Plastic Surgery for Men
Plastic surgery is often thought of in terms of women. In reality, however, anyone can have plastic surgery, and men often do. Everybody wants to feel good about what they see in the mirror, and men are no exception. Fortunately, the stigma attached to cosmetic surgery for men is diminishing, giving more men the opportunity to look and feel their best without feeling shame or embarrassment. Here is what you need to know about cosmetic surgery and men.
Is Plastic Surgery Common Among Men?
Although plastic surgery for men is not uncommon, it’s probably stretching it a bit to label the practice as “common.” Women still dominate the plastic surgery statistics, making up 94 percent of the total plastic surgeries performed each year. Men are gaining traction in the plastic surgery world, however, with 1.3 million cosmetic procedures performed on men each year.
As more men opt to go under the knife, we’re learning that they choose plastic surgery for many of the same reasons as women. As society places an increasing emphasis on a youthful appearance, men too often wish to turn back the clock a bit. Many undergo plastic surgery to feel more attractive after a divorce or to try to climb the corporate ladder more quickly depending on their line of work.
Like women, men are also subject to insecurities. Some may feel their nose is too big or that their ears stick out too far. These issues can lead to self-consciousness in men just as they do in women. While men tend to ask for different procedures than women, they share their motives for having plastic surgery with their female counterparts.
The Most Common Plastic Surgery Procedures for Males
When considering plastic surgery, men tend to look at very specific areas of the body. Their concerns tend to focus on removing belly fat and refining their facial features. It’s rare for a man to ask for a thigh lift, for example, or an arm lift. Here are some of the surgeries men request the most:
As wrinkles, sagging skin, and other signs of aging start to creep into their faces, many men opt for a facelift. Some men do so for their work. Male models, actors, news anchors, and others in similar fields may find themselves under just as much pressure to maintain a youthful appearance as women. Others simply want to look their best, whether for their own confidence or because they want to hop back into the dating pool.
COVID may also be fueling the male facelift trend. An increasing number of people are working from home and seeing themselves on Zoom and other online meeting tools. Staring at our own faces often leads to finding and focusing on flaws.
New techniques are also making it more feasible for balding men to get facelifts. On women, surgeons can often hide facelift scars in the hairline. This may not be the case with all men. Surgeons can now hide their incisions around the ear, however, making the procedure more attractive to men who don’t want visible scarring.
People are sometimes surprised to learn that men want a nice-looking butt too. While women tend to want a rounded, curvier shape, men seeking out Brazilian butt lifts (BBLs) tend to want a more squared look. When working on a man, surgeons tend to even out the fat injections across the buttocks while avoiding adding it near the hips. The result is a more sculpted, muscular-looking rear end. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 357 men got BBLs in 2020. This is actually quite a lot given how incredibly slanted towards women this particular procedure has been in the past. At the moment, we have every reason to believe that the popularity of the male BBL will continue to grow.
A lot of men carry stubborn fat in their abdomens and flanks, commonly known as love handles. It’s great if you can lose this fat through diet and exercise, but sometimes nothing seems to work. In that case, men often turn to liposuction for help. Removing this excess fat through liposuction reveals a flatter, more sculpted-looking abdomen and can eliminate love handles altogether.
Although men commonly choose liposuction on the torso, some use it to shape a more masculine jawline or remove other unwanted fat deposits as well. Men are less likely to request liposuction on their thighs, calves, and arms than women. We’re happy to perform liposuction in these areas, however, if you wish.
The Tummy Tuck
Men who have undergone a dramatic weight loss are often left with sagging abdominal skin. Unfortunately, no amount of exercise or healthy eating can fix this problem. Not only is the hanging skin unsightly, it‘s also uncomfortable, often tugging at the body and developing sores and rashes in the crease of the skin apron. A tummy tuck can remove this excess skin along with any extra fat to produce a more chiseled appearance.
It’s important for men to understand the difference between a tummy tuck versus a liposuction. Liposuction can sculpt the abdomen, but like diet and exercise, it won’t remove sagging skin. Both procedures can increase your confidence, however, so you’ll feel comfortable taking your shirt off at the beach or the pool.
The most common plastic surgery for men is by far the rhinoplasty (nose job). Whether fixing a deviated septum, repairing a nose broken in a contact sport, or simply reshaping a disliked facial feature, men get nose jobs more than any other plastic surgery. This trend mimics the same pattern in women who also get nose jobs more than any other procedure.
