perfectly shaped chin, along with which it becomes necessary to trim the jawbones to make it more aligned to the new shape and size of the chin. This is where Jaw Surgery or Jaw Contouring plays a role in fulfilling the goal of a V-Line face.
What is Jaw Surgery or Jaw Contouring?
Jaw surgery is a technique to narrow the lower third of the face. It helps to soften the jawline and make it more feminine. Jaw surgery can be done both surgical and non-surgical ways. In this blog post, we will be discussing the surgical technique used for reducing and reshaping the jaw.
What causes a wide or enlarged jaw?
Enlarged mandible or masseter muscles are the reason for a wide lower face. In most cases, this is a hereditarily or genetic trait. And over the years, due to certain common habits like incessant chewing, teeth clenching or bruxism, where in we keep exercising these muscles, the jaw increases in size.
Who are the candidates for Jaw Contouring?
The most suitable candidate for jaw reshaping must have one or more of the following traits:
- A wide and square jaw giving a strong masculine look
- A jaw which is disproportionately large compared to the face
- An elongated jaw
- A round and wide jaw
- A flat jaw
The Jaw Contouring surgical procedure
To decide the right technique for the Jaw surgery, the doctor looks keenly at the anatomy of the patient and understands the reason for the enlargement — whether it is due to the bone or masseter muscle or both.
The doctor makes the incision either inside or outside of the mouth. Most doctors prefer the incision inside the mouth which avoids creating any visible scars after the surgery. The incision is made between the gum and the cheek next to the jaw to have the access to the jaw bone. A micro-saw or a laser saw is used in the procedure. The saw is used to cut the bone which had been marked previously at the time of planning the surgery. These days, doctors use a laser saw which has the advantage of minimal damage to surrounding tissues and cells. Laser saws also minimize any crack on the bone and bleeding. Sometimes, the outer layer of the jaw bone is removed. For patients who have developed enlarged masseter muscles due to various habits mentioned before, the doctor removes all the excess muscle tissue. In this process any extra fat is also removed to narrow the jaw line.
Sometimes doctors also taper the jaw sides with special electric drills. By trimming the back corners, closer to the ears, the height of the jaw is reduced. This makes the jaw look softer especially in the frontal view.
The doctor could also recommend a facelift after the jaw surgery for patients who have sagging skin because of aging.
The surgery is closed with dissolvable stitches.
General Anesthesia is administered during the procedure. The procedure takes around 30-60 minutes to complete. Hospitalization is needed for a minimum of 24 hours. The doctor prefers to keep the patient under observation for 24 hours after the surgery.
Recovery from Jaw Contouring surgery
The operated portion of the face will be covered with a compressed bandage which is recommended to be worn at all times for the first 3 days after the surgery.
The mild to moderate face swelling will continue for a month. The swelling in the first couple of days can get severe. However after one month the swelling will start reducing. And should completely subside within 3 months. It is advisable to elevate your head while sleeping which would help in reducing the swelling and bruises. One can use ice packs to get some relief.
It is common to have numbness in the operated area which will last for a couple of days.
Jaw contouring could be painful for the first few days and it becomes difficult to chew or bite food. Thus the doctors recommend soft food for the next couple of days after the surgery.
It is important to take care of the wounds to avoid any infection. To maintain good hygiene, the doctor prescribes an anti-bacterial mouth wash to be used at regular intervals.
Patients can get back to daily activities including joining back work, after 1 week of recovery. Due to the swelling, wherein the internal swelling will take more time to recede, the patient will only be able to start seeing the final result 4-6 weeks after the surgery.
Risks of Jaw Contouring surgery
The procedure is generally safe. There could be few complications, which can be avoided if we work with the right and experienced doctors. The general risks that are associated with the surgery are hematoma, seroma, infection at the incision site and deep vein thrombosis. Furthermore, a jaw surgery could result in an asymmetric jaw line which can be rectified through another revision surgery.