The Asian Face

People from East Asia have very different shaped faces from Europeans and therefore their concerns are often quite different. Asian faces are characterized by prominent cheekbones, a squarer than average jaw and smaller noses.



It is very important to make sure that facial surgery achieves a pleasing overall facial harmony. Usually a combination of digital imaging and morphing techniques will be used to show the likely changes with surgery. A cone beam CT scan may be needed for procedures involving facial bones.

The commonest procedures to treat Asian faces are:

  • Cheek Bone reduction
  • Chin augmentation and reduction
  • Mandibular angle reduction (jaw reduction)
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Eyelid Surgery


Frequently Asked Questions

Overly prominent cheekbones can be reduced through an incision inside the mouth, eyelid or within the hairline. The type of operation depends on where the cheek is too prominent. Cheekbone reduction requires careful planning and it is sometimes necessary to have a cone beam CT scan to determine the best operation for you.

Chin augmentation and reduction is often undertaken with mandibular angle reduction to treat an overly square facial shape.

Chin augmentation is more common than reduction in Asian faces and may involve both advancing and lengthening the chin. Chin augmentation can be achieved with a genioplasty or chin implants.

A genioplasty is performed through an incision inside the mouth and involves making a cut in the chin bone to reposition the chin.

Chin implants can be inserted through an incision under the chin or inside the mouth. They can preformed (usually made from silicone or Medpore) or custom made from a CT scan (usually made of PEEK).

Chins can be reduced by undertaking a reduction genioplasty, which involves removing a section of chin bone through an intra-oral incision.

Mandibular angle reduction reduces the prominence of the angle of the jaw. It is undertaken through an incision inside the mouth or more rarely, through a skin incision just under the angle of the jaw.

Mandibular angle reduction reduces the prominence of the mandibular angle and is often used to reduce the squareness of the facial outline, decrease the height of the jaw and reduce lower facial width.

Common concerns about nasal appearance are a flat bridge, short nasal length, an ill defined upward slanting tip and broad nostrils.

Most of these concerns can be addressed by a nasal augmentation. Sometimes and alar base (nostril) reduction is also necessary.

Augmentation rhinoplasty can be undertaken through an open approach that requires a small incision at the base of the nose or by closed approach where all of the incisions are inside the nose.

Noses can be augmented with natural materials such as cartilage taken from the patient’s own body or artificial materials such as silicone, Medpore or PEEK. Cartilage grafts can be taken from the ear, nasal septum or ribs.  Using artificial materials makes the operation less complex and quicker, but the risk of infection or extrusion of the implant over time is much higher than with natural materials.

Asian blepharoplasty is a technique to enhance or create a crease in the upper eyelid. There are two common methods used; a suture technique and an incisional technique. The suture technique relies on placing permanent buried sutures to create the impression of a natural upper eyelid crease. It is simple to undertake and recovery is very quick. The main problem with this technique is that generally the results are often temporary.

The incisional technique involves an incision in the upper eyelid through which a permanent crease is created. It is a very versatile technique that gives lasting results. Recovery takes longer and there will be some postoperative bruising and swelling.


Epicanthoplasty and medial canthoplasty.  Occasionally there are concerns about the inner part of the eyelids.  Epicanthic folds are folds of skin between the inner eyelid and nose. They can be treated with a number of incisional techniques, which are effective, but leave small scars that can occasionally be noticeable. Epicanthic folds are common in people with flat nasal bridges and are usually improved with nasal bridge augmentation.

The medial canthus (inner corner of the eyelid) may be too far from the nose. It can be repositioned with a medial canthoplasty, which moves or shortens the tendon that secures the medial canthus to the underlying bone. The procedure is undertaken through an incision close to the eyelid margin.