The Increasing Interest Of Men in Plastic Surgery

One of the most common reasons men appear for facial plastic surgery revolves around one issue…they are tired of looking tired. Even though they get 7 or 8 hours of sleep, every morning someone eventually asks if they had slept well. Most men over age 50 can relate. They want their face to look as good as they feel and can be frustrating when it is not.

The classic story that I often tell is one of the differences between being younger and older. In college you pull an all-nighter and the next day, looking like you had, proudly proclaim your accomplishment when asked. When you are older you get 8 hours of sleep, go into work and the first thing someone asks is…did you pull an all-nighter?

Eyelid lifts, or blepharoplasties, can clean up that tired look  by removing extra skin and fat from around the eyes that has developed over the years. But blepharoplasty is just one of the growing number of cosmetic procedures that more men are having. Facelifts, hair transplants and stomach and love handle liposuction make up most of the age-fighting operations.

While men were once just a minute fraction of any plastic surgeon’s practice, those numbers have grown to represent 15% to 20% today. Men of all ages are growing more comfortable with the idea of getting help for their looks. It is simply more acceptable today, another example of the rapidly changing social attitudes sweeping our society. Most men are interested in improving their appearances but without taking too much time from work. It also doesn’t hurt that plastic surgery reality shows (do men really watch these?) and affordable financing have also promoted interest.

Another galvanizing drive for man having plastic surgery is job insecurity and staying competitive. While looking good and appearing energetic has always been important, in a tough job market it is important to look as best as one can. I just had a man come in last week who was between jobs and wanted to look good for interviews. The competitive nature of men can make them willing to try something they believe will give them an edge in an interview or a potential business transaction. The practical economics of men also has them saying such changes are an investment in their future.

The internet has also fueled this male cosmetic surgery interest, specifically internet dating. I have had more than one man who has told me he can’t post a current picture online of the way he looks now. One patient even told me a woman embarrassed him by commenting in an e-mail exchange about his eye bags. (he reposted his picture after his eyelid lifts)

Men fear more than women that undergoing plastic surgery will make them look too drastically changed or have a ‘surgical look’. While there are certainly some male celebrities and actors that have that look, they are the exception. In reality, getting rid of those sagging jowls and droopy eyelids can definitely make one look less tired and more alert but the change is almost always subtle and natural.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana