Q. I want a jaw setback surgery as I find my face structure very unappealing. What are the risks involved?

Answered by
Dr. Naveen Thomas
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 31, 2015 and last reviewed on: Dec 28, 2018

Hello doctor,

I am a 18 year old female. I was 13 years old when I got my braces. My orthodontist made it in such a way that the lower set of teeth were slanting inwards so that my upper row could be in front. I do not have trouble chewing. I want a jaw setback surgery as I find my face structure very unappealing. I do experience stiffness when I open my jaw, even while yawning. I wanted to ask what the surgery actually does, take out bone segments or just push the whole lower jaw back? And what is the risk involved? I have heard that it can damage nerves and cause permanent loss of sensation. Also, is it possible to do nose plastic surgery along with the jaw surgery? I want both the surgeries in one go. Please advice.



Welcome to

Yes, you can undergo surgery to reduce the lower jaw, i.e., mandible by around 5 mm or so if needed. It is only a slight difference. The advantage is a slight increase in aesthetics later on probably. Some disadvantage is always present like you said, i.e., nerve damage like permanent anesthesia of partial parts of cheek, teeth, and lips or sometimes disfigurement. But the surgery can be done without much external scarring.

The surgical procedure includes removing around 2 to 3 mm of bone from mandible on both left and right sides and push the mandible slightly back. It is done by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon involving plastic surgeons too. You can do rhinoplasty or nasal bone correction to straighten the surface and give a sharper look. This procedure is done by plastic surgeons mostly.

The main thing is to decide whether correcting the aesthetics would provide you with the perfect look which you desire. Ask your doctor to show a photo of yours with the modified look, so that you can decide on your own whether it is worth to undergo surgery. After seeing the attached photos of your facial profile, according to my personal opinion, I would say that your profile is acceptable as it is. (attachment removed to protect patient identity)

Also get an opinion from a plastic surgeon whether the surgery would be fruitful to you.

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