Thinking about plastic surgery typically provokes images of beautiful women with shapely figures and clear skin. But this subconscious stereotype is beginning to fade away as men more and more are being drawn to plastic surgery as an opportunity to improve flaws that really hinder their self-confidence.
In fact, since the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery began collecting statistical data in 1997, there has been a 273 percent increase in the number of procedures performed on men!
Why Has Plastic Surgery Historically Skewed Towards Women?
Plastic surgery originally started with rhinoplasties thousands of years ago in India. At that time, the nose was very important for your social class. If you had your nose amputated, you could lose your social standing.
The first plastic surgeries were actually replacements of the nose, for both men and women.
Fast forwarding to the present as breast cancer becomes more and more treatable, more women are surviving it and then looking for reconstruction. Many surgeries performed now are breast reconstructive procedures. With the prevalence of breast cancer, it’s one of the most common procedures. Since breast cancer primarily affects women, people continually associate plastic surgery with females.
From a societal standpoint, women have just always been more interested in the way they look. Women spend more time in the morning doing their hair, putting on makeup, applying skin products, taking care of themselves, and grooming in general.
With such a focus on outward appearance, it’s just more natural for women to be initially interested.
Why Has Popularity Amongst Men Escalated in Recent Years?
Many people have heard of the term “manscaping.” It has become a buzzword in the last 10 -15 years. As manscaping becomes more popular, it has carried over to more men getting into plastic surgery. Men have started to take a greater interest in their image and they are more concerned in how they look and keeping up with themselves.
As men become more health-conscious, live longer, and feel better in general, that extends to appearance. In addition, more media attention has been given to image in the male market. Personal care for men has become much more accepted and commonplace.
It is almost expected for men to take better care of themselves. It is no longer looked down upon as being un-masculine.
What Are the Common Procedures for Men
Once men begin shaping their beard, the next common thought is, “Well, how do I actually make my face look better.” That’s when plastic surgery enters the picture for men. The most common procedures that we see men having today are:
A facelift, or a rhytidectomy, removes wrinkles by tightening the facial muscles and removing excess skin to provide a younger facial appearance. This procedure is typically paired with an eyelid surgery and fillers to the cheeks and lips to add plumpness. Recovery time is a bit lengthier lasting between 2 to 3 weeks.
This surgery removes excess tissue and fat in a man’s breast to help achieve a move masculine breast contour. Each individual patient has the option to use general or local anesthesia for the procedure, and recovery time is approximately a week.
Reshaping the nose to essentially make it larger or smaller, changing its’ angle or correcting indentations, bumps and other conceivable defects of the nose is done with a rhinoplasty procedure. Recovery time depends on the patient but is generally about a week along with multiple weeks of no physical activity.
This type of cosmetic surgery is designed to reshape and sculpt the body by removing fatty deposits to make the underlying muscle visible and give the patient a more defined look. Common areas for liposuction include: stomach, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees and chin and downtime is typically between 5-7 days.
Other treatments for the face include beard transplants where you take hair from the lower neck where you don’t want it and replace thinned areas of the face where the beard doesn’t grow the way you’d like. A lot of these things are extremely helpful in the long-term, and if you don’t start them early you won’t get the maximum benefit that you would otherwise.
Other Procedures for Men
As far as emerging surgical procedures, pectoral implants are beginning to become prominent. They are a good way to restore that sculpted shape in your upper chest. As men age, even those who were really athletic when they were younger, they lose chest definition over time. It’s very tough to keep that muscle mass going forever.
A pec implant can restore a younger physique or even provide something not generated naturally. Implants are available for nearly any muscle group, including calves, biceps and triceps.
Beyond muscle implants, men are beginning to consider chin and lateral jaw implants. Together, those can really form a nice, strong masculine face. It does an amazing job of improving the contours of the face and giving a more quintessential, masculine appearance. Until now, this option has been underutilized.
Finally, if men don’t like the way their testicles are looking, that can be very easily improved. A scrotal tuck involves the testicular sac being tightened, resulting in younger-looking testicles.
Where is there Opportunity for Men in Plastic Surgery?
A lot of men miss out on the maintenance procedures. Men are more of fixers, so when the time comes and they don’t like what they see in the mirror they want to go and get it fixed, whereas they really should be thinking, “How can I maintain this and make things better?”
It’s like your air conditioning unit. They always want you to be on the maintenance plan because it does work.
It keeps your air conditioning working longer and if you’re on a maintenance program for your appearance, you’re going to look better and age slower than you would if you weren’t keeping up with your manscaping.
Truly, cosmetic procedures are some of the biggest missed opportunities. Light chemical peels keep your skin looking young and healthy. Laser treatments do the same. Botox fillers get rid of wrinkles and frown lines. These are extremely helpful long term in maintaining a younger image.
If treatments aren’t started early, however, the maximum benefits decrease.
What Are the Biggest Reservations Men Have About Plastic Surgery?
As far as surgery, men’s pain tolerance in general is not as high as women. This is often attributed to childbirth. Many men perceive the pain during and after surgery to be much greater than it really is. Most procedures have some discomfort, though the pain medicine covers it. There will be pain for a couple of days, but it is easy to get back in the swing of things.
Time is men’s worst enemy and biggest reservation when it comes to plastic surgery. Men don’t want to take time off, so recovery is a huge worry. Fortunately some procedures don’t require any downtime.
Most invasive procedures sit at about a week and then it is smooth sailing. The recovery is a lot quicker than most people anticipate so it isn’t necessary to take weeks off of work or traveling in order to get plastic surgery.
In fact, many procedures are liposuction related and in some cases, fat can be eliminated through CoolSculpting which has zero downtime. Often, there are other angles to take to achieve the same results which is why scheduling consultations are a critical step to take when considering your options.
Final Thoughts on Plastic Surgery for Men
Many men are trying to restart their lives in their 40s or beyond. Maybe a career took over first and now he is seriously dating or thinking about getting married. A lot of people are getting divorced today, so they’re back to dating when they’re a little bit older. Dates can be intimidating when confidence in personal appearance is lacking.
It is not unrealistic for some men through their procedures and a consistent maintenance plan to strip 10-20 years off of their appearance pretty.
The prevalence of plastic surgery procedures among men has been rising at a steep rate and for good reason. The benefits of surgical and non-surgical options can be found at both the physical and emotional level and more men are taking notice.