Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More men going under the knife

To friends and colleagues, Frank Lococo's furrowed brow made him appear angry and confrontational. Not exactly personality traits you want as an advertising executive.

So the 37-year-old Milwaukee man opted for cosmetic surgery, joining the growing number of men willing to go under the knife — or for some, under the needle — in an effort to make themselves look younger and, hopefully, improve their careers.

"Being in advertising and marketing, there is a lot to how you look," said Lococo, of Milwaukee. "How you dress, what you drive, it all makes an impact on the overall presentation of you."

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in Arlington Heights, Ill., 1.1 million men underwent cosmetic surgery in 2007, a 9 percent increase from 2000. Of those procedures, 884,000 were minimally invasive such as Botox, microdermabrasion and laser hair removal, while 233,000 were surgical such as rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery and liposuction. Botox treatments are the most common minimally invasive treatment for men, with 296,012 done in 2007 — a 215 percent increase from 2000.

Anecdotal interviews of physicians at local hospital systems including Milwaukee-based Columbia St. Mary's and Aurora Health Care, Wauwatosa-based Froedtert Hospital and Glendale-based Wheaton Franciscan Health Care revealed local doctors are seeing more male patients too, especially those who are interested in Botox and eyelid surgery.

Last year, Lococo had Botox injections done at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Plastic Surgery Center to soften his furrowed brow and above his eyes. The results were immediate, and he's setting up a second appointment. Lococo plans on having the same injections, and possibly a few more around his eyes.

He compares Botox to putting a toe in the water before deciding to jump in the pool. Depending on how he ages, Lococo said he would consider more complex cosmetic surgery.

One treatment of Botox costs an average of $2,000 and lasts about a year. Compared with the $8,000 to $10,000 for facelifts, Botox has become a popular and economically sound choice for many, said Dr. David Larson, chairman of plastic surgery at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Dr. Jolene Andryk, a plastic surgeon with Aurora Advanced Healthcare, said despite the increase in male patients, she doesn't market her business to them because cosmetic surgery still carries a stigma for men.

Most of Andryk's male patients have been referred by wives or girlfriends, she said.

"I'm seeing more of the business professional group coming in," she said. "I (recently) had a consult with a man in his late-50s whose coworkers kept telling him he looked tired. He was looking for a more youthful, energetic appearance. There are subtle ways for men to look refreshed and refined in the business world and they are seeking them out."

Andryk, who does reconstructive surgery in addition to cosmetic, estimates 15 percent of her cosmetic base is men, up about 5 percent from five years ago.

Fourteen percent of Botox injections, 15 percent of all liposuction and eyelid surgeries, 20 percent of laser hair removal and 24 percent of nose jobs are carried out on men, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Los Alamitos, Calif.

More patients

Larson has seen an increase similar to Andryk's in his male patient business as invasive procedures and so-called "liquid facelifts" become more popular.

Larson estimates about 10 percent to 12 percent of his business is male patients, making up 5 percent to 8 percent of his gross income.

"As word passes from their wives to them, I'm seeing more men," Larson said. "For invasive procedures such as liposuction, nose surgery and removal of excessive eyelid skin, men see great results and those operations have really gone up."

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the top five male cosmetic surgery procedures are nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction, breast reduction and hair transplantation. The top five minimally invasive procedures are Botox, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, chemical peel and laser skin resurfacing.

Dr. Terrence Wilkins, a plastic surgeon with Columbia St. Mary's, said when he started 20 years ago, male patients were less than 10 percent of his business. Today, about two in 10 patients are men.

"The procedures men have are a little different here, than the national statistics," Wilkins said.

Wilkins said that nationally, the most common procedure for men is liposuction, but in the Milwaukee area eyelid surgery is the top procedure, followed by rhinoplasty.

Andryk said a man's professional status, income and education level normally coincide with his interest in plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is not typically covered by insurance companies.

"It's a sign of our times," she said. "Fifty is the new 30, so nobody wants to be 50 and look like they are 70."

1 comment:

  1. Larson has seen an increase similar to Andryk's in his male patient business as invasive procedures and so-called "liquid facelifts" become more popular.