Cosmetic Surgery for Men

Armen Hareyan's picture

Why do men seek cosmetic surgery?

Men undergo cosmetic surgery for many reasons. Not only does our society value youth and beauty, but it rewards it. Psychologists have clearly demonstrated that given relatively equal qualifications, the more attractive man or woman is more likely to land the job. An attractive appearance is an attribute just as a bright mind, a pleasing personality, and athletic skills are.

Good and bad reasons for considering cosmetic surgery

Patients have many reasons for seeking cosmetic surgery. Many of these reasons are good ones. However, some people seek cosmetic surgery for the wrong reasons and should reconsider their decision.

The ideal patient is a well-motivated individual who has considered cosmetic surgery for some time. Most patients have seriously thought about having cosmetic surgery for 5 years or more.

Commonly stated good reasons for seeking surgery include the following:

  • "I want to do it for myself."
  • "I look into the mirror and I don't recognize that person."
  • "I feel young, I exercise, but I don't look the way I feel."
  • "People keep telling me I look tired or angry."

Ill-advised reasons for seeking cosmetic surgery include the following:

  • "My husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend is leaving me. I'm looking for a boost."
  • "My husband/wife has died and I'm looking for a pick-me-up."

Surgery is a significant investment in time, effort, and emotion.

Commonly asked questions

  • "Am I vain?"
  • "Will I look so different that people will know that I had plastic surgery?"

Good plastic surgery makes the patient appear more rested, happier, and younger. However, the person still looks like him- or herself.


The incidence (number of cases) of cosmetic surgery is increasing nationally. We have also noted a significant increase in cosmetic surgery in men. The fastest growing cosmetic procedure for men is liposuction, the removal of excess fat using a suction pump device. The next most common procedures are blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and facelift surgery.

Initial evaluation

At the initial consultation, the plastic surgeon will perform a detailed history, a physical examination, and a detailed analysis of the patient's area of concern. Photography and computer imaging are performed and the results are shared with the patient to give him or her a clear picture of the planned changes.


Three procedures are discussed during the consultation:

  • Eyelid surgery
  • Facelift surgery
  • Liposuction

Each of these surgeries can be performed as an outpatient patient procedure under local anesthesia with intravenous (IV) sedation or general anesthesia. Recovery is approximately 2 weeks.

Eyelid surgery

This procedure is most commonly performed under local anesthesia with sedation. Upper eyelid surgery is generally performed for excess skin, while lower eyelid surgery is generally performed for excess fat, and lesser amounts of skin are removed. Recovery is generally painless and takes 1 to 2 weeks.

Facelift surgery

Facelift surgery is a more lengthy procedure than eyelid surgery. It generally involves cutting in front of the ears, behind the ears and into the hairline and may involve an incision under the chin. While the facelift causes little pain after surgery, the discomfort is greater than it is after eyelid surgery. Most patients can return to work or casual social events 2 weeks following surgery.


Liposuction is a procedure that is performed to remove excess fat. It requires the skin to be elastic enough to contract over a smaller volume following fat removal. It is completed using either tumescent or ultrasonic techniques and involves small, inconspicuous incisions. Recovery is fast.


While complications for the above procedures are infrequent, a full discussion of the risks and complications should be carried out with your plastic surgeon before you undergo any cosmetic surgery.


This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. For additional written health information, please contact the Health Information Center at the Cleveland Clinic (216) 444-3771 or toll-free (800) 223-2273 extension 43771 or visit This document was last reviewed on: 2/3/2004