The masseter muscle is a large triangular muscle located in front of the ear. It is responsible for the chewing function and helps to move the jaw from side to side. The muscle can be divided into two parts, the superficial layer, and the deep layer. The superficial layer is the portion of the muscle that is most visible when you clench your teeth. The deep layer is located beneath the superficial layer and is not as easily seen.
At times, the masseter gets enlarged in individuals who excessively grind their teeth, chew gum, or have the habit to clench their teeth. It can lead to asymmetry of the face because of increased bulk or unequal enlargement of the muscle, thus developing an extraordinary square jawline. Also, individuals who are looking for facial feminization desire a smooth, soft appearance to the jawline and prefer to reduce the masseter size. It is where masseter surgery comes in.
During masseter muscle surgery, the muscle may be completely removed, partially removed, or realigned. The surgery can be performed for cosmetic reasons, to improve chewing function, to correct a birth defect, or to correct a prominent masseter.
The masseter reduction surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. An incision is made in front of the ear, in the hairline, or inside the mouth. The surgeon will then access the masseter muscle and remove or alter it to accomplish a smoother, well-rounded, and defined jawline contour. After removing the appropriate amount of muscle and bone, the incision will be closed with stitches and you will be placed in a head dressing or compression garment to minimize swelling.