Cosmetic surgery has had a reputation for being exclusive to the rich and famous, but the truth is that cosmetic surgery has become more mainstream and more common among the working middle class. I have seen this specifically in my practice. Despite my exclusive Park Avenue location in one of the richest zip codes in the nation, my waiting room is commonly filled with teachers, nurses, and secretaries sitting next to lawyers, executives, and actors. I love this diversity among my patients.
The fastest growing group is my male patients. Nationally, males comprise less than 20% of all cosmetic surgery patients but this number has been increasing dramatically over the past few years. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) the number of males undergoing cosmetic procedures increased 2% from 2009 to 2010, but the increase in specific procedures among men has far outpaced females over the same time period. Below is a list of the fastest growing cosmetic procedures among men, based on the percent increase from 2009 to 2010:
2. Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) – 11% Increase
3. Soft Tissue Fillers – 10% Increase
4. Botulinum Toxin Type A – 9% Increase
5. Liposuction – 7% Increase
6. Breast Reduction in Men – 6% Increase
7. Eyelid Surgery – 4% Increase
8. Dermabrasion – 4% Increase
9. Laser Hair Removal – 4% Increase
10. Laser Treatment of Leg Veins – 4% Increase
A total of 1.1 million men underwent cosmetic procedures (both surgical and non-surgical) in 2010 and males now comprise about 25% of my patient population in New York City. The most common surgical procedures among men are facelifts, liposuction, and rhinoplasty. The most common non-surgical procedures include Botox, Fillers, and laser vein removal. So why is plastic surgery among males growing faster than any other group? Part of this is the “de-stigmatization” of plastic surgery. It is no longer taboo and is more acceptable – probably the result of a long list of television shows focused on plastic surgery. But this does not explain why men in particular are turning cosmetic surgery. Some claim that it is the aging baby boomer population that is now looking for some relief from advanced years.
My personal opinion is that this is directly related to the changing economy. As the economy took a turn for the worse, the workforce became increasingly competitive. The 50 year old man with 30 years of work experience now finds himself competing with a younger (and cheaper) competitor, and not only in New York City. Older males are looking for every possible advantage to be hired, get that promotion, or keep from getting fired. Despite the idealists that think that looks don’t matter, the fact is that they do. Whether fair or not, studies have shown that better looking males tend to have more success in the workforce. Cosmetic surgery became a way for older men to look younger and more refreshed.
When choosing a doctor for male cosmetic surgery in New York City, make sure to choose a surgeon who has experience with male patients. This is extremely important because surgical techniques vary between men and women. With male patients, it is important to have a balance between improving one’s appearance and retaining the masculine features.
If you are interested in learning more about a procedure or technique, contact my office to schedule a consultation for plastic surgery in New York City.