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ADJUSTING FACE SHAPE

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FACIAL FEATURES AND PERFECT PROPORTIONS

The face is composed of a number of different features, which are arranged so that a certain symmetry exists between them. Several women, as well as men, may notice some features of the face’s shape which they do not like. Others may feel that the shape of their face is not satisfactory, but are unable to pinpoint exactly why this is so. It is difficult to determine when these features are in symmetry amongst themselves and when they are not.

For this reason, plastic surgery has developed a subdivision which studies the proportions and the relations between various features of the face. It has been proved that faces which are generally judged to be attractive tend to share some common features. These common features are very much connected with the relationship that exists between the various features of the face; this relationship has been noted to be the same in all faces which are considered attractive, while still retaining their uniqueness. These proportions have been documented after several studies and attempts by plastic surgeons to force the contours of the face to conform as closely as possible to these perfect proportions, yet this practice does not seek to make all faces identical.

For example, the correlation of the cheekbones with the cheeks and the lower jaw is very particular. In addition, the correlation of the nose with the mouth and the lower jaw is just as particular. The length of the forehead is approximately equal to the length of the nose, which is also approximately the same as the distance between the nose and the chin.

Hundreds of other such proportions has been recorded and are employed to guide plastic surgeons as to the results they must seek, in order to construct an attractive face.


METHODS OF ADJUSTING THE SHAPE OF THE FACE

The methods in the plastic surgeon’s arsenal are many and varied. In any given case, the plastic surgeon will employ the method which is particularly appropriate for that patient’s face, in order to achieve the most satisfactory result.





USE OF ADDITIVE MATERIALS - INSERTS

These are frequently used primarily to enhance the chin; this operation is known as genioplasty (also referred to as mentoplasty and chin surgery). Also, additive materials may be used to enhance the cheekbones or jawline, and on rarer occasions to enhance other parts of the face.

There are various types of inserts, such as silicone inserts, porex etc. Genioplasty in particular is a type of operation which, although it is not very well known, can result in a noticeable improvement on the face. Many patients pursue a plastic surgeon in order to improve their nose, but tend to not consider that their nose might be asymmetrical with their chin.

Inserts on the face are usually deposited via an incision inside the mouth, making the cut invisible as they leave no outward signs.


FAT IMPLANTS

The use of fat as a filler material has been developing rapidly over the past few years
and is a valuable aid in adjusting the shape of the face. The fat is usually obtained from the region of the stomach, undergoes processing and is then deposited in the desired locations via a syringe.

A certain amount of this fat will be absorbed, but a major fraction of it will remain in place permanently. This operation may be repeated many times, provided this is judged to be necessary.

Fat constitutes a very satisfying solution for adjusting the shape of the face, for various reasons:

•    It is a material which originates from the patient themselves and as such is entirely compatible with their  organism.
•    A major fraction of it will remain in place permanently.
•    There is no purchase cost, as with other additive materials.
•    One can obtain it from the organism in large quantities, as it is always able to provide sufficient fat to correct any problem.
•    It allows for two different operations to be performed simultaneously, as fat may be removed from somewhere it has accumulated in excess, and deposited in another spot in order to erase a deficiency or to correctively adjust the face’s proportions.

Newer methods of fat obtainment and deposition have allowed it to become a much more frequently used material in adjusting facial features.


HYALURONIC ACID AND OTHER FILLERS

The most frequently used filler material is hyaluronic acid. Since its production process and duration have been greatly improved, this material has been used almost in excess over the past few years. Yet, there are several other satisfactory filler materials.

Hyaluronic acid has to essential advantages: it is safe and easy to deposit. A patient can easily rectify their problem with an operation lasting 10 to 15 minutes.

It can be employed to adjust the contours of the lower jaw, the cheekbones, the cheeks, the brows, the area under the eyes, the chin, and generally any area where added bulk is needed to adjust the shape of the face.




OSTEOTOMIES

This is a far more extensive procedure than those mentioned above, and is usually employed to deal with problems of the jaw. In this case, incisions are made into the bones, which are then rearranged into a new position. This method has permanent results, but is of course much more interventional than the above.

LIPOSUCTION

This method is used in cases where there is excess fat in the face, such as removing fat from double chins, cheeks etc. The basic use of liposuction on the face is to correct a double chin.




REMOVING THE BUCCAL FAT PAD

The buccal fat pad is a limited and quite localized aggregation of fat in the deeper layers of the cheeks. When a patient has particularly bulky cheeks, reducing the buccal fat pat can improve their image.

The removal is performed via a small incision within the mouth, on the inner cheek. From there the plastic surgeon, with a direct view of the area, can remove the additional fat.

All of the above procedures, employed alone or combined amongst themselves, can be particularly helpful in correcting the shape of the face.