Plastic Surgery
Dr. Barry Eppley

Explore the worlds of cosmetic
and plastic surgery with Indianapolis
Double Board-Certified Plastic
Surgeon Dr. Barry Eppley

Posts Tagged ‘male plastic surgery’

The Male-Centric Plastic Surgery Trend

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013


While women will always outnumber men in the number of cosmetic procedures done, men are increasingly jumping into the game. Of the 11 million cosmetic procedures that were performed last year, almost 10% of them were performed on men. That number may seem very low but it represents a doubling of male plastic surgery in the past ten years.

The most popular male plastic surgery procedures include liposuction, gynecomastia reduction, blepharoplasty (eyelid lifts), rhinoplasty, facelifts and hair restoration. Non-surgical male procedures include laser hair reduction, Botox and injectable fillers.

What accounts for this slow increase in men undergoing various forms of plastic surgery? While the answer is multifactorial, one major factor has been the change in the perception of plastic surgery. And I don’t mean that men having plastic surgery is more socially acceptable than in past decades as that is certainly true. But that men now see that there are many benefits that plastic surgery can offer them. Whether it is looking younger, more masculine or virile or just more energetic, men see the potential to appear more put together and appealing in appearance.

One of the interesting trends in male plastic surgery is the development of niches of expertise. The  procedures available to women have been around for a long time and most of their benefits are fairly obvious. But men have some very different needs and how some of the classic plastic surgery procedures apply to them, or are adapted for them, may not be as obvious. Hair restoration is the oldest example of ‘nicheing’ and has been done successfully in a free standing facility approach for men for decades. But new male-centric plastic surgery procedures have arisen such as body sculpting (gynecomastia reduction, liposculpture, and body implants for the chest, arm and calfs) jawline enhancement (chin and jaw angle implants), male facial rejuvenation and even transgender facial feminization surgery.

For those plastic surgeons very experienced in dealing with men, it is said that men must be treated differently than a female patient. Men tend to seek more information, ask more questions, and may be less patient after surgery as they are going through a recovery process. Men tend to want even greater privacy and secrecy about their procedures than women and often have told few of their family or friends, having a small or nonexistant support system after surgery. They do tend to want to have greater control over the details of the surgery and can even be wavering about some aspects of the surgery.

Some would say that men are less trusting or have a harder time to give up control, of which undergoing plastic surgery under anesthesia would be the ultimate form of  loss of control. As a result men often require more time in discussion prior to surgery to make sure they have reached a comfort zone with their decisions.

Male-centric plastic surgery is certainly a trend and now a major contributor to the growing number of men having procedures. The internet and its easy access to information has allowed those plastic surgeons who make the male patient an emphasis in their practices easy to find.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Father’s Day and Plastic Surgery

Sunday, June 16th, 2013


As we embark on Father’s Day, one of the very last things one would be thinking about is plastic surgery. But in the Sunday June 16th edition of the New York Times in the Business section, an article appeared suggesting that liposuction, chin implants and Botox may become popular gifts for Father’s Day. (if plastic surgeons had their way)

While this story is perhaps entertaining and certainly fills the column space, it is even further off base than even suggesting plastic surgery would make a good Mother’s Day gift. It shows a fundamental misconception about how men approach considering and having such elective physical changes.

While it is certainly true that plastic surgery is more common in men today than ever before and it is also much more accepted, a man’s desire to be more discrete and even secretive about it has not changed. Most men do not want others to know that they have had surgery or are even contemplating it. Giving Dad a gift of plastic surgery would most likely be considered embarrassing not to mention almost offensive. Even if a man needs and wants a plastic surgery procedure, they would be loathe to admit it. (except maybe to their wife) It is one thing to give a gift for a spa treatment, a deep tissue massage or a facial, but surgery is a completely different matter.

Despite the claims of the physician’s in the article, there are no statistics that support a nationwide surge in requests for male plastic surgery around Father’s Day. It may exist in a select few doctor’s offices that promote it, but for the reasons described this is not a remotely popular celebratory concept.

According to American Society of Plastic Surgery statistics for 2012, the top five plastic surgery procedures for men were abdominal and love handle liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery (blepharplasty), gynecomastia reduction and ear reshaping….just not as a gift for Father’s Day though.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

The Uniqueness of Male Plastic Surgery – Facial Procedures

Saturday, June 15th, 2013


The facial aging process is one that is well known as everyone will eventually see it on their face. The eyes get heavy, the brows descend, the cheek fall, jowls develop and the neck sags. Women become concerned earlier in the aging process and proceed to do procedures to treat or slow it down in an overall more comprehensive manner. Men take a much more delayed approach to it often waiting until one facial area becomes a major concern or until the facial aging process is fairly advanced.

While the face ages largely similar in both men and women, the facial procedures used to treat them are often done differently. Not as many men have facelifts as their aging neck and jowls are more tolerated. But in men that have facelifts they must be done very carefully, respecting the natural hairlines of the temples and behind the ears and being careful not to displace the beard skin into the ear canal. Incisions must be placed very inconspicously and often less of a tightening result must be accepted to keep the scars hidden. That is not a bad thing as men look better underdone than having their faces pulled too tight anyway.

