Facial contouring, also known as facial sculpting, is an elective cosmetic surgical procedure that improves the general appearance of the face. It is an emerging trend in some countries and its goals are to improve the proportion of the face and all facial features, as well as make the face generally smaller. It can make a person’s facial features look more balanced as well as improve facial outline.
A facial contouring surgery is performed while the patient is under general anaesthesia. Prior to the procedure, the patient undergoes CT imaging scans to obtain images of the bones and soft tissues of the face. This serves as the surgeon’s guide while performing the surgery.
A facial contouring surgery typically takes time, as it usually requires several changes to achieve a proportionate look. In the majority of cases, the procedure revolves around the nose, cheekbones, forehead, cheeks, or the lips. Due to this, there is no standard technique or procedure in facial contouring. Rather, each procedure is customised to fit the needs of the individual and may involve a combination of different cosmetic surgical techniques, such as:
- Facial implants
- Graft and tissue transfers
- Fat removal
- Bone trimming
- Chin implants or jaw line contouring
- Reduction malarplasty
- Mandibular angleplasty
- Chin advancing surgery
- Blepharoplasty or eyelid lift
- Submental lipectomy or neck lift
- Brow lift
- Earlobe repair
- Ear pinning
- Jaw bone reduction
- V-line surgery
- Double jaw surgery
- Scalp advancement
Most incisions are made inside the mouth or between the gum and cheek mucosa. This gives the surgeon access to most parts of the face, such as the jawbone, while hiding the resulting scar.
The surgery can take anywhere between 2.5 hours and 5 hours, depending on how much work has to be done. Hospitalisation, which can take from one to a few days, is typically required to closely monitor the patient. If non-absorbable stitches are used, patients have to return after two weeks for their removal.
Most patients fully recover from the procedure within 3 months and with most of the swelling gone after a month. However, it may take up to 12 months before the full effect can be seen.