From baby boomers to millennials, men today are just as interested in improving their health and transforming their physical appearance as women. Some men are motivated professionally to maintain their edge in the workplace. Others want to feel more comfortable socially. Exploring options in aesthetic surgery is not a subject many men are willing to discuss with one another. However, growing statistics speak for themselves.
The approach toward cosmetic enhancement for men is quite gender specific. Whether you are considering a subtle change of a more dramatic correction, Dr. Michael Lee can be your guide in navigating through the maze of procedures addressing men’s concerns. In the following interview you will find relevant information that answers some questions you may have been reluctant to ask.
“Men represent one of the fastest growing patient populations seeking aesthetic procedures. This increasing demand shows that more men than ever are interested in looking their best. They are realizing they don’t have to live with that turkey neck, crooked nose, love handles, or male breasts. My approach with men has always been to retain a masculine look by improving–not changing–who they are.” — Michael Lee, M.D.
When should a man consider a facelift?
No two men age at the same rate, so there is no absolute age at which I think men should consider a facelift. I would say when a man is concerned with neck laxity and a decrease in what was formerly a strong jawline, then it might be time to consult with me. In general, the longer you wait, the more obvious any surgical correction will seem. Ideally, the best results are when the skin still retains some elasticity, so it is wise to be proactive if you are seriously contemplating a facelift.
How do you modify your techniques for men vs. women?
While women commonly seek to rejuvenate their forehead, brows, eyes, face and neck, men appreciate a much more abbreviated approach. My goal with men is to reduce the signs of aging while maintaining their masculinity. I usually focus on their lower face, jaw and neck. Men retain a certain distinguished look as their eyes age, so it is not uncommon to ignore the eye/brow area unless there is significant excess skin, bags or in the case of brows, descent.
The location of incisions is very important in men because they are not as easily hidden as with a woman. It depends upon their hair pattern and sideburns. I am very intentional about making the smallest scar possible in a place where they will eventually be imperceptible.
I’m afraid I will look like Jerry Jones or Kenny Rogers. How can I be sure I will look better–not different?
There are plenty of examples of bad surgical and non-surgical results in the media. When even the rich and famous cannot seem to get great outcomes, it is no surprise that average people wonder what chance they might have for a natural result. The first thing to do is to be sure you are consulting with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is a true specialist in facial rejuvenation. I spend a lot of time with my patients in consultation because communication is so important. We’ll discuss specific concerns and options and review some before and after pictures that demonstrate my aesthetic. My approach has delivered excellent results for men without changing their identity. Male facial rejuvenation should translate into a fresher, more youthful appearance while maintaining a man’s natural features and expression. In fact, I am very conscious about intentionally leaving a bit of laxity in the skin so the overall impression is age appropriate, not “tight.”
Can a facelift get rid of my jowls?
A stronger, more contoured jawline is actually the main focus of a male facelift where the tissue is not removed, but repositioned.
What is not included in a facelift procedure?
Most facelift procedures involve the lower face and neck. However, with the high SMAS technique I use, there are variations of the operation that allow me to address other areas such as the lower eyelid. A browlift or eyelid lift are not part of a facelift but can be performed at the same time.
It is important to understand that a “facelift” is not a prescriptive procedure, but rather a descriptive term identifying highly individualized techniques that are applied to meet the needs of a particular patient.
What non-surgical options are there to simulate a more youthful face? Can they take the place of a facelift?
Yes, there are. Botox® is a great option for men because it weakens a man’s strong facial muscles. Most people don’t think of Botox as preventative maintenance, but if a man begins to treat fine lines and wrinkles in his 30’s, he will most likely avoid deep wrinkles in his 60’s. Basic skincare and sunblock is essential to sustain skin health and quality. Non-invasive skin tightening devices are delaying surgical intervention in some cases. Regardless of age, it is important to consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon—even if you are not considering surgery. It is the best way to learn more about the way you are aging and what options will and won’t work.
If I do a full facelift, where do you hide the scars?
Incisions will be placed in the sideburns and down the crevice or shadows in the ear and into the hairline.
I am starting to look like my father with a turkey gobbler below my chin. What is involved in a necklift?
A man’s overall profile is dramatically improved with a necklift. A necklift is similar to a facelift, but the focus is on the neck—not the midface. By making a small incision in the crease under the chin, I can repair the muscles in the neck that have separated and lost support which creates the laxity we are trying to correct. This scar heals very well and is imperceptible. Second, we remove any excess fat to smooth the neck contour. Through a small scar by the ear, I can then reposition the neck muscles and jowls to a more refreshed appearance.
I heard about a new non-surgical way of either using needles or freezing the neck to get rid of fat. Does that help me avoid surgery and downtime?
If you don’t have significant excess skin, and you are concerned with isolated fat deposits, you could be a candidate for non-surgical correction. It is important to know the facts about number of treatments, overall cost and ultimate effectiveness.
Kybella® is the latest FDA approved injectable treatment for adults that destroys fat cells under the chin. There are typically 4-6 treatments involved spaced 4-8 weeks apart. Results are gradual, but there is no downtime and the discomfort is minimal.
Coolsculpting®, also FDA approved, recently introduced a “cool mini” that reduces unwanted fat around the lower jaw, cheek, and jowl area. The miniature Coolsculpting® applicator delivers controlled cooling to the targeted fat. Two sessions are usually required and the result is gradual over a period of months.
If your skin has moderate to good elasticity, with little excess skin, and your main complaint is fullness below the chin, your best option might be liposuction. It is considered an invasive procedure, but offers immediate, predictable results. Liposuction takes less than an hour, is permanent, and allows the neck to be “sculpted” in a more controlled manner than any non-invasive procedure.
