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Study Shows Increase in Facelifts, Ear Surgery, and Soft Tissue Filler

WebMD Health News

Cosmetic Surgery on the Rise in Men

March 21, 2011 -- Growing numbers of male baby boomers are fighting harder than ever against the effects of aging by enthusiastically embracing facelifts, liposuction, and other cosmetic surgical procedures aimed at making them look younger, new research suggests.

While overall cosmetic surgery procedures in men rose 2% in 2010 over the previous year, many types of operations, such as facelifts, increased dramatically, says a new report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The report says facelifts increased 14%, ear surgery (otoplasty) increased 11%, and soft tissue filler increased 10%.

All told, men underwent more than 1.1 million cosmetic procedures in 2010, some invasive requiring surgery and others being minimally invasive.

In 2010, the majority of the top fastest-growing cosmetic procedures for men were surgical. The new statistics reflect a change in a trend in which minimally invasive procedures were previously rising faster.

Cosmetic Surgery for Baby Boomers

“The growth in cosmetic surgical procedures for men may be a product of our aging baby boomers who are now ready to have plastic surgery,” Phillip Haeck, MD, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and a partner in Plastic Surgery Associates of Seattle, says in a news release. “Minimally-invasive procedures such as Botox and soft tissue fillers work to a point. However, as you age and gravity takes over, surgical procedures that lift the skin are necessary in order to show improvement.”

Stephen Baker, MD, a plastic surgeon in Washington, D.C., says people often think of celebrities when they hear about men going under the knife, but it’s also becoming more common among regular guys.

He says the typical patient he sees is “an average guy who wants to look as good as he feels.”

Baker, program director of the department of plastic surgery at Georgetown University Hospital, also says most of his patients “are ‘men’s men,’ the kind of guy you might not think would have plastic surgery.”

But with more and more baby boomers reaching retirement and increasingly showing signs of aging, many “want to look good,” and opt for plastic surgery when they feel they have the financial resources to do so.

Brush Up on Beauty

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