Cosmetic surgery: A fountain of youth for men

Bangkok Bright Smile

Men are finding that cosmetic plastic surgery can give them an edge in the workplace — and in relationships.

Albert Bender, after facial plastic surgery on his nasolabial

folds and neck, performed by Dr. Carlos Wolf of Miami

Plastic Surgery. Miami Plastic Surgery



Nose reshaping: 252,261

Eyelid surgery: 208,764

Liposuction: 203,106

Hair transplantation: 18,996

Breast reduction: 18,280

Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

When Albert Bender looks in the mirror now, he sees a much younger man. The deep folds around his face are smoother; his “turkey neck” gone.

Bender’s not ashamed to admit he’s had plastic surgery: two procedures from Dr. Carlos Wolf.

“I’m going to be 64 years old, and I look 54 — 10 years less now,” said Bender, an accountant who lives in Miami. “You have to take care of yourself, and it bothered me.”

Cosmetic surgery for men, including non-invasive procedures, is on the rise, and it’s no longer a closely held secret. From nose jobs and “man-boob” reduction, to liposuction, eyelid work, hair restoration and face and neck lifts, men are seeking to improve their appearance, both for themselves and to be attractive to others.

“The biggest motivating factor in men is dating younger women,” said Wolf, a board certified facial plastic surgeon and partner at Miami Plastic Surgery, who also writes a column for The Miami Herald.

More than 20 percent of the practice’s patients are men, said Wolf. One of the most common procedures is liposuction of the tummy or flanks.

“They’re trying to get in shape, working out, but can’t get rid of that last bit of fat,” Wolf said.

To rejuvenate the face, surgical options include eyelid surgery and facial and neck work.

Tom Grudovich “went along for the ride,” when he accompanied his wife to a consultation with Dr. Stephan Baker in Coral Gables. He ended up having his facelift first, six weeks ago. His wife will get her tummy tuck next.

Grudovich said he’s happy he did it. He thinks he looks younger, fresher and more rested — though he said he would never have thought of doing it on his own.

“It fits in better with who I am now, because I’m active,” said Grudovich, 64, who lives in Palm Beach and works out at the gym, swims and races vintage cars. “My face and jaw line don’t look so old man-ish.”

For Baker, about 10 percent of his patients are men, from those in their 20s who want excess breast fat removed, to those in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are seeking liposuction of the “love handles,” as well as those who get eyelid surgery or facelifts.

“There is a growing awareness in the public in general that it’s OK to have plastic surgery,” said Baker, a board certified plastic surgeon, who is also a spokesman for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “It’s not taboo.”

In fact, the total number of cosmetic procedures for men, including non-invasive procedures, rose to 12.6 million in 2010, up 9 percent from 2000, according to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Minimally invasive procedures like Botox, chemical peels and microdermabrasions make up the vast majority, rising 45 percent from 2000, to 11 million.

From 2009 to 2010, men’s cosmetic surgical procedures increased 2 percent, the organization’s figures show, and facelifts, alone, rose 14 percent.

And, of all plastic surgeries, the share of men’s procedures has grown more significantly — from 8 percent of the total in 2008 to 13 percent in 2010.

For men, Baker said the driving forces of plastic surgery include competition in the workplace, plus the fact that baby boomers tend to take care of themselves physically, and feel their faces don’t fit the rest of their bodies.

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