Jaw shaving is common among women who feel that their lower jaws are too wide in proportion to the rest of their face. Widened jawlines can be due to a number of factors, including bone, fat, or a large jawbone muscle (hypertrophied masseter muscle). Jaw shaving applies to patients with broad jawbones, whereas jaw slimming with injection therapy can better target large jawbone muscles. Jaw shaving is a specialized procedure that few surgeons can perform, but Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles Hsu, has years of experience performing mandibular surgeries and he is able to confidently offer this procedure to his patients.
Best Candidates for Jaw Shaving
The best candidates for jaw shaving are men and women who have:
A wide jawline due to overly large jawbone.
A desire to improve the appearance of their jaw.
During the consultation, Dr. Hsu will examine the jaw area and inspect it to determine what specifically is responsible for the widened appearance. He will also ask for a complete medical history, including existing medical conditions, past surgeries, tobacco usage, medications, supplements, and allergies. Dr. Hsu will explain the next steps in going forth with the procedure for eligible candidates. In order to have the best results, Dr. Hsu and the patient will work together to decide all the necessary details.
Jaw shaving surgery lasts approximately 2-3 hours. The incision is placed within the mouth so that there are no visible scars on the skin after surgery. After accessing the mandibular bone from this incision, Dr. Hsu will surgically slim the jawbone by shaving it and will close up the incision site with sutures, again leaving no visible scar.
Recovery and Post-Op
After the surgery, Dr. Hsu will wrap some dressings around the head to aid healing in the first week. This operation involves slimming the bone, so the jaw is prone to swell more than in many other operations. It is therefore very important that patients keep their heads elevated and dry at all times during the recovery period. All stitches are dissolvable and are placed within the mouth, so there is no need to take out stitches after surgery. Most patients return to work after 1-2 weeks, but many return even sooner. About 5-6 weeks post-operation, most patients can return to their normal routines including exercise and going back to the gym. Follow-up appointments are scheduled immediately after surgery for up to a year.
From Dr. Hsu
“As opposed to jaw slimming, which is an injection-based procedure which helps to shrink the muscle mass that can make the jaw appear wide, jaw shaving is designed to address those cases in which the wide jaw is due to bone, and not to muscle. In fact, most people who have wide appearing jaws usually have some bony element, which is at least partially responsible for the wide appearance. However, in many of these patients, the reduction in width achieved with an injection is sufficient.
In patients who don’t want to undergo multiple injections for the jaw slimming, jaw shaving accomplished through surgery can work very well. This is a procedure that was initially pioneered in Asia and is now quite popular there. I have not yet seen too many non-Asian patients requesting the procedure, but I think it’s mostly because they are not aware of it yet. The biggest issue with this surgery is just that the initial swelling can be significant, so I will always tell patients to be prepared for that. Bony surgery, especially around the jaw, tends to cause more swelling than for other procedures. Fortunately, the swelling does go away and when it does, the results can significantly slim the contour of the lower face.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I eat after Jaw Shaving Surgery?
Patients may have a hard time chewing and swallowing after the first few days from surgery. Dr. Hsu recommends a liquid diet or a light diet of soft foods for the first couple of days post-surgery to help aid with the problem of chewing. Patients may also have a hard time talking and yawning for the first few days after surgery, so it is best to avoid talking to allow the area to rest..
What can I expect in my Final Results?
When it comes to expectations, patients need to be realistic. Through the surgery, patients will receive a balanced chin and that will balance the mid and upper face. Once the swelling and bruising has resolved, most patients are more confident with their new, better looking jaw.
Recovery Tips to a faster recovery??
An easy way to maintain the elevated position during rest is to sleep on two pillows at night. Dr. Hsu also highly recommends covering the area when going outside. There will also be numbness when talking, yawning, eating, and anything else that involves the jaw. During the recovery period, walking assists with healing and minimizing blood clots. Patients are advised to take up to 1-2 weeks off from work. Patients will have to avoid any situation that involves facial contact for two months.