Patients that notice a difference in the shape of one side of the face compared to the other or a problem with the outline of their face may have a contour deformity that can be caused by a number of things. Usually the underlying cause is a difference in the underlying bony structure of the face. This can be on one side or on both sides.
Most commonly there is either an excess or deficiency of bone and surgery is designed to either reduce or enhance the existing bony structure.
If there is a deficiency then the easiest and safest way to address this is with a facial implant which is usually composed of porous polyethylene (Medpore or Porestar). The most common places this is used is for the chin or cheek bones. This can improve the profile of the face and create a more youthful appearance.
Excess bony growth can be addressed via incisions in the hairline or inside the mouth and involves burring down the bone to reduce overgrowth. This can narrow the width of the jaw and refine the chin.
For mild deformities minimally invasive facial contouring can be done with tiny incisions and no foreign material by injecting your own fat to plump up areas of hollowing and this is commonly used with facial rejuvenation techniques.
Striking results can also be achieved with non-surgical techniques as well. For example a broad looking jaw can be due to overgrowth of the chewing muscle called the masseter and this can be adequately addressed by the use of regular botox.