Conversations around cosmetic treatments and plastic surgeries tend to revolve around women. But when it comes to aesthetic goals, men are very much in the picture. Plastic surgery for men has become increasingly popular over the years. According to the most recent American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ (ASPS) annual report, more than 1.3 million men in the United States received a cosmetic procedure in 2019. That’s nearly a 30% increase since the year 2000.
From minimally invasive cosmetic treatments like injectable dermal fillers to body contouring and liposuction, men are increasingly taking advantage of these procedures to achieve their desired look.
And what is that desired look? While the conception of the ideal male body type varies from person to person, many desire a trim and athletic-looking shape, with broad shoulders and chest, a flat abdomen, and a narrow hip-thigh area.
However, as men age, areas of fat tend to accumulate around the abdomen, the hips, and even the breast area (a condition called gynecomastia). Skin begins to sag along the chin and neck. They may find that some fatty areas seem resistant to diet and exercise.
Men are also interested in body contouring and cosmetic procedures that create fullness in desired areas, such as calf implants and cosmetic muscle enhancement. However, some of these enhancements are new procedures. Men considering such enhancements should seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon who has received adequate training in these methods.
Trending Procedures in the U.S. for Men
Each year, the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery National Databank tracks the trending surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures that men are having performed. For 2019, the trends for men ages 18 to 65+ were as follows:
Top 5 Surgical Procedures
- Liposuction – 32,827 procedures
- Breast reduction – 21,407 procedures
- Eyelid surgery – 18,751 procedures
- Tummy tucks – 5,831 procedures
- Nose surgery – 5,037 procedures
Top 4 Non-surgical Procedures
- Botulinum toxin injectables – 171,689 procedures
- Hyaluronic acid injectables – 62,307 procedures
- Hair removal – 18,302 procedures
- Nonsurgical fat reduction – 16,163 procedures
- Facial rejuvenation via chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, micro-ablative resurfacing
Perhaps you are considering one or more procedures. Empower yourself by first learning what each procedure entails. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make about which treatments are right for you.
Top Plastic Surgery Procedures
If you have the resources and the time, surgical procedures can yield great results for the right candidates. The following section explores the top five surgical cosmetic treatments performed on men in 2019.
Developed by the French surgeon Dr. Yves-Gerard Illouz in the 1980s, liposuction is a popular aesthetic enhancement that sculpts the contour of “problem” areas—particularly around the abdomen, thighs, hips, and belly—that resist proper nutrition and exercise. Ideal candidates are already at a healthy, stable weight, and are not seeking weight loss. Surgery may take place under local anesthesia or IV sedation. Surgeons typically draw on your body to outline the places to treat, then make small incisions where the tissue will be removed. Recovery time varies, but typically you can resume light activities within a week’s time.
Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)
Also known as reduction mammoplasty, male breast reduction can reduce excessive fat and glandular tissue as well as loose breast skin that is the result of aging and weight gain or loss. Ideal candidates are nonsmokers in good health whose breast size has stabilized. The surgery can be performed either under intravenous IV or general anesthesia. If just removing fatty tissue, the surgeon will employ a technique similar to liposuction. Otherwise, the surgeon will excise any excess glandular tissue or skin. You can generally return to work within a few days. While most men have good results from gynecomastia surgery, it might take more than one procedure to achieve optimal results.
Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
The eyes are often the first to show signs of aging as the upper lid sags with a “tissue paper” appearance, sometimes even impairing your vision. Both upper and lower lids can show puffiness and sagging that makes you look not just older, but also fatigued. Puffiness is often the result of fatty deposits under the lid. If you’re in general good health and don’t smoke, you might be an ideal candidate for a blepharoplasty. Dr. Rudderman performs this treatment on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home the same day. However, you’ll need a friend or loved one to help you get home and to perform certain tasks, like cooking. As bruising and swelling subside, you’ll be able to go out in public within 10 to 14 days.
Nose Reshaping (Rhinoplasty)
Small changes in the nose—often only millimeters—can make a huge difference in appearance and function. Rhinoplasty contours the nose so that it has a more pleasing profile and shape, but it can also help with breathing—a procedure known as a septoplasty is often performed at the same time. Sometimes done on its own, the septoplasty repairs a crooked septum, which is the wall that divides the nasal passages.
Rhinoplasty procedures aren’t straightforward: doctors must customize the treatment based on patient needs. Cartilage might need to be taken from the ear or other parts of the body to sculpt the new nose shape. This complex treatment is usually performed on an outpatient basis but can require a hospital stay if you experience complications. It can take several weeks for swelling and bruising to subside, but most patients are up and about fairly soon after surgery.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Tummy tucks are a popular procedure among women, especially post-pregnancy, but men have also discovered the benefits of surgery to sculpt the stomach. Also called abdominoplasty, this procedure gets rid of loose, hanging skin and folds in the abdominal area, removes excess fat, tightens muscles, and contours your body to a more youthful look.
