Zygoma Reduction Surgery

Zygoma reduction surgery or reduction malarplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure to reduce the width of face in order to make the face smaller and more feminine. This surgical procedure is commonly done for patient who has a wide face due to large cheek bones. The approach for this surgery is either through incision made in the mouth or sometimes mouth incision combined with  small external incision at side burn area or in front of ear canal. Prominent part of the zygoma is reduced either by shaving or cutting the involved bony segment (zygoma) and then moved it inward, backward and downward. Once the zygoma is repositioned, it is secured by small plates and screws. Zygoma reduction surgery can be done as a single procedure or often done in combination with other facial contouring surgery such as mandibular angle reduction surgery to create an oval shaped facial appearance.

Ideal candidates for zygoma reduction surgery

  • Having a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for improvement of facial appearance.
  • Physically healthy with no active or serious pre-existing medical conditions

Preoperative evaluation for zygoma reduction 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 treatment regimen is planned to suit an individual’s need.

  • 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
  • Previous surgeries
  • Examination of the face and its soft tissues
  • Radiological assessment (Facial X-rays or CT scans)
  • Preoperative assessment for general anaesthesia
  • Photography for preoperative and postoperative evaluation

Preparation for zygoma reduction 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 zygoma reduction surgery

It is essential for patients to understand that every surgical procedure has its own complications and risks involved. 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 zygoma reduction surgery are:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clot
  • Infection
  • Bruises and swelling around the cheek and eyes
  • Injury to the surrounding nerves, blood vessels, muscles or bones
  • Changes in the skin sensation over the cheek (temporary)
  • Bony contour irregularity
  • Asymmetry
  • Anaesthesia risks
  • Possibility of revision surgery

Postoperative expectations

During the initial healing phase, patient may experience pain, numbness, bruises and swelling around the cheeks. Occasionally, patient may experience tightness during mouth opening. These symptoms are transient, usually last about 3-4 weeks. If there are any sutures on the side burn areas or in front of external ear canals, they are usually removed about 7-10 days after the surgery. Oral antibiotics and analgesics will be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection and postoperative pain respectively.

Postoperative care

  • Follow the postoperative instructions given carefully
  • Head elevation especially when sleeping for 3-4 weeks
  • Take the prescribed medications as instructed
  • Compressive dressing around cheek for 3-5 days
  • Wound care for any external wounds
  • Regular mouth wash or gargle after every meal if there are any oral wounds
  • Soft diet for 2-3 weeks
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities for 3-4 weeks

How much will a zygoma reduction surgery cost?

Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. The cost of zygoma reduction surgery can vary widely. Cost may include:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Hospital or surgical facility costs
  • Medical tests (blood and radiological investigations)
  • Cost of plates and screws
  • Anaesthesia fees
  • Prescriptions for medication

Zygoma reduction surgery is a cosmetic surgical procedure. Therefore, most of the health insurance companies do not cover cosmetic surgeries or their complications.