Summary: How popular is plastic surgery for men compared to other categories? To a certain extent, plastic surgery marketed towards men is relatively novel. On the other hand, plastic surgery for men does what plastic surgery has always done: transform the patient’s body to be in better alignment with that patient’s individual body image.

How Popular is Plastic Surgery for Men?

It might be time to start rethinking the default plastic surgery patient. The notion that only women undergo cosmetic or plastic surgery procedures is a thing of the past. But how popular is plastic surgery for men these days? According to some data, there were more than 1.3 million cosmetic procedures performed on men in 2017.

On the one hand, that is only a fraction of the cosmetic procedures that were performed on women–who clearly still dominate the marketplace. But that 1.3 million cosmetic procedures performed on men does represent a clear and pronounced increase. It’s a number that shows men are ever more likely to undergo such a cosmetic procedure.

Identifying this increase is one thing. But we tend to think it’s also important to note why this increase may be happening. Indeed, there are several important changes that are encouraging men to visit a plastic surgeon–and the procedures they choose to undergo have been broadening as well. In other words, more types of plastic surgery are becoming significantly more popular with men. How popular is plastic surgery for men? We aim to find out–and we aim to find out why.

Increased Popularity of Body Contouring

One thing to note is that procedures such as body contouring–which used to have a hard time gaining traction among men–are now increasing in popularity quite quickly. More men are undergoing liposuction, tummy tuck, and similar procedures. According to the statistics gathered in 2017:

  • Liposuction procedures performed on men rose 23% over the last five years
  • Tummy tucks performed on men rose 12% in the last five years
  • Male breast reduction (or gynecomastia) procedures rose 30% in the last five years

We aren’t saying that only body contouring procedures noticed an increase over the five years. Broadly speaking, plastic surgery for men continues to gain in popularity. But the increase in popularity of body contouring procedures is interesting because for so long these have been viewed as procedures with a particularly feminine appeal.

That appears to be changing, and there are some very good reasons as to why.

Body Contouring and Masculinity

One the primary reasons that body contouring has become so popular is that it allows men to seek a more masculine looking profile. In some ways, this is no different than women who want a tummy tuck because it will give them a more feminine looking profile. But there are a couple of changes that make this more effective for men than it used to be:

  • Surgeons have gotten better: Here’s what I mean by that. Plastic surgeons have become more adept at communicating what a tummy tuck for men or liposuction for men might look like. Because “liposuction” and “tummy tuck” sound so feminine to certain groups, there’s the sense that the default outcomes tend to be equally as feminine. So surgeons have made sure to emphasize that a tummy tuck or liposuction can give you masculine looking results.
  • Stigma has decreased: The second part of this coin is that stigma has decreased. Plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures are more common these days. That means there’s less judgment when one reveals that he or she has had plastic surgery. This is especially true when it comes to plastic surgery for men–there’s significantly less judgment than there used to be when a man undergoes plastic surgery. This, in turn, leads to more men undergoing plastic surgery procedures.

Achieving More Masculine Contours

Ultimately, plastic surgery for men means transforming the body to more closely resemble the patient’s own body image (or the patient’s desired final result). In most cases, this means giving the body some added masculine contours–especially when the patient is interested in body contouring procedures.

To a certain extent, this really isn’t any different from what plastic surgery has always attempted to do: give the patient what he or she wants. But there’s no denying the fact that, for a very long time, men did not participate in plastic surgery at quite the same rate that women did.

That’s changing, and it’s probably a good sign (at least in some ways). How popular is plastic surgery for men? It’s hard to put an exact figure on it. Plastic surgery is something that’s changing all the time. But we can say one thing with some confidence: there will be more plastic surgery for men in 2018 than there was in 2017.

It’s difficult to say when that trend will cease and when the numbers for male plastic surgery will stabilize. But there’s definitely more growth in that particular market waiting to be unleashed. That’s how popular plastic surgery for men truly is.

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