The shape and size of facial skeleton and its soft tissues are the fundamental determinants of facial profile. The nose, cheek and chin form a golden triangle in the middle of the face. A balanced proportion of the forehead, nose, cheek and chin will create a beautiful face.
The facial profile can be dramatically improved through facial contouring surgery by either augmenting the deficient areas or reducing the over prominent areas. Reduction is usually done by reducing the bony areas or soft tissues that are prominent, whereas augmentation is done by filling in areas with one’s own tissue (bone, cartilage or fat grafts) or with bio compatible implants.
The main objective of facial contouring surgery is to create a well proportioned face. Depending upon the requirements, facial contouring surgery can be done either as a single procedure or in combination with several surgical procedures. Here is a list of facial contouring surgical procedures most frequently performed:
- Forehead contouring surgery (feminization surgery)
- Temple augmentation
- Cheek augmentation or cheek reduction (zygoma reduction)
- Mandible angle reduction
- Messeter muscle reduction surgery
- Buccal fat reduction surgery
Ideal candidate for facial contouring surgery
Facial contouring surgery is best performed on patients whose head and skull have reached physical maturity, which generally occurs in late adolescence. Ideal candidate would be:
- Having a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for improvement of facial appearance.
- Physically healthy
Preoperative evaluation for facial contouring surgery
Communication is vital in order to achieve the patient’s goals. During the initial consultation, patients will have the opportunity to discuss their goals and desirable results with the plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon will work closely with the patients to reach an agreement about the expectations from the surgical procedures involved and their long term benefits. Every patient is different, therefore a specific surgical technique and treatment regimen are planned to suit an individual’s need.
The preoperative assessment for facial contouring surgery may involve:
- Discussion about patients’ expectations and desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and previous medical or surgical treatment
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Examination of the face and its soft tissues
- Radiological assessment (facial X-rays or CT scans)
- Preoperative evaluation for types of anaesthesia
- Photography for preoperative and postoperative evaluation
Preparation for facial contouring surgery
- Blood investigations or a medical evaluation
- Avoid certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking or alcohol well in advance of surgery, (2-3 weeks prior to the surgery)
- Avoid taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
The risks and safety information on facial contouring surgery
It is important for patients to understand that every surgical procedure has its own complications and down time. However, if a patient is assessed properly before the surgery and postoperative care is given adequately, these risks can be eliminated or reduced. The risks involved in facial contouring surgery may vary depending upon the nature of the surgical procedure. In general, some of the risks involved are:
- Blood clot
- Bruises and swelling
- Poor wound healing
- Persistent pain
- Injury to the surrounding nerves, blood vessels, muscles or bones
- Changes in the skin sensation
- Skin or bony contour irregularity
- Problems associated with implants
- Anaesthesia risks
- Possibility of revision surgery
The final results of facial contouring surgery will be long-lasting, however the initial healing phase which include swelling, bruises, numbness or discomfort are usually transient and can be controlled by prescribed medications, cold compression and appropriate rest. Oral antibiotics and analgesics will be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection and postoperative pain respectively.
- Follow the postoperative instructions given carefully
- Head elevation especially when sleeping for 1-2 weeks
- Take the prescribed medications as instructed
- Regular application of facial ointments and cold compression around operated areas
- Regular mouth wash or gargle after every meal if there is any oral wounds
- Soft diet for 2-3 weeks
- Avoid strenuous physical activities for 3-4 weeks
How much will a facial contouring surgery cost?
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. The cost of facial contouring surgery can vary widely. Cost may include:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Medical tests (blood and radiological investigations)
- Anaesthesia fees
- Implant cost
- Prescriptions for medication
- Post-surgery garment
Facial contouring surgery is a cosmetic surgical procedure. Therefore, most of the health insurance companies do not cover cosmetic surgeries or their complications.