One of my favorite patients asked me about jaw cutting surgery today. She was interested to do it because she wanted to correct her cross bite. Her orthodontist have told her that she is not suitable for correction by braces alone and advised her to consider surgical correction.
I’ve always known the high risks of such invasive surgery, but when she asked me for advice, I decided to read up more about it out of concern for her and the information I found was rather appalling.
Understandably, she may actually need this kind of surgery to correct her cross bite and it could be her only solution, but it’s actually a rising fad in South Korea as a beauty treatment. That’s grossly understating the dangers of undergoing a procedure of such extent only to look better, without real medical need.
Jaw surgery is a surgical procedure carried out to correct facial bone deformities in people who are unable to bite or chew properly, by realigning upper and lower jaws. It takes months to recover from such a procedure and carries 50% risk of complications such as facial numbness or even paralysis. Other potential complications include a skewed jaw, chronic jaw pain, misaligned bite and inability to chew or smile. For a previously healthy and well person who does not suffer any physical ailments until the surgery was done, this is debilitating.
This radical procedure is much more dramatic than minimally invasive procedures such as botox or filler injections – yet people with no real dental flaws are opting to go through it to achieve a small pretty face. There have been incidents of suicides after the surgery due unbearable complications and a significant reduction in quality of life. Deaths from the procedure itself due to excessive bleeding and suffocation are also not uncommon. You hear about it happening here and there but there has yet to be stricter controls for the advocation of such dangerous surgery for purely cosmetic purposes.
In my two cents’ worth, unless it is medically indicated for you, such as in maladjusted bite, the risks surely outweigh the benefits. There is nothing wrong if you desire a slimmer face in the name of beauty. Consider safer, less invasive ways to achieve it, such as with botox jaw slimming, chin filler augmentation or skin tightening treatments. Even liposuction for the face or mesotherapy may be better options than radical open jaw shaping surgery. Consult with your friendly aesthetic dr for further and better particulars if you need! :)
News articles for your reading pleasure:
There is a safer, much less invasive way to achieve your desired slimmer face: