By Dr. David Kirn


Statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show increasing interest in plastic surgery by men over the last several years. Our experience has reflected this trend.

Society places different demands on appearance for males and females, but maintaining a healthy, energetic appearance is important to both. Use of plastic surgery to maintain a competitive edge in the workplace is frequently a driving force for men to seek cosmetic surgery. This is particularly true in careers where a first impression based on appearance is important.

Plastic surgery should not feminize the male face, and patients should look like themselves after surgery. Unless it is the clearly defined goal of the procedure to change a particular feature, the best surgery looks completely natural.

Allow me to share several observations and opinions learned over the years of operating on male patients. First, plastic surgery should not feminize the male face, and patients should look like themselves after surgery. Unless it is the clearly defined goal of the procedure to change a particular feature, the best surgery looks completely natural. While this is true for both men and women, the radically altered appearance of several well-known male celebrities following plastic surgery gives many men who might contemplate plastic surgery pause for consideration. These results offend me as well. Secondly, the timeline for recovery needs to be minimized to allow a rapid return to work. Thirdly, the ability to camouflage bruising or fresh incisions is limited due to less hair and most men’s refusal to wear makeup.

In our practice, the three most popular male procedures are neck lift, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), and liposuction. Although all three are commonly performed in females, it is instructive to consider the unique features which set them apart for men.

While women usually present concerned about aging of the entire face, men are more typically concerned about changes in the neck specifically. There are anatomic differences in the neck which separate male and female surgery. Men’s skin is thicker than women’s, so the tissues are heavier. Frequently, there is a greater accumulation of fat in the neck of males. The presence of jowls and the amount of skin in the face and neck are determinants of whether an isolated neck lift is applicable or if the face must be addressed at the same time.

Due to the presence of hair follicles from the male beard, men’s neck and faces are typically more vascular than females. This can influence surgical times as well as postoperative bruising. A recent technological innovation has helped minimize the amount of bruising and recovery time. We use the fibrin sealant, ARTISS, to seal off the surgical space after necklift / facelift. This avoids the need for drains and prolonged use of compression garments.

Both men and women benefit from eyelid surgery to remove excess skin and fat which creates a tired or droopy appearance for the upper eyelids and bags in the lower eyelids. Here, men and women are more alike than different. However, great attention must be paid to keeping bruising and swelling to a minimum, particularly in male patients.

While liposuction can be used in many body areas, the most common zones for males are the chest and flanks, a.k.a. “love handles.” Both of those areas seem to be more resistant to contour improvement with diet and exercise in male patients. Gynecomastia is also seen in the male chest which usually involves extra glandular tissue in addition to a fat deposit. Good technology exists to permit removal of quite a lot of glandular tissue though small, inconspicuous incisions, in addition to power-assisted liposuction.

For men concerned about these areas or others, the basic safety principle of seeking a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery applies. But it is also a good idea to inquire about the particular surgeon’s experience with male cosmetic surgery and ensure that your expectations align with the surgeon’s plan.

Dr. David Kirn is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is devoted to advanced techniques in Cosmetic Surgery of the Face, Breast, and Body. In private practice since 1998, he is located in a state of the art facility which includes a full service skin care center. The practice is focused on personalized patient care and attention to detail. Where possible, Dr. Kirn utilizes minimally invasive procedures. The goal is to deliver quality clinical results while minimizing patient recovery time. Examples of this include a no-drain tummy tuck, armpit incision breast augmentation with gel or saline implants, fat grafting, and a short scar facelift. In addition, Dr. Kirn and nurse-injectors Carey Sanders, RN and Shirley Ramsey DNP, APRN, offer a full spectrum of non-surgical treatments such as Botox®, Dysport®, Dermal Fillers, Kybella®, & Laser.