Facial Symmetry and Finding Balance with Surgery

Is facial symmetry important for attractiveness?

Facial symmetry is an important element in our perception of attractiveness with a strong preference toward seeing symmetrical faces as more attractive. It is interesting that in split face studies, however, artificially constructed perfect symmetry (mirrored hemifaces) are scored as less attractive than the same natural faces with slight asymmetry. Everyone has some degree of asymmetry, and in some patients it is of great enough degree that surgical or non-surgical correction greatly improves appearance.

What areas of the face can be asymmetric?

Let’s first discuss some of the commonly seen areas of asymmetry and methods for improvement. As we age, facial volume loss occurs resulting in the deflation of fat pads in the midface, lower face and brow as well as thinning of the lips. Many times this volume loss does not occur evenly from one side to the other. As long as a particular patient is in the range where their volume loss can be managed with volume replacement using injectable fillers or fat transfer, asymmetrical areas of the face can be successfully improved by altering the amount of volume placed in each location. This requires a thorough understanding of facial structure and a good aesthetic eye, When the volume changes also involve loss of bone in the facial skeleton or displacement of facial structures from trauma, additional augmentation may be needed using facial implants selected for the purpose or even custom-designed
implants.

Can uneven brows or jowls be improved?

Some patients may have asymmetries in the position of soft tissue structures of the face. Common examples here include brows which are at different levels from one side to the other and formation of jowls or cheek drooping which differs from one side to the other. In the case of brows, while perfect symmetry can never be assured, minor variance may be addressed with neuromodulators and/or fillers while more significant alterations in brow level are possible with precise placement during brow elevation procedures. In the lower face, improvement of any existing asymmetries in facial drooping can be adjusted and improved as part of a facelift procedure.

Is facial asymmetry common?

Close to 25% of the population has a noticeable structural asymmetry between the two sides of the face. While often subtle, it is important to recognize this issue when it exists and discuss with these patients how it may affect expected outcomes. While changing the actual physical structure of the face requires orthognathic surgery beyond the scope of most aesthetic practices, some alterations such as changing the shape or improving the symmetry of the jawline are routinely performed. Also, some underlying issues like a difference in position of the eyes, while not directly changeable, may be aesthetically enhanced by manipulation of the soft tissues around these areas.

How can I improve my crooked nose?

Perhaps the most common area of asymmetry addressed in our practice is the nose. Many patients either congenitally or through trauma have noses with deviate from the midline or may be crooked with irregular lumps, humps, or curves. Rhinoplasty surgery is usually needed to address these concerns and can restore more correct positioning of the nose relative to the rest of the face and result in smooth and symmetric aesthetic lines.

What is the best way to improve my facial asymmetries?

Facial asymmetry concerns are commonly encountered. Most of these concerns can be effectively addressed by skilled facial plastic surgeons with surgical or non-surgical techniques. The starting point is with a consultation to discuss the areas involved and recommend the best options for your individual case.

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