While there is a trend toward non-invasive procedures to treat the face, a smaller group of patients is going in the opposite direction and opting for surgery that alters the bones under their face.
Reuters reports that facial bone surgery is becoming more common, especially in East Asia, for men and women who have square faces and want a more rounded or more feminine look.
“More and more people who are on the forefront of facial plastic surgery are realizing that structural issues are critical,” said Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, chief of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Boston University School of Medicine. “Changing bone — which is the underlying surface on which the skin is resting — is what allows you to really create good attractive changes.” Dr. Spiegel said he does two to four of these facial procedures each week.
A recent study published in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery found that men who got the procedure in Nanjing, China, were generally satisfied with their appearance and didn’t have any complications a few months after surgery.
The study looked at 19 men who had the surgery, which included having part of their jaw bone sawed off, but the researchers said that most often it is women who want the face-rounding procedure.
Dr. Ross Clevens, a cosmetic surgeon in Florida who was not involved in the research, agreed with the assessment and said he doesn’t treat many male patients who want a more “feminine” face shape.
“What we more commonly see is men who want a more square, more angular … more masculine jaw line,” he said. That procedure involves putting silicone implants along the angle of the jaw and sometimes in the chin as well, according to Dr. Clevens.
Dr. Spiegel believes facial bone surgery will become more common in the United States. “More and more people are realizing that these changes that they may have thought are not attainable actually are,” he said. He added that the jaw area is “probably the most significant way that we determine gender and attractiveness” in the face.