Facial symmetry surgery is a procedure that can use a variety of techniques that may include dermal fillers, Botox, or other surgical procedures to enhance facial symmetry. Perceived facial asymmetry is one of the most common concerns plastic surgery patients have. 

What is Facial Asymmetry? 

Facial asymmetry refers to when the two halves of the face appear different from one another.

For some people, the extent of the asymmetry is minimal and not particularly obvious. However, for others, the asymmetry is more apparent, and they feel that the sides of their face look significantly different when they look in the mirror. This asymmetry could be due to one feature, such as one brow being lifted higher than the other, or the asymmetry could involve multiple aspects of the face. 

Medical News Today describe facial asymmetry as both normal and natural since most people have some extent of asymmetry. Although asymmetry is common, many people have concerns regarding specific aspects of their face that are obviously different from each other. For many people, this can cause insecurities since having a symmetrical face is often regarded as being more attractive or desirable.

Types of Facial Asymmetry

The extent of facial asymmetries does significantly vary, and there are also different types of facial asymmetry. Because of this, the treatments recommended will depend on the individual patient.

Structural asymmetry– occurs when the facial shape appears asymmetrical when in a neutral position. This is often a result of the central features being asymmetrical e.g. the eyes, nose, or mouth. 

Functional asymmetry– this type of asymmetry tends to be the result of neurological events. The facial asymmetry is most visible when facial muscles are activated. 

Incomplete facial asymmetries– refers to when one aspect of the face appears asymmetrical, for example, some patients feel their nose looks crooked and affects the balance of their entire face. 

Complete facial asymmetries– most patients feel that their facial asymmetry results from multiple facial features as the two sides of their face are significantly different. These patients desire multiple procedures to enhance their facial symmetry.

Asymmetrical facial aging- this occurs when there is a difference in the speed that the sides of the face age. The weaker side of the face tends to age faster, which results in asymmetrical differences.

Causes of Facial Asymmetry

Facial asymmetry tends to be the result of our faces having a more and a less dominant side. Most people have a more dominant right side of the face which often results in a higher eyeball and brow and greater cheekbone projection. The common causes of facial asymmetry, according to healthline are: 

  • Genetics
  • Sun damage
  • Smoking
  • Dental work
  • Aging 
  • Stroke

What is Facial Symmetry Surgery? 

Facial symmetry surgery is a cosmetic procedure that combines the use of facial fillers with surgical procedures to enhance patients’ facial symmetry. The procedure is unique to each individual as the specific treatments recommended depend on the areas causing asymmetries and the patient’s personal goals and desired look. A consultation with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon is essential before undertaking any procedure. They will conduct a thorough assessment of your facial structure and ensure the procedure enhances the overall symmetry of your face.

The severity of the facial asymmetry and the aspects of the face causing it will determine what specific treatments will be suitable and recommended.  Patients with mild facial asymmetries may be advised that facial fillers are all they need to enhance their facial symmetry. This procedure is referred to as Facial Balancing and only uses dermal fillers to balance aspects of the face and does not involve any invasive surgical procedures. 

Many patients require a mixture of facial fillers and surgical procedures to achieve their desired aesthetic. For example, some patients desire rhinoplasty, to alter the shape, size, or angle of their nose, and facial fillers to enhance other areas of their face. The benefit of facial symmetry surgery is that a tailored treatment plan is made, which aims to use the best procedures for each specific area of the face. 

Am I a good candidate for Facial Symmetry Surgery?

If you are unhappy with your facial symmetry or experience any functional limitations due to facial asymmetry, you are a potentially suitable candidate for this procedure. Anyone wishing to undertake facial symmetry surgery should also:

  • Have realistic expectations 
  • Be aware of the potential risks 
  • Be in good physical health
  • Avoid Smoking

What are the typical focus areas in Facial Symmetry Surgery?

Since facial symmetry surgery involves enhancing the symmetry of an individual patient’s face, the procedures involved will depend solely on their features, facial structure, and desires. The most commonly performed procedures are injectables and rhinoplasty. However, due to the fact our face is said to have around twenty distinct features, there is a large variety of potential asymmetries that can occur on our faces. Some of the areas usually targeted in facial symmetry surgery are the:

Cheeks

Asymmetry of the cheeks can be corrected by having liposuction, to remove excess fat deposits in one cheek, or by inserting fillers to the smaller cheek, to balance their appearance. Facial filler provides a non-permanent solution as the fillers would need to be periodically redone. For a more permanent solution, fat grafting can be used. In very severe cases the facial bones might be causing the asymmetry and would need to be reshaped to provide the desired level of symmetry.

