Five tips for men seeking plastic surgery

Like many women, men are turning to plastic surgery to enhance their looks and boost their confidence.

More than 1.3 million cosmetic procedures were performed on men in 2017, according to a new report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

During the five-year period ending in 2017, procedures such as liposuction were up 23 percent; tummy tucks rose 12 percent and male breast reductions increased about 30 percent.

"Social media may have something to do with the rise in popularity," says Dr. Jason Roostaeian, an associate clinical professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at UCLA Health. "When men look at their selfies, they see what bothers them about their features."

And as more plastic surgeons use social media platforms to display before and after photos of male patients, he says it's helping to create more awareness about plastic surgery and educate the public on outcomes that look natural.

Men under age 40 typically seek treatments such as Botox injections to prevent wrinkles, rhinoplasty to improve their facial contour, male breast reduction and liposuction to help sculpt a more chiseled looking body, he says. Older men generally focus on lifting the eyelids, neck lifts, facelifts and tummy tucks to tighten loose skin.

While men and women undergo many of the same procedures there are differences in how the surgeries are approached.

"Men want to look more masculine and athletic," says Roostaeian. "It's easy to feminize a patient's features when we are surgically manipulating anatomy, but our goal for men is to keep a masculine appearance."

For example, men seeking a rhinoplasty typically want a straight profile, while women tend to seek a more feminine look with an upward turned nose. With liposuction, or body etching, men typically seek a more chiseled look, while women want to retain some of their curves. With face lifts, the surgeon must adjust for the man's beard pattern and side burns. And, in a breast reduction the male breast is flattened altogether.

Roostaeian offer five tips for men seeking plastic surgery or minimally invasive procedures:

1. Do your homework. Look for a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. These doctors undergo years of specialty training, a board review process, and are re-certified by the board every 10 years.

2. Examine the surgeon's work. Look for 'before and after photos' that show multiple angles from all sides. Some surgeons may achieve a great profile of the nose, but the front view may not look as good, says Roostaeian. The surgeon's photos should be consistent in the same light and background. This will help you see the consistency of their work.

3. Read your surgeon's online reviews. Lots of good reviews are a strong indicator that the majority of patients were pleased with their surgical results. Of course, there may be one or two disgruntled patients.

4. Meet your surgeon. When meeting with potential surgeon, talk to them about your goals. Your surgeon should have a plan and articulate it in a way that you understand. The patient and the surgeon should be on the same page about the procedure, says Roostaeian.

5. Be in good health. Men have a higher risk of developing a hematoma (a pocket of blood) and bleeding. They also tend to have higher rates of heart disease and high blood pressure, which can be a risk factor during surgery. A pre-surgery physical may be required.

"Men should feel comfortable about seeking plastic surgery to look their best and feel confident that their results will look natural," says Roostaeian. "We like to say that good plastic surgery is invisible."

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