Recently an article in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery (full reference below) led to a Reuters news by Genevra Pittman: Face too square? There's a surgery for that
The journal article is from China where the surgical procedure to modify a square face to a more oval face is done much more commonly than in the United States. The Reuters article includes quotes from two U.S. surgeons: Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, chief of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Boston University School of Medicine, and Dr. Ross Clevens, a cosmetic surgeon in Melbourne, Florida.
Spiegel states he does the procedure described in the Archives article two to four times each week. Clevens states “he doesn't treat many male patients who want a more "feminine" face shape.”
Xiaoping Chen, MD, International Plastic and Cosmetic Center, China, and colleagues reviewed the procedure done for nineteen men with a square face (aged 22-30 years). The time span of the cases was not given (ie 2001 to 2010) in the article.
The procedure involves an ostectomy with resection of the mandibular angle, splitting of the lateral cortex around the mandibular angle, and reduction of the width of the chin by an intraoral approach. (photo credit)
It sometimes was necessary to resect part of a hypertrophic masseter muscle. In addition, partial buccal fat pad removal was performed in patients with prominent cheeks. When the operation was completed, the wound was irrigated; a suction tube to allow drainage was then placed and maintained for 48 to 72 hours. The patient's lower face was lightly compressed with a dressing. Antibiotics were administered for 3 to 5 days, and the sutures were removed 7 days postoperatively.
In this series of 19 patients, there were no complications. Complications that can occur include: microgenia, facial asymmetry, hematoma, infection, or permanent mental nerve injury.
All patients developed edema in their lower face (tx’d with corticosteroid therapy, 10 mg/d for 3 days) and varied amounts of difficulty in opening their mouth for 1 to 2 weeks.
Results can be as dramatic as the procedure needed to achieve them (photo credit)
The Reuters news article states, “The procedure typically takes an hour or two, and costs up to $10,000, surgeons said.”
Modification of Square Face in Men; Xiaoping Chen, Jinde Lin, Jie Lin, Jian Shen, Yudan Zhou, Xuan Wu, Yanwu Xu; Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2011;13(4):244-246.doi:10.1001/archfacial.2011.47