Plastic Surgery for Men: What’s Hot and Why?

Dr. Sacha Obaid, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Dallas, Plano, Southlake, and Nearby Fort Worth, Texas


By Sacha Obaid

Plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments have long been thought of as mostly interesting to women. To a certain extent, that’s still the case: Women make up 92% of people who have these procedures. But that trend is slowly changing, as more and more men are having plastic surgery and other cosmetic treatments too.

Why are men embracing plastic surgery?

There’s no doubt that men are having more plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments than they used to. The numbers are climbing slowly, year after year, especially when it comes to minimally invasive cosmetic procedures such as BOTOX® and skin fillers.

For example, in 2005 men in the U.S. had a total of 10.2 million plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures. In 2010 the number had climbed to 12.6 million, and in 2015 the total reached 15.1 million!

So why is more and more plastic surgery for men being done more often as the years go by? The simple explanation is that men want to look good too! But, of course, there’s more to it than that. Just as they are for women, the reasons men have plastic surgery are very personal. For some men, it’s about improving self-esteem. Others want to look younger for their partner, or they decide to enhance their appearance because they feel it will help them stay competitive at work.

What kinds of procedures do men prefer?

In some cases, the kinds of procedures that men have are different than those that women have. For example, breast augmentation is one of the most popular surgeries for women, but that’s not the case for men. Men are more likely to have breast reduction surgery, especially when they are unhappy with excess fatty tissue in their chest areas due to a medical condition called gynecomastia.

Other procedures that are popular with male patients are eyelid surgery, liposuction, rhinoplasty, and facelifts. In these categories, between 10% and 24% of all of the surgeries in 2015 were carried out on male patients. In some plastic surgery categories, men are the ones who have at least half of the procedures. These popular procedures include hair transplants, pectoral implants, chin augmentations, and calf augmentations.

When it comes to cosmetic treatments, men are choosing BOTOX, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and fillers. All of these are popular with women too.

What men choose here may not be what they choose there.

People in different countries often have different ideas of what is attractive. Since what people consider attractive can vary so much, it makes sense that the most popular cosmetic surgeries are different around the world too. These differences are more often seen in the kinds of surgeries that women choose to have, but the surgeries that men choose can reveal some information too!

In South Korea, for example, the eyelid crease is seen as a sign of beauty by many people. Most Korean people have monolid eyelids, which don’t have the crease. The rarity of the eyelid crease among Korean people is likely why it’s considered so attractive. It could be for this reason that the most popular surgery in South Korea for both men and women is an eyelid procedure that creates a crease to define and lift the eyelids.

But it’s not just eyelid surgery; all kinds of cosmetic surgeries are common in South Korea, for both men and women. Korean men are much more likely overall to have surgery than men in the United States.

Some countries have trends that are very similar to U.S. plastic surgery trends. In Brazil, for instance, the plastic surgery trends for men are quite similar to those for men in the U.S. More Brazilian men are having surgery overall—4 times as many in 2014 as in 2009! Breast reductions, eyelid surgery, and liposuction are among the most popular procedures, just as they are for men in the U.S. plastic surgery for men

Trends in the UK are also familiar. Men in the UK typically choose to have rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, breast reduction, and liposuction. One difference is that men in the UK are more likely than U.S. men to opt for ear surgery, which corrects the shape of the ears or flattens ears that protrude.

Trends in plastic surgery for men travel the world.

Plastic surgery trends in other parts of the world can have a big influence on what kinds of procedures men and women choose to have in the U.S. It can take a little while for some procedures and products to be available.

One reason for this is that the availability of certain procedures, products, and technologies depends on the country in which they were developed. For example, a new kind of lighter breast implant was developed in Israel but is currently only available in a select few London clinics. The implant isn’t available in the U.S. yet because it hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once it is, it’s likely it will quickly increase in popularity.

Another example is the use of BOTOX for cosmetic purposes. This was an accidental finding by Dr. Jean Carruthers, an eye doctor who realized that one of her patients had fewer wrinkles after receiving BOTOX for an eye condition. This happened in 1987, but it wasn’t until about 1993 that the BOTOX craze started to take hold in the U.S.

Similarly, the skin filler Restylane® was available in Europe in 1996, but it didn’t get FDA approval until 2003. As a result, it took time for the use of this product to catch on in the U.S.

There’s almost always a delay between the development of a product overseas and its availability in the U.S. Because of this, what often happens is that there’s lots of demand for a product before it’s even available. When it’s FDA-approved and finally available in U.S clinics, there’s a big jump in the numbers of people having the treatment.

Could something across the globe be the next big thing for men who want to enhance their appearance? It’s possible! And it’s certainly true that for men, just as much as women, plastic surgery is a great way to help them achieve the self-images they’ve been dreaming of.

If you’re a guy who’s got a plastic surgery goal, we at North Texas Plastic Surgery would be happy to help you achieve it! Schedule a consultation today.