The number of British men undergoing cosmetic surgery procedures has doubled over the last ten years, according to a leading medical body. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has reported that a record 4,614 UK men underwent a procedure in 2015 for purely aesthetic reasons, up from just 2,440 in 2005.
The most popular male surgery was an eyelid reduction (blepharoplasty), where surplus skin and protruding fat is removed to produce a more alert appearance and reduce swollen and puffy eyes. This was followed in popularity by nose jobs, pinning back of the ears and general liposuction. Male breast reduction - or moob-job - is also on the rise.
It has also been revealed recently that beard transplants are becoming more commonplace, with some men reportedly spending up to £14,500 on the treatment. Beard transplants can be used to hide scars, or simply supplement existing facial hair. Donor hairs are plucked from the back or sides of a man's scalp and transplanted onto his beard-line in a process called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
Consultant plastic surgeon and former BAAPS president, Rajiv Grover, believes that the modern man is instead now opting for a sharp, in-shape and groomed image. He said: "The audit has shown that demand for cosmetic surgery continues to increase following the quieter period in 2014 which mirrored the British economy. The double digit rise in surgical procedures suggests that the public are choosing to spend on treatments with a proven track record such as facelifts and liposuction which remain as the gold standard for facial rejuvenation and body contouring.”
Surgeons warn that cosmetic surgery is not a decision to be made lightly and should be carefully considered. Mr Grover is keen to warn prospective patients about committing to such surgeries on a whim, and stresses that procedures invariably result in a permanent outcome and that "… an operation is not something that can simply be returned to the shop if you don’t like it."
James Corbin, an associate in the Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team, comments: “The huge increase in volume of procedures purely for aesthetic reasons suggests that patients are more relaxed about surgery that they were 10 years ago. We always emphasise the permanency of the surgeries and the need to counsel patients accordingly. We have seen a tightening up of informed consent requirements recently, with a focus on the individual’s best interests and their individual circumstances.”