Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 2/23/2021
Have you ever noticed wrinkles, a receding hairline, a little extra fat on your chest or another imperfection in the mirror and wondered about “fixing” it through plastic surgery?
We all have at least a few appearance-related insecurities. While previous generations were limited by technology, modern surgical procedures mean that just about every aspect of our appearance can be modified, at least to a certain extent.
Although women make up the majority of plastic surgery patients, plastic surgery is starting to become more popular with men interested in changing certain aspects of their appearance.
Data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows that an increasing number of men are open to getting plastic surgery, with surgeons performing a total of 1.3 million surgical and non-invasive procedures in 2019 on men in the United States.
While media headlines might make us associate plastic surgery with obvious, artificial-looking enhancements, the reality is that well done plastic surgery can improve your appearance and reverse many of the effects of aging, all without looking unnatural.
Below, we’ve listed the most common plastic surgery procedures for men, as well as the basics of how each procedure works and the effects it can have on your appearance.
We’ve also talked more about the typical cost of plastic surgery for men, including non-invasive procedures such as Botox® and others.
Plastic surgery procedures are defined as either surgical or non-surgical. Surgical procedures are performed by a surgeon under local or general anesthesia, while non-surgical procedures involve injections, laser treatments and other minimally-invasive procedures.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the five most popular plastic surgery procedures for men are:
Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping)
Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)
Gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction)
When it comes to male non-surgical procedures, the most common are:
Botulinum toxin (Botox)
Laser hair removal
Rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping, involves surgically modifying the proportions of your nose. You may undergo rhinoplasty to adjust the size of your nose in relation to your face, adjust the width or profile of your nose or change the appearance of your nasal bridge or tip.
If you have a nasal asymmetry (for example, a nose that’s crooked), or have a breathing issue that’s caused by a structural defect in your nose, rhinoplasty may be able to fix this.
Because your nose is located in the center of your face, rhinoplasty can have a major impact on your appearance.
Several different surgical techniques are used for rhinoplasty. Depending on your needs, your surgeon may remove bone or cartilage, or graft additional cartilage to your nose.
Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, involves surgically improving the appearance of your eyelids by removing excess skin.
Eyelid surgery is performed to treat loose or sagging skin on your eyelids, drooping eyelids, fine wrinkles, bags under your eyes and fatty deposits that can cause your eyelids to look puffy. This procedure can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that involves removing fat deposits to reshape certain areas of your body, such as your waist, back or legs.
Although liposuction involves removing fat, it isn’t a treatment for obesity. You should be within 30 percent of your target weight with good muscle tone and firm, elastic skin to get good results from liposuction.
Gynecomastia surgery, or male breast reduction, is a surgical procedure that involves removing breast tissue from men.
Gynecomastia is a common condition that involves the growth of breast tissue in men. It’s often caused by excessive exposure to estrogen after birth or during puberty. More than 30 percent of men are affected by gynecomastia at some point in life.
Surgery for gynecomastia involves fat and tissue from the chest, either via liposuction, excision or a combination of techniques.
Hair transplant surgery is a hair loss treatment that involves removing hair follicles from parts of your scalp unaffected by baldness, then relocating them to areas with noticeable hair loss such as your hairline or crown.
If you have male pattern baldness, a hair transplant can improve your hair coverage and restore some of the thickness you had before your hair started falling out.
The cost of a hair transplant can vary depending on the extent of your hair loss and the number of hairs you’d like to relocate. Our full guide to hair transplant surgery provides more information about how this procedure works, its results and typical pricing.
Although most people associate the term “plastic surgery” with surgical procedures performed under anesthetic, almost all of the most frequently performed procedures in plastic surgery are classed as non-surgical. Common non-surgical procedures for men include:
Botulinum toxin (Botox®). Botulinum toxin, or Botox, is an injectable substance that’s used to treat wrinkles and fine lines. It works by temporarily blocking nerve signals to your facial muscles, preventing them from contracting.
Botox injections typically last for three to four months, after which you’ll need additional injections to maintain your results.
Laser hair removal. Laser hair removal involves carefully and deliberately damaging the hair follicles in your skin with high powered laser light. This prevents hair growth and means that you no longer need to remove your body hair manually.
It may take several laser hair removal sessions to completely remove hair from certain areas of your face and/or body.
Microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a skin rejuvenation procedure in which the outermost layers of your skin are gently carefully sanded down using a small, minimally abrasive instrument. After the procedure, a new, fresh layer of skin grows in its place.
Microdermabrasion can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, improve skin discoloration and treat acne and acne scarring.
Dermal fillers. Dermal fillers are substances that are injected into your face to restore volume and fullness. They’re often used to fill in wrinkles and creases, make scars less visible and enhance the contours of your face.
Pricing for dermal fillers can vary depending on the specific type of filler you use and the amount of filler injected.
Chemical peeling. Another type of skin rejuvenation procedure, chemical peeling strips away the outer layers of your skin using a chemical solution. This can improve wrinkles and fine lines, acne and acne scarring, irregular pigmentation and rough, scaly skin.
Chemical peels can vary in depth from light to deep.
Whether you want to change the appearance of your nose, make wrinkles less visible or reverse the effects of hair loss, plastic surgery can be highly effective.
However, it’s important to have the right expectations, approach and thought process before you undergo any type of surgical or non-surgical procedure. Use the following tips to make sure that you get the best results from plastic surgery:
Have realistic expectations. When performed by a talented surgeon, even a relatively mild plastic surgery procedure can have a significant impact on your appearance.
However, it’s important to have realistic expectations before you undergo surgery. Try to look at before and after pictures of people who’ve undergone a certain procedure to get an idea of what’s possible.
Check your surgeon’s credentials. In the United States, medical specialty certification is a voluntary process that shows a physician has exceptional expertise in a certain field of medicine.
Check that your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) — the certifying body for surgeons that practice plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Compare several surgeons before making your choice. Meet with several surgeons before you make your choice. While websites can provide some basic information about a surgeon, meeting in person lets you find out which surgeon is best for you.
Understand the cost of your procedure. Make sure that you’re aware of the full price for your procedure, including any facility or anesthetic fees.
If you’re getting a temporary procedure, such as Botox or dermal fillers, make sure that you understand the long-term, ongoing cost to repeat the procedure in order to maintain your results.
Read up about post-op recovery. Many plastic surgery procedures have an extensive post-op recovery period in which you might not be able to exercise, meet with friends or go about your normal daily routine.
Make sure that you’re aware of the post-op recovery process for your surgery, as well as any potential complications, before you go ahead.
If you smoke or drink, stop before surgery. Make sure that you follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and stop smoking and/or drinking alcohol several days before you undergo surgery. This is important for maximizing your healing and recovery.
Both plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures such as Botox are becoming more popular for men. If you have an appearance-related issue that’s bothering you, plastic surgery can often be an effective way to change what you see in the mirror.
From choosing the right surgeon to selecting a procedure that will give you the results you want, it’s important to do your research before you undergo surgery.
Make sure to check your surgeon’s credentials, look at before and after photos and understand the recovery process for your procedure. The more prepared you are, the more likely you are to achieve a positive, satisfying result from plastic surgery.