Let me tell you a dirty little secret: More and more men are going under the knife to try to look younger, and/or better! According to 2016 statistics from The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), men had close to 200,000 cosmetic surgical procedures, 9.3% of all surgical procedures performed in 2016. That does not include Botox and facial fillers; 8.9% of all injectables performed last year were applied to men. The percentages are still considerably less than those seen in women, but numbers are rising. Reasons vary from trying to keep pace and look younger in the ever changing job market to just plain old vanity! Metrosexuals, Male Millennials and now many average men have embraced everything from Botox to liposuction. Let's explore the top 5 Cosmetic Surgery operations performed on men last year according to ASAPS.
This popular procedure topped the list for a number of reasons. Healthy, sculpted bodies are treasured by both genders, but more and more men are looking for that edge to stand out from the pack. Liposuction allows removal of troubling areas of fat, resistant to diet and exercise. The dreaded "spare tire" region, lower abdomen and love handles is the most common area treated, followed closely by the chest regions. More and more men realize that Liposuction is a safer and more natural option than anabolic steroids.
2. Male Breast Reduction for Gynecomastia (Man Boobs)
In my opinion, this should be considered more of a reconstructive procedure than cosmetic. It often presents right after puberty, and is usually a combination of overproduction of breast and fatty tissue, creating small breasts. It can be devastating for young men who absorb nasty comments about this unwanted feminine trait. Most refuse to remove their shirts in locker rooms or at the beach for fear of mocking. It is usually treated by liposuction of the chest alone, but sometimes direct excision of actual breast tissue and redundant skin is needed. In either case, I have witnessed remarkable transformations among young men treated successfully. Timid and unconfident prior to surgery, positive and assured afterwards.
3. Eyelid Surgery
Heavy, redundant skin of the upper eyelids create a sleepy, inattentive appearance. As the day progresses, forehead muscles inadvertently utilized to prop them up, fatigue and fail. Patients complain of being accused of looking tired when they are not. They become concerned about losing their jobs to younger aggressive colleagues. Trimming of the excess skin can provide subtle yet significant results. Eyes appear larger and more vibrant, but surgery is usually not suspected; they look like they had a good night's sleep.
4. Rhinoplasty (Nose Job)
This procedure usually resides in the top 5 because it is common among teens, boys and girls. It does not foster the usual stigma of other cosmetic procedures among men because it is usually associated with correction of a nasal breathing disorder, called deviated nasal septum. A cosmetic Rhinoplasty usually involves straightening out a crooked nose and removal of an unattractive hump, frequently caused by a previous, untreated nasal fracture or heredity. Refinement of the nasal tip is often included. Done well, the corrections are subtle, maintaining a masculine form. Feminization of a male nose creates an obvious, unnatural operated look.
A surprising addition to this list, male facelifts are growing rapidly in popularity. The primary reason is that large segment of our population, baby boomers, are reaching their 60's and 70's, and are not happy about it! They are still active and many continue to work, by choice. Healthy lifestyles and various modern medical advances make this generation feel younger and more energetic. Many desire their face and bodies to match their youthful attitude! Increasingly men are ignoring the stigma, and are buoyed by manly celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, who have most certainly had major work done! A conservative approach should especially be chosen for this operation. Overly tightened male faces can look ridiculous and unattractive. Most men simply desire ridding themselves of the waddle formed by redundant skin in the neck and perhaps modest improvement of the jowl regions. Unfairly, wrinkles in men imply ruggedness and determination. Complete elimination can create a silly, undesirable appearance!
As you can see, men are joining the cosmetic surgery craze. As long as expectations are reasonable and health is not an issue, plastic surgery among men should no longer be considered girlish or weak. As always, seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon with expertise in cosmetic surgery. ASAPS directory is a good source.
Robert Tornambe, MD is a New York City Plastic Surgeon and Medical Advisor for Trueself. Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Tornambe has been practicing plastic surgery for more than 25 years. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, was featured in NYMAG's "Best Doctors" issue, and was the Chief of Plastic Surgery at NYC's Cabrini Medical Center for 20 years.