The bones of female jaws tend to be thinner than those of male jaws, especially the back angles below the ears and the ridge along the lower edge.
Seen from the front, female facial frames tend to be narrower at the bottom. like an inverted triangle with the chin as its lower point, whereas male jaws look squarer. This is why, when the chin reduction is performed for feminization purposes, it is usually necessary to perform a jaw tapering to give the jaw bone a more triangular shape that will harmonize with the chin size and shape.
When seen from the side, there are some characteristics that are not typically male or female, but can lead people to perceive the jaw as masculine or feminine: when the back corners are high, close to the ear, and the outline of the jaw ascends diagonally from the chin, the appearance will be more feminine than when the back corners are low and the jaw is more square. These back corners look more feminine when they are rounded than when they have defined vertexes.
The muscles of the jaw area also have different characteristics in men and women. The masseter muscles (the muscles of biting and chewing) tend to be much more developed in men than in women.
The surgeon makes an incision on the lower gums and accesses the jaw bone. He might perform a reduction of the ridge that runs like a cornise along the jaw bone with special electric drills. This tapers the jaw sides. He usually trims or grinds the back corners too. This means a reduction of the jaw’s height, and makes the jaw shape softer (which is associated to "female"), but
the most important goal of removing the vertexes of the rear angles is not related to the angled shape being a gender treat itself, but to making the facial frame look narrower from the frontal view.
There are many women with well defined jaw angles (lately they have become the preferred ones among models and actresses), but their facial frames are narrower than male ones most of times.
Contouring the lower facial third makes the whole face look narrower and thus more female.
When the masseter muscles are too thick, they can get a surgical reduction, although long lasting hormone treatments produces a mass reduction that is similar.
Usually, this surgery is combined with chin feminization surgery to get a harmonious contouring of these two adjacent facial areas.
Patients who are older than 40 years may need to have a face lift and/or a neck lift done to tighten the excess skin and highlight the feminization of the unerlying bony frame.
Jaw bone contouring is done under general anesthesia
When you leave the operating room you will have a compression bandage or garment around your face. It will probably be removed one or two days after the surgery. Jaw contouring is probably the most painful procedure among facial surgery. It usually entails a drastic reduction of your capacity to bite that lasts several days. You will have to be on a liquid or very soft diet during the first one or two days. After that, any meal that can be swallowed without chewing will be fine: mashed potatos, mashed bananas, grated apples, soft pasta, fish, eggs, shredded chicken, etc.
It will be very important for you to take care of the hygiene of the wounds on your bottom gums until them heals to avoid the proliferation of bacteria inside the mouth. Using a mouthwash is recommended.
If you don’t mind being seen with the swelling, you may be able to return to your social activities 7 to 10 days after the jaw contouring surgery. However you will have to wait until the third or fourth week before doing any hard work or physical exercise. Sleeping with your head elevated during the first days can favor the reduction of swelling and bruises. Ice packs are very useful during the first days. If you wish to apply make-up, you may be able to do it the day after the surgery.
During the first weeks after jaw contouring surgery some patients tend to suffer from depression. You may find it difficult to come to terms with your new look and you may even feel that having a surgery was a big mistake. But don’t worry: most of the people who today are happy and satisfied with the results of their surgeries have also gone through that phase.
The incisions for this surgery are usually made inside the mouth, through the bottom gums, along the jaw line. The scars result then completely invisible.
Every surgery, no matter how simple it may be, has certain risks, and we should not rule them out. However, it is very unlikely for a jaw contouring or reduction to present any complications when performed by a qualified Facial Feminization surgeon.