Face too square? There's a surgery for that

Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:49pm EDT
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By Genevra Pittman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Plastic surgery isn't just about wrinkles and nose jobs anymore.

Some patients want surgeons to dig deeper, cutting away at bones underneath their faces to create a more perfect visage.

Both men and women are getting procedures to make square faces with blunt jawlines more rounded or "feminine." The surgeries are done in the United States, but researchers say they have really taken off in East Asia, including in China and Korea.

"What this is coming down to...is that beauty is not just skin deep," said Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, chief of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Boston University School of Medicine, who said he does two to four of the procedures each week.

"More and more people who are on the forefront of facial plastic surgery are realizing that structural issues are critical," he told Reuters Health. "Changing bone -- which is the underlying surface on which the skin is resting -- is what allows you to really create good attractive changes."

A study published earlier this week showed that square-faced men who got the procedure in Nanjing, China, were generally satisfied with their appearance and didn't have any complications a few months down the line.

Surgeons sawed off part of the jaw bone of 19 men and with titanium plates and screws also narrowed patients' chins. Finally, they surgically removed fat from prominent cheeks to make them smaller.

After the surgery, all of the men had swelling and some had trouble opening their mouths for the next couple weeks. But there were no serious complications or injuries.   Continued...