The term “plastic surgery” has always been vague and misleading. Many people think it involves plastic, but that part of the name comes from the Greek word, “plastikos,” which means to mold or shape. It would probably be a better idea to eliminate the term and replace it with two more accurate categories: reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. 

Reconstructive surgery has been around for a long time. The first textbook on reconstructive surgery was written by Gaspare Tagliacozzi in the city of Bologna, Italy, in 1597. 

Cosmetic surgery is much newer, dating back only to around 1900, although it was a rarity until the mid-1960s. The American Association of Cosmetic Surgeons wasn’t incorporated until 1969, and the American Board of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery was incorporated a decade later, in 1979. 

Cosmetic surgery for men is an even more recent development. The “father of cosmetic surgery,” Dr. Richard Webster, was shocked while attending a conference in 1963, when he encountered men who expressed a willingness to receive cosmetic improvements. Dr. Webster wrote, “For the first time, I met man after man who honestly, without any shame at all, evinced a paramount interest in cosmetic surgery.” 

Considering that, 60 years ago, it was still in its relative infancy, cosmetic surgery has evolved quickly. Today, there are many injectables, fillers, and other non- or minimally invasive techniques that have become routine in the lives of many Americans. But perhaps the biggest advance in cosmetic surgery is its acceptance by men. 

In 2018, the most recent statistics reported by The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), men received: 

  • 39% of all ear surgery (otoplasty)
  • 23% of all body lifts
  • 17% of all neck lifts
  • 15% of all eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)
  • 7.6% of all nonsurgical cosmetic procedures
  • 7.1% of all surgical cosmetic procedures 

Today, reflecting the popularity of the “mommy makeover,” men are flocking to cosmetic surgeons for the “daddy do-over.” The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) said that, in 2018, 1.3-million cosmetic procedures were performed on men. Even more surprising, in their 2015 report, the ASAPS revealed that the number of cosmetic procedures performed among men increased over 325% from 1997 to 2015. 

While some men may be freshening up their look for strictly personal reasons, there are many more who view it as a necessary career move. According to Business Insider, a Washington Post article from earlier this year said those in Silicon Valley “are turning to procedures like Botox®, fillers, laser treatments and radio frequency microneedling, a technique that stimulates collagen and rejuvenates the skin. In some cases, they’re receiving cosmetic surgery for eye and neck lifts.”

The reason for this boom in Silicon Valley cosmetic enhancements is that it’s one of the few ways to succeed in the tech industry, which many say only rewards younger men. And, while some may call it a “daddy-do-over” or just plain “anti-aging,” Silicon Valley has branded the drive to look young as “optimization”—like SEO, only on yourself—and includes yoga, juice cleanses, and losing weight in addition to cosmetic surgery.  

One tech employee, quoted by the Daily Wire, said, “There’s a whole new generation of workers here, and they have created different expectations and that starts with appearance. You see more people in shape and looking fashionable now. And if people in the workplace know you’re older than everyone else, it can hurt you in terms of what roles you get.” 

According to Forbes, you may be a happy, pleasant, well-rested person on the inside; however, if the outside shows a furrowed brow and bags under your eyes, colleagues, subordinates, and superiors will assume that you’re a cranky person who looks permanently fatigued and tired of work. Forbes says, “After time takes its toll and age becomes a more visible presence in one’s life, facial rejuvenation becomes the only viable method left for maintaining a natural edge and charm over others.” 

So what procedures are the most popular among men? According to the ASAPS, the most common surgical procedure for men was liposuction, which was also employed in breast reductions (treatment of gynecomastia) and the reduction of abdominal subcutaneous fat. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) was also popular, especially for those 65 and over. 

The ASAPS also lists the most popular non-surgical procedures for men, which are: 

  1. Botulinum toxin – injectable – (including Botox®, Dysport®, and Jeuveau®)
  2. Hyaluronic acid – injectable – (including Juvederm Voluma® and Juvederm Vollure®)
  3. Hair removal – non-surgical – (including Clarity™)
  4. Calcium Hydroxylapatite – injectable – (including Radiesse®)
  5. Chemical Peel – facial rejuvenation – (including Fraxel Repair and Phenol Peel) 

Men who would like to find out which non-surgical or surgical cosmetic procedures are right for them, are encouraged to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mikel Lo and his talented, professional  staff—including 2 trained nurse injectors—at About Faces Cosmetic Surgery. Contact us today!

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