Chin

According to Medical News Today chin asymmetry is often the result of a patient’s skeletal structure. Filler or facial implants can be added to the chin to increase its size and ensure it is more proportional to the other aspects of the face.

In some cases, the patient may feel their chin is too large or too small and consider Chin Augmentation or reduction surgery.

Ears

Otoplasty (ear pinning) can drastically change a patient’s ear shape and facial appearance by reducing the extent that their ears stick out or protrude. The procedure can also enhance facial symmetry by reshaping the ears while they are being re-positioned.

Eyes 

The eyes are an area frequently treated in facial symmetry surgery. Potential concerns include the eyes or brows not being level, as one eye or brow appears. This can be altered with Botox or a brow lift to level out the height of the eyes/ brows.

Other concerns can include having excess skin over one eyelid compared to the other. Here, eyelid surgery can be undertaken to remove the excess skin on the lid of one eye. To gain more information on eyelid surgery you can visit our blog on Blepharoplasty.

Face

A facelift or neck lift can significantly enhance facial symmetry by lifting the sides of the face to the same level. It can further remove any excess skin and result in the face and neck appearing younger. 

For further information regarding the different types of facelifts available, read our Facelift blog. For information on neck lift surgery visit our Neck lift FAQ blog.

Forehead

Generally, a brow lift is performed to remove frown lines or fix sagging eyebrows. For those with concerns over asymmetrical aging, Botox or fillers can be used in differing quantities to reduce any asymmetrical signs of aging. Again, brow Botox or a brow lift can be undertaken to balance out asymmetries of the forehead and brows. 

Jawline

Some asymmetries of the jaw lead to medical problems and need to be surgically corrected. However, other patients have jaw asymmetries which merely cause aesthetic concerns. Jaw surgery or liposuction can be used to reshape one side of the jaw that is protruding, or fillers can be inserted into the smaller side of the jaw. 

Lips

Lip fillers are frequently used to enhance a patients’ lip size but can also be used to improve lip symmetry since our lips do not tend to be symmetrical, equal in weight, or equal in size. 

Nose 

Facial asymmetry is often largely a result of a patient’s nose having bumps, being crooked, or appearing too big or too small. In these cases, rhinoplasty, a surgical procedure that reshapes the nose, can be performed to address any insecurities regarding their nose and permanently enhance facial symmetry. Non-surgical approaches can also be utilized, including using fillers to alter the nose’s shape and increase facial symmetry. However, using fillers is not a permanent solution.

To learn more about rhinoplasty read our blog on the 5 surprising benefits of a Nose Job or Rhinoplasty: How can I afford?

How long do the results of Facial Symmetry Surgery last?

The results depend on the type of procedures performed. Botox/ dermal fillers are short-term injectable solutions and will need frequently redoing. Botox tends to need redoing every 9-12 months. The longevity of dermal fillers is dependent on what type of filler is used as some can last as little as 5-7 months, while others can last around five years. The type of filler used can be discussed with your surgeon to estimate the longevity of your treatment.

Surgical procedures tend to be permanent solutions for enhancing facial symmetry. 

Some aspects of the procedure might be permanent while other aspects, where fillers are used, will need to be redone if the patient wishes to maintain the results. This is an important consideration when deciding which procedures you wish to undergo in facial symmetry surgery. The cost, risks, recovery, and longevity of the results will all completely depend on the specific procedures undertaken. This is why it is important to research any procedure you are considering and visit a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss your specific needs. 

Conclusion

If you have concerns over your face appearing asymmetrical and are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with your facial symmetry when you look in the mirror, you could be a suitable candidate for facial symmetry surgery.

If you are considering having filler or any surgical procedure to enhance your facial symmetry you should visit a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, with significant expertise in facial procedures, who can walk you through the specific options, risks, recovery, and any other questions you may have.

Contact Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Mark Markarian.

Disclaimer 

Please note: All materials on the Site, such as text, treatments, outcomes, photographs and images and any other material provided on the Site are for information purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding treatments. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Site.

Though the content of this blog has been carefully prepared, the author of this content is not a medical doctor and the content has not been reviewed by a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon. 

Unless specifically stated, patients referred to in this blog have not received facial symmetry surgery from Dr. Markarian. This blog does not endorse the work of any doctors or surgeons mentioned. Stories relating to patients’ personal experiences of facial symmetry surgery should be treated as anecdotal only.

Any application of the material provided is at the reader’s discretion and his, her, or their responsibility.