American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Men and Plastic Surgery

Male-Specific Considerations

Information for men contemplating plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons.

The surgery

Extensive information about the particular procedure you plan to have will be provided during your consultation. While going over the steps of the procedure, your doctor will discuss a number of issues that may influence your surgery. Make sure you fully understand these considerations.

Facial surgery: If you are planning facial surgery or neck surgery, your doctor will evaluate your entire head-face-neck region. Is the hairline receding? How full are the sideburns? Does the beard-growing skin extend up the cheeks or down the neck? Are there facial scars? Is the skin sun-damaged? Is the neck skin loose or drooping?

In general, it's known that male facial skin has a richer blood supply than female facial skin. Male faces bleed more during surgery and are at greater risk for forming a temporary collection or pooling of blood under the skin, called a hematoma, after surgery.
Also, any scarring that may result from surgery may be more difficult for men to hide, since they don't wear make-up or style their hair toward their faces, as many women do.

Hair growth and beard growth may play a major role in the outcome of a facelift. If you are balding or have thinning hair, surgical artistry may be required to hide the facelift incision, especially in the temple area. If the hair-bearing skin of your upper neck is pulled behind your ears during surgery, you may find that you must shave behind your ears or the back of your neck. However, sometimes electrolysis can correct this problem. Be sure to discuss these possibilities with your surgeon.

A fatty or "jowly" area beneath the chin is also a concern for many men. In younger patients, liposuction alone may be sufficient to correct the problem. Older patients may require a full facelift and necklift, which may include the removal of excess skin and tightening the platysma muscles, which run down each side of the neck. These muscles are usually thicker in men than they are in women, but do not pose a greater challenge for your plastic surgeon.

"Refinishing" treatments for facial skin: Shaving must be postponed for about 3 weeks after a skin-smoothing treatment such as chemical peel or dermabrasion. Because these procedures strip away the surface layers of skin, you can expect your face to remain sensitive, swollen, and bright pink for several weeks after surgery.

Some men are happy that the beard growth helps conceal the pinkness of their recovering skin -- especially if they feel uncomfortable using camouflage make-up.

Men who feel self-conscious about their condition are also advised to give up alcoholic drinks for about 4 weeks. Alcohol causes the areas of treated facial skin to become noticeably red and flushed.

Changing the facial features: Cosmetic procedures such as eyelid surgery, nose surgery, and facial-implant surgery are performed essentially the same way for men and women. However, it's important to let your surgeon know if you are seeking a more masculine look to your facial features -- a chin with better projection, more prominent cheekbones, a stronger nose.

Hair replacement: The primary consideration for men contemplating hair-replacement surgery is the time involved. Natural-appearing hair replacement usually requires multiple surgical procedures, with long recovery intervals. A full regimen of hair transplants may last anywhere from 18 months to 2 years or more.

You should be aware that incisions or transplant sites may be noticeable to others, especially in the early stages of the hair transplant process. If your work or lifestyle isn't compatible with a long treatment period, ask your surgeon about alternatives to hair-transplant options, such as flap surgery or scalp reduction.



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