Welcome to 2019, where plastic
surgery is no longer a service exclusively in the purview of
coastal socialites and “Real Housewives.”
More Americans than ever
are turning to both surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic
enhancements, and it’s not just women taking advantage of these
services — men, too, are meeting with plastic surgeons in
pursuit of treatments like liposuction, hair transplants and
injectables including Botox (or “Brotox,” if you please).
In 2017, more than 1.3
million cosmetic procedures were performed on men, according to
the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Since 2007, Botox has
quadrupled in popularity among men; the number of men who
received filler injections increased by 99 percent over the same
period, up to nearly 100,000.
The organization also
reports that procedures like liposuction, tummy tucks and breast
reductions have increased in popularity among men. Those
national statistics align with what Wisconsin plastic surgeons
are seeing in their own practices.
“Fifteen years ago, Botox
was talked about in movies, like people having frozen faces,”
says Dr. Mark F. Blake of the Clinic of Cosmetic Surgery in
Milwaukee. “Now, those myths are being dismissed and brought to
light. It’s almost the norm; it’s no longer taboo.”
professional athletes and celebrities have also put men at ease
with the idea of cosmetic enhancement, Blake says. Celebs like
retired Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher have signed on
to promote cosmetic enhancements — as you drive south on I-94
toward Chicago, the billboards featuring Urlacher as the face of
RESTORE hair transplants are ubiquitous.
“[Urlacher] is a great
example of just how natural things can look,” Blake says. “It’s
no longer hair plugs and things like that.”
At the Neenah-based
Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery, which also has a
Mequon clinic, Dr. Todd M. Van Ye says he frequently sees men
for upper eyelid surgery, hair transplants and body contouring
for the chest or love handles. Neck lifts — similar to face
lifts — are growing in popularity among Van Ye’s male patients,
especially those who wear a shirt and tie for work and want to
tighten loose skin around the collar.
Van Ye says the stigma
around plastic surgery for men has started to erode, thanks to
advances in the field that are helping to ensure natural-looking
“Whether it’s men or
women, nobody wants to look artificial,” Van Ye says. “We’re not
trying to make people look artificial. We’re just trying to
correct something that is drawing unnecessary attention.”
In years past, plastic
surgery generally required days or even weeks of recovery. But
as technology has improved, many nonsurgical, minimally invasive
procedures now require no downtime at all, which is appealing to
men who are on the fence about treatment. Outpatient procedures
like CoolSculpting, a method of freezing body fat, have emerged
as an alternative to liposuction, which requires a longer
recovery time. Though CoolSculpting is popular among both men
and women, Blake says it’s especially appealing to his male
patients who are worried about discretion. With no downtime,
there’s no need to explain to the boss that you need to take off
a week or two from work to recover from plastic surgery.
“You can literally come
in at lunch time and get a treatment, then go back to the gym or
back to work,” Blake says.
Despite rising interest,
men in Wisconsin aren’t embracing cosmetic enhancements quite as
quickly as their coastal counterparts, Blake and Van Ye say —
trends in plastic surgery tend to gain momentum in bigger cities
and urban areas before arriving in the Midwest. But both agree
that men in Wisconsin are increasingly open to both surgical and
nonsurgical procedures as a method to boost confidence and
address a physical concern, whether it’s balding, drooping
eyelids or other signs of aging.
“Guy are image-aware,
just like women are,” Van Ye says. “Guys don’t want to have a
belly if they can avoid it, and if they struggle with it, some
CoolSculpting or liposuction
How Men Spend
BY NICOLE KIEFERT
Studies have shown that good-looking men often
fare better in their workplaces and romantic lives, so it’s
little wonder that men of all ages are seeking cosmetic
enhancements in record numbers, with younger men focused on
reshaping their bodies and older men looking to erase the
effects of time. According to the American Society for Aesthetic
Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), a few procedures top the list for their
male patients seeking to look (and feel!) their best. In a 2017
roundup, the ASAPS named these the five most popular procedures
chosen by men.
1. Botox: ASAPS reported that in 2017 Botox was
the most popular male cosmetic enhancement overall, clocking in
at 160,398 procedures throughout the year.
2. Hyaluronic Acid: Fillers were second
runner-up, with 46,565 men choosing the nonsurgical procedure to
plump the skin in areas that have thinned out, most commonly
including the cheeks, lips and around the mouth.
3. Lipsouction: Liposuction was the
third-most-popular procedure men opted for in 2017 overall, and
the most popular surgical procedure, with 31,021 men undergoing
the process that year.
4. Nonsurgical Fat Reduction: More than 23,000
men chose nonsurgical alternatives to lipsuction, including
CoolSculpting, Vaser Shape and Liposonix.
5. Eyelid Surgery: The second-most popular
surgical procedure selected by men, and fifth most popular
overall, was blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, with 22,311 men
opting for the enhancement (which reduces bagginess from lower
eyelids and removes excess skin from the upper lids) in 2017.