Plastic surgery has long been considered a woman-dominated field, at least as far as patients are concerned. But that could soon change, because, according to the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons, plastic surgery among men has increased by 29 percent since the year 2000. Still, that number pales in comparison to the number of procedures sought by women, which increased by 92 percent during the same time.
But despite the large disparity between the increase in procedures between genders, there is reason to believe that numbers among the male population may further increase in coming years, says Dr. Ryan Mitchell, a Henderson, Nevada, plastic surgeon.
"In the past, plastic surgery has been more popular among women because, for the most part, it's been geared toward women," says Mitchell.
From breast augmentation to Brazilian butt-lifts to collagen lip injections, most plastic surgery procedures are designed to enhance the female body. Male-oriented procedures, such as male breast reduction (aka gynecomastia surgery), are more often designed as a reconstructive or functional procedure, which means if you don't have gynecomastia, you don't need the surgery.
Similarly, Mitchell says procedures such as rhinoplasty and face-lifts have been less popular among men because the standards for what is considered attractive among men are very different from what is considered attractive for women.
"The thinking has long been that as men age, they get more distinguished. A man with gray hair and crows' feet is considered attractive, while on a woman those changes are viewed quite differently," says Mitchell. "And a large nose on a man is much more acceptable than on a woman, it seems."
But a host of new procedures may soon change that. Surgeons like Mitchell have seen an increase in everything from Botox to liposuction among men in recent years.
"It is getting harder, especially for older men, to stay competitive in the business world. With so many men retiring later and even dating later in life, there is this pressure to look younger that wasn't there 20 years ago," says Mitchell.
Furthermore, new procedures like the torso tuck are geared specifically toward male patients.
"A torso tuck is like a tummy tuck, but for men," says Mitchell. "It doesn't just hide stomach fat or excess skin, but it enhances the abdominal muscles and creates a more streamlined look."
Additionally, procedures like hair transplants and Botox are increasing in popularity among male patients.
"It's a good thing, because it shows that men want to look their best, too," says Mitchell. "And as women have already been proving for decades, there's nothing wrong with that."