Men are no longer happy to sit on the sidelines when it comes to plastic surgery. According to the latest statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), more than 1.3 million cosmetic procedures were performed on men last year alone. While this figure includes both surgical and non-surgical procedures, the sheer volume indicates that men are just as concerned about body image as women.
Dr. Chet Mays of Louisville, KY is a board certified plastic surgeon whose practice offers a surgery center, a medical spa and a day spa. This allows him to not only offer his male patients the full range of aesthetic options, but it also gives him a unique perspective on men and plastic surgery.
Gynecomastia: A Popular Surgical Procedure for Men
“As a plastic surgeon, you see all types of patients,” says Dr. Mays. While traditionally the patient pool was predominately female, this is no longer the case. More and more men are making appointments to come in and discuss both surgical, and non-surgical procedures. Sometimes this is for a specific issue, but other times it is simply to fight the effects of Father Time.
One of the most common surgical procedures for men is a male breast reduction, or gynecomastia. Often referred to as “man boobs,” this condition can be caused by excess fat, excess breast tissue or both.
Gynecomastia can be treated with liposuction in patients where the problem is simply one of too much fat. In this procedure, the surgeon will place a cannula through tiny incisions on the chest to strategically remove fat over the top of the muscle in order to sculpt the chest into a more manly physique.
Maintaining Nipple Sensation with Gynecomastia Surgery
In patients whose gynecomastia is the result of too much breast tissue, a surgical excision of the tissue is necessary. The incisions can be located in a number of different areas, but most involve the nipple. Like women, men who require a surgical breast reduction for their gynecomastia are always worried about whether or not they will lose nipple sensation.
Dr. Mays practices a technique in which the nipple is kept alive with the patient’s own blood and nerve supply while he removes the excess breast tissue. This way, the nipple remains fully functional. This is a huge plus for his male patients because it is as important to men, as it is to women, to keep the feeling in their nipples.
Non-Surgical Procedures for Men
“A lot of men are afraid to undergo surgery,” explains Dr. Mays. He is happy to explain the many non-surgical options available to men for fighting off the ravages of time. These include:
- high quality skin care
One of the more popular non-surgical procedures for men (and women) these days is one that targets sweat production. Many patients suffer from a condition called hyperhidrosis in which their sweat glands are overactive. Not only is this embarrassing, but it can also cause patients to become depressed and isolated. Many even talk about the condition adversely affecting their careers.
MiraDry is a modality that safely eliminates the sweat glands in the treatment area. For some patients, this may be the hands and feet, but for most, it is the underarm area. Even patients who don’t sweat to extremes like MiraDry because no sweat means no odor. Dr. Mays has even had the procedure himself and loves not having to worry about sweating or wearing deodorant!
Men & Women Need to Be Treated Differently
Men and women are different in more than just personality; their body types and muscle definitions are different. Where they store fat is different. For example, men tend to hold their fat in the central abdominal area versus women who tend to store it in their hips and lower lateral thighs. Men also have thicker skin than women. A plastic surgeon has to understand these differences in order to treat men effectively. In the face, this means a facelift that allows the masculine features to shine through.
Men are also different in how they approach something that they don’t like about themselves. Men are definitely more hesitant to open up than women. They often don’t realize what it is that bothers them, or that there are options out there to fix what they don’t like about themselves. It’s the job of the plastic surgeon to educate the male patient so that he can make an informed decision about what might work for his personality, anatomy and lifestyle.