Top Cosmetic Procedures for Men to Age Gracefully

Though a man doesn't face the same hormonal changes with aging that affect a woman's weight and muscle mass, his clock is still ticking away.

Do men age as gracefully as we think? Though a man doesn’t face the same hormonal changes with aging that affect a woman’s weight and muscle mass, his clock is still ticking away. Whether he’s constantly in the public eye or an everyday man, most men want to maintain their healthy, youthful appearance just as much as women. Luckily for men, as plastic surgery increases in popularity, it’s becoming more and more acceptable for them to turn to cosmetic procedures to continue to look their best.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) 2012 Report of Plastic Surgery Statistics, out of the more than 14 million surgical and non-surgical procedures conducted, more than 8.5% were performed on men, which totals to about 1.2 million procedures.

After your male patients see those numbers, they may start wondering, “What would be an appropriate change for me at this stage of my life?” And that word “stage” is the word to zero in on.

Following the Life Stage Personal Enhancement Philosophy, small changes done over a period of time are more impactful in the long run than a dramatic reconstruction performed all at once. Since a man’s cosmetic plan to maintain a life stage balance of his facial and body appearance remains pretty consistent throughout his adult life, the following is a guide to help men look and feel their best through their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond.

Men in their 30s

A man’s circulating testosterone level begins to decrease after the age of 30. As a result of this, the most important thing a man can do to keep himself looking youthful is to continue building and maintaining muscle mass. A regular program of cardiovascular fitness paired with weight training is essential for mitigating the natural aging process of decreased muscle mass.

Men in their 40s

The use of Botox and fillers has become much more common for men in their 40s and 50s who are beginning to deal with the loss of facial skin elasticity. Because a man’s face has a more robust blood supply than a woman’s face, any personal enhancement treatments that are oriented specifically to the face must take into consideration factors such as the depth of skin peeling, energy levels for light base treatments, and frequency of topical medications applications. The most common cosmetic procedure for men in this age group involves rejuvenation around the eyes. When it’s performed well, eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can help rejuvenate a man’s face without announcing to the world that he has undergone plastic surgery.

Men in their 50s and beyond

Men in this age group will typically experience increasing amounts of skin accumulation along the jaw line in the neck, which we often refer to as jowls. However, traditional approaches for face and neck lifts don’t work particularly well in men, because the scars can’t be hidden under the hairline as they are in women. Nevertheless, the removal of extra neck skin through a geometric pattern hides the scar in the area between the bottom of a man’s chin and his Adam’s apple.

Less favorable male cosmetic surgery outcomes — including those of Bruce Jenner, Mickey Rourke, and Burt Reynolds — have taught us that too much is simply too much. Therefore, I leave your patients with the same adage that I advise all my patients who are contemplating a cosmetic procedure: “Moderation is key.”

Robert T. Grant, MD, MSc, FACS, is Chief of the combined Divisions of Plastic Surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is also Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. For more information about Dr. Grant or to contact him, visit his website at www.robertgrantmd.com.