Male cosmetic surgery – what is leading the rise?

Once often viewed as a ‘female only’ affair, male cosmetic surgery is on the rise and no longer carries the stigma it once did. As a result cosmetic procedures for men are now highly requested from aesthetic practitioners.


How many men are considering cosmetic procedures?

The American Academy for Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery found that 31 per cent of men were “extremely likely” to consider having a cosmetic procedure in the future. In addition, the Metro reports that in 2017, 1.3 million American men underwent cosmetic surgery procedures. In the last five years procedures such as liposuction are up by 23 per cent while the rate of male breast reduction surgeries has increased by 30 per cent.

Aside from more invasive procedures men are also looking to less intrusive treatments. For example, in 2017 nearly 100,000 men had fillers injected which is an increase of 99 per cent since 2000, providing instant and adjustable results of benefit to male clients.


What is leading the rise in male cosmetic surgery?

The leading causes of a rise in male cosmetic surgery follow many of the same patterns as those of female clients. For example, as a nation we are now more body image conscious, resulting in people wanting cosmetic enhancements to improve or maintain their appearance.

Social media

The rise in popularity of social media has made it increasingly easy to access cosmetic surgery; not only is social media making us more aware of body image, but the ease with which we can access information on cosmetic procedures, such as before and after photos posted on social media, helps to reaffirm our ideas of what we want our ideal body to look like, and can even change how we view ourselves.

In addition, the rise of selfies and the use of ‘filters’ on images have led to new cosmetic requests for practitioners centring on the idea of people wanting facial procedures which help people to resemble their favourite snapchat and Instagram filters.

Dermatologists from Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Centre commented on this trend in the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, with one explaining that “A new phenomenon, dubbed ‘Snapchat dysmorphia,’ has patients seeking out cosmetic surgery procedures to look like filtered versions of themselves instead, with fuller lips, bigger eyes, or a thinner nose.

“This is an alarming trend because those filtered selfies often present an unattainable look and are blurring the line of reality and fantasy for these patients.”

This shows the influence that social media has on people’s perceptions of their bodies. However, despite the often negative connotations between social media and body image, the rise in social media and ease of access to information on cosmetic surgery has the potential to help patients make better informed decisions as to whether cosmetic surgery is the answer.

Review websites and the wealth of knowledge available through digital means can help to raise standards within the industry and ensure that practitioners are providing good quality treatment to their clients.

Find out why online reviews are important to you and your business.


Life events                                                                                                                                                                       

The 2018 RealSelf U.K. Aesthetics Interest Survey has found that life events, appearance in the workplace and birthdays greatly influenced decisions to get cosmetic treatments. Interestingly, 70 per cent of men, compared with just 51 per cent of women, cited life events as reasons for getting treatments done, with 23 per cent revealing that they were influenced by the desire to appear young at work or because they were starting a new job.

President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dr Jeffrey Janis, states

“Some people call it the ‘executive edge’ because a lot of patients report that they want to look younger to continue to compete in the workplace.”

Men were also twice as likely to get a cosmetic procedure as a result of an upcoming holiday and three times more likely to undergo a procedure as a result of a relationship breakdown.


Advice for practitioners

Patient selection

First and foremost, whether your prospective patient is male or female, it is vital that you select them carefully. Read more about our best advice on selecting patients, including checking your patient’s health, how to make sure your patient doesn’t suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and whether they are really ready to have the procedure.

Obtaining patient consent

It is also important to understand best practice for obtaining patient consent, including the General Medical Council (GMC) guidelines for consent, this is an important part of the process as a cosmetic practitioner. Take a look at our top ten tips .

How to say ‘no’ to patients

Managing unrealistic expectations is key to making your practice a success. Sometimes as a practitioner it is important to say ‘no’ to a patient. Find out more about best practice with your patients.