A prominent jaw line creates a masculine or square face appearance that may be undesirable especially in Asian females. Asian beauty emphasizes subtlety, a prominent jaw line throws off the balance of midfacial structures particularly the nose and chin by overpowering the mid face. Reducing the jaw line restores the balance and improves facial harmony. When it comes to the prominent jaw line, patients may have a significant muscle component, bone component, or both. The etiology of this condition is unknown. However, some of these conditions have been associated ethnicity which are commonly seen in East Asian descendents, masseter muscle hypertrophy (jaw muscle overgrowth) as a result of habitual jaw clenching, teeth grinding or diet (dried squid, tough and chewy delicacies).

Reduction angleplasty or mandibular angle reduction surgery is a cosmetic surgical procedure done to transform a square shaped face to a more delicate and feminine facial appearance. This surgical procedure is effective in correcting prominent body and angle of the lower jaw, thus reducing the width of lower face and changing a square face to an oval or “V” shaped face. In some cases, mandible angle reduction surgery is combined with other facial contouring surgeries such as zygoma reduction, messeter muscle reduction or genioplasty to achieve facial balance. Mandible angle reduction surgery is often performed through intraoral approach hence there is no visible scar externally.

Patients who seek mandibular angle reduction surgery have usually have desire to improve their appearance and they should not attempt to mimic the appearance associated with Caucasian facial features.  Preservation of ethnicity remains the cornerstone of this surgery and patient should have realistic expectations from the 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

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 (CT scan of face)
  • Preoperative evaluation for general anaesthesia
  • Photography for preoperative and postoperative evaluation
  • 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

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 mandibular angle reduction surgery are:

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

Following mandibular angle reduction surgery, drains (tubes to remove excess blood) may be removed after the second postoperative day. During the initial healing phase, patient may experience pain, numbness, bruises and swelling around the lower jaw. These symptoms usually fade away after 3-4 weeks. 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 3-4 weeks
  • Take the prescribed medications as instructed
  • Cold compressive dressing around the lower jaw might be used for 3-7 days
  • 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