I have extra skin on my eyelids that make me look tired all the time. What can I do?
Eyelids and brows are best evaluated as a unit. The male brow is typically lower than what we consider natural for a female. It should be right at the bony rim above the eye. If brows have descended beneath this bone, I can raise it with a browlift. If there is excess skin on the eyelid contributing to a tired, hooded appearance, I can do an eyelid lift.
I have huge bags under my eyes. How can I get rid of those?
As they age, men lose volume in their mid-face, but it is not as noticeable as women. Excess fat under the eyes and lower lids can be treated with a lower eyelid lift. By removing fat or repositioning the fat, I can make heavy bags less pronounced. The goal is to create a slight demarcation between the cheekbone and lower lid. This is very different than blending the eye-cheek junction I do for women which would feminize that feature in a man.
My eyes are sunken with hollows under the eye and dark circles. What can be done to make that less noticeable?
A hollow orbit is the opposite of bags under the eye, but just as unsightly. In this case, I would use fillers and/or fat to bring some level of improvement. Dark circles are not addressed with surgery and may be associated with a hereditary skin characteristic or allergies that may require a different specialist.
How much downtime does eyelid surgery involve?
This is a difficult question to answer because it is predicated upon how much work is done which can be extremely variable. I tell my patients a few days to a couple weeks. If there are sutures involved, it is 7 days until they are removed. If we are just using fat, then there are no sutures but there is bruising for 3-5 days.
My brows are drooping. Will eyelid surgery lift them?
No. The only procedure that lifts the brow is a browlift.
If you lift my brows, will I have a surprised look the rest of my life?
No, the goal is always a natural look. With men, I am particularly conservative, especially in the brow area where overcorrection is not easily revised. Browlifts raise the brows by just a few millimeters, but that makes all the difference. They are a bit higher at first, and then the skin relaxes over a period of a few months and eventually settle into a great result.
My hairline is receding. How will you hide the scars if you surgically lift my brows?
Hairline is always taken into account with a browlift and it depends upon where the hair loss has progressed. I use different types of incisions. In an endoscopic brow lift, they are 5 very small incisions in the hairline. This influences the forehead to a small degree. There is also a version of browlift that requires an incision in the scalp behind the hairline. It is a function of how much lift is necessary, where the hairline begins and the character of the forehead.
Is a forehead lift the same procedure as a browlift?
Yes, it’s same thing.
I can breathe fine, but my nose… (has a bump)(is crooked)(is too big)(is too small)(is hooked)(has a weird tip). Can you fix it?
I’ve learned that men are just as self-conscious as women when it comes to their nose. The nose is comprised of skin, cartilage and bone and I can improve or adjust a wide variety of concerns. It depends upon what the patient expresses during their consultation. The nose is the centerpiece of the face, and your profile, so I am very careful to avoid feminizing the nose.
I like my nose, but I can’t breathe. Can you fix it without ruining my nose?
Absolutely. In this case we want to address the areas that are causing whatever obstruction is bothering you. If there is an obstruction or a structural deviation involving the septum, nasal valve, or turbinates, I can improve all of those anatomically. If the breathing problem is physiological, like allergies, that requires a visit to a different specialist.
I’ve heard nose re-shaping is difficult. How do I know you can give me the nose I want?
Yes, rhinoplasty, or nose-reshaping is widely recognized as the most challenging procedure in plastic surgery. That is why you should be selective in whom you choose. I am unique in that I am double boarded in both plastic surgery and otolaryngology (head and neck.) This means from both an aesthetic and functional point of view I have the training and experience to tailor the operation to exactly what every patient needs and wants.
Do you really have to break my nose?
That is variable. The procedure is called an osteotomy. It is not always necessary unless I need to straighten or balance the nose.
How painful and long is the recovery?
It stands to reason that the more you have to do surgically to repair or improve the nose, the longer the recovery. For airway issues, there is a bit more recovery. On the average I tell my patients 2 weeks. Dressing, and sutures all come off 7 days. In approximately 20% of cases, I use nasal packing which is also removed in 7 days. Then you are bruised and swollen for another week, but the degree of bruising and swelling is very dependent upon the individual. Within a month you get a good idea of your new nose. It actually takes about a year before the nose is completely healed and considered the final result.
Discomfort is subjective, so that is difficult to comment on. Most patients report more pressure than pain. But any pain is easily handled with oral medication.
Is there an age limit to getting my nose done?
It’s important to wait for facial growth to be complete. For men this is around 19. As long as a man is healthy and a good surgical candidate, nose reshaping can be done into the 80s.
My chin looks like it is receding. Am I imagining that?
You are not imagining it, but might be surprised by the explanation. As we age we lose soft tissue and volume. As it pertains to the nose, the nose appears longer or bigger and the tip droops. We are also losing bony volume from the upper and lower jaw. As you lose bone in your upper jaw, the support for the nose begins to collapse. At the same time it also affects the bone that creates the mandible. The bottom line is that the chin is becoming weaker and smaller as we age.
Sometimes a nose reshaping (rhinoplasty) can rebalance the entire lower face, but when that is not sufficient, a chin implant may be recommended. We want to avoid the nose looking bigger and the chin appearing smaller. .
I’ve always had a weak chin. What are my options to change my profile?
I prefer to consider fat grafting first and use an implant as a backup plan. There are tradeoffs to consider in either, but both can improve your overall profile with a relatively simple procedure.
In the majority of situations, the scars are hidden inside the mouth.
Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Lee. This is the next step to determine which Park Cities Cosmetic Surgery procedure is the best option, giving you the desired outcome after surgery. Dr. Michael Lee will spend time with you to learn about your medical history and your expected outcome for surgery, as well as explaining the procedure in detail and answering all of your questions.