Men also frequently ask for brow lifts, eyelid repairs (blepharoplasty), and ear pinning (otoplasty). Brow and eyelid lifts both create a younger-looking appearance. They can also fix vision problems when the brow or eyelids start to droop far enough to interfere with peripheral vision.
Ear pinning is purely cosmetic but holds the ears closer to the head so they don’t stick out as far. Men with prominent ears often get mocked or bullied as children and often remain self-conscious about their ears well into adulthood.
The Daddy Do-Over
You’ve heard of the mommy makeover. Now let us introduce you to the daddy do-over. As you may know, a mommy makeover is a fully customizable group of cosmetic procedures that can restore a woman’s body after pregnancy. Although great after giving birth, any woman can have a mommy makeover, even if she has never had children. The term essentially refers to a group of plastic surgery procedures performed at once to fix as many perceived flaws as possible at one time to necessitate only one bout of anesthesia and recovery.
A daddy do-over is essentially the same. It allows a man to combine multiple surgeries at once to achieve his desired body contour and appearance. We can put together a surgery package for any man, but there are valid reasons for calling the procedures a daddy do-over. Men may not carry or deliver babies, but having a baby can still change a man’s body. Adjusting to a new sleep schedule and helping with the baby may limit workout time or alter the way a man eats. As a result, pregnancy can change a man’s body too, in a way.
Male Breast Reduction
This particular procedure is one of the few that has always been a man’s domain. Gynecomastia is an unfortunate condition in which larger, female-looking breasts may appear on a man or teenage boy. Sometimes these “breasts” are merely fat deposits while at other times an excess of female hormones causes actual breast tissue to develop. Some medications (both legal and otherwise) can also create this issue. No matter what the cause, gynecomastia is quite embarrassing, and many men seek medical treatment for the condition.
In some cases, liposuction may be enough to shrink male breasts. In others, the breast tissue must be surgically removed as it is in a breast reduction surgery or mastectomy. Your surgeon will first recommend that you see your physician to ensure there is no underlying medical cause for your gynecomastia. When it is safe to proceed, he will determine whether liposuction or surgery is the right treatment plan for you.
What is the Recovery Like for Male Plastic Surgery Procedures?
Even though they have some of the same procedures, men and women can heal differently after plastic surgery. Much of the healing process is the same, but there are a few notable exceptions. It’s also of note that the surgeries themselves are often performed differently on men than women.
Healing from a Facelift
Men tend to bleed more after a facelift. This is because their facial hair requires a healthy blood supply to the hair follicles. The result is more arteries and veins in the face and therefore more bleeding after surgery. Hematomas are much more likely in men after a facelift than women thanks to all these blood vessels, but the increased blood supply also promotes faster healing.
Performing a facelift on men can also be more technically difficult. As briefly mentioned above, balding and receding hairlines can make it harder to hide facelift scars in men. On the positive side, however, it’s easier to hide scars elsewhere on the body thanks to men’s thicker body hair.
Liposuction procedures are done a bit differently on men than they are on women. While women want a skinny, svelte look, men want a more toned and muscular appearance. This involves removing less fat, and you want to work with a skilled surgeon who understands that. Men’s fat tends to be thicker and more fibrous than women’s, being more adhered to the muscle. This makes loosening and removing the fat in men a more difficult job.
Recovery Time Off Work
Most plastic surgery procedures require a recovery period during which the patient stays home from work and rests. Although not always the case, men often work more strenuous and physical jobs than women. This means that if a woman can return to work in 2 weeks, a man may need to be off for 4 weeks. Again, we recognize that this is not always the case. Whether you’re a man or a woman, make sure your surgeon knows what you do for work so he can plan your recovery timeline accordingly.
On average, a man’s skin is 20 to 25 percent thicker than a woman’s. As such, it takes longer for post-surgery swelling to go down in men. Thicker skin can also make scarring somewhat worse, although a skilled plastic surgeon should still be able to hide scars well.
Thicker skin also makes rhinoplasty a bit trickier. Your surgeon will need to make more pronounced changes in order for them to be seen beneath thicker skin. More subtle changes to the nose’s structure may not be visible under thick skin.
The Bottom Line
It’s true that the stigma around men getting plastic surgery is fading, and we view that as a good thing. At the end of the day, however, it really doesn’t matter what other men are doing. Plastic surgery is and always has been a highly personal choice. If there is something about your body that you don’t like, you have just as much right to fix it as any woman does. And with the emphasis placed on hiding scars and creating a natural look, there is a good chance no one will know you’ve had surgery unless you tell them.