Can Masseter Muscle Reduction Be Done Surgically?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I was inquiring to see if masseter muscle reduction surgery is something you can do? So rather than a jaw reduction of the bone, just reduce the muscle in the jaw. I’d be coming in from Arizona for surgery so approximately how much would something like that cost me? And what would the recovery time be? Thank you.

A: Masseter reduction surgery can be done but it does slightly different than one would think. You do not go in and cut a portion of the muscle out as that would be very bloody and would likely leave the outer facial contour irregular when it heals. Rather the muscle is lift off the bone from the inside of the mouth and its inner surface treated by electrocautery. This will cause some muscle fibers to die and a portion of the muscle to atrophy obver time. Also Botox is injected into the muscle at the same time to help the atrophy process. I assume you are aware that you can treat masseter muscle hypertrophy with repeated Botox injections to help it shrink without surgery.

Other than some swelling there really is not much recovery or limitations after surgery. The jaw will feel stiff for a few weeks from the muscle treatment.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana