Cheekbone Reduction

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in cheekbone reduction surgery. I am a 26 year old male and I am quite self conscious about my cheekbone width. They span almost 16cm and I am wandering if it would be possible to take about half a centimeter off on each side to make my eyes (pupilliary distance of about 65mm) more proportional to my face.

A: Your fundamental premise is that if the width of the face was less wide, your eyes would not look too close together. Since you can’t move your eyes this leaves only the cheekbone width to be changed. Cheekbone reduction surgery works by moving in the zygomatic arches of the zygomatic complex. These arches are what makes up the width of the middle part of the face. The inward movement of the cheeks usually is no greater than 5 to 7mms per side due to the location of the temporals muscle which lies underneath it. The bone should not ‘pinch’ the temporals muscle as this could interfere with the workings of it which is to help open and close the mouth.  Usually it is a good idea to get a 3D CT scan before cheekbone reduction surgery to look at the anatomy of the zygomatic arches and see how much reduction is possible.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana