More men opting for cosmetic surgery to achieve superhero jawlines

Posted: 08/12/2014


According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of chin reshaping procedures for men rose rapidly between 2000 to 2013. Men today are discovering how important their facial characteristics are to their relationships and their careers. A strong chin and jawline provide the framework for a handsome face and also convey increased masculinity, confidence, intelligence and strength. With advancements in cosmetic surgery, jaw makeovers now include minimally invasive procedures such as ultrasound therapy and fillers, all of which hold huge appeal for those who do not want to look as if they have had work done.

By enhancing a small chin or reducing a large one, chin reshaping  - also known as chin augmentation or chin reduction -  can bring balance and symmetry to your face as well as a new-found sense of confidence. Chin reduction involves reshaping the bone to achieve a smoother contour while chin augmentation involves inserting implants or repositioning of bone.

In both of these procedures, an incision is made inside the mouth or under the chin. To insert a chin implant, tissue is first freed from the jawbone to create a pocket. The implant is then positioned in the pocket and secured to the bone with stitches or surgical screws and the wound is closed with dissolvable stitches. To reshape a chin, a section of bone is cut from the lower jaw, moved and secured in its new position. In a chin reduction, the bone may be filed down or cut until the desired shape is achieved.

The options to achieve a sharp jaw without surgery include tightening the skin on the neck through ultrasound to make the chin more prominent and using fillers such as Juvederm to sculpt the jawline or add projection to the chin. Most non-invasive procedures take less than one hour. The cost of fillers starts at about $800 per syringe, with most men requiring three to five sessions.

Minimally invasive does not necessarily mean minimally painful and filler companies now put the anaesthetic lidocaine in their products to reduce the pain. Results from fillers are immediate, although men have a higher risk of bruising because they have more blood vessels than women in the lower face. Treatment also needs to be repeated yearly, sometimes sooner, since the filler is absorbed by the body over time. Men who choose treatments such as Ultherapy, which uses heat through ultrasound, may not see a difference until three to six months later. This is because it takes time for the skin to tighten in response to the thermal injury.

As men have thicker skin, non-invasive solutions are often not as effective as they are for women. A surgeon in the US has recently developed a more aggressive procedure that he calls UltraTight. Instead of using ultrasound on the skin’s surface, the skin and the fat is treated through two pencil-eraser-shaped holes made under the chin. To melt the fat,  an ultrasonic wand is used to ‘iron’ the skin from the inside, delivering heat to regenerate collagen. Patients need to wear a chin bandage for 24 hours so that the skin heals close to the muscle wall. Swelling is roughly in line with that of dental surgery and results appear when it subsides. The cost of this procedure is $5,000.

Elise Bevan, a cosmetic surgery specialist in the Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team, said: “Surgeons report that jawline procedures are now second in popularity to liposuction for male patients. They credit this in part to superhero films and the crop of granite-jawed actors who play them. According to research carried out by a surgeon in New York, a strong jaw is also a hallmark of chief executives. When he studied photos of Top 50 Fortune 500 chief executives, he concluded that 90% had non-receding to prominent chins - a trait found in less than half of the US population.

“While the results of jaw-line re-contouring can be a real confidence boost, you may need more surgery following on from that, such as enhancing the cheek bones, to ensure that the new chiselled chin does not look at odds with the rest of your face.”


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