A common question in my practice is what can be done to create a "slimmer" shape to the face. Usually patients inquiring about this often are often looking to address structures in the lower third of the face. Potential candidates for facial contouring procedures may have excessive cheek fat (buccal fat) or they may have prominent masseter muscles (chewing muscles).
To address the excessive cheek fat, a procedure called buccal fat pad excision is typically recommended. For this procedure, a small incision is placed in the mouth, along the upper gum region. Healing time for this procedure usually requires about 4-5 days, with final results of the procedure seen in about 1-2 months.
To narrow the jawline width, the masseter muscle can be injected with botulinum toxin such BOTOX (Allergan, Inc) or Dysport (Medicis, Inc). This muscle is one of several muscles which help us chew, so patients experience minimal issues when chewing. This procedure is performed in the office and patients may return to work immediately after the procedure. It take about 6-8 weeks before patients will begin to see some changes to the jawline width. It is also recommended to have this procedure repeated every 4-6 months in order to maintain this contouring.