Face slimming is a non-surgical cosmetic treatment which aims to alter the contours of an individual's cheeks, usually converting square or excessively round facial shapes into more slender forms with a sharper profile.
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Illustration of cheekbone reduction surgery.
Illustration of cheekbone reduction surgery.
Face Slimming Quick Details
WHO IS THIS FOR
Those with facial shapes that feature excessively prominent jaw lines, particularly women who feel that their facial shape is too masculine.
Sufferers of tooth-grinding ("bruxism") due to an oversized masseter muscle.
Injections often take just 1 hour to complete.
No inpatient stays are required. Injections can be administered at a single appointment, and may be required at regular intervals until the desired appearance is achieved.
Following appointments, some numbness may be experienced, but recovery times are almost instant.
Studies of botox-based face slimming techniques have found very high success rates, with over 80% of participants reporting improved facial appearance.
In a minority of cases, "touching up" injections may be required to complete the process or to achieve the desired appearance.
POTENTIAL RISKS & SIDE EFFECTS
Temporary loss of force when chewing is a normal side effect of the procedure
Other less common complications can include bruising, headaches, sagging, and sunken cheeks.
Asymmetric results can occur in some cases, but these usually ease over time.
In rare cases, botox can migrate from the injection site, affecting muscles governing breathing and swallowing. Complications of this magnitude are thought to be extremely rare.
What Is Face Slimming?
Face slimming involves using a variety of techniques to reshape the contours of a patient's face. It generally targets muscles in the jaw, which contribute to 'square-jawed' facial appearances. The most common variant is non-surgical, and employs a series of botox injections to induce a reduction in the size of the masseter muscle. However, surgical methods do exist and can be used when other methods do not optimal results.
How Does Face Slimming Work?
Face slimming works by reducing the size of muscles under the skin of the face. The key player here is the masseter muscle, which connects the jawbone to the cheekbone, and regulates chewing actions. In some people, the size of this muscle makes their jaw appear unattractively prominent. But this can be changed by altering muscle mass in the masseter. To do so, cosmetic specialists use botox to relax the masseter muscle. Over a period of weeks or months, the muscle loses mass, rounding out the patient's jawline. A standard face slimming procedure would be performed roughly as follows:
1. At an initial consultation with your cosmetic surgeon, they will discuss which areas of your face require cosmetic alteration. It may be necessary to carry out certain exercises to find out what degree of reshaping is required.
2. When the day to receive the injections arrives, the areas to be reshaped are clearly marked, and a cold compress or soothing cream will be applied to relax facial tissues. Local anaesthetic is typically not needed.
3. Injections are then made on both sides of the face. This process takes between 5-15 minutes, and you will be able to return home immediately afterwards.
4. Follow up appointments are usually required within 2-3 weeks. Your cosmetic surgeon will be able to tell how well the reshaping process is proceeding.
Results should be apparent within 6-8 weeks of your initial appointment. If not, your cosmetic surgeon may advise a further course of botox injections. These are usually administered around 4 months after the first appointment. The effects, on the other hand, will last for years but are rarely permanent. Many patients require periodic "boosters" to supplement the original face slimming process.
Are There Different Types of Face Slimming?
The above process is typical for botox-based face slimming procedures, but it is not the only way to achieve a more appealing, slender jawline. Surgical reduction of the masseter is another option. As usual, surgery is advised as a last resort, and botox will generally be advised as a preferable course of action.
The process requires a general anaesthetic. Incisions are made inside the cheeks, and bone mass is then removed from the jawbone, usually resulting in a more rounded and feminine appearance. Due to the invasive nature of surgery, this form of face slimming requires a hospital stay of 2-4 days, and may have complications such as blood clotting, swelling inside the mouth, and scarring. However, due to modern technology like 3D imaging and ultrasonic scalpels, surgeons are usually able to minimise these risks, and ensure a high level of success.
What Should I Expect?
Following a course of botox injections, you should expect some numbness, and perhaps pain at the injection sites. Swollen cheeks can occur in some cases, though they are really and usually these issues should ease within a day or two.
Generally, patients are advised to avoid strenuous activities and exercise for a week after their injections. After that point, they are free to carry out their normal activities without any restrictions. Patients should expect to see noticeable alterations in their facial shape within 6 weeks of the initial injections. However, it's not realistic to expect immediate or radical changes in your appearance. Botox takes time to bear results, and individuals react in different ways.
Experts generally counsel those choosing face slimming to be patient. In some cases, extra injections may be necessary to build on previous appointments. But, given time, the treatment usually has dramatic results.