Despite once being viewed as an exercise in self-indulgent vanity, cosmetic plastic surgery has become an increasingly accepted and even common part of everyday life. As medical advancements have helped men and women live longer and healthier lives, it is only natural that they should want to look as young and vital as they feel. In the more than twenty years that I have been a practicing, board-certified plastic surgeon in Atlanta, I have seen attitudes towards plastic surgery change a great deal, particularly among men. Now more than ever, a youthful appearance can play a key role in determining career success and many men are turning towards body contouring plastic surgery procedures to give them more youthful and athletic-looking physiques.
The most popular body contouring procedure among men is breast reduction for the treatment of gynecomastia, an overdevelopment of one or both male breasts. Contrary to popular belief, this condition can occur in men of all ages, regardless of their weight or physical condition. For generations men with this condition suffered in silence, but more than 26,000 men received plastic surgery for the treatment of gynecomastia in 2014, an increase of nearly 30% since 2000. In some very rare cases, where gynecomastia is primarily the result of excess fatty tissue, reduction can be accomplished through liposuction techniques alone, requiring only small incisions and relatively little downtime. However, it is much more common for liposuction techniques to be used in conjunction with the surgical removal of glandular breast tissue in order to achieve the best possible plastic surgery results.
Men have also begun to look to liposuction as a way to improve their physiques. Because men tend to retain skin elasticity longer than women, and because the areas of fat beneath their skin tend to be firmer and more vascular, liposuction procedures in men are usually an extremely effective way to eliminate isolated fat deposits that have proven resistant to diet and exercise. Liposuction is most effective when administered to a patient who is in good health and who has good skin elasticity, and should never be used as a substitute for a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, but can shape the abdominal area, reduce the flanks (“love handles”), and provide a sleeker overall frame.
Finally, many men have also undergone tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty procedures to help alleviate a sagging or distended midsection. The number of tummy tucks performed on men each year has doubled since 2000, and the trend shows no sign of reversing. Over time, accumulated fat tends to settle in the abdominal area in men, potentially stretching the muscles that form the abdominal wall. Once these muscles have been stretched out, no amount of exercise will restore them to their former condition. A tummy tuck, however, can tighten the abdominal muscles and give the midsection a tighter, flatter, and thinner overall look.
If you have additional questions about body contouring or are interested in any of the cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that I perform, please schedule a consultation with me, Dr. James Namnoum. Don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery news and updates.