22 Jun Cosmetic Surgery’s Most Popular List
BY Dr Terrence Scamp
According to recent statistics from the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of cosmetic procedures being done for men has increased by more than 100% in the last 15 years.
Improvements in anaesthesia pain control and the adoption of rapid recovery techniques have led to men more easily accepting the more limited down time from cosmetic surgery.
For men, the four most popular operations are nose re-shaping (rhinoplasty), liposuction, eye-lid surgery (blepharoplasty) and correction of breast swelling (gynecomastia.)
Men often present for nose re-shaping due to a history of trauma particularly related to sport or an altercation. However, some men want correction of a nose that has always been twisted or is just too large for the face.
The male nose is very different in shape to the female nose. The aims of surgery are therefore different and the nose needs to be re-shaped in such a way to suit the larger male face. Feminisation of the nose is to be avoided at all cost.
There is usually a splint on the nose for a week and black eyes are common to a greater or lesser extent. This can extend the recovery process to ten days or beyond.
For the female nose the desirable architecture is generally smaller, finer and with a gently elevated tip. However, in both sexes the nasal shape has to be matched to the rest of the face and this can vary within an individual’s appearance and their racial background. The ideal outcome puts a nicely shaped nose on a face to which it is harmoniously matched, giving an appearance as if that nose has always been there.
For Women the most popular list is topped predictably by breast augmentation. Otherwise the procedures are very much the same as for men with rhinoplasty, liposuction and eyelid surgery the most commonly performed.
In Breast augmentation surgery great refinements have been seen in focusing both on a rapid recovery approach coupled with “tailoring” the selection of implant and the surgery performed to better match the individual’s desired outcome.
The effective use of long-acting anaesthetics and the adoption of a gentler approach to the operation has meant that the most common remark made by women undergoing breast augmentation is that they thought it would hurt more than it did.
Most women are back to work within the week and are only restricted from heavier exercise beyond two weeks.
The wide range of implants now available means that the surgery has moved from where it was in the 80’s when plastic surgeons tendered to have “pet” implant that they favoured and used in most or all of their surgery’s, to a situation where the individual shape and their desired outcome are matched to an implant design that is most likely to get them as close to the goal as possible. This individualisation has allowed the surgery to become more predictable and created more natural and longer-lasting results.
A further enhancement of the breast augmentation experience has been the use of 3D imaging. The Vectra 3D system allows an accurate depiction of the final result before surgery and assist greatly in implant selection during the consultation.
Liposuction remains a popular procedure with both sexes. For women it may be part of a more extensive body contouring procedure such as tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) or it may be focusing on those resistant zones such as the thighs, hips and flanks.
For men the problem areas are usually the abdomen and flanks but even some athletes seek liposuction to “etch” that elusive ‘six-pack’ onto their frame. This procedure is particularly remarkable for the rapid recovery that is usually possible and the minimal discomfort experienced.
Eyelid surgery is popular once again with both sexes. Neither men nor women like that tired, worn-out look that they get from heavy upper eyelids. Sometimes the problem is the brow and especially in women upper eyelid surgery may be combined with key-hole brow lift to brighten the upper face and restore the attractive arching to the eyebrow seen in younger women. For men a lower flatter brow is more appropriate and this combined with their more problematic hair lines means that brow lifts are less commonly performed in males. However the gentle lifting that’s possible from injectables can help give the heavier male brow with the receding hairline a gentle elevation.
Lower lid bags and lines are also a common cause for complaint and can be addressed surgically. Sometimes the fat pads can be removed without a skin scar by going behind the lower eyelids. If fine lines are abundant then laser resurfacing can be of great benefits. Where crow’s feet are strong, muscle relaxing injectables remain a firm favourite.
Abnormal breast growth in men (gynecomastia) can occur at puberty as a result of hormonal changes or subsequently in older ages as a result of weight gain or the use of performance enhancing steroids. This condition is strongly disliked by men and can usually be dealt with in day surgery either by a direct excision of a hard piece of breast gland or re-contouring of an excessive fatty component by means of liposuction.
So there you have the “top of the pops” for cosmetic surgery. The interest in these operations continues to grow enhanced by improvements in anaesthesia and surgical techniques to minimise downtime and discomfort and to create safer and more predictable results.