The Surgeon Minute

Men, Plastic Surgery, and Masculinity

Men, Plastic Surgery, and Masculinity

Women are not the only ones embracing plastic surgery! Men have jumped on the anti-aging bandwagon with a vengeance, and want to do so while preserving, or enhancing, their masculinity. The latest statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) show that there has been a 325% increase in the number of cosmetic procedures for men between 1997 and 2015.

Dr. Brian Brzowski of Murray, UT is certainly seeing these statistics reflected in his own practice. But as we all know, men are different than women; a great plastic surgeon must take this into account. Dr. Brzowski discusses why the procedures that subtly stop the aging clock without sacrificing masculinity are the best treatments for men.

Plastic Surgery & Masculinity

Historically, most plastic surgery patients have been women, a trend that is quickly changing. Today, Dr. Brzowski sees a lot of men in his practice. The main difference between working on men and working on women is that men are mostly focused on retaining their masculinity, or that “manly” look. They’d rather keep a few extra wrinkles or folds than ever look as if they had anything done.

Plastic Surgery & Masculinity.

Dr. Brzowski’s office is in Utah where the Marlboro Man and the Montana cowboy are “still the stereotypical image of the man from the West.” We’ve also, sadly, seen some good examples of celebrities or men in the entertainment industry who are looking pretty weathered these days; most of his male patients don’t want to look like that either. The trick with men is tailoring their cosmetic procedures so they get an improved appearance that preserves masculinity.

Men & Skin Care

Thankfully, men are becoming more aware of the fact that there are really good cosmetic procedures out there that can help them to maintain a good, healthy appearance without “pulling from their masculinity,” explains Dr. Brzowski. This really starts with skin care. Men aren’t very interested in facials or spa treatments, like women. But they are starting to embrace a good skin care regime that includes a Retin A product and a high quality sunscreen. Dr. Brzowski may even recommend periodic peels to exfoliate the skin.

Skin care for men.

Men in his Utah practice tend to lead a very outdoor life; it’s much of the reason why they live where they do. Life at altitude in the high desert, though, increases the occurrence of sun-damaged skin. Treating this sun damage is one of the simplest ways to achieve a more youthful look.

Men are quickly realizing that embracing good skin care habits will allow them to maintain a more normal appearance for longer. “That’s what men are after — trying to appear normal,” says Dr. Brzowski. They don’t ever want to look “done” or as if they’ve had plastic surgery.

Top Non-Surgical Procedures for Men

As we age, maintaining a “normal” appearance means doing small “tweaks” here and there to stave off the early signs of aging. For men, in addition to skin care, these include:

  • Botox for active wrinkles in the forehead & around the eyes
  • Fillers for heavy folds in the lower face & to re-plump the cheeks
  • Kybella to melt fatty deposits underneath the chin

While non-surgical procedures can be a great place to start, sometimes the underlying issue must be addressed surgically.

Top Surgical Procedures for Men

As men age, they often develop a heaviness in the neck/jaw area. This can really make an otherwise fit and youthful looking guy look older and heavier than he actually is. Depending on the elasticity of a patient’s skin, this can sometimes be addressed with liposuction or Kybella. Typically, this kind of heaviness has a loose skin component. The only way to tighten loose skin is with a neck lift and/or facelift.

The eyes are also a problem area for many men. They complain of constantly of looking and feeling tired. Their eyes appear less youthful, vibrant and open. For them, Dr. Brzowski will perform an upper blepharoplasty to remove some excess skin from their upper eyelids. The result is a subtle awakening to the whole face.

In terms of the body, men can develop excess fat and/or breast tissue in the chest that is often the result of the hormonal changes that occur with age. It is treatable with male breast reduction surgery, a procedure aimed to solve this extra breast tissue, a condition known as gynecomastia. This surgery may involve liposuction alone or, if there is excess breast tissue, a surgical excision, or possibly both. The male breast reduction is a very popular and common procedure in Dr. Brzowski’s practice.

Preserving masculinity by treating gynecomastia.

The other problem area for men on the body is stubborn pockets of fat in the abdominal region. Liposuction on the abdomen and love handles can re-contour a man’s body so that it appears more youthful. This is not about trying to look like a Ken doll, it’s a way for men to feel better in their clothes and to feel more confident.

Dr. Brzowski loves working with men. “Men in the practice are really a lot of fun.” As a man, he innately understands their concerns, and men tend to love coming to see him. His office staff is primarily women so when men come in, they are treated as they should be: like a rock star.

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