Cosmetic Surgery for Men
The above patient was treated with facelift, eyelid surgery, cheek implants and laser skin resurfacing.
Although females have dominated cosmetic surgery from its onset, the fastest growing segments include men and minorities. Men represent about 49% of the general population but only about 10% of cosmetic surgery patients. It is no longer “unmasculine” to want to look youthful and refreshed and with men living longer through better diet, medications and focus on health, they too want to fight the aging battle. The look of the rugged Marlboro man with deep wrinkles and sun damage has been replaced by well-groomed males who take care of their skin and understand aging prevention. If you took a stroll down the men’s grooming products at your local grocery store 20 years ago, you pretty much had after shaving products and deodorant. Today, it is multiple aisles with all types of products. Society has definitely taken a turn in men’s health and wellness.
There has also been a shift in marriage and relationships and many baby boomers find themselves back in the dating circle and don’t want to look old and tired. Finally, many men find themselves competing in the workplace with younger employees and feel that looking old and tired detracts from their ability to progress.
Since my practice is limited to cosmetic facial surgery, I don’t do breasts and body procedures, so I probably see more males than the average plastic surgeon. There are also some inherent differences between men and women in terms of having cosmetic procedures done. Women can be very analytical, speaking to friends, visiting multiple websites and bulletin boards, etc. Men tend to be more conversation focused and take the surgeons opinion as their main focus on what to do. Men also seem to do less combined procedures when compared to females. It is the norm for women to do a facelift, eyelids, brow lift, cheek implants and laser resurfacing. They want the “total package” and want to emerge from their recovery with all aging areas addressed. Men, on the other hand, may focus more singularly. I have treated men who need all four eyelids done, but only the uppers bothered them and they don’t do the uppers at the same time, even though it would save them an additional anesthesia fee and recovery in the future. I have yet to see a female do that! I have seen numerous men want a facelift to improve their turkey neck but not care a bit about addressing their skin wrinkles at the same time. Men also need a little more help with post-operative instructions and are more likely to try to push the recovery too fast. Trying to get men to stay on the couch and not in the yard or gym is hard. The other day I was doing a pre op exam with a male for his upcoming facelift and eyelid surgery. He said he was glad to have the recovery time as he was going to redo his basement while off of work! I almost fell over! Recovery requires rest and increased activity can cause many problems, some serious. Boys will be boys.
Since men don’t have the long hair that many women do, it is harder to hide surgical scars. Men are also obviously a lot less likely to use make up to hide post laser redness, etc. Men are also more private about their surgery and tend to share the details with less people. They also tend to no appreciate the need for follow up appointments and post-operative photos.
There are many technical differences on the part of the surgeon and the surgery and if the surgeon does not appreciate this the result can be problematic. Incisions are different in males and designed to prevent moving bearded skin onto surfaces that do not usually have whiskers. Both men and women want to get rid of baggy skin, excess fat and skin wrinkles. How it is done can make a difference. Women need tightening and close attention to wrinkles. A short forehead, volumized midface with full lips and a tapering jawline is desirable for females. Providing the same result on males can feminize them and make them look unnatural. Men, in my opinion, are rarely candidates for browlifts, which is a very feminizing operation. Look at the male Hollywood stars that look so much worse after cosmetic surgery and very frequently their brows and lids have been feminized and they have facial implants that are much to bulky. They oftentimes look like caricatures or cartoon characters.
Men need to be treated with a somewhat less correction in the eyelids to retain their masculine appearance. They also need a more chiseled look with more angles and less rounding than females. This is accomplished by fat sculpting, facial implants and fillers. Both men and women want a tight neck and jawline, no difference there. While females may come in every 6-12 months for filler, males may like the permanence of cheek implants. A deficient chin can make males look very passive, indecisive, and weak. Chin implants are a very attractive procedure as they can be placed in 25 minutes and are permanent, but easily removed or adjusted if necessary.
Although the desire to look young and refreshed is not gender specific, many of the cosmetic procedures have to be performed differently in men than women. As stated above, if the surgeon does not recognize this, his or her outcomes may not be pleasing.
To find out more about cosmetic surgery in males visit
Joe Niamtu, III
Cosmetic Facial Surgery