Men turn to plastic surgeons for a better body image and more confidence at every age

June 13, 2018, American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Landon Pringle, 19, has a follow-up appointment with Dr. Lorelei Grunwaldt, who performed plastic surgery to remove excess fat caused by gynecomastia. Since surgery, Landon has lost nearly a hundred pounds and says surgery gave him more confidence to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle. Credit: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Body image is an issue most commonly discussed among women, but new statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reveal that it's a conversation that is emerging among men. More men are seeking help from plastic surgeons to enhance their looks and build confidence. In fact, more than 1.3 million cosmetic procedures were performed on men in 2017 alone.

"More and more men are coming to my office to have an open discussion about their insecurities," said Lorelei Grunwaldt, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Pittsburgh. "When I explain the wide range of surgeries and procedures available to help them achieve their goals, I can see the look of relief on their faces. For a lot of men, just having a on an area of their body that they're self-conscious about can really make a positive impact on how they see themselves."

Dr. Grunwaldt says she sees a lot of who are looking for body contouring procedures. The statistics show that procedures such as liposuction (up 23%) and tummy tucks (up 12%) have had a boost in popularity among men over the past five years, while male breast reductions have increased about 30 percent in that time.

For 19-year-old Landon Pringle, it was stubborn fat that seemed impossible to lose after his asthma medication caused significant weight gain. Dr. Grunwaldt determined that Landon has gynecomastia, a swelling of male breast tissue caused by hormones, and she performed surgery to remove the excess fat.

Credit: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

"After the procedure, his confidence went through the roof and led to even better results," said Dr. Grunwaldt. "He felt more comfortable in his own skin and was motivated to get out and exercise and really take control of his weight loss."

"Every time I step on the scale, I see a smaller number," said Landon. "In 2006, I was 299 pounds, and I had no idea what to do about it. Now I'm down to 204 pounds, and I know that wouldn't be possible without surgery to get the process started."

While young men seem to focus on enhancing their bodies, older men are having more minimally-invasive procedures to take years off of their faces. Nearly 100,000 men had filler injections in 2017, up 99 percent since 2000, with Botox quadrupling in popularity. "Some people call it the 'executive edge' because a lot of patients report that they want to look younger to continue to compete in the workplace," said Jeffrey Janis, MD, President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "But I think, more often, men just want to look as young as they feel. That's where a board-certified plastic surgeon can help."

Landon Pringle, 19, works out daily to maintain his nearly 100 pound weight loss. After medication caused him to gain weight, he had plastic surgery to remove excess fat and kickstart his weight loss journey. Credit: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Dr. Janis stresses the importance of choosing a board-certified surgeon to ensure the most rigorous safety and ethical standards, plus those are the surgeons who are most qualified and can offer a wide range of options to fit the needs of each patient.

"Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon is critical to your safety, your comfort and your happiness," said Dr. Janis. "The extensive training that these doctors go through gives them the versatility to offer their patients more choices so that each person receives the right procedures to meet their goals."

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