In 2016, about 215,000 cosmetic plastic surgeries were performed in men, accounting for 13 percent of all aesthetic procedures; their popular requests included facelift, eyelid lift, and rhinoplasty (nose job), according to a survey released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Aside from gender-based beauty standards, men’s facial plastic surgery is different from women’s due to their underlying anatomy. For instance, their skin is more vascularized and thus more susceptible to bleeding and bruising compared to females.
Furthermore, any scar that may result from facial plastic surgery is more difficult for men to hide since they do not wear makeup, as most women do.
Another notable difference is the men’s tendency to ask for subtler results because unlike women, they are less likely to disclose their plastic surgery to other people probably due to “double standard” stigma.
Fortunately, achieving subtle and natural results from men’s facial plastic surgery is possible with correct surgical maneuvers and deep understanding of universal guidelines of facial proportion and masculine beauty.
Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley explains the three most commonly sought facial plastic surgeries of men and the core principles that help him deliver natural and gender-appropriate results.
Men are more prone to hair loss than women, making it more challenging to hide the scar. It is important to note that facelift typically uses incisions within or behind the hairline to hide the scar, which can be difficult in patients with receding hairline, unless a short-scar or mini lift is used.
Another issue with male facelift is the surgical stigmata—e.g., flat cheeks, overly pulled appearance, and hollowing of the lower lid. However, these can be avoided with the correct vector of pull.
Aging causes the vertical descent of the skin and other soft tissue; hence, the correct vector of pull should be oblique and not a “blunt” horizontal.
By lifting the skin at a 45-degree angle, several wonderful things happen: the jowling is reduced, the softness of the cheek fat pad is restored, and the face appears tighter but not too taut.
Another nuance of male facelift is the propensity of patients to ask their surgeons to maintain a few small wrinkles for a more realistic, natural result.
Men generally seek nose-reshaping surgery to reduce their hump and refine their tip without causing them to lose the masculinity of their face. Hence, great surgeons avoid over-resection of the tissue, which is also linked to increased risk of nasal collapse and other deformity.
The ideal nose is defined by universal beauty tenets instead of a highly rigid set of rules. The goal is to reshape the nose that will fit the face of the patients, respect their gender and ethnicity, and meet their aesthetic goals.
Several studies have attempted to describe what constitute an ideal male nose and these are some of their findings: It is “biologically” bigger than female’s possibly due to men’s increased muscle mass that requires more oxygen; it has a prominent dorsum or bridge; its tip has an angle of rotation around 90 degrees giving it a straighter profile (a slight upturned appearance is enough to feminize the face); and the overall profile appears strong instead of delicate.
- Eyelid surgery
Eyelid surgery eliminates the hooding of the upper lid and the under eye-bags. However, even the slightest error—i.e., removing just a few millimeters of fat or skin than intended—can lead to stigmata such as lid retraction, deep tear trough, and abrupt lower lid-cheek transition.
To deliver natural and gender-appropriate results, doctors ensure that after surgery the upper lid appears “heavier” and lower compared to women’s, and there is a smooth lower lid and cheek junction.
And to preserve smooth transition between the lower lid and cheek, eyelid surgery is now commonly performed together with fat injection.
Another issue with male eyelid surgery is the risk of scar. This can be avoided by placing the incision precisely at the skin fold of the upper lid, and very close to the lower lash line margin.
All efforts are made to ensure that the scar remains concealed because men do not wear makeup to hide surgical stigmata.