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Most Popular Cosmetic Surgery for Men

June 17, 2009 06:24:00 PM

Plastic Surgery for MenAccording to Dr. Bradley, former professor in the department of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, men enthusiastically go under the knife in quest for perfection. Their reasons range from:

  • Get fat out of the body;
  • Hair replacement (with "plugs" of transplanted hair or through stretching of the scalp) to overcome baldness;
  • Ear surgery to take care of those protruding ears;
  • Derma-abrasion to smooth out scarred skin; and
  • Calf and pectoral implants to give the appearance of muscles if nature or weightlifting hasn't.

The types of cosmetic surgery men desire fall into general age categories: Younger men tend to have nose reshaping, men in their 30s and 40s have their eyelids redone and middle-aged men come in for face and eye lifts and forehead procedures. Patients can range from a 17-year-old boy with fatty lower eyelids to an 86-year-old man who may not see because of droopy eyelids.

And more men evidently are starting to feel their looks are affecting their careers, especially if they have to compete with younger men. Whether we like it or not, looks are important, particularly in terms of sales. It's important for men to have a good jaw or chin line. It makes you seem more aggressive, more confident.

Now whether a face lift or chin augmentation can save — or propel a career is debatable. But plastic surgery has other benefits, surgeons say. And it may be that self-confidence, not the new nose or jaw line that has the biggest impact on patients' careers.

At any rate, cosmetic surgery shouldn't be expected to perform miracles. Doctors stress the most important thing is for patients to have realistic expectations," says Anne Gorman, spokeswoman for the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. Company reps say you shouldn't expect that cosmetic surgery is going to change your life, or get you a husband or a new job. No surgery is risk free. There's always a risk of complications from the surgery or the anesthesia. And some patients are surprised at the pain, bruising and swelling after surgery.

And the pursuit of perfection does not come cheap: -- All of cosmetic procedures range into the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars. Insurance rarely pays for plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes. Men are just starting to come out of the closet when it comes to admitting they've had cosmetic surgery. Generally, they're still rather secretive about it. Many will take vacation time to have the procedure, and since most of the swelling and bruising will be nearly gone after two weeks, the return to work is usually quiet, without fanfare.

Co-workers will often comment that the vacation must have done them plenty of good, because they look refreshed and happy, they say. There are differences in operating ort men and women, doctors say. For example, the procedure for doing a face lift is somewhat different. The skin is normally stretched back along the hair line, but doing so in men would leave the sideburns pointing toward the ears.

And because s a man's skin is thicker and their features more coarse, the results sometimes are not as dramatic as they are for women. On the other hand, men bruise less and heal faster, But some differences have nothing to do with the physical. Men are not more afraid of the pain, but they don't tolerate postoperative discomfort as well as women.