For many years, women have taken advantage of the physical and psychological benefits of elective plastic surgery. The name "cosmetic surgery" seems to imply that these procedures are only for women. On the contrary, over the last several years, it has become increasingly more popular for men to pursue cosmetic surgery. Elective plastic surgery helps both men and women look younger and feel great. Men, as well as women feel cosmetic surgery can enhance career, as well as personal success through the improvements created by plastic surgery.
More and more men are having cosmetic surgery to look and feel their best. The most popular procedures for men are facial procedures like rhinoplasty (cosmetic surgery of the nose), eyelid correction, facelifts, necklifts, and facial implants for the chin and cheeks. Additionally, male patients are interested in otoplasty, which is a surgical pinning back of the ears, for those with protruding ears. Although there are unique considerations for male patients, such as skin thickness and beard growth patterns, the benefits of cosmetic surgical enhancements apply to both genders. Men are also interested in liposuction and other body contour procedures.
Male Facial Surgery
If you are considering facial surgery or neck surgery, your entire head-face-neck region will be evaluated. Is the hairline receding? How full are the sideburns? Does the beard-growing skin extend up the cheeks or down the neck? Are there facial scars? Is the skin sun-damaged? Is the neck skin loose or drooping?
It is true that male facial skin has a richer blood supply than female facial skin. Male faces bleed more during surgery and are at greater risk for forming a temporary collection or pooling of blood under the skin, called a hematoma, after surgery.
Also, any scarring that may result from surgery may be more difficult for men to hide, since they don't wear make-up or style their hair toward their faces, as many women do.
Hair growth and beard growth may play a major role in the outcome of a facelift. If you are balding or have thinning hair, surgical artistry may be required to hide the facelift incision, especially in the temple area. If the hair-bearing skin of your upper neck is pulled behind your ears during surgery, you may find that you must shave behind your ears or the back of your neck. However, sometimes electrolysis can correct this problem. Be sure to discuss these possibilities with Dr. Lugger.
A fatty or "jowly" area beneath the chin is also a concern for many men. In younger patients, liposuction alone may be sufficient to correct the problem. Older patients may require a full facelift and necklift, which may include the removal of excess skin and tightening the platysma muscles, which run down each side of the neck. These muscles are usually thicker in men than they are in women, but do not pose a greater challenge for your plastic surgeon.
"Refinishing" treatments for facial skin: Shaving must be postponed for about 3 weeks after a skin-smoothing treatment such as chemical peel or dermabrasion. Because these procedures strip away the surface layers of skin, you can expect your face to remain sensitive, swollen, and bright pink for several weeks after surgery.
Some men are happy that the beard growth helps conceal the pinkness of their recovering skin -- especially if they feel uncomfortable using camouflage make-up.
Men who feel self-conscious about their condition are also advised to give up alcoholic drinks for about 4 weeks. Alcohol causes the areas of treated facial skin to become noticeably red and flushed.
Changing the Facial Features
Cosmetic procedures such as eyelid surgery, nose surgery, and facial-implant surgery are performed essentially the same way for men and women. However, it's important to let your surgeon know if you are seeking a more masculine look to your facial features -- a chin with better projection, more prominent cheekbones, a stronger nose.
Hair replacement: The primary consideration for men contemplating hair-replacement surgery is the time involved. Natural-appearing hair replacement usually requires multiple surgical procedures, with long recovery intervals. A full regimen of hair transplants may last anywhere from 18 months to 2 years or more.
You should be aware that incisions or transplant sites may be noticeable to others, especially in the early stages of the hair transplant process. If your work or lifestyle isn't compatible with a long treatment period, ask Dr. Lugger about alternatives to hair-transplant options, such as flap surgery or scalp reduction.
The ideal male body shape is considered to be trim and athletic-looking, 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 flanks ("love handles"), the breast area (a condition called gynecomastia), and along the chin and neck. Men sometimes seek liposuction to remove these fatty areas that are resistant to diet and exercise.
In many cases, liposuction alone can effectively correct these problem areas. Men retain their skin elasticity longer than women do, and the areas of fat beneath the skin tend to be firmer and more vascular than those in women. Because of these and other factors, liposuction in men is usually very effective.
Men who have some loose, hanging skin as well as areas of excess fat may opt for a traditional excision procedure (surgical skin removal) in addition to liposuction. An excision may also be performed on gynecomastia patients whose breast enlargement is made up of mostly glandular tissue, rather than fat.
Abdomen reduction: A full abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" may be chosen by men who have hanging abdominal skin (usually the result of massive weight loss), loose abdominal muscles, and/or neglected hernias. It is a major surgical procedure that removes excess fat, tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall, and trims the waistline. Men who have a full abdominoplasty are often surprised at the long recovery period. Some patients aren't able to return to work up to 4 weeks after surgery.
Men with good skin elasticity who have only a moderate amount of excess abdominal fat may benefit from liposuction alone.
In recent years, plastic surgeons have developed ways of improving muscle contour with cosmetic implants and "sculpting" techniques.
Calf implants, which were originally developed to restore leg contour in accident or polio victims, are now sometimes used to create cosmetic fullness in the lower leg. Similarly, pectoral implants, which are used to build the chests of men with Poland's syndrome, can also be used to "bulk out" the existing pectoral muscles of healthy men.