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Jawline surgery is a corrective procedure to address jaw abnormalities and fix misalignment issues. It can involve shaping the upper jaw, lower jaw, chin, or a combination. A double jaw surgery is called a bimaxillary osteotomy, and below, we will provide you with an overview of orthognathic surgery procedures.
What Is Jawline Surgery?
Jawline surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a cosmetic procedure used to change the shape of the jaw and provide a slimmer appearance. In some cases, it can be used as a form of treatment for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders or to fix uneven jaws and help with chewing. A V-line surgery for jaw can correct the look of your face by removing parts of the chin and jaw so that you get a pointed shape.
Patients who book appointments for jawline surgery usually do so to achieve a more feminine aesthetic, as the V-shape is associated with increased attraction in social circles. Those identifying as non-binary or trans are also candidates for corrective jaw surgery.
However, it is important to keep in mind that it is a major procedure, and just like most surgical procedures, corrective jaw surgery carries with it certain risks. The ideal candidate for orthognathic surgery would be a nonsmoker who leads a healthy and active lifestyle.
Types of Jawline Surgery
Your jaw is divided into two parts - upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible). Patients may undergo orthognathic treatment before and after jawline surgery. It mostly depends on the type of jaw misalignment or deformities they have. There are mainly four types of corrective jaw surgery:
1. Upper Jaw Surgery (Maxillary Osteotomy)
Maxillary osteotomy makes incisions in the gums and targets the upper portion of the jaw. An oral surgeon attaches a small plastic wafer to the teeth and helps correct upper jaw alignment.
2. Lower Jaw Surgery (Mandibular Osteotomy)
Lower jaw surgery corrects the lower jaw region and involves removing a part of the lower jaw bone. Depending on the patient's misalignment, the bone may be moved forward or backward. Double jaw surgery targets both the upper and lower jaws and is recommended for severe jaw abnormalities.
3. Chin Surgery (Genioplasty)
Genioplasty is a plastic surgical procedure that fixes severely receded chins. It changes the position, shape—and contour of the chin and is a good option for those with chin deformities.
4. Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Surgery
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Surgery affects jaw movement and causes severe jaw pain as a result. There are two types of temporomandibular joint dysfunction surgery which are - Arthroplasty and Arthrocentesis. Arthroplasty is known as keyhole surgery and makes a small incision on the front of the ear. It removes scar tissue from surrounding areas near the joint to eliminate pain. Arthrocentesis is another variation of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Surgery where sterile fluid is used to remove debris from the joint.
Procedure for Orthognathic Surgery
You will have an extensive consultation with your surgeon before you are even approved for an orthognathic surgical procedure. Your surgeon will ask you questions, lay down expectations—and immediately inform you of the risks and benefits of this procedure. If you meet the medical requirements and are deemed fit, you will be ideally allowed to apply for the procedure.
Your orthognathic surgery begins with marking your face before entering the operating room to perform the procedure. Your surgeon will administer anesthesia and make incisions along your jawline and chin. They will shave down your mandible bone and remove a portion of it to achieve a narrower angle, thus sharpening your contours. Some patients choose to do a follow-up genioplasty procedure in addition to this surgery. However, that is not mandatory and is optional.
Once your orthognathic surgery is done, your surgeon will stitch up all incisions and dress your wounds. Temporary drains may be inserted to aid the healing process afterward. The entire operation takes between 1 to 2 hours to complete, and you will be transferred to a recovery room to wake up from the anesthesia gently.
Most patients are advised to stay at the hospital overnight and leave in the morning to finish the recovery process.
Orthognathic Surgery Risks
Commonly associated orthognathic surgery risks are:
- Fractures in the jaw
- Excessive bleeding
- Severe relapses
- Permanent or temporary nerve damage
- Pain in the jaw that is recurring
- Infections in surgical sites
- Poor bite post-op surgery
- Allergic reactions due to the general anesthesia administered during the procedure
Recovery and Aftercare
Orthognathic surgery is generally safe, but since it is an invasive procedure, it comes with its own risks. Patients may experience numbness after the procedure, and it is advised to take enough rest. This is because nerve endings are cut during the operation, and it takes time for them to heal up. You won't be able to drive post-op for about 48 hours and will be required to spend the night at the hospital.
When it comes to diet and nutrition, patients are recommended to eat only soft foods during the first few weeks after surgery. A few examples of these foods are scrambled eggs, soups, smoothies, meal replacement shakes, pureed fruit—and mashed potatoes. Once your jaws are completely healed, you will be able to resume your normal diet, and your surgeon will inform you when the time is right.
If you are planning on taking nutritional supplements, it is advisable to consult your surgeon when selecting the dosages. The recovery process is sensitive, which is why it's important to exercise necessary care and caution instead of taking matters into your own hands. When in doubt, talk to your licensed orthognathic surgeon.
A poor jaw shape can affect self-esteem and impact the social life of patients. Corrective jaw procedures like orthognathic surgery may be the answer for those who are looking for a solution that works. It is advisable to try natural jaw correction exercises and resort to surgery as a last step. Surgeons will start with a diagnosis and assess whether the patient is ready for it.
Double jaw surgery takes a while to heal, and it's important not to stress or overexert yourself after the procedure physically. You can consult licensed medical practitioners and contact them for an initial diagnosis. If you are unhappy with the aesthetic appearance of your jaw and don't mind the investment, a jawline surgery may actually do wonders and yield significant results.