Bone Shaving Facial Contouring Surgery

Many people are unhappy with their jaw line.  They look in a mirror and they see a strong or overly conspicuous jaw that is disproportionate with the rest of the face or maybe a jaw that is elongated or they find their jaw to be too round and wide, cosmetic surgery can hold an answer.   The increasingly popular operation of facial contouring or ‘bone shaving’ could be the solution to your problem.   This surgery has been performed for many years in Korea and other Asian countries but is now also being offered by many surgeons in Europe and the USA.

So what causes a pronounced jaw?

Often it is down to genetics, these sorts of features often run in families and you might just have picked the ‘short straw’ in your generation.  In many cases a pronounced jaw is the result of enlarged jaw muscles.  While some people are genetically predisposed to larger masseter muscles, others develop them as a result of bruxism or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) whereby the individual habitually grinds or clenches the teeth at night, inadvertently giving the masseter muscles a workout.

Bone Shaving

So what is ‘bone shaving’ and how can it give you the jawline you dream about?

Jaw reduction surgery: Also known as jaw shaving; jaw contouring; or most commonly, V-line surgery, this permanent surgical procedure removes bone from the lower jaw, to change its shape and size. Bone reshaping can be done at both the front (chin) and back (jaw angles) of the jaw. For the chin, an incision is made in your mouth, and the outside of the bone is shaved or a T-shaped osteotomy is performed to narrow it. For the back of the jaw, bone is removed either from the outside, by shaving (narrowing the jaw angle but keeping the same shape) or by removing the entire lower edge of the bone (making it more narrow as well as changing its shape). These bony-jaw reshaping techniques produce different aesthetic outcomes. Your surgeon will help you pick the best method for your desired lower jaw shapeSo, what is involved in the surgery?

bone shaving surgery

Jaw reduction surgery can take one to two hours, depending on the technique used. First, you’ll be given general anaesthesia. Once it takes effect, your surgeon will make incisions inside your mouth (so there’s no visible scarring). Then they’ll use a laser or micro saw or micro bone shaver to remove bone and sculpt the desired jawline shape. .  These surgeries involve the use of scalpels or “osteomes” (essentially a chisel!) and recovery time from any major surgery involving bone shaving can take up to a full year in terms of swelling and for the soft tissue and bones to fully heal

Once the procedure is complete, your doctor will close the incision with stitches that will dissolve on their own within two weeks. You should be able to go home the same day, though you’ll need someone to take you and assist you for a day or two after your surgery.

What could go wrong?

As with any surgical procedure, there's a degree of risk involved. To start with, there are risks associated with having a general anaesthetic, but there's also the risk of infection and nerve damage.  You should also consider the following risk factors.

  1. Damage to Inferior Alveolar Nerve: The inferior alveolar nerve provides sensation to the lower teeth and lips. It is the most important anatomic structure during jaw shaving surgery and utmost care should be taken to avoid damage to the nerve. Injury to the nerve leads to permanent numbness and damage to the lower lip.
  2. Failure to reattach the mentalis muscle: This is another possible complication during jaw reduction surgery. The mentalis musclehelps to elevate the lower lip and chin. Failure to reattach the mentalis muscleswill lead to the chin and lower lip to sag, causing permanent damage.
  3. Infection:Infection may also results following the surgery. Preventive antibiotics can be taken to reduce the risk of this complication.
  4. Hematoma:This refers to a solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissues.
  5. Asymmetry:Achieving perfect symmetry is very difficult. Even if the surgeon takes the utmost care in marking out the areas on the jaw line that he or she will trim, asymmetry may still occur. If this does happen, however, it can be corrected in a secondary surgery.

. But  in the right hands, the surgery can see impressive results. The results are also permanent unless revision surgeries are performed. These treatments have been happening for decades and whilst with every procedure there is a risk profile, these treatments are safe in experienced hands and can provide amazing results. To fully understand the risks it is important to discuss this with a specialist.

What are the alternatives?


Non-surgical techniques are essentially limited to cases in which only the masseter muscles are enlarged. Factors that can cause the masseter muscle to increase include genetics, teeth clenching, repeated gum chewing, bruxism.

A convenient method to treat an enlarged muscle is through the use of botox injections. Botox is injected into the enlarged muscle, weakening it so it slowly becomes smaller through atrophy over several months. There is no down-time and improvement is gradual—individuals who interact with the patient may never know that a plastic surgical procedure was performed

The use of Botox for jaw reduction has been studied scientifically. Improvement is generally not seen for at least 2 – 3 weeks. Peak improvement occurs at months 3 to 9 with good results still observable at one year in many patients.  Dermal fillers can also be used to enhance a chin in terms of length, projection and width as well as enhance the jawline angle.

Where should I get my bone-shaving surgery done?

From what we can see, the greatest experience in this type of surgery is South Korea and other Asian destinations.  Obviously many destinations are closed off right now due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Other countries also have expertise and London could be a good bet and, of course United States.  But bear in mind that costs can easily pass $10.000 for recontouring you jaw line with bone shaving methods.   Hopefully, the pandemic will soon pass and all the usual cosmetic surgery tourism options will be back with us again.

The surgeries below are known to specialise in bone shaving surgery but many other surgeries in our listings will also be able to help you.

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    • Regen Plastic Surgery Seoul Korea (approved)
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      • Naravee Aesthetic Clinic Bangkok Thailand (approved)
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        • Trikwan Clinic London UK (approved)
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          • Hershe Clinic Seoul Korea (approved)