There has been a 325-percent increase in the number of cosmetic procedures performed on men since 1997, according to the Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank. In 2015 alone, 1.2 million procedures were done on men.1
Why the boom?
Plastic surgeon Dr. Douglas Steinbrech told Business Insider that men want plastic surgery to look good and stay competitive in the job market. James Fell, a fitness columnist, told Yahoo! News masculinity’s definition is evolving, which could contribute to men focusing more on their appearance, and furthermore looking to cosmetic surgery.
What are the most popular procedures? Here are the top five in 2015 for men:1
Liposuction was the number one cosmetic surgery for men in 2015, with 51,370 having the procedure.1
We all throw around the term “liposuction” when we talk about celebrities, but what actually happens during the surgery? Liposuction removes fat from a certain area of your body via suction.4 During the process cannulas, which are thin, blunt-tipped tubes, are inserted through small cuts in the skin.4 The tubes then suction out the fat in fat deposits under the skin as the doctor moves the tubes around.4
Liposuction isn’t too intense, as surgery goes. The only time you are required to stay overnight or when general anesthesia is necessary is if a large amount of fat is removed.4 Recovery time is dependent on the amount of fat removed also, but people typically can return to normal activities, including work, within several days though it can take up to a few weeks.4
In 2015, according to the Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank, liposuction cost an average of $3,176.
2) Nose Surgery
Nose surgeries are done to improve the function of the nose or change its shape.5 The procedure was performed on 30,928 men last year.1
The technical name for a nose job is “rhinoplasty,” and it doesn’t require patients to stay overnight either.5 Depending on the patient, general or local anesthesia is used so that you aren’t awake during the procedure.5 A nose job entails the surgeon making cuts within the nostrils, and in some cases making cuts across the base of the nose.5 At this point, the inner bone and cartilage are reshaped.5
Post-surgery, patients typically wear a nasal splint for a week and experience swelling and some bruising around the eyes.5 This usually begins to settle after the third day, but can last up to two weeks.5 After six months, the swelling usually will go away.5
According to the Cosmetic Surgery National data bank, in 2015 nose surgery cost an average of $4,806.
3) Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid surgeries, otherwise known as eye lifts, minimize bagginess from lower eyelids and gets rid of the excess skin from the upper eyelids.6 The surgery can be done for cosmetic reasons, but can also help improve eyesight for older people whose sagging eyelids get in the way.6 Last year 30,696 men had eyelid surgery.
The eyelid seems like a small area to tamper with.1 How does a surgeon handle such a small, sensitive area?
They usually begin by cutting the natural lines of the eyelids to then separate the skin from the underlying tissue.6 From here, the surgeon is able to remove extra fat, skin and muscle, and then the cuts are closed with small stitches.6 The upper lid stitches have to stay for three to six days, while the lower lids may not need stitches at all.6
There are several ways to do surgery on the lower lids.6 One way involves a cut inside the lower eyelid to remove fat.6 The cut will not be visible, so the fine lines can then be softened using a laser.6 For the second method, a cut is made along the eyelash margin, through which the excess skin, muscle and fat is removed.6 The cut will eventually fade.6
Overall, eyelid surgery takes only about two hours if both the upper and lower eyelids are done.6 Local anesthesia is usually used.6 After the surgery, eyelids typically look normal after a week or two, though swelling and bruising usually occurs in that time.6
According to the Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank, in 2015 eyelid surgery cost an average of $3,020. Insurance may pay for those who have eyelid surgery due to impaired vision.
4) Male Breast Reduction
Yes, men can have breast surgery too — 30,464 did last year, in fact.1 Men that have breast reduction surgery do so for the treatment of gynecomastia, which is the overdevelopment of the male breast.9 This happens when the glandular tissue of the breast swells due to too much estrogen or not enough testosterone.9 In adult males, gynecomastia can also develop due to other medical or medication issues.
Breast reduction surgery in men takes one to two hours. The type of anesthesia medication will be determined by your surgeon. Excess tissue in the breast will be removed either using liposuction to remove fatty tissue or by excision to remove excess breast glandular tissue or excess skin that is present, or a combination of both. The nipple may need to be repositioned.
Dressings will be placed after the surgery and there may be a small drain inserted. 10 Men usually can return to work after one week and resume exercise after three weeks.
According to the Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank, in 2015, male breast reduction for the treatment of gynecomastia cost an average of $3,677. Breast reduction may be covered by insurance, depending on one's policy and other factors.
Wrinkles don’t discriminate by gender, so it is no surprise 13,726 men had facelifts in 2015.1 Facelifts are on the more invasive side of cosmetic surgeries. The surgery requires sedation, so the surgeon will decide the best type for each person.8
In a traditional facelift, a cut is made in the temples by the hairline and extends around the ears, ending in the lower scalp.8 The surgeon is then able to redistribute fat from the face, jowls and neck; reposition underlying tissue; and lift the face’s and muscles’ deeper layers.8 After that, the skin is put back over the uplifted contours and extra skin is trimmed.8
When the incision is fully healed and swelling and bruising settle, scars are hidden within the hairline and the face should look more youthful.8 According to the Cosmetic Surgery National data bank, in 2015, a facelift costs an average of $7,286.
Reviewed December 8, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
1) Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank Statistics 2015. Surgery.org. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
2) Why More Men Are Getting More Cosmetic Procedures Than Ever. Yahoo! News. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
3) Here’s Why There’s A ‘Huge Boom’ In Men Getting Plastic Surgery. Business Insider. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
4) Liposuction. WebMD. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
5) Cosmetic Surgery for the Nose. WebMD. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
6) Eyelid Surgery. WebMD. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
7) Breast Reduction Surgery. WebMD. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
8) Facelift Surgery. PlasticSurgery.org. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
9) Gynecomastia- Topic Overview. WebMD. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
10) Gynecomastic Surgery Steps. American College of Plastic Surgeons. Retrieved December 8, 2016.