American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Why are men mad about liposuction?

why are men mad about liposuction?

There's a new kind of madness gripping men this March, and it has nothing to do with sports. Liposuction is one of the fastest-growing cosmetic trends among men. Recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show liposuction was one of the top procedures for men in 2022, with nearly 19,275 males undergoing the procedure.

A change in attitude towards plastic surgery has more men turning to cosmetic procedures like liposuction.

"It used to be men wouldn't be caught dead in a plastic surgeon's office," said ASPS Member Surgeon Jeffrey Roth, MD, FACS. "Now, more and more fellas are coming in because they are active and doing stuff, but they just can't get rid of that final little piece."

Dr. Roth said he thinks more men are getting into a new headspace. He sees a lot of men looking to compete with younger colleagues in the workplace. They think cosmetic surgery can boost their confidence, and it does. He also sees more men getting healthier and feeling better about themselves who say, "I'm 50, but I don't want to look 50."

Social media is also playing a big role in helping to destigmatize plastic surgery among men, who now see their peers being more open about the work they've had done.

"Clearly, with having elective procedures more in the news and social media, people are becoming more familiar with it and it's taking away some of the taboo," said ASPS Member Surgeon Samuel Lin, MD.

Social media may be a double-edged sword, giving more men access to information on cosmetic procedures while simultaneously offering exaggerated or photoshopped results, generating unrealistic expectations. With that said, is liposuction a slam dunk for men looking to tone and sculpt their bodies?

What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a cosmetic medical procedure that helps patients shrink and remove surface-level fatty deposits. Suction removes fat from specific locations of the body to help provide shape and contour.

"We see our fair share of men," said Dr. Roth. "About 11 percent of our patients are men, which is about the national average."

Dr. Roth said most male patients he sees in his practice are looking to sculpt their abdomen and flanks. The upper arms, chest, chin, neck and back are also areas of the body where men prefer to seek a little help shaping their bodies.

Who are good candidates for liposuction?

Men and women must recognize that liposuction is not a weight loss tool. It is a contouring tool. Dr. Roth said he sees his fair share of entertainers and acrobats at his Las Vegas practice looking to sculpt their bodies. He also said he sees firefighters and police officers.

These are all examples of healthy and in-shape individuals who are within their goal weight but need help removing stubborn fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise.

Dr. Roth said several patients comment, "I've been killing myself in the gym, but I just have that extra stuff that I can't get rid of!"

The best candidates for liposuction are healthy, fit men who need help getting over the goal line.

"We generally want people who are in good health, without medical conditions or bleeding disorders," said Dr. Lin.

Dr. Roth said that to help patients visualize what liposuction can do for them, he uses the "pinch test." The surface layer of fat you can pinch is the fat layer that liposuction can help remove. Deep, internal fat, like visceral fat, must be treated with diet and exercise.

Getting back in the game

Liposuction may be one of the ultimate tools in a plastic surgeon's tool belt to help shape and sculpt the body, removing fat and unearthing a more flattering physique. However, don't be fooled by the dramatic results. Liposuction is a medical procedure, and the body needs time to heal.

As Dr. Roth admitted, many of his clients are active men – acrobats, firefighters, police officers and gym enthusiasts. He cautions against getting back in the game or the office too early.

Recovery is a process – one that can't be rushed. Dr. Roth said most patients can be back at work within 10 to 14 days after the procedure, but he tends to customize recovery plans to help his patients meet their needs and goals without compromising their health and safety.

"We give them marching orders every time they come in," said Dr. Roth.

That means ensuring patients take their time to recover, wear their compression garments and draft less strenuous gym plans that won't interfere with the healing process.

Lin also recommends patients take it easy after the procedure. He said the length of recovery can vary depending on the location and number of liposuction procedures performed.

"I say don't do any exercise or heavy lifting for about a month after surgery," said Dr. Lin. "It is also important to use compression to allow the skin to shrink back to the body area."

Attitudes among men are shifting, and more and more guys are looking to cosmetic procedures to enhance and sculpt the areas of their bodies that diet and exercise can't target. Dr. Roth said one of the best parts of the job is fighting genetics.

"Liposuction gives you the possibility to change what you don't like," said Dr. Roth.

Score one for modern medicine.

To find a qualified plastic surgeon for any cosmetic or reconstructive procedure, consult a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. All ASPS members are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, have completed an accredited plastic surgery training program, practice in accredited facilities and follow strict standards of safety and ethics. Find an ASPS member in your area.


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