What Is Double Jaw Surgery?

What Is Double Jaw Surgery?


Your facial shape and your jaw’s position play vital roles in many functions of daily life, including breathing, eating, swallowing and speaking. Facial harmony aligns your teeth and chin properly and allows them to work seamlessly with your facial muscles and jaw joints. Jaw surgery, or orthognathic surgery, can help correct various facial and dental deformities and functional dental issues, as well as cosmetically alter the shape and proportions of your face.

Facial bone contouring surgeries are frequently performed in Asia, where beauty standards tend to favour a soft, delicate facial shape rather than an angular and defined jawline. Double jaw surgery, also called two-jaw surgery or bimaxillary osteotomy, is a procedure for patients seeking functional and/or cosmetic improvement involving both the upper and lower jaw.

If you would like to know more about this procedure, you may find answers to your questions below. Please contact the specialist plastic surgeons at Asian Plastic Surgery to book a consultation and get answers to any additional questions.

Why Is It Called Double Jaw Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery often addresses one jaw at a time. As independent procedures, maxillary osteotomy focuses on the upper jaw, or maxilla. Mandibular osteotomy focuses on the lower jaw, or mandible. Bimaxillary osteotomy corrects both jaws simultaneously, earning it the nickname double jaw surgery.

Operating on both jaws at once gives the surgeon the most flexibility to adjust the jaw bones and shape the face. With this holistic approach, the surgeon attempts to improve both functional and cosmetic issues by reshaping, resizing or repositioning the upper and lower jaws to bring them into better positions.

Why Is Double Jaw Surgery Popular With Asians?

Double jaw surgery enhances the relationship between the mid-face and lower face. In some Asian populations, it is common to see a retruded mid-face, a chin that is considered ‘too strong’ or ‘too weak’, and flaring of the front teeth. Combined, these attributes create a convex facial profile that some seek to change with surgery.

Due to common traits of Asian anatomy and aesthetic preferences in many Asian countries, double jaw surgery is popular with Asian patients worldwide. However, it is important to note that it is not restricted to any particular ethnic group.

Why Would Someone Need Double Jaw Surgery?

Double jaw surgery can improve a variety of functional issues related to abnormal formation of the jaw, including:

  • Malocclusion (misalignment of the upper and lower teeth)
  • Underbite
  • Overbite
  • Open bite
  • Headache due to chronic malocclusion
  • Difficulty swallowing, biting or chewing food
  • Speech problems
  • Uneven wear of the teeth
  • Pain in the jaw joints (TMJ)
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Inability to seal the lips over the teeth and resulting facial muscle tension
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

For patients with functional concerns, a multidisciplinary collaboration between a plastic surgeon and other specialists (e.g. an orthodontist) often yields the best results.

Is Double Jaw Surgery Cosmetic?

Double jaw surgery can have both functional and cosmetic benefits, or it can be purely cosmetic. Patients may seek out this procedure for aesthetic reasons such as:

  • Facial asymmetry
  • Gummy smile
  • Recessive jaw
  • Protruding jaw
  • Jutting chin
  • Protruding mouth
  • Long face

Orthognathic surgery is one of the most powerful facial cosmetic procedures. Changing the size, shape, angle and/or alignment of the jaws can dramatically change one’s facial balance and aesthetics.

How Is Double Jaw Surgery Different From V-Line Surgery?

Double jaw surgery concentrates on issues pertaining to the two jaws and how they interact with one another. It can be applied to a wide variety of functional and cosmetic issues. 

V-line surgery affects the lower jaw only. The bone is filed down and a portion of bone is removed to achieve a more slender and soft lower face shape. V-line surgery can change a patient’s face shape from square to oval and create a sharper chin profile. It is cosmetic only; V-line surgery does not affect the ability to speak, chew, swallow or breathe.

What Other Forms of Facial Contouring Surgery Can Benefit Asian Patients?

Bone contouring surgeries have a profound impact because they alter the foundational structure of the face. The impact often exceeds what can be achieved with soft tissue manipulation alone.

If multiple surgeries are planned, we may recommend a staged procedure (an operation undertaken in two or more separate parts) to facilitate healing and assess the patient’s evolving facial aesthetics on an ongoing basis.

Who Performs Double Jaw Surgery?

Bone contouring is a highly specialised area of plastic surgery. Designing the facial aesthetic for a patient requires an advanced skill set, meticulous attention to detail and the highest understanding of facial anatomy. The process involves a combination of 3D imaging, surgical planning software, analysis of a patient’s bite and airway, and more to create a treatment plan that attends to both cosmetic and functional long-term outcomes. 

Our Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Quan Ngo has a particular interest in bone contouring and reshaping work focusing on the head and neck region. Following the completion of his Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery training in Sydney, Dr Ngo acquired further specialist fellowship training in the UK, France and Taiwan. He is pioneering in his use of 3D imaging and 3D printing in Australia and incorporates both of these technologies into planning jaw surgeries.

Contact Asian Plastic Surgery to Learn More About Double Jaw Surgery in Sydney

If you are looking for a way to make a change in the structure of your face, double jaw surgery could be the solution. We invite you to request more information about this procedure by filling out our enquiry form or calling 02 8962 9388 to schedule a consultation.

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