Macho, Macho Men?

Men are turning to plastic surgery to stay competitive in the workplace

Top 5 surgical procedures among men

  1. Liposuction
  2. Eyelid Surgery
  3. Rhinoplasty
  4. Male Breast Reduction
  5. Hair Transplantation

Source: The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

For a decade, Aaron McKenzie considered getting surgery to fix his nose, which had been disfigured by several sports injuries.

"You catch yourself in the mirror and you're like, ‘What's wrong?' " he says. "My nose is halfway across my face."

After McKenzie, forty-one, enrolled in school to attain a degree in the medical field, he decided to undergo septorhinoplasty, which expanded his nasal passages to improve his breathing and straightened his nose. First impressions and his looks will be important when interviewing for jobs at hospitals and working with patients, he says. So he later returned to Charlotte Plastic Surgery for Botox and Juvéderm injections.

"Ten years fell right off my face," says McKenzie, a Pineville resident. "A healthy appearance will be important going into the medical profession. It counts for everything."

As cosmetic surgery becomes more socially acceptable, an increasing number of men are undergoing procedures. Men underwent nearly 1.1 million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures in 2007, an increase of 17 percent from 2006, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. (Still, though, 91 percent of patients are women.) And as cosmetic surgery becomes more advanced, the results have become less obvious. This appeals to men, who often want subtle improvements such as removing a small excess of fat, says cosmetic surgeon Raminder Saluja of Presbyterian Cosmetic and Laser Center. "They just want to look the best that they should for their age."

Surgeon Kevin Smith has seen a rise in male patients at Charlotte Plastic Surgery, and he estimates that three-fourths of them are undergoing procedures to compete in the workplace.

"Charlotte is a very professional town," Smith says. "With the competitive job market there is now, I think everybody wants to look vigorous and youthful."

Much of the stigma attached to plastic surgery is no longer there, says twenty-eight-year-old Bryan Croyle, who had rhinoplasty surgery in July 2008. Croyle embraced his nose surgery, discussing it openly with friends and having a post surgery party.

"I just decided there is no reason to be ashamed about this," says Croyle, a meeting planner who lives in uptown. "It's something I'm doing for myself."

Plastic Surgery Meltdown

Along with daily lunch outings, summer vacations, and NetFlix subscriptions, it looks like in light of the current crappy economy plastic surgery is taking a major hit. According to a survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 59 percent of respondents say the economy has had an impact on their plans for cosmetic plastic surgery. That's up 9 percent from six months ago. And the Southeast's cosmetic surgery scene tops the regions most affected by the economy. Here's a look at what procedures were hit the hardest in this area. — Blake Miller

  • 62 percent decrease in overall cosmetic surgeries
  • 62 percent decrease in breast augmentation
  • 44 percent decrease in nose reshaping


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