Men today, like women, are embracing surgical and non-surgical plastic surgery procedures in order to feel more comfortable in their skin. No man wants to look in the mirror and not like what he sees. Sagging skin, brown spots and an overinflated tire around the midsection can make a patient look older than his years. Furthermore, we are all retiring later. Staying competitive in the workplace often requires men to look their best. But while an increasing number of male patients are willing to seek help from a plastic surgeon, there are some real differences in treating male and female patients.
As a man himself, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sean Doherty truly understands the male perspective. He has found that, in general, his Boston area male patients prefer to deal with most issues non-surgically. Men tend to have a lower tolerance than women for the downtime associated with most surgical procedures. Non-invasive body contouring modalities such as SculpSure and injectables like Kybella are both extremely popular. The exception to the surgery rule is treating gynecomastia. This is a condition in which a patient has excessive chest/breast tissue with or without fat. Often referred to as “man boobs”, gynecomastia is extremely common. It is also VERY bothersome for most men, and can only be treated surgically.
In addition to temperament, men have a different aesthetic than women. They also have thicker skin, carry their weight in different places, and a higher propensity for under eye bags. This is why it’s important to see a skilled plastic surgeon with a lot of experience in treating men.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary
Plastic Surgery for Men Consultation
If you are finding that your reflection looks older than you feel, it may be time to schedule a plastic surgery for men consultation with Dr. Doherty at one of the Boston area offices. During your visit, he will perform a thorough physical exam. He will listen closely to what is bothering you about your face and/or physique. He will ask about your lifestyle choices, tolerance for pain and downtime as well as your desired outcome. Then, together you will come up with the treatment plan that is best for your individual needs. The most common procedures for men are:
- Male chest contouring or gynecomastia surgery
- Non-invasive body contouring
- Kybella injections
- Facial injections (Botox™ and filler)
- Jawline treatment/enhancement
Dr. Doherty’s goal with any aesthetic procedure, whether it is surgical, non-surgical or minimally invasive, is to deliver the kind of subtle, natural-looking result that is hard to notice. This is particularly important for men who don’t want anyone to know that they have had something done.
Gynecomastia & Male Chest Contouring
Almost 50% of men in the Boston area are affected by some degree of gynecomastia which is an excess of chest tissue and/or fat. Since one of the hallmarks of masculinity is a smooth, flat chest, gynecomastia can be extremely bothersome. There are any number of causes. These include a hormone imbalance, certain medical conditions, drug use such as marijuana and steroids or a genetic tendency which is the most common cause. The treatment is really going to depend on the underlying cause. If your gynecomastia is due to excess fat alone, Dr. Doherty will perform liposuction to sculpt the chest into a more masculine proportion. However, if the underlying cause is an excess of breast tissue and fat then this will require a surgical excision. Dr. Doherty will remove the excess breast tissue, typically located under the areola and nipple, through a small incision around the areola that can be easily hidden. He will then perform liposuction to remove and contour the excess fatty tissue.
Recovery from gynecomastia surgery is fairly easy. Most patients will experience a moderate degree of bruising and swelling in their chest. Most of this resolves in about two weeks, with the majority of the swelling gone at six weeks post-op. Final surgical results are usually visible at this time. In general, men find that the end result of gynecomastia surgery is well worth the wait.
Men & Non-Invasive Body Contouring
Men carry their fat in different areas than women. As they age, many develop a rubber tire around the mid-section. It is not only unsightly, but annoying as no amount of crunches or kale salads seem to make a difference. Thankfully, there are a couple of really effective non-surgical body contouring procedures on the market these days. Dr. Doherty uses both SculpSure and CoolSculpting.
SculpSure is a laser that safely shocks and destroys the targeted fat cells in the treatment area with heat. Over time, these destroyed fat cells are eliminated through the body’s lymphatic system. Patients can expect up to a 24% reduction in fat cells in the treated area with an ideal result. It will usually take more than one session, spaced about 8 weeks apart to achieve your final results. CoolSculpting, on the other hand, uses cold to destroy the fat cells, but is otherwise more or less the same. One of the potential advantages of SculpSure over CoolSculpting is that since it uses heat, it is does deliver a possible skin tightening effect to the treated area.
Kybella® for Men
One of the bigger problem areas for men as they age is that pocket of excess fat right underneath the chin. Anyone who has to wear a necktie every day is familiar with how unsightly this bulge can be. Kybella® is an injectable made of deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body. Inserted through a series of very small pinpricks in the under chin area, this acid breaks down and destroys the fat cells. The destroyed fat cells are eventually eliminated through the body’s lymphatic system. The plus side of Kybella® is that it is extremely effective in the right patient. The downside is that it can take multiple treatments, spaced 4-8 weeks apart in order to achieve your final results. However, if you are a patient man, this can be a great option for addressing that submental pocket of fat under the chin that can be so aging.
