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What is Jaw Reduction Surgery?

by Ezra Luca

Jaw reduction surgery is typically done for jaw slimming. A squarish or broad lower jaw can make the face appear wide and big. A squarish jaw is also often associated with masculinity.

For those who want to have a more feminine appearance, jaw reduction surgery can also be an option. The procedure is also done to make the chin and jaw appear slimmer and achieve a more attractive v-line.

Jaw Reduction Surgery: Suitable Candidates

Jaw reduction surgery might be recommended for those with:

  • An asymmetrical chin or jaw
  • An angular and wide jaw
  • A squarish or long chin
  • Jaws that are wider or parallel than the top half of the face
  • A male-like appearance because of the lower jaw’s shape

Jaw reduction is not for everyone. You might be cautioned against the procedure if:

  • You are a smoker
  • Your body mass index is greater than 35
  • You have a chronic medical condition like diabetes or heart disease
  • You have a history of dental misalignment or facial trauma

What to Expect During the Procedure

Your surgeon will create an individualized plan before the procedure. During this time, important aspects of the procedure including expectations will be discussed. Pictures will be taken for planning purposes as well as for comparison after the surgery. The procedure will be done under general anesthesia.

Usually, incisions are made inside the mouth, behind the angles or under the chin. The part of the bone that is cut may be removed completely or shifted to a different position and fixed with titanium plates and screws. Sutures will be used to close the incisions. When needed, drains may be placed to ensure blood won’t be collected under the tissues.

After the jaw reduction surgery, it is recommended that you stay as upright as much as possible to help minimize bruising and swelling. You might be required to make a few diet changes to help hasten healing. Narcotic pain medications and antibiotics may also be recommended for comfort.

Different Types of Jaw Reduction Procedures

There are different types of jaw reduction surgeries that can be carried out. Your surgeon will decide on the best one for your case. Some of the jaw reduction procedures include:

  • Mandibular resection. Angle refers to the part of the lower jaw situated under the ear. The extra bone located at the angle area gives the face a square shape. Mandibular resection involves removing the angle to achieve a smooth v-line.
  • Cortical resection. In this procedure, the bone that will be removed is still the angle of the jaw. However, unlike mandibular resection, only the bone’s outer layer is removed. This procedure can reduce the jawbone’s width and creates a slimming effect.
  • T-Osteotomy. Another way to achieve a v-line would be to reduce and reshape sections of the jaw. In this procedure, two very parallel cuts will be created in the midline. The middle bone portion will be removed. The two side segments will be joined after. The rest of the mandible will be reshaped to achieve a more feminine v-line.
  • V-Osteotomy. For those with very broad jaws, this is the recommended option. This is done by creating two inverted V cuts in the chin’s midline. The middle portion of the bone located between the two Vs will be removed. The jaws will be reshaped after.
  • Horizontal Osteotomy. This procedure is considered ideal for those with a wide jaw and elongated chin. Two horizontal parallel cuts will be made on the chin. The distance between the cuts will decide how much will be removed. The segment between the lower and upper chin will be removed. The lower segment will be attached to the chin. The excess bones will be removed to create a smoother jawline.

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