One of the strongest muscles in the face is the masseter muscle, which is responsible for moving the lower jaw. Running from the cheekbone down to the mandible or lower jaw, it also impacts the shape of the face. When the masseter muscles become overdeveloped, they can create a wider, square jaw. This can make the face more masculine, which may not be desirable for women and even some men.
To reduce the size of the masseter muscle to create a narrower jaw, non-surgical cosmetic treatments can be performed. At City Facial Plastics, we offer non-surgical masseter reductions at our clinic in Manhattan. While jaw alterations can be performed through surgery, reducing the size of the masseter muscles is often performed with a non-invasive treatment that only requires a quick office visit. Dr. Gary Linkov is our experienced facial plastic surgeon who can perform either a surgical or non-surgical masseter reduction. If a non-invasive approach will achieve the results desired, Dr. Linkov is quick to recommend that treatment plan instead of surgery.
What is masseter reduction?
Masseter reduction is a procedure in which neurotoxin is injected into the masseters. The masseters are a set of muscles that span the mid to lower face and are responsible for chewing. Injection of neurotoxin into these muscles helps to reduce their activity, and this reduction in activity can have both cosmetic and functional benefits.
Who is a good candidate for masseter reduction?
People seek out masseter reduction for either aesthetic or functional reasons. The most common aesthetic and functional reasons for masseter reduction with neurotoxin are discussed below.
A square shaped jawline can be due to either the structure of the underlying facial bones or enlargement of the masseters. This type of jawline is typically associated with a more masculine appearance. Masseter reduction with neurotoxin can help narrow the jawline resulting in a more feminine look. Additionally, masseter muscle reduction with neurotoxin can make the face appear thinner.
Enlargement of the masseters can occur in people with a tendency to grind or clench their teeth. This habit can not only change the shape of the face, as mentioned above, but also result in significant facial pain. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) is a disorder where the temporomandibular joint, located in front of the lower part of the ear, becomes inflamed often due to excessive teeth grinding and clenching. By temporarily weakening the masseter muscle with masseter muscle reduction, symptoms of TMJ can significantly improve.
What is the relevant anatomy for masseter reduction?
The masseter muscle is a relatively deep muscle located on both the left and right side of the face. It spans from the bones directly in front of either ear to the lower part of the jawline. There are additional facial muscles that lie near the masseter, such as the risorius. These neighboring muscles are responsible for smiling, and may be impacted with masseter muscle reduction if proper technique is not used.
How long does masseter reduction last?
Masseter muscle reduction results vary based on the reason for the reduction. If the masseter reduction is performed for functional reasons such as improvement of TMJ symptoms, one can typically feel an improvement within 2 weeks of the initial injection and results last about 3 to 6 months. If the masseter reduction is performed for cosmetic reasons, it typically takes at least 2 treatments before a noticeable change in facial shape is apparent; however, these results can last longer than 6 months after repeated treatments.
How is masseter reduction done?
Masseter reduction is performed in the office without any anesthesia. The first step in masseter muscle reduction is to mark the areas that will be injected. There are typically 2 injection points on each side of the face. Before injecting, Dr. Linkov will clean the area with an alcohol pad. Local anesthesia is not used because the needle is very thin and there is minimal to no pain. Dr. Linkov will then inject the 4 marked areas with neurotoxin, injecting the neurotoxin first deeply and then superficially. Masseter reduction Botox or Jeuveau? Either Botox or Jeuveau are effective neurotoxins for masseter reduction. A total of 20 units of neurotoxin on each side is typically required to achieve the desired effect.
On the day of your masseter reduction
There are no special precautions you need to take in anticipation of your masseter reduction. Masseter reduction is performed in the office without any anesthesia. The procedure itself usually takes about 20-30 minutes, including time taken to mark the areas for injection.
What is the recovery from masseter reduction?
Masseter reduction is a quick and minimally invasive procedure. People are able to walk out of the office after masseter reduction having experienced little to no discomfort during the procedure. There may be a very small amount of bleeding or bruising, but this is rare and resolves within a few days. There are no restrictions on eating or other activity after the masseter reduction.
What are the risks of masseter reduction?
Masseter reduction is a relatively low risk procedure, however there is a risk of muscles other than the masseter being affected by neurotoxin injection. This can be due to direct injection into other muscles or local spread of the neurotoxin effect. If certain superficial facial muscles, such as the risorius, are involved, temporary smile distortion can occur. If other surrounding deeper muscles are affected, dysfunction in speech or swallowing can result. Masseter reduction is an FDA off-label use of neurotoxin.
What are the contraindications for masseter reduction?
While it is a generally safe procedure, there are certain people who should not receive masseter reduction. The contraindications to masseter reduction are the same as the contraindications for all types of neurotoxin. These include:
- Known allergy or previous hypersensitivity reaction to neurotoxin such as Botox or Jeuveau
- Skin infection over the site to be injected
While they are not absolute contraindications to neurotoxin, Dr. Linkov generally does not perform masseter reduction or other procedures involving neurotoxin for the following groups of people:
- History of certain diseases that can affect the nervous system and muscles, such as myasthenia gravis, Lambert-Eaton syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease)
What are the alternatives to masseter reduction?
Injection of the masseter with neurotoxin is a very reasonable option for most people desiring masseter reduction. For people who desire a permanent change in facial shape, masseter reduction surgery is an alternative option. Masseter reduction surgery is a major, invasive surgery and involves surgically removing a piece of the masseter and/or underlying bone in order to permanently alter facial structure.
Are patients satisfied after masseter reduction?
Patients are extremely satisfied after masseter reduction injections. Those who undergo masseter reduction for pain related to underlying TMJ disorders report significant reduction in pain and improvement in quality of life within 2 weeks after their first treatment. People who have received masseter reduction for face thinning and reshaping report long-term results after their first 2 to 3 treatments. Female patients in particular find it to be a great option to feminize the face.
What is the cost of masseter reduction?
Masseter reduction cost varies based on the office location and the qualifications of the person performing the injection. For a facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist performing masseter reduction NYC, cost can range from $600 to $1000 per treatment.
Who is the best masseter reduction doctor in NYC?
Dr. Linkov is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon located in NYC. Having completed his surgical training specifically in plastic surgery of the head and neck, Dr. Linkov is extensively familiar with the anatomy of the face, making him an expert at masseter reduction injections. If your jaw has become wider and squared, masseter reduction can restore a more feminine heart or oval face shape. Contact City Facial Plastics in NYC to learn more about masseter reduction and to schedule your consultation with Dr. Linkov. You can review some of Dr. Linkov’s masseter reduction before and after photos from real patients below.
Masseter Reduction Before and After
Masseter reduction case 1:
Botox was placed into the masseters to create slimming of the lower face. It generally takes at least two treatments spaced three months apart to see cosmetic results.