Cosmetic procedures are no longer the preserve of the fairer sex with male cosmetic surgery experiencing a boom
A picture paints a thousand words and if your business life, and let us face it, your social life, involves many face-to-face meetings, you will want to paint the best possible picture you can.
Men may not have to face up to quite the same external pressures as women do in this day and age, but they are still there, particularly as we start to get older.
However, today’s gentlemen refuse to roll over and just accept their fate when they hit a certain age, instead they hire a personal trainer, develop a skincare routine and increasing numbers are deciding to undertake cosmetic procedures.
While still being mainly the preserve of women, there is little doubt that men have embraced cosmetic procedures over the past ten years.
According to statistics released by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), the number of men undergoing plastic surgery had been increasing year-on-year from 2,440 in 2007 to 4,614 in 2015 – this figure dropped dramatically, however, in 2016 to a ten-year low of 2,409, a drop thought to be associated with cautiousness in the market following the EU referendum.
Regardless, it is now not an uncommon sight to see men frequenting a beauty clinic or cosmetic surgeon, with the most popular surgeries been rhinoplasty, otoplasty (ear surgery), blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and also liposuction procedures.
“A lot of his patients are looking for a second chance”
Dr Olivier Amar, a cosmetic surgeon from the Cadogan Clinic in London, has accumulated over fifteen years of experience within the field and has become known as one of its leading lights due to his meticulous approach to his craft. For him, cosmetic surgery is less of a medical procedure and more of an artform dedicated to giving people a chance to maintain their youth. “The patients who are coming to see a plastic surgeon now have a good way of life, they are busy, they exercise, they just have some stubborn area and want to have the body they think they deserve,” says Dr Amar.
This desire for their ideal body can come from many different places, but for Dr Amar, a lot of his patients are looking for a second chance: “Many men have a second life around 50 or 60. There are quite a lot of patients who are starting a new life with a younger wife, or they are having kids at an older age, and they want to look after themselves.”
While more men may be comfortable visiting a plastic surgeon, there can remain a stigma in certain circles that surrounds cosmetic surgery among men, and thus Dr Amar’s patients value not only discretion, but subtlety in his work. “You may think that women would be more worried about discretion, but I find that men are much more cautious of doing surgery and they can be quite nervous about it too,” explains Dr Amar. “They can also be quite nervous about fillers and toxins because there are some people who look over-injected and you can think, ‘oh God what happened to them’ – it doesn’t look natural anymore.”
This is a view that is shared by the surgeons of The Private Clinic of Harley Street, who believe patients are reaping the benefits of the advances in cosmetic surgery: “With a growing number of non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments available, many procedures require no, or very little, downtime and leave no visible scarring or obvious signs of having had surgery. This has made the process easier for patients to fit in to their normal lives and means that often patients need not disclose to friends, colleagues or even family that they have had a cosmetic procedure.”
Such have been the leaps made in cosmetic surgery over the past decade that many of the procedures leave virtually no visible scarring. Dr Amar spoke of how the only incision required for a face and necklift now is a small ‘u’ behind the ear, and when done in addition to his family’s revolutionary Fat Autograft Muscle Injection (FAMI) technique – where stem cells are collected from your fat tissue and injected back into the face – can give a more natural, organic look when compared to standard fillers.
For many men, it is their eyelids that cause them the most distress, especially if they give the look of being permanently tired, but again, techniques have come on to a point where you can have the surgery and leave everyone else none the wiser.
“In the past a hair transplant was likely to leave you looking like a second-rate Donald Trump”
“The main aim of eyelid surgery is to remove the excess of skin where the eyelid is touching the hidden in the fold,” says Mr Amar. “It is straightforward surgery which lasts fifteen minutes, recovery takes a few days and when you have a gentleman who faces a lot of clients, their eyes can be very important to them.”
If there is one procedure that has gained increased attention in recent years, it is that of the hair transplant. While in the past a hair transplant was likely to leave you looking like a second-rate Donald Trump, in these days the results are subtler and the procedure can even be permanent. “This procedure involves removing healthy hair follicles from an area of the patient’s scalp where hair is plentiful (often the eyelashes. This surgery is very discreet: the scar is back of the head) and grafting them onto the bald or thinning areas,” explains The Private Clinic.
“The results are permanent in as much as the hairs transplanted will stay forever, but patients need to be aware that, depending on their age and the stage of hair loss they are in, they may continue to suffer hair loss from the surrounding areas.”
GET OUT YOUR PLASTIC
Cosmetic procedures can vary in price and you will be looking at something in the region of a few hundred pounds for an injection of fillers, all the way up to a few thousand pounds for liposuction, rhinoplasty, or a full-body makeover you will be looking upwards of £10,000 for the lot. But is it worth it?
Cosmetic surgeons will be quick to tell you they do not promise to fix all your insecurities, rather they are selling the idea of confidence and a return to your former self. How much you believe that depends on your level of cynicism.
“Cosmetic surgery is always a personal choice, and it is important that patients are of a sound mind and in a good place, both mentally and physically, before choosing to undergo surgery,” adds The Private Clinic. “It is essential they appreciate treatments will not be a ‘cure’ for all their concerns, however, for those with specific issues an improved satisfaction in their appearance, as achieved through cosmetic treatments, can give them greater confidence.”
It is up to you to decide whether cosmetic procedures are just the latest way to get ahead of the ageing process, or something unnatural that preys on people’s insecurities, but irrespective of your views, it is a good thing for the stigma that surrounds it to continue to dissipate.
“In many ways both sexes are in the same boat and face the same social pressure where you are expected to take care of yourself. People want to live longer and feel younger; they do yoga, they do Pilates, they juice, they try to sleep well,” says Dr Amar.
“I wish I could speak to more men and make them less anxious about the cosmetic world as there are lots of different procedures and sometimes the message gets lost in the marketing. I think more and more men are going to come to us as long as it looks natural. It has to look natural.”
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