How much are men spending on cosmetic surgery and why?

Posted: 25/02/2014


One of the latest developments in the cosmetic surgery industry is the increase in the number of men seeking treatment. Wayne Rooney and Louis Walsh have both had hair transplants, TV chef Gordon Ramsay had his chin done and tennis star Boris Becker has had a facelift.

According to The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS)’ statistics, male patients accounted for 10% of all cosmetic surgery procedures carried out in the UK in 2012 and more recent statistics show a further 7% rise in the number of men undergoing surgery. This probably reflects the pressure men may feel to look attractive, appear youthful and boost career prospects.

Anti-ageing treatments seem to be particularly popular. For example, there has been a rise in requests from men for chin implants, which typically cost £3,500 upwards. There is a perception amongst men that having a stronger jawline will give them greater gravitas in the workplace. However, as with any surgical procedure, chin implants are not without risk. They can become infected, slip out of position or even wear away the chin bone. This makes the jaw recede even further than before the implant was inserted. If this happens, the implant can be removed and patients can opt for a different, more painful chin operation.

Men are also seeking liposuction in increasing numbers. They report wanting to have a flatter stomach or to lose ‘love handles’. Liposuction costs from £2,500 upwards depending on the area being treated.

Many men may have broken their nose playing sports, while others are just unhappy with their appearance. This makes rhinoplasty one of the most popular operations for men in the UK. Rhinoplasty is quite a straightforward procedure. The operation is normally carried out inside the nose so that scars are not visible from the outside. A cut is made inside the nostrils and the skin of the nose is then lifted upwards to allow access to the cartilage and bones underneath. The cartilage and bones are then altered by the surgeon to fit the patient's requirements and the skin is later draped back over the new nose. The cost of rhinoplasty is generally in the region of £3,000 upwards.

Other popular treatments for men include the removal of bags under the eyes, pinning back ears, hair transplants and laser therapy to cure snoring.

Alison Johnson, senior associate in the clinical negligence cosmetic claims team at Penningtons Manches LLP, says: “A man considering cosmetic surgery should do his homework and take time to consider his options. He needs to be consented just as thoroughly as a woman for any course of treatment or surgery. However, some men may feel reluctant or too embarrassed to take someone with them to initial appointments or to talk to family or friends about their experiences. A woman tends to be more open about her planned procedure and more willing to talk about it than a man, who may be more private or secretive. A good cosmetic surgeon will educate his patient, male or female, so that the patient has all the information he or she needs to make a decision about a procedure and to enable them to feel comfortable about their desired result.”


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