There are key differences between the size and shape of the female and male jaw making the jaw profiles of men and women a significant indicator of gender identity and contributor to facial gender confirmation. The male face is characterized in part by a strong, prominent, well-defined jawline, whereas a softer, less defined jaw is perceived as being more feminine. Men typically have wider, heavier-set jawlines with a sharper angle between the chin and jaw, as well as a flatter base, giving a male jawline a “square” look.
In the context of facial masculinization surgery (FTM), jaw augmentation and contouring is performed to sculpt and reshape the jaw, creating a more angled facial profile to promote the aims of facial gender confirmation. The procedure adds width to the overall shape of the face and increases the prominence of the angle of the mandible making the jaw appear more square – from both the profile and the front views.
Jaw masculinization may also be used to correct structural jaw issues (overbite/underbite), natural asymmetries, or lopsided features due to congenital issues or facial trauma.
Jaw masculinization is typically performed using custom implants. Prior to your surgery, the implants are ordered — or some cases manufactured — to your desired jawline shape. The implants are inserted along the lower edge of the jawline and positioned flush against the existing jawbone and held in place with titanium screws. Incisions are then closed with sutures that will dissolve on their own inside the mouth.
Patients undergoing FTM masculine facial gender confirmation surgery are ideal candidates for jaw augmentation, which is typically performed in combination with other facial procedures, such as forehead augmentation and lengthening, cheek augmentation, rhinoplasty, and chin masculinization. The overall goal is to create an ideal balance of facial features that appear naturally masculine. Jaw reshaping is also frequently requested by cisgendered males (male-identified born male) who are seeking a more masculine look.
The most common side effect of this procedure is swelling, which typically peaks between 24 to 48 hours post-surgery. After the initial swelling subsides, there may be mild residual swelling that lasts several weeks or even months, therefore, you may not see the final results of your jaw augmentation procedure for at least month. While healing, you may have limited ability to talk, smile, or fully move your mouth. Dr. Deschamps-Braly will explain all dietary and oral hygiene guidelines to help optimize post-op healing.