Temporary VS Permanent Facial Contouring: Which One Should You Get?

A tapered, V-shaped facial contour is deemed to be youthful, desirable and attractive. So how does a person achieve this facial contour?

This can be achieved by “Temporary” or “Permanent” facial contouring.

Temporary facial contouring involves multiple Botulinum toxin injections and filler injections. Botulinum toxin, more commonly known as Botox, is a treatment to treat fine lines and wrinkles. However, it can also be used as an off-label treatment to both of the lower cheeks to reduce the bulk of the masseter muscles, thus narrowing the face. At the same time, fillers can be injected in the chin to increase the prominence of it. The overall result is a more V-shaped facial appearance.

Temporary Facial Contouring

Temporary facial contouring lasts about 6 months to a year. For some patients, this is a good alternative to surgery as the effects eventually wear off if the result is less than ideal. However, for patients that want a more lasting outcome, they would have to return regularly for maintenance injections.

This form of facial contouring is unable to correct upper cheekbones, or prominent bone contours. Possible complications with this form of contouring include risk of bruising, asymmetry, skin necrosis, permanent skin damage, and blindness.

Permanent Facial Contouring

Permanent facial recontouring, when compared to the former, is a lot more invasive. The full surgical V-shaped treatment may include or be a combination of Malarplasty (a procedure to narrow the upper cheek bones), Anguloplasty, (reduction of the angles of the lower jaw), Corticotomy (reducing the external convexity of the body of the lower jaw), Genioplasty (narrowing, lengthening or shortening the chin) and sometimes Myotomy (reducing the masseter muscle mass by surgery).

As with all surgical procedures, the risks for this procedure include permanent numbness, facial weakness, and asymmetry. The procedure is difficult to reverse without significant costs and further surgery.

Personally, I advocate for a more natural facial contour that complements the patient’s facial features and physique rather than a standard V-shape facial contouring. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ procedure as every person is unique and V-shaped facial contouring may not be suitable for some.

In our practice, apart from V-shaped facial contouring, we also perform some of the facial contouring procedures such as genioplasty, anguloplasty to complement our functional, orthognathic jaw surgery. These procedures are used to correct facial deformities and to achieve a better aesthetic result.

In my opinion, all patients who are keen on V-shaped facial contouring should seek professional advice and be aware of the options and risks that are involved before deciding which procedure is for them.

Author: Dr. Gideon Wee
BDS (Singapore), FRACDS (Australia), MDS (OMS) Singapore, FAMS (Singapore)