Cosmetic maxillofacial surgery repairs physical deformities or malformations caused by injury, disease, burns, birth defects, or aging. It can also improve facial aesthetics or restore normal function. “Maxillofacial” refers to the face and jaws, so any cosmetic surgery related to the face or jaw is called a “maxillofacial surgery.”
Many people think of a traditional cosmetic surgery facelift when they think about cosmetic surgery, but maxillofacial surgery covers a wide range of procedures from brow sculpting to rhinoplasty to laser resurfacing.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are required to undergo extensive training and education in surgical procedures involving both soft tissue (muscle and skin) and hard tissue (cartilage and bone). Their surgical and dental backgrounds make oral and maxillofacial surgeons uniquely qualified to treat the teeth, mouth, jaws, and face. A good maxillofacial surgeon understands the importance of harmony between physical appearance and function.
Cosmetic maxillofacial surgery is available in a variety of techniques, and numerous procedures are available to correct specific conditions. Thanks to technological advancements in medical devices and biomaterials, many cosmetic maxillofacial procedures are minimally invasive and can be completed in an office setting using local anesthesia. Other procedures may require a same-day surgery in an outpatient center or hospital.
Cosmetic Surgery Facelift
A rhytidectomy, or facelift, is a surgical procedure performed to improve the visible signs of aging in your face and neck. There are several types of cosmetic surgery facelift, including the traditional facelift, the limited incision facelift, and the neck lift.
In a traditional facelift, the incision usually begins at the temples and hairline; it continues around the ear to end near the lower scalp. Fat may be sculpted or redistributed around the face, neck, and jowls. Any underlying tissue is repositioned and the deeper layers of the face and muscles are lifted. Skin is then redraped over the contours, and any excess skin is trimmed off.
Limited Incision Facelift
Limited incision facelifts use shorter incisions at the temples and continue around the ear. Also known as “mini-lifts,” these full facelift alternatives are usually performed on patients with less skin relaxation. The results are more subtle and less rejuvenating.
A neck lift is often performed at the same time as a facelift, although it can be done on its own. Neck lifts address loose neck skin, sagging jowls, and fat accumulation under the chin. The neck lift incision usually starts in front of your ear lobe and wraps around behind the ear to end in the hairline behind your ear.
Botox is actually a brand name for a cosmetic form of botulinum toxin type A. When injected into the skin of the face, it temporarily reduces or eliminates fine lines and wrinkles. The most common areas treated with botulinum toxin type A are forehead creases, frown lines, and crow’s feet. It can also be used to treat thick jaw muscles, thick bands in the neck, gummy smiles, and lip lines.
Botulinum toxin type A is derived from bacteria and purified to create a stable compound. It works by blocking nerve signals to the muscle in which it is injected. The muscle is unable to contract when it does not receive nerve signals, which results in the appearance of diminished wrinkles and fine lines.
Dermal fillers are gel-like substances injected underneath the skin to create more volume, smooth lines, or enhance facial contours. As people age, they lose subcutaneous fat (fat underneath the skin) which can make skin appear loose or saggy and cause wrinkles. The facial skin also stretches a little with age, adding to the loss of youthful volume and firmness. Sun exposure, genetics, smoking, and other lifestyle choices can also affect how quickly your skin ages.
Dermal fillers are most often used to:
- Plump thin lips,
- Soften wrinkles and creases,
- Reconstruct deformities of the face,
- Improve the appearance of concave scarring,
- Decrease or remove the shadow of the lower eyelids, or
- Magnify shallow contours (cheekbones, jawlines, chins).
Laser resurfacing is also known as laser vaporization, lasabrasion, or a laser peel. Laser resurfacing works by using short, concentrated, pulsating beams of light on problem areas on your skin. The laser basically burns away damaged skin very precisely, one layer at a time.
While the laser removes your outer layer of skin (or epidermis), it simultaneously heats up the dermis, or underlying layer of skin. This heat stimulates the growth of new collagen fibers. As the area heals, new, firmer, smoother skin grows to take its place. Laser surgery is used to reduce facial wrinkles, blemishes, and scars.
Nose reshaping, or rhinoplasty, is a surgical procedure used to improve the appearance or function of your nose. Sometimes the surgery is performed to decrease the size or change the shape of the nose. It can also be used to correct defects that cause breathing problems.
Commonly referred to as a “nose job,” rhinoplasty can correct nose size, nose width at the bridge or nostrils, visible humps or depressions in the bridge, enlarged or bulbous nasal tips, and asymmetrical nostrils or alignment of the nose. It can also correct a deviated septum which obstructs breathing.
Blepharoplasty is a surgical eyelift procedure to remove excess fat and tissue from your eyelid and/or beneath the eye. This surgery is most often performed for under-eye bags that create a perpetually “tired” appearance. It also helps treat sagging eyelids that can obstruct the vision.
A brow lift, also known as a forehead lift, places the eyebrows higher on the face in a more youthful position. This reduces wrinkles developing across your forehead and those between your eyes on the bridge of your nose. A browlift also improves frown lines between the eyebrows and raises sagging brows that create a hooded look on the upper eyes.
Chin reshaping, or genioplasty, is a surgical procedure performed to move your chin back or forward, creating your desired profile. Genioplasty is often performed in conjunction with jaw repositioning surgery (orthognathic surgery) to ensure alignment and aesthetic harmony. Modifications to the jaw and chin can improve teeth or bite alignment and help treat pain caused by misalignment and conditions such as TMJ.
Otoplasty is also known as ear reshaping, and it can create a more natural shape or contour of the outer ear. This procedure often brings ears closer to the head. Otoplasty can also be used to reduce the overall size of your ears or reshape their contour. This surgery is often used to correct microtia and other deformities of the ears.
For More Information
If you have questions about getting a cosmetic surgery facelift or other cosmetic maxillofacial surgeries, contact Arkansas Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons to set up a consultation with one of our experienced and highly-skilled surgeons!