Facial Injections for Men
Facial Injections is a catch-all phrase for any procedure that involves an injection to address the early signs of aging in the face. This includes:
The nice thing about an injection is that it is a non-surgical procedure with literally no downtime. You may have some slight redness where the needle was inserted, but this typically clears up within a day, two at the most. There may also be some residual swelling, but again, this should not be severe enough for others to notice. The important thing with injectables and men is that the surgeon has to understand and respect not only the male anatomy, but also the male aesthetic. Men have thicker skin than women so the face tends to age at a slower rate. Any treatment needs to be subtle so it’s not obvious. In the hands of a skilled injector like Dr. Doherty, you can expect non-surgical facelift results from your injectables treatment with everyone in the office simply asking if you’ve been getting more sleep.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary
Liposuction for Men
While non-surgical body contouring modalities like SculpSure® and CoolSculpting can be very effective, they require multiple treatments, and only really work on isolated pockets of fat. Sometimes, a patient needs a treatment with a bit more punch. Liposuction is a surgical procedure in which fat is removed through a small cannula that is inserted under the skin in the treatment area. These insertion points are extremely small and heal quite well. The nice thing about liposuction is that it gives Dr. Doherty the ability to literally re-sculpt your body whether that be your:
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary
While liposuction does require some downtime as well as the need to wear a compression garment, it is a one and done procedure assuming that your weight stays relatively steady.
Men Jawline Treatment
Aside from a smooth, flat chest, the other pillar of masculinity is a defined, crisp jawline. Furthermore, a clear delineation between the neck and the jaw makes a man look more youthful. Unfortunately, Father Time and genetics are not always kind to a man’s jawline. As the collagen in the skin breaks down with age, and fat collects in the neck and under chin area, the result is a squishy looking jawline. Embracing a really good skin care regime is the first line of defense. Anything that can be done to help keep the skin taut will stave off the chin/neck merger. Other non-surgical procedures for the jawline can include:
On the surgical side, the best modality for delivering a crisper looking jawline is going to be liposuction, a face/neck lift or a combination of the two The right one is really going to depend on the laxity of your skin. If you have a great deal of sagging skin with or without excess fat, the only way to address the issue is with a surgical excision. In the past, male face/neck lift results were kind of scary looking. However, today, surgeons have a better understanding of the differences in the male facial anatomy. Dr. Doherty is always cognizant to never feminize the face. Furthermore, he takes in to account your hair growth, especially the sideburns, in order to make any incision marks imperceptible. While a facelift will require an investment of your time, it is the penultimate way to turn back the clock.
To find out more about the many non-surgical and surgical procedures for men with Dr. Sean Doherty at his Boston or Brookline office, contact us today or call (617) 450-0070 to schedule a consultation
FAQ’s about Plastic Surgery for Men
Although some areas of the face and body are more sensitive than others, most patients describe a fillers procedure as being uncomfortable, not painful. Dr. Doherty and his staff do everything in their power to ensure your comfort. This includes numbing the treatment area with a topical numbing cream and ice. Also, most of the filler injections include lidocaine, another numbing agent, to make the procedure as pain free as conceivably possible.
No. Not in the hands of someone who knows what he’s doing like Dr. Doherty. This is where experience really matters. Try to find a surgeon who is board certified with a lot of experience treating men. Look at his or her before & after photos. And make sure to share your concerns during your consultation. Seeing how a plastic surgeon deals with your fears and discomfort is important when determining whether or not he or she is the right fit for you and your needs.
While there is little to no downtime with injectables, if you do not want anyone to have any idea, you may want to schedule your appointment late in the day or on a Friday. While post injection bruising is very rare, you will have a bit of swelling. This shouldn’t be noticeable to anyone who isn’t looking for it. But you may also have a bit of redness at the injection sites. This typically resolves in 24-48 hours so really, it’s up to you whether or not you return to work immediately.
Yes, liposuction can often be performed under local anesthesia. Whether or not this is the right call for you is really going to come down to how large the treatment area is and whether or not you are combining the procedure with something else. During your initial consultation, Dr. Doherty will be able to let you know whether or not liposuction under local anesthesia is a good option for you.
There are any number of underlying causes for gynecomastia including a hormone imbalance, certain medical conditions and drug use. But the most common reason is that you simply have a genetic tendency towards gynecomastia. This is part of what makes it so frustrating. You want to understand why it happened or if you were to blame. In most cases, there is nothing that you can do or could have done to prevent your gynecomastia. Thankfully, the treatment options are very effective and totally life changing.