Face contouring surgery can make a huge impact on the overall appearance, especially in the cheekbone, chin and jaw areas. Also sometimes known as V-line surgery, face contouring surgery can be complex, with many different surgical methods. To help you better understand face contouring surgery, Dr. Kim Hyungjun, a director at NANA Plastic Surgery, shares more about the details.
Dr. Kim Hyungjun, Director at NANA Plastic Surgery
What is face contouring surgery?
To put it simply, face contouring surgery is a procedure that trims wide, angular and bumpy facial contours into a beautiful face shape. With face contouring surgery, I think what's left is more important than what's removed. It's hard to say that a face is beautiful just because it is small and slim. Some patients who have undergone face contouring surgery at other hospitals come here discontented with the shape of their face. Although their bones are completely removed until just before the nerve line (which makes a very small face), the actual face shape is not beautiful at all. After all, face contouring surgery does not only look at the bones. Since there are differences in size, shape, and proportion of faces that fit each person, it is important to remove while leaving the right parts accordingly.
Does face get smaller after face contouring surgery?
Some patients who come to see me ask me to make their faces look smaller. If you trim your angular and protruding bones through face contouring surgery, your face will be slightly smaller, but it is the size of your head that determines the actual size of your face, and you cannot reduce the size of your head. Therefore, you should think of it this way: face contouring surgery is not about reducing the size of your face, but about creating a beautiful face shape that fits your face.
What's the difference between face contouring surgery and double jaw surgery?
Double jaw surgery is a procedure that moves the position of the upper and lower jaw bones, including the upper and lower teeth. It operates on the center of the face. If your upper and lower teeth do not match well, it can be hard to chew food. Double jaw surgery improves these discomforts in jaw function, but also improves facial shape as a result. It is a surgery to correct issues like protruding or receding jaw causing facial asymmetry and protruding lips. It requires orthodontics before and after surgery.
On the other hand, face contouring surgery is a procedure that changes the outline and shape of the edge of the face. It's a surgery that creates a slim face line by reducing the wide protruding cheekbones, wide angular jaw, and wide and large chin.
Can you tell us about the types and methods of face contouring surgery?
Face contouring surgery can be classified into three main categories. It can be divided into cheekbone reduction, square jaw reduction, and jaw tip plastic surgery, and outer cortex removal can be performed together with square jaw reduction.
Cheekbone Reduction Surgery
Photo credit: NANA Plastic Surgery
Cheekbone reduction reduces the side and 45 degree cheekbones by pushing the front and back cheekbones inwards through incisions in the mouth or sideburns. Afterwards, it is important to keep the bones firmly fixed with plates and screws.
Square Jaw Surgery
Photo credit: NANA Plastic Surgery
Square jaw surgery cuts and reduces the bottom of the jaw bone through a mouth incision. This could reduce the front of the jaw but might create a secondary angle. So if it's necessaary, sometimes a curved cut is made along the entire length of the jaw, from the back angle to the tip of the chin.
Yellow part is cortical bone, orange part is soft bone. Photo credit: NANA Plastic Surgery
Generally, square jaw surgery and outer cortex removal are done together. When you remove the a thin layer of the cortex, the thickness of the jawbone decreases and the effect will be more obvious from the front. If you look at the jawbone, there is the cortical bone on the outside and it is the outermost bone.
It's a very hard bone. There is a layer of soft bone inside, and you can think of cortical removal surgery as removal of the hard cortical bone on the outside.
If you look at a square jaw, there is the angle of the square jaw bone, the middle part, and the tip of the chin. We can divide the jaw bone into the angle, middle part, and chin part.
Various chin division methods. Photo credit: NANA Plastic Surgery
The chin tip plastic surgery is performed in many ways depending on the shape of the chin. The surgery method depends on the left and right sides of the bone and the upper and lower sides of the bone. If the chin is wide, the width will be reduced using a T-division or ㅅ-division. If the chin long, the length will be reduced, and if the chin is short, it will be extended.
Depending on the position of the bone before, if the jaw is receded, the tip bone is pushed forward, and if the jaw is protruded, the tip bone is pushed backward.
By combining the 5 things above, you can reduce the width while shifting the jaw forward at the same time, and you can also increase/decrease the length while shifting forward as well. In the case of chin plastic surgery, the cut chin tip bone is firmly fixed with a plate and screw.
Another way is to shorten the width of the chin, the entire bone will be cut from the back of the jaw to the tip of the chin, and with this method, it's not necessary to fix with plate and screw.
How "jaw rotation surgery" works. Photo credit: NANA Plastic Surgery
"Jaw rotation surgery" is not a standard medical term. It means that instead of doing chin and jaw surgeries separately, you do it all at once. That's how it came about. Everyone uses this term to make it easier to understand.
At what age do you recommend for face contouring?
Usually, people in their 20s and 30s who have skin elasticity and don't have concerns of sagging are suitable for surgery. For those in their 40s and 50s, it is recommended to get lifting procedures and face contouring surgery together because you'll experience some sagging at that age.
Sometimes, even high school and middle school students ask about face contouring surgery. However, it is difficult to operate if the patient is still growing, so we'd recommend to check that the growth plate is closed before performing surgery.
Most female students complete their growth around the winter of the second year of high school, while for male students, it's the winter of the third year of high school. It's better to have surgery after becoming an adult.
Information gathered from NANA Plastic Surgery's YouTube video here.