It doesn’t seem possible, but I will be attending my 40-year high school class reunion. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends, catching up, and hearing about their lives after high school. Some I have kept up with, but many I have not. As I started thinking about this reunion and looking in the mirror, I’ll admit that there were some anxious moments. Then I thought about the positive changes I’ve seen first-hand from cosmetic procedures.
Even without an upcoming class reunion or big event, many men may have similar anxious thoughts, but they don’t know they can improve the areas they are concerned about, and they don’t know where to go for information. Research has shown that plastic surgery is increasingly common for both men and women. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, almost 2 million surgical procedures and 17 million nonsurgical procedures were performed in 2016, and men accounted for 10% of those procedures.
In 2016, the top three surgical procedures nationwide for men were liposuction (over 45,000 procedures), breast reduction/gynecomastia (over 31,000 procedures), and eyelid surgery/blepharoplasty (over 28,000 procedures). For non-surgical treatments, men in the U.S. received more than 453,000 Botox injections, nearly 170,000 filler injections, and more than 60,500 Photofacials with IPL (intense pulsed light machine). Both men and women want to look as good as they feel, and are showing it by seeking out plastic surgery.
So, just what was in store for me?
I’ve tried CoolSculpting in the past, and while it did get rid of a limited area of fat, I need liposuction to really finish off my love handles in one shot. I’ve always wanted to get rid of the excess skin around my eyelids, so I sought out one of my longtime referrals, who was able to brighten my eyes and allow me to see much better with eyelid surgery. My aesthetician used our IPL machine and helped rid me of several dark spots, along with her recommendations for skin care (including retin-A, Lytera, TNS, and a great sunscreen). Finally, I had my crow’s feet injected with Botox so the skin next to my eyes looks as good as the eyelids themselves.
I’ve been thinking about making all of these changes for a long time, and it just took a slow two weeks in May to help me make the jump. I assume my high school friends will call me out, but I bet I have a smile on my face while they are doing it!
Plastic surgery IS for men, and it has sure made me feel better and see better because of my decision.
-Jeffrey S. Poulter, M.D. FACS