Why more and more women are waving goodbye to their old husbands and replacing them with a new improved version. Dr Ben Norris charts the rise and rise of the ‘studly hubby.’

Over the last five years there has been a growing trend in the number of Australian men turning to plastic surgery to keep themselves looking youthful. Many are also opting to correct physical features that have always bothered them, such as a crooked nose.

There are several factors driving men to choose cosmetic enhancement. Firstly there is less stigma surrounding plastic surgery these days thanks to developing media awareness and the huge popularity of television makeover shows such as Extreme Makeover and Nip/Tuck.

Many men and women are also keen to address anti-ageing both inside and outside. They may live a healthy lifestyle, exercise, eat all the right foods and get enough sleep but often their faces let the side down, making them feel older on the outside than they do on the inside. These people are also stamping a path to the plastic surgeons’ doors. Finally men are being encouraged by their partners to try cosmetic surgery for themselves. Often these women have benefited from their own surgery experience and they persuade their partners that they too can benefit from either non-invasive procedures such as Botox, or surgery such as liposuction or rhinoplasty.

At Silkwood Medical we are seeing a number of male professionals in their early 30s to mid 40s coming in for a consultation. They are embracing cosmetic procedures as a way of boosting their confidence. Many tell us that they want to look good in the workplace and on the beach, and many are opting for liposuction to get rid of ‘love handles’ and sagging tummies. They are often time- poor so turning to surgery for quick results is the ideal solution for them, in addition to exercise and a good diet.

This is a direct outcome of the greater acceptance of plastic surgery in our culture. For many of us nowadays having ‘work done’ has become the norm. Most of us know at least one person who has had cosmetic surgery in some form or another, and we’re no longer afraid to talk about it, whereas a decade ago a person having surgery would often keep it a guilty secret. We live in a society that is passionate about looking good and plastic surgery now offers a range of solutions to help us look good, ranging from non-invasive procedures such as injectibles, to invasive procedures like rhinoplasty and body contouring.

Liposuction, body contouring and rhinoplasty are three of the most popular procedures for men. While liposuction is not a solution for weight loss, it is particularly effective for those stubborn pockets of fat that are difficult to shift regardless of how much we work out in the gym. Body contouring removes unwanted fatty areas and excess folds of skin, particularly after somebody has lost a large amount of weight and their skin has lost elasticity.

Rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping, may be performed for cosmetic reasons or to correct a deformity due to injury or birth defect.

Another procedure that is growing in popularity is breast reduction or surgery for ‘man boobs’. Also known as gynaecomastia, breast reduction for men is the surgical correction of over-developed or enlarged breasts in men.

Liposuction
The best candidates are those men of normal weight with stubborn isolated fatty areas that are difficult to shift with exercise. Recovery time is one to two weeks, and the results are permanent. Liposuction slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits, and may be used to improve areas such as the chest, abdomen, flanks, back and buttocks.

Body contouring
Body contouring encompasses liposculpture, excess skin reduction following massive weight loss, and the use of implants to improve contour. The most common implants used in males are pectoral implants to give the appearance of a better developed chest. Calf and bicep implants are less common in Australia. Provided the patient is weight-stable, liposculpture results are long-lasting, as are implants. Men who have lost massive amounts of weight following gastric banding are an emerging trend.

Rhinoplasty
Also known as rhinoplasty, surgery of the nose improves the appearance and proportion of your nose, enhancing facial harmony and self confidence. Surgery of the nose may also correct impaired breathing caused by structural defects in the nose. Results are visible within one to two months after surgery, with continued refinement for six to 12 months.

Breast reduction
This is a procedure for patients with enlarged male breasts. Gynaecomastia is characterised by excess localised fat, excess glandular tissue development, or a combination of both, and can be corrected with surgery. Recovery time is one to two weeks, the final results may appear in two to four months, and these results are permanent.

I always urge people to remember that cosmetic plastic surgery is real surgery, so it is important to choose a reputable plastic surgeon who is trained to perform the procedures required. The best way to tell if your surgeon is an accredited plastic surgeon is to check that they are a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and have the letters FRACS in plastic surgery after their names. This means they are a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons which trains surgeons in this country.

Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Ben Norris has coined the term ‘studly hubby’ for men who are joining their partners to undergo plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons. Dr Norris is a specialist plastic surgeon with accredited training in plastic surgery at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). He achieved his surgical qualifications (FRACS) in plastic and reconstructive surgery in 2000.

Contact: Silkwood Medical (02) 9387 3900.

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