Masseter Reduction Surgery

A masseter is the prominent jaw muscle in the rear part of your cheek that helps you to chew your food. It can often bulk up with frequent jaw clenching or teeth grinding, which leads to a condition called masseter hypertrophy. This can happen due to activities like chewing gum/tobacco or the stress response manner in some people. A decayed or crooked tooth on one side can also lead to overuse of masseter muscle on the other side of your face. A hypertrophied masseter disturbs your facial symmetry. In addition, other symptoms like spontaneous bursts of pain when opening and closing your jaw during chewing and a stiff jaw right after waking up in the morning are also prevalent. The only permanent solution, in this case, is masseter reduction surgery. Depending on whether or not your jaw bone is affected, the surgeon may recommend additional procedures as well. 

Masseter reduction surgery is a simple surgical procedure performed for permanent reduction in the size, bulk and width of the masseter muscle seen in a condition called masseter hypertrophy. This bulky muscle is located at the back of the lower jaw, causing broadening of the face.

Masseter reduction may be performed on one or both sides of the face, depending on the muscles involved.

masseter reduction surgery

Who can get Masseter Reduction Surgery?

Masseter botoxYou are a likely candidate for Masseter Reduction Surgery if you have:

  • An asymmetric face due to bulking up of masseter muscle on one side of your face (Unilateral Masseter Hypertrophy)
  • A square jaw due to masseter hypertrophy on both sides of your face (Bilateral Masseter Hypertrophy)
  • Painful, bulked up and fatigued masseter muscles

.What Surgery Can and Can’t Do?


  • Can
    • Relieve you from the pain caused by a fatigued and hypertrophic masseter
    • Offer facial symmetry
    • Make your face look slimmer and taller
    • Give you a V-shaped and narrower jawline
  • Can’t
  • Change your facial appearance completely
  • Promise to make you look like a celebrity or any other specific person
  • Paralyse your muscles
  • Permanently decrease your chewing efficiency

How should you prepare for the Surgery?

  • Convey your expectations to your surgeon and discuss alternate treatment options like masseter botox.
  • Take a clench test by grinding your teeth so the surgeon can visually examine the asymmetric bulge and prominent masseter muscle.
  • Get an ultrasound imaging of the masseter muscle at the clenched and resting phase to measure muscle thickness.
  • Talk to your surgeon and determine if you need additional procedures like jawline contouring to correct the facial width.
  • Share your complete medical history with your surgeon. 
  • Stop smoking at least two weeks before surgery for smooth healing of the surgical wound. 
  • Maintain good oral hygiene in the week leading up to your surgery.

Masseter Reduction Surgery Procedure

Masseter Reduction SurgeryA masseter reduction surgery is performed by accessing your masseter muscle through an intra-oral incision. Your surgeon detaches the masseter muscle from the jawbone and shaves off the deeper muscle fibres in contact with it. The masseter muscle is then reattached to the jaw bone, and the incision is then closed. The entire procedure takes up to 30 minutes for one side of the face.

In some cases, your bulked up masseter can also affect the underlying jawbone, causing it to project downwards and outwards, contributing to the increased facial breadth. Your surgeon will recommend additional procedures like a jaw angle shave in such cases.  

An expert maxillofacial surgeon uses 3D simulation software to visualise the jaw contour outcome beforehand. With 3D printing technology, your surgeon then prints a guide for the final jawline visualised.  With the help of ultrasonic bone surgery, your jawbone is shaved and shaped into a desired aesthetic output with minimal soft tissue damage.

 

Recovery after Masseter Reduction Surgery

Here are a few things to keep in mind about the post-operative recovery timeline for masseter reduction surgery.

  • You will experience gradually subsiding facial swelling and reduced ability to open your mouth for up to 7-10 days
  • You will be required to wear a face compression garment for a few days after surgery
  • Avoid solid food, hot beverages and heavy exercise for a week 
  • Maintain good oral hygiene with regular salt water rinses
  • The surgery result becomes apparent 2-4 weeks post-operation
  • Muscle function takes a few weeks to normalise. Your surgeon will advise some jaw physiotherapy to assist with the process
  • Mild facial swelling and reduced mouth opening for up to 7-10 days
  • Wear a face compression garment for a few days after surgery
  • Avoid solid foods and heavy exercise for a week
  • Maintain good oral hygiene with regular salt water rinses
  • The surgery result becomes apparent 2-4 weeks post-operation
  • Muscle function takes a few weeks to normalise. 
  • Your surgeon will advise some jaw physiotherapy to assist with the process

Risks involved with Masseter  Reduction Surgery

If you haven’t chosen an experienced maxillofacial surgeon, the following are some of the most common risks associated with masseter reduction surgery. 

  • Wound infection 
  • Limited mouth opening 
  • Relapse
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Facial muscle weakness

Knowledge Centre

For Patient Education

Videos