Facial contouring, also known as facial sculpting, is a procedure that reshapes the face to enhance or improve facial features and reduce the appearance of ageing. Changes are made to either the soft tissues of the face or bony structure, to improve the facial outline and profile. For example, women may desire a more tapered, youthful, V-shaped facial contour. Men, in contrast, may prefer a more prominent and chiselled jawline for a more masculine appearance.
There is no standard technique in facial contouring, and the surgery is tailored according to each patient’s face condition and desires. Some problems that can be addressed include:
Facial contouring can be achieved by non-invasive or invasive means. The effects may be temporary or permanent, depending on the mode of treatment chosen.
Each treatment will be customised to fit the needs of each individual. This may involve a combination of the several techniques. Some examples of the techniques used include:
(a) Non-invasive (non-surgical)
(b) Invasive (surgical)
Your surgeon will help you in choosing the most suitable approach based on your existing facial appearance and expectations.
The more invasive procedures will typically require general anaesthesia and a short hospitalization stay. Surgical drains may be placed to remove excess fluid after surgery.
Most of the incisions can be hidden inside the mouth, beneath the nose, under the jaw or behind the ears.
Depending on the extent of surgery that you need, hospitalization for one to several days to ensure that you are recovering sufficiently well prior to discharge. You will be taught how to keep your wounds clean. If drains are used, they will be removed in a few days once there is little fluid draining out. External stitches, if any, will be removed 1 to 2 weeks later (depending on their location).
Pain, swelling and bruising are expected after the surgery and will improve over several days with rest. Painkillers and antibiotics will be prescribed to control the pain and minimise the risk of infection. Cold compresses are usually helpful to reduce the swelling and bruising, as is sleeping with your head raised higher than your chest for a few days. During the first 1 to 2 weeks after surgery, you are advised to avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting, exercise and swimming.
Most patients will have fully recovered by 3 months, but it may take up to 12 months for the swelling to completely resolve before the full effects of your surgery can be seen.
Major facial contouring surgery carries risks, which include:
You may need to undergo an additional surgery to correct some of these problems.
The subject of risks, as well as potential complications of surgery are best discussed on a personal basis between you and your plastic surgeon.