It’s not just women; men are vain, too. My practice proves it to me, with 19% of our new requests coming from men: lawyers, dentists, journalists, Bay Street boys, entrepreneurs, and builders, hairdressers, bodybuilders, doctors, etc. Men want to keep the edge and the alpha look. The Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver markets are also extremely competitive.
Men want to look good but won’t easily admit it. Therefore, male plastic surgery for my Toronto patients has to be inconspicuous, even more so than with women.
Important Considerations for Men
Men want natural-looking results more than women do. Downtime is also an important consideration. Plastic surgeons must be careful as to not overdo it with men when performing a facelift, browlift, or eyelid surgery, as it may feminize a man’s face.
With men, LESS is MORE.
Men can require repositioning of sagging soft tissues and neck muscle bands, similar to women. Men may benefit from fat grafting, too, although the cheeks should not be full. Facelift and necklift procedures are good opportunities for men to have a chin augmentation performed at the same time, helping to restore a youthful neck angle and strengthen their lower face, their profile, and their alpha personality.
Differences in Surgical Technique
That being said, many procedural techniques are different between men and women.
With eyelid surgery, the distance between the eyelashes and the incision is shorter in men than women. The plastic surgeon will also try to stay within the bony orbit with the scar, as it is more difficult for men to camouflage the early scars with makeup, which I call “concealer” with my male patients. Yes, the language I use is also slightly different, depending on the patient’s gender.
With facelift surgery for my Toronto male patients, I must be very cognizant of the shifting of soft tissue, the sideburns and the hair. Keep in mind that bringing hair farther up and to the back will age the patient. If hair has to appear over the ear area with the shifting of the sideburns, most of the hair follicles can be removed during the facelift procedure by scraping them out from the under-surface of the skin flaps; hair that still grows post-op can be treated with a laser. It is best to preserve men’s sideburns.
The same principles apply to the browlift procedure. It would be wrong to increase the height of the forehead on a man, as it would make him look older. Therefore, a hairline incision, (i.e., an incision where the hair starts), is used. This even allows the surgeon to bring the scalp forward, reducing the height of the forehead and rejuvenating the forehead at the same time.
Maintaining a Masculine Look
Care must be taken to NOT overly raise the eyebrows, as to not feminize the man’s face. The surprised look is not an acceptable result. A “peninsular temporal” flap is often performed on men, to take advantage of the often abundant temporal hair, joining the facelift incision to the forehead incision at the hairline. Sometimes it is indicated to soften strong frontal bossing (sometimes called the “Neanderthal look”) during a forehead lift. The frontal bone can be be shaved and polished down with appropriate imaging and planning.
When taking care to not shift the hairline higher into an older position the incisions may end up being visible on men. Therefore, extreme care must be taken to make the best scars possible. Plastic surgeons should produce the best scars. Incisions should be performed in a way to maximize the hair growing through the scar. Stitching should be fine to avoid trauma to the hair follicles.
In summary, conservatism is often the rule with men, to preserve masculinity while restoring a healthy appearance. Limiting downtime and avoiding a “surgical look” is crucial. Patients should choose a plastic surgeon who is well-versed in working with both men and women.
Yes, men deserve aesthetic procedures, too.
Dr. Marc DuPéré, Toronto aesthetic plastic surgeon