To describe common patterns of facial asymmetry and to augment the facial analysis paradigm for improved preoperative counseling and surgical planning.
We conducted a frontal photographic analysis of 50 patients who were seeking various types of facial cosmetic surgical procedures. The horizontal zonal thirds of the face were analyzed, and the bilateral data points were compared in regard to brow height, width of midface at maximum distance, malar eminence height, nasal alar height, and mandible width measured from the oral commissure to the gonial angle.
Forty-five patients demonstrated measurable asymmetry of the midface. The malar eminence was found to be more superiorly positioned and defined on the narrower side of the face in all cases. In contrast, the contralateral wider side of the face appeared flatter, with a more hypoplastic, inferiorly positioned malar eminence. Also, the wider side of the face more often demonstrated a wider mandibular dimension and a superiorly displaced ala. The upper third of the face, in regard to brow height, was the most variable and showed little correlation to the lower two-thirds of the face.
This facial analysis exercise can assist the surgeon in (1) preoperative counseling, (2) managing expectations, (3) choosing appropriate-sized implants for improved symmetry, and (4) offering a more detailed assessment during the counseling of patients before face-lift surgery.