In my Facial Plastic Surgery practice, I see complaints about the jawline or neck line daily, and I wanted to share my advice about jawline sculpting. This is a two-part series, with the first part addressing augmentation of the jawline and reduction of the double chin, and the second part discussing treatment of the “round” face.
Chin and Jawline Augmentation
Though many patients do not show up for a consultation about their jawline, it is a topic that comes up during my discussions with patients often. Usually, it comes after talking to a patient about their appearance in pictures. Even this is not very telling, as there are many reasons that people don’t like pictures of themselves.
This is precisely why I have patients come in with pictures that they like of themselves, as well as pictures that they like less, or even dislike. Analyzing the differences between these can tell a new story. One reason patients would dislike front-lit pictures is what I discuss below.
A gentle shadow that the jawline casts on the neck gives a visual and aesthetic separation between these two. Without it, there is an illusion of a “falling face”, or as I have heard it called by patients, a “face-neck”. The “face-neck” is a large, overriding structure that is both physically large and appears even larger. What these patients can really benefit from is contouring around the jawline so that a gentle shadow is a cast, and an aesthetic separation is added.
In my practice, there are three areas to anatomically address for augmentation. The first is the chin. Chin augmentation can have profound effects on facial balance. The chin can balance a face with a prominent nose, or give a sense of harmony to a “top-heavy” feeling face. It also can lengthen the apparently short jaw, which can straighten the front of the jawline.
The second area that can be augmented is the pre-jowl or the area just to the outside of the chin. This is a common area of bone loss in an aging face, and in a patient with a strong chin and mandible, can be augmented with great results.
The last area that can help straighten the jawline is the angle of the mandible or the corner the jawbone makes in front of the ear. While this is not an area that can take a lot of volume, a light augmentation so that the shadow that the jaw casts on the neck is longer and starts closer to the ear can look powerful.
In all three areas discussed above, two good options exist for augmentation: implants and fillers. Chin implants are placed surgically and are permanent augmentation that is placed on the bone so that when you move, the implant moves with you. Most people never notice that the implant is there once the healing is done.
For those that are hesitant about a permanent option, undergoing a surgical procedure, or would like a “trial run”, injectable fillers are also an excellent option. Though not permanent, they can give a sculpted look with minimal or no downtime. They can be used to slowly build the jawline in multiple increments, and have the unique advantage of being dissolvable if one wishes to undo the filler. The options above provide the basics to jawline sculpting by augmenting the facial skeleton and soft tissues.
Aside from augmentation fo the mandible, fat removal below the jawline is a complementary jawline sculpting procedure, often done in conjunction with augmentation. This can mean addressing the submental fat pad (“the double chin”), or the lateral jawline under the jaw bone with liposuction or Kybella, a non-invasive fat removal option. We have a more in-depth discussion about the differences between these options here.
Jawline sculpting can have a powerful effect on one’s self-image, and there are multiple options to address this, both by augmenting the jawline as well as removing fat under the jawline. Many people can benefit from a combination of the two. Whether it is visible in the mirror or in pictures, there are multiple options to improve a “weak” jawline and to be in control of your own shadows.