For Salt Lake City, UT plastic surgeon P. Daniel Ward, MD, reshaping the face, neck, and jawline is key to helping patients feel their best. “My philosophy centers around aligning a person’s outer appearance with their inner image, empowering them to feel confident and secure when they look in the mirror,” he says. When it comes to face, neck, and jawline contouring, modern techniques go beyond simple lifting or adding volume. To provide a natural-looking enhancement, he focuses on creating a sculpted jawline and defined neck.
The procedure, which he refers to as facial and neck contouring, aims to enhance the natural beauty of the face by manipulating light reflection off the cheekbones and mandible. This technique offers both men and women the opportunity to achieve their desired facial features, helping them feel more confident and secure.
Lifting and Shifting Volume to Achieve Amazing Results
To achieve the most harmonious facial contour, Dr. Ward sees it as a two-step process. “I start by repositioning the structures of the face to create a more pleasing appearance. I remove fat, reposition muscles, and manipulate the deeper structures in the face and the neck to create the appearance patients desire,” says Dr. Ward. Many surgeons may perform procedures that remove the fat, but that’s not the right approach for everyone. “I utilize methods that were originally employed for older patients, I can help younger patients achieve their desired look without resorting to invasive procedures. For patients concerned about a double chin or round lower cheeks, we can reposition the cheek fat and adjust the muscles underneath the jawline to have a nice tighter profile. We can also redistribute the volume, the fat compartments in the lower cheeks and move them up to the upper cheeks in order to give them more chiseled look.”
One of the key advantages of Dr. Ward’s approach is that it allows for a shorter recovery time compared to traditional surgical procedures. While the acute phase of recovery lasts approximately one to two weeks, complete recovery may take several months to a year. During this time, patients may experience residual swelling and mild muscle irritation, which gradually subside over time.
Ideal candidates for Dr. Ward’s facial and neck contouring approach are individuals with a round face, double chin, or full face.
Dr. Ward’s New Approach to Buccal Fat
“Why would I throw away what God gave this patient?” asks Dr. Ward of the precious cheek fat, also known as “buccal” (pronounced “buckle”) fat. When surgeons remove buccal fat to give the face a more contoured look, the approach is usually to remove that small pocket of fat.
Dr. Ward says “that fat should NOT be thrown away—it should be repositioned and utilized to help create a more pleasing facial contour” In addition, Dr. Ward’s approach involves a key anatomic observation, as he says, “if you look at the buccal fat compartment, it stops at a level above the corner of our mouths and so removing the fat in this area won’t do anything for the lower cheek, the jowl.” To help address this area, Dr. Ward performs liposculpting to the face in this area.
Dr. Ward’s technique primarily involves surgical intervention, with noninvasive modalities like radio frequency microneedling and laser treatments used in select cases to further enhance collagen and elastin production for optimal skin tightening. “About 90 percent of the time it’s surgery alone, but I love to use microneedling with radio frequency with or without CO2 lasers to help with collagen and elastin production to get those skin components to tighten down a bit better,” he explains. These additional treatments can be performed at the same time as the procedure, but is often performed three months post-surgery, ensuring the best possible outcome for patients.
As Dr. Ward continues to redefine and contour faces of all ages, he says he can’t help but see the negative and positive examples in the celebrity world of “good” and “not so good” results. “You can see how people react to someone like Martha Stewart on the cover of Sport’s Illustrated versus Madonna on social media. Really great results are about contouring, sculpting and judiciously adding back volume. I strongly feel that the days of overfilling the face or pulling things too tight should be over—and it’s about TIME!”