The cosmetic surgery industry is often one viewed as something for women, but the reality is that thousands of men go under the knife to improve their appearance every single year in the United States.
In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has seen a 273 percent increase in the number of procedures performed on men since it started tracking statistics in 1997. Here are some of the top procedures men opt for when having cosmetic work done.
As men get older, fat deposits tend to build up in the abdomen, love handles and chest. Even men who are at healthy weight can have unwanted fat buildup in these areas. Liposuction is a common procedure to remove that fat and better contour the body. This cosmetic procedure breaks up and removes fat from certain areas of the body using a cannula inserted under the skin and removed using a high-pressure vacuum. This is the most common cosmetic procedure in the United States, with over 400,000 procedures occurring every year.
To be a candidate for liposuction, a patient needs to have a stable body weight, but with undesirable fat deposits in specific areas of the body. It should not be treated as a weight loss method, but rather as a sculpting method. Dr. Christopher K Livingston, a board certified plastic surgeon and hand surgeon in Houston, Texas believes any cosmetic surgery such as liposuction should be a "reward for a healthy lifestyle". He states "these patients are the best candidates and can have pleasing and long lasting results".
Gynecomastia Correction Surgery
Sometimes when hormones are out of balance or a man is over weight, men will struggle with over-developed or enlarged breasts. Gynecomastia can be emotionally difficult for men, changing quality of life as the man avoids activities that draw attention to the condition. Gynecomastia correction surgery involves cutting out excess glandular tissue and ultrasonic liposuction. The overall goal is to improve the contour of the chest.
In 2014, the ASPS estimated a total of 26,175 men underwent this procedure. Candidates for gynecomastia should visit their doctors first to rule out any medical problems causing their condition. As long as there are not underlying conditions that need to be treated, you are a good candidate. Dr. Livingston performs this surgery weekly and his patients state it "changes their lives".
When hair starts to thin, a hair transplant can help restore the look of a full head of hair. This common procedure, which has been around since the 1950s, involves taking a narrow strip of scalp tissue from the back of the head, dividing it into small grafts with just a few hairs each, and then placing those grafts into small holes on the front of the head where the hair is thinning.
Because the area where the hair is removed is in the back of the head, the existing hair will cover it.
Most men who are good health can have hair transplant surgery, provided they have sufficient hair in the donor area to perform the procedure. The procedure takes between four and eight hours under local anesthesia. In 2014, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery indicated 112,409 people underwent surgical hair restoration procedures.
Men struggling with wrinkles on the face can turn to Botox for help. Botox involves injecting the bacterium Clostridium botulinum into the muscles that contribute to deep wrinkles between the eyebrows and other areas of the face.
Botox blocks the signals from the nerves to these muscles, so that they cannot contract, allowing the wrinkles to soften and relax. This effectively works on wrinkles of the forehead, crow's feet area and frown lines. It will not work on wrinkles caused by sun damage or gravity.
Botox has few risks and is considered a minimally invasive treatment. The effects last between four to six months, which means patients will need repeat applications to maintain their results.
However, over time the wrinkles will appear less severe as the muscles are trained to relax, which may mean fewer treatments are necessary to maintain results.
This is by far one of the most common procedures, with over 410,000 men having it in 2014 according to the ASPS. Dr. Livingston recommends a board certified plastic surgeon perform the botox injections that has experience in skin care, facial fillers, and laser treatments for overall facial rejuvenation that can be easy to perform, quick (during a lunchbreak), and relatively painless.
Drooping eyelids can make a man seem older than he really is, and blepharoplasty is a common procedure to treat this problem.
The ASPS indicates that between 2010 and 2015, rates of men undergoing blepharoplasty increased by 34 percent.
Eyelid drooping occurs as an individual ages and the eyelids stretch, while at the same time the muscles supporting them weaken. This provides an environment for excessive fat to build up under the eyelids and above the eye.
This problem is a cosmetic one for most patients, but some people experience a loss of peripheral vision because of the drooping skin.
Blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure that involves cutting the fold of the eyelid to remove excess skin, muscle and fat, then closing the cut. Because the cut is done on the fold or directly under the lashes on the lower eyelid, scarring is well hidden.
The procedure takes about two hours. Dr. Livingston believes this procedure is becoming much more common because it can be performed under local anesthesia in the office with excellent results and the recovery time is about one week. Dr. Livingston believes "men want cosmetic surgery that is easy to recover from and return to work or activities quickly".
If you are a man who is considering plastic surgery, you are in good company. Talk to your surgeon today to discuss your candidacy, and enjoy an appearance that is a reflection of your total health with the help of one of these procedures.