Also known as malar reduction, this is invasive plastic surgery to shave or cut the cheek bone in order to reduce an overly round or square face.
What is a Cheekbone Reduction?
This is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the cheek bone either by shaving or cutting and repositioning the zygomatic bone. Is appropriate for both men and women and is popular with Asian patients.
Cheekbone Reduction By Cutting Bone
An effective method of reducing prominent cheeks is to cut the cheekbone and set it back toward the face and in a lower position. The zygomatic cheek bone grows in the shape of a thin arch, connected to the skull at either end with an empty space behind the arch.
The anterior cut (closer to the nose) is made through an intraoral incision (inside the mouth). The posterior cut (closer to the earlobe) requires an external incision called a preauricular stab incision. This slit is about 3 mm in length and is barely visible after surgery (if at all).
To achieve smoother contouring surgeons can also partially fracture the middle region of the cheekbone. This is called a middle greenstick fracture. Partially fracturing the bone as opposed to cutting the mid-region reduces the risk of nerve damage.
Generally the bone does not need to be fixed with wires or plates. Surgeons enable the bone to naturally set by maintaining the periosteum (membrane that lines the outer surface of the bone). The facial muscles and periosteum assist in keeping the bone in place. The bone heals in the new set position on its own.
Cheekbone Reduction By Shaving
A less invasive way of reducing the cheekbone is by shaving the bone. A plastic surgeon makes an incision inside the mouth and use a special drill to file down the cheekbone. This method is commonly used where the cheekbones are excessively wide, resulting in anterior cheek reduction.
Zygomatic bone shaving can only offer limited results. Doctors claim the bone can only be shaved up to 1mm, offering only a small change in appearance. Some surgeons even advise against shaving cheekbones to avoid direct communication with the sinuses. Whilst shaving does not require cutting or fracturing the bone, there are still risks involved including infection in the soft tissue structures and leaving a hollowed out appearance.
Will My Skin Sag After Cheekbone Reduction?
Reducing the size of the cheekbone by setting it back can lead to loosened skin on the cheek area. In young patients, skin laxity has the ability to repair itself more effectively than in older patients. Sagging skin should not be an issue for younger patients after having cheekbones reduced. If there is baggy skin, this can be repaired through either non surgical skin tightening techniques such as aptos threading or in severe cases, a face lift. Droopy skin should not result from the shaving method because of its limited reduction effect on the area.
Cheekbone Reduction For Asian Patients
This procedure is especially popular for people of Asian decent. Many Asian people are born with an overly broad, round or square facial contour. Broadness in the mid-face region is usually caused by a protruding zygomatic bone. In women, this can cause a masculine and unattractive appearance. Prominent cheekbones can also make Asian men look unattractive if the bone is disproportionate to the temple and jaw line.
The Caucasian face typically features high cheekbones with thinner lower cheeks (unless the person has chubby cheeks). In addition to having excessively high and wide cheekbones, Asian cheeks are also often very thick in buccal fat. Surgeons often recommend fat removal via a cheek reduction along with reducing the zygomatic bone. The surgery can make female Asian faces appear more petite and feminine. For men, it can correct asymmetry and facial harmony.
How To Find The Best Cheekbone Reduction Surgeon
Cheekbone Reduction is a plastic surgery procedure which requires specialty training and experience. It should only be performed by a plastic surgeon specializing in facial reconstruction. Although any doctor can be a cosmetic surgeon and claim to practice in plastic surgery, invasive surgeries should only be performed by a plastic surgeon that is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. To ensure your surgeon is also experienced in cosmetic surgery, find out if they are a member of the ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery). If the surgeon does not have hospital privileges for the procedure, make sure that the surgeon’s facility is accredited, state licensed or certified by Medicare.
Be sure to ask your doctor which procedures they specialize in, whether they perform ethnic surgery, where they trained and how many treatments they’ve performed. Obtain lots of before and after photos of patients they’ve treated for the same area using the technique you wish to use.
Even if a doctor has the right credentials, this does not mean they will be good at reducing the cheekbone. Apart from researching their formal qualifications and training, try to find customer reviews to see the overall satisfaction rate of your potential doctor. Independent recommendations are invaluable for assessing the best doctor or surgeon who is most experienced in the procedure. Don’t be tempted to opt for the cheapest cost without considering the above factors. A cheap center may not offer the experience you desire and you could end up with asymmetry or some other undesirable results. Also, you may wish to consider whether you feel more comfortable with a female or male physician.
How Much Does a Cheekbone Reduction Cost? Price Information
Price Range: $$ affordable $$$ moderate $$$$ high-priced
Price Indicator: $$$$
Cost of Cheekbone Reduction: $6,000 - $8,000
Average Cost: $7,000
Fees Include: Surgeon fees, anaesthetic, operating room fees, surgery garments
Cost Variables: The prices vary depending on the technique. Shaving is less invasive and costs less, however the results are mild. If you choose to have the bone cut and repositioned, this will cost more. Creating a greenstick fracture in the mid zygoma for better contouring can add additional cost.
Health Insurance: Being a cosmetic procedure, the costs are not covered under insurance plans.
Medicare/Medicaid: Medicare/Medicaid will not pay for this procedure because it is elective.
Hospital Fee: If the procedure needs to be done in a hospital, additional fees will apply.
Facility Fees: Should be included in your quote.
Ask the clinic for the total cost including anesthesia, surgeons fees, facility or hospital fees and follow up visits.
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