The ideal candidate is already at a healthy weight, as this treatment only addresses subcutaneous fat, not the intra-abdominal fat found around the organs. The term “tummy tuck” implies that the procedure is simple, but it’s not. This extensive surgery often takes place under general anesthesia in a hospital, requiring an overnight stay. Patients must wear a compression binder for several weeks post-surgery and follow post-op activity restrictions perfectly or else risk pain and complications. But once fully healed, men are often very pleased with the results.
Top Nonsurgical Cosmetic Procedures
Plastic surgery is not always required to help men look and feel their best. These nonsurgical treatments can reduce your appearance by years while staying within a more affordable budget.
Injectables and Dermal Fillers
Wrinkles on the forehead, between the brows, at the corners of your eyes (“crow’s feet”) and mouth, above the lip, and on the neck are all common signs of aging. Also known as neuromuscular inhibitors, botulinum “injectables” can be injected under the skin and into the muscle to stabilize the muscle and eventually reduce the appearance of those wrinkles. Our highly-trained and experienced team uses three types of injectables: Botox® and Dysport®. These treatments entail very little pain and no downtime.
Hyaluronic acid injectables work a bit differently. With age, we lose a naturally occurring, water-loving substance called hyaluronic acid that provides volume to our skin. When that volume is depleted, wrinkles can appear. Therefore, instead of freezing your muscles in place the way botulinum toxin injectables do, these injectables restore loss of hyaluronic acid. Also known as “fillers,” they can achieve a natural look and feel to your skin, correcting deeper wrinkles. This type of injectable application requires only a few minutes in-office and, for that reason, it is known as “lunch hour” treatments.
At our practice, we utilize a variety of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers and collagen stimulators which provide immediate restoration of volume loss and facial contours. Our office utilizes both Juvederm and Restylane fillers to meet the needs of our patients.
We also offer Sculptra Aesthetic, a procedure to stimulate your natural collagen production. This remarkable cosmetic treatment restores structures and increases volume to folds and lines over time with a duration of up to two years. Sculptra Aesthetic has become a very popular option for delivering non-surgical facelifts and butt lifts with lost lasting results.
Women are no longer the sole seekers of sleek, hairless skin. Many men are requesting treatments that reduce or entirely remove hair from their bodies. Whether it’s cleaning up a “unibrow” or thinning back hair, men are looking for ways to reduce the amount of hair on their bodies. To that end, they have a few options.
- Electrolysis sends a tiny electric shock to the hair follicles to kill them. The doctor inserts a slim needle into the individual hair shaft to deliver the shock. Although treatment sessions can last up to 20 minutes, you might need a number of them if you have a lot of hair to remove.
- Laser hair removal uses laser light to destroy the hair root, making it difficult for new hair to grow back in its place. Laser hair removal is a popular option and this procedure requires 30 minutes per treatment, up to 8 treatments total.
- Depilatories can be an ideal option for men looking to remove hair from anywhere except for the genital area. A chemical suspended in the gel is applied to the area where you’d like to remove hair. The results can last for several weeks.
Nonsurgical Fat Reduction
Nonsurgical and minimally invasive options for fat reduction include technology that uses heat or cooling or an injected medication to reduce fat cells. Other modalities include ultrasound, radiofrequency, infrared light, vacuum massage, and injectable medication.
While none of these treatments are a replacement for liposuction, they are an option for men less willing to undergo surgery. Results, however, are often mixed.
Nonsurgical fat reduction treatments include:
- Cryolipolysis, also known as “fat freezing,” destroys body fat by killing it with low temperatures. The body’s immune system then clears out the dead fat. There’s little pain involved.
- Radiofrequency (RF) lipolysis works in the opposite way. It heats up the fat rather than freezing it. The treatment is done without anesthesia for about thirty minutes a sitting, once a week for four weeks.
- Laser lipolysis is slightly more invasive than the previous two options. During this procedure your doctor will inject you with local anesthesia, making a tiny incision in the part of your body where you wish to remove fat and inserting a laser, which he or she moves back and forth to “melt” the fat. The fat is then suctioned out. This is a newer technique, so keep in mind that long-term effects on the body are still unknown.
The ideal candidate for all of these procedures is already within normal weight limits. If the patient doesn’t continue to eat a healthy diet and exercise, weight gain can erase the results.
Choose Your Plastic Surgeon or Aesthetician Carefully
A successful outcome starts with finding the right plastic surgeon or aesthetician. When choosing the right surgical procedure, discuss your options and your expectations with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
During your first appointment, ask questions about their certifications, how many years of experience they have performed the procedure, if they’re specifically trained in this procedure and by whom, and if they have patients you can speak with about the procedure, as well as if there are risks and what those are.
You should be similarly discerning with providers of non-surgical cosmetic treatments. Ask questions about their qualifications and experiences. While no treatment is guaranteed to give you the precise results you want, the right practitioner can discuss what’s possible and help you achieve a younger-looking you.
If you’re interested in learning more about our plastic surgery or non-surgical cosmetic treatments, call our office at 678-566-7200 to set up a free consultation in our Midtown Atlanta or Alpharetta office. We offer a full line of plastic surgery and Medical Spa treatment options for men and we’d welcome the opportunity to discuss your goals and needs.