Male plastic surgery continues to gain in popularity. Year after year the number of men undergoing elective cosmetic surgery procedures has been increasing. This is because men care about their appearance just as much as women, and men are more willing to admit this now. It’s 2021 and there is less of a stigma surrounding plastic surgery overall and this is helping to fuel an increase in men requesting surgical procedures to improve their appearance. The statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) continues to show a steady increase in men requesting elective cosmetic procedures, even though men still make up a very small portion of all plastic surgery patients.
What are the most common cosmetic procedures for men?
The most common cosmetic procedures requested by men include:
- eyelid surgery
- chest reduction
- Hair Transplantation
How are these procedures different in men?
There is a big difference between cosmetic procedures in men and cosmetic procedures in women. Procedures are often modified to help preserve male characteristics and avoid feminization of the appearance. This is because men in particular, want to look more refreshed, but not different. For example, when performing eyelid surgery on men, the amount of skin removed is often less than the amount of skin we remove in women. This is because a little bit of extra skin on the upper eyelid helps preserve a more masculine appearance. When we do eyebrow lifting in men, we do not lift the brow too high because a lower and straighter brow is seen as more masculine than the high arching brows of women. Rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping, is another procedure that is modified in men. We tend to keep a stronger, larger nose on the male face. If we were to perform male rhinoplasty the same way we perform female rhinoplasty, the result may be a nose that is too small for the male face.
Basically, if we are performing cosmetic procedures on a man who desires to preserve his masculine features, the surgeon needs to be aware of the normal male anatomy and preserve these masculine features. Of course, if the purpose of the man’s surgical procedure is to create a more feminine appearance, then we would perform the procedure in a manner more common in our female patients.
Other Considerations for Male Plastic Surgery
Aside from modifications in the surgical technique to preserve a masculine appearance, other considerations for plastic surgery in men include:
- Incision placement
- recovery restrictions
- pain management
- Incision Placement
As plastic surgeons, we always take great care in placement of our incisions. This is because surgical incisions ultimately become surgical scars, and we want these scars to be as hidden as possible. For the most part scars of the face are kept hidden within the hairline. This means that when performing facial plastic surgery on men, we need to consider the male hairline and how it can change over time. For example, a male facelift needs to take it to consideration that men commonly develop receding hairlines or become bald later in life. If a scar is please in same location we would place it on a woman, then this will be a very visible scar in situations of receding hairline for balding. As you can imagine, hiding face lift scars on men is much more difficult than women with long hair.
Similarly, in the case of a male tummy tuck, the abdominal scar is placed lower and more horizontal in men than in women. This is because we want the scar to be hidden beneath underwear and a bathing suit. In men this requires a lower and straighter scar as opposed to the tummy tuck scars in women that tend to follow a natural curve to their pelvic bones.
- Recovery Restrictions
Any surgery requires restrictions during the recovery period. Cosmetic plastic surgery is no different. When operating on men, the recovery restrictions often need to be modified. There may be longer restrictions regarding heavy lifting and certain contact sports. Also, in general men tend to be less patient with recovery. This means that men tend to be more unwilling to restrict their activities. Therefore, the surgeon needs to be more specific about what male patients can and cannot do. This is not to suggest that female patients are not impatient sometimes, or that female patients do not engage in strenuous activity and contact sports. It just means that in general, male patients require more specific instructions and at times are less compliant with these restrictions.
- Pain Management
Pain management tends to be an issue as well with many male patients. It has been documented now cosmetic surgery to be less tolerant of the pain during the recovery period. This is not to suggest that all male patients are bad with pain and all female patients are good with pain, since everyone is different and it is impossible to characterize peoples pain threshold simply based on gender. However, surgeons need to be aware that male patients overall tend to feel more pain during the recovery. And it is more difficult to control this pain. This means that multiple different medication’s may be required to control the pain.
Choosing your Plastic Surgeon
While the numbers of men requesting cosmetic surgery continues to rise, men still account for only 20% of all plastic surgery patients. This means that plastic surgeons still overwhelmingly have female patients. If you are a man interested in cosmetic surgery, you should be sure to choose a plastic surgeon who is board certified in plastic surgery and is experienced with male patients. This will help ensure that your surgeon will provide you with the most appropriate procedure sense as we discussed earlier, operating on man is very different than operating on women.
If you would like to discuss male plastic surgery with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced an operating on man, you can contact Dr. Matthew Schulman.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do men get Tummy Tucks?
Yes. Men get tummy tucks, but a tummy tuck in a man tends to be directed towards excess skin that can accompany weight loss. In women, a tummy tuck is targeting changes associated with pregnancy. However, this is not the case in men. This means that a tummy tuck in men tend to remove excess skin but there is usually not a requirement for muscle repair.
Is it common for men to have chest reduction surgery?
Chest reduction surgery is very common among men. It is designed to remove excess fat and breast tissue that can develop in men. In fact, up to 80% of adolescent boys experience excess breast tissue during puberty. A percentage of these boys do not see regression of this breast tissue and this can become bothersome to them. Male chess reduction is very common among males of varying ages.
What areas of the body can liposuction be performed on in men?
Liposuction can be performed on any part of the body where there is excess fat. In men, it is commonly the lower abdomen flags and lower back which is often referred to as the “spare tire”. But again, if you have excess fat of your neck, thighs, arms, or chest, liposuction may be an option for you.
Is there a procedure to give me a stronger jawline?
Jawline surgery is very common in men. This is because a strong jaw line is considered by many to be more masculine. The specific procedure will depend exactly on what you need done, but jawlines can be strengthened using injectable fillers, implants, or even surgery to move the jawbone.