Men and cosmetic plastic surgery: Male-specific considerations
When cosmetic surgery was only starting to get popular, people’s perception of it was that it’s only for women—for the reason that society as we know it puts so much pressure on the standards of good looks that most women have to conform to in different settings.
But as plastic surgery develops and becomes widely proliferated by mainstream entertainment—take the example of South Korea’s K-pop scene that went on to create a niche industry of its own boosting medical tourism that propels the nation’s economy further; the target market has become more varied and inclusive that plastic surgery for men has now become increasingly popular over the years.
With its market expanding to a wider extent, it has also become evident how the needs and preferences of men differ from that of women; even considerable factors such as skin thickness, body type and beard growth are significant in achieving the right goals and correct procedure.
Liposuction and body contouring
Just like women, men have their own concerns: excess fat in the breast area (gynecomastia), chin and neck; as well as hanging abdominal skin and love handles that all commonly appear with age. In their goal to achieve the ideal male body— trim; athletic-looking; flat abdomen; narrow hip-thigh area; and broad shoulders and chest, plastic surgeons have developed an array of procedures to meet this objective.
And because these fatty areas tend to be resistant to diet and exercise, liposuction is the main recommended procedure as it’s especially effective in men due to their stronger skin elasticity than women.
Other muscle-enhancing procedures are traditional excision (for men with loose, hanging skin and gynecomastia patients); abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” (for hanging abdominal skin); calf implants (originally for restoring leg contour in polio victims or due to accident, to create cosmetic fullness in the lower leg); pectoral implants (build chest of men with Poland’s syndrome, to bulk out existing pectoral muscles); and abdominal etching (liposuction technique creating muscular, rippled appearance in the abdomen).
Planning your surgery
Before going in for a consultation, remind yourself to have realistic expectations not aim for perfection; and also take into consideration your age and health so that the kind of procedure that you want would be appropriate for you.
Establish a good communication with your surgeon from the initial consultation by explaining in detail why you want the procedure and also the kind of look and feel that you’re expecting, as well as any privacy requests you may have. Be prepared to undergo a series of pre-surgery procedures like physical exam, pre-operative photographs and in-depth explanation from your doctor about the most appropriate surgical techniques; type of anesthesia; type of facility; costs; and risks.
Cosmetic procedures aren’t covered by medical insurance; but most plastic surgery clinics offer special financing plans instead.
Facial surgery – Entire head-face-neck region is evaluated to check scars, hairline, sideburns, sun-damage, loose skin, and hair and beard growth.
- Male facial skin has richer blood supply causing men to bleed more and is at higher risk of having hematoma after surgery.
- Scarring from surgery may be difficult to hide as men don’t style their hair or wear make-up.
- Hair and beard growth are crucial factors in the outcome.
Refinishing facial skin treatments
After undergoing facial surgery or other skin-smoothing treatments like dermabrasion and chemical peel, patients are advised to commit to the following steps:
- Shaving is prohibited for 3 weeks
- Alcohol is prohibited for at least 4 weeks
Changing the facial features
Procedures that change the facial features such as eyelid, nose and facial implant surgery are all performed in the same manner for both men and women. However, men oftentimes have a preference to a masculine look that’s characterized by prominent cheekbones, stronger nose and projected chin.
Hair replacement and alternatives
Hair transplant surgery requires multiple procedures with long recovery intervals—lasting 18 months to over 2 years. Incisions may also be noticeable during the early stages of the transplant.
For those whose work and lifestyle don’t afford them a long treatment period, they can have flap surgery or scalp reduction as alternatives to hair transplant.
After surgery recovery
To ease the recovery period and avoid post-operative problems, male patients are asked to have a support person available to help for about a week, while also following strict doctor orders to take adequate time off from work; get enough rest; stay out of the sun; wear bandages and tight compression garments; pass up alcohol and cigarettes; and avoid strenuous activities (sports, exercise and sex).