While men also develop heavy upper eyelid skin and lower eyelid bags just like women, their eyelid lifts (blepharoplasties) need to be done more conservatively. Browlift options in men are more limited due to the frequent lack of adequate scalp hair and a well defined frontal hairline. The most common male browlift method is through the upper eyelid (transpalpebral browlift) using the endotine device to accomplish the lift. This produces a very modest browlift but creates no visible scars and with more conservative eyelid skin and fat removals can avoid overfeminizing the male face and creating an unnatural overdone look.

Men do not engage in as many Botox and injectable fillers treatments as women as some wrinkles and signs of aging are more tolerated. A more natural result for men is one that reduces the worst of the wrinkles but does not eliminate all of them. This is the same reason men, at best, will only do a bare minimum of facial skin care. Many men would rather seek more definitive surgical procedures, or do nothing at all, that engage in non-surgical procedures that require frequent efforts to maintain.

Facial reshaping surgery is vastly different in men than women. Male rhinoplasties must keep a high and straight dorsal line and avoid an overly upturned tip while most women desire a smaller less projecting tip and lower dorsal lines. The shape of the face in men is dominated by a strong jaw and requests for chin, jaw angle and even total jawline enhancements are not uncommon to pursue a more masculine appearance and even the so called ‘male model’ look. Men favor higher more angular cheek augmentations while women prefer a lower more anterior rounded cheek prominence. Men pursue brow bone surgery for either reduction of an overlying prominent one or for augmentation to create a more masculine brow prominence and a more backward sloping forehead profile.

Plastic surgery for men has its own unique requirements both in the type of surgeries and the demeanor of the patients. One should not assume that every plastic surgeon or plastic surgery practice is equally adept about meeting the needs of the male patient. Just like breast reconstruction for women or body contouring after massive weight loss, the male patient presents unique challenges for a satisfying surgical outcome.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

The Uniqueness of Male Plastic Surgery – Body Procedures

Thursday, June 13th, 2013


When it comes to plastic surgery, just like many other areas in life, men are different than women. Not only are their faces and bodies not the same, but their attitudes and expectations about plastic surgery are also different. Having treated a fair number of men over the years in my Indianapolis plastic surgery practice, I have made a number of observations on these gender differences.

It is true that the number of men, particularly younger men, are making up an increasing percentage of the total plastic surgery population. While the number of men having actual surgery or in-office injectable and skin care treatments will always be substantially less than women, men are noteworthy in that their procedures are either unique or require modifications. Numerous cosmetic procedures are not only uniquely different in men, but some of them are exclusive to men.

Enhancement of the male chest is an increasingly popular male plastic surgery procedure.  Chest issues are very different from that of the female breast. While women have surgery for small, poorly shaped or asymmetric breasts, men consider surgery because their chest appearance is not masculine enough due to gynecomastia, prominent nipples or lack of pectoral muscle size and definition. Gynecomastia reduction surgery is vastly different than female breast reduction surgery. Lack of visible scarring in a man takes on primary importance and the use of liposuction tissue extraction subsequently takes on greater importance. Prominent nipples, which occurs far more frequently in men than women, can have a very negative psychological effect for some men. Having them be obscure in a tight shirt is a common goal of all ages of men and this nipple reduction procedure can be accomplished as an office procedure under local anesthesia

Male chest enlargement is done by soft solid silicone implants that have to stay within the  lower and lateral borders of the pectoralis muscle. Female breast augmentation is done with non-solid filler materials in a shell (bag) that must be often be placed beyond the lower border of the muscle to get the proper shaping effect.

When it comes to body implants, the shape objectives between men and women are different. Men undergo have body enhancements, such as the chest, arms or calfs) to create increased muscle size and definition. Women have body implants of the breasts and buttock to create more shapely soft tissue curves which are non-muscular in structure.

The distribution of fat in men is uniquely different from women. Men have liposuction exclusively in the stomach and love handle areas. While women have liposuction in the same areas they have a broader expanse of potential fat collections which leads to aspirated fat removal also being done in the extremities as well as the trunk areas of the back, hips and buttocks.

Excess and loose body skin occurs more selectively in men than women. Because of pregnancies and weight loss thereafter, women frequently require tummy tucks. Men only need such excisional body contouring surgeries after extreme amounts of weight loss. (greater than 75 to 100 lbs) Those skin removal needs are almost exclusively limited to the abdomen (tummy tucks) and chest and almost never in the extremities.

Plastic surgery for men has its own unique requirements both in the type of surgeries and the demeanor of the patients. One should not assume that every plastic surgeon or plastic surgery practice is equally adept about meeting the needs of the male patient. Just like breast reconstruction for women or body contouring after massive weight loss, the male patient presents unique challenges for a satisfying surgical outcome.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Contemporary Male Plastic Surgery Procedures

Sunday, May 5th, 2013


While plastic surgery always has and always will be dominated by female patients, more and more men are taking advantage of the changes that it has to offer. This is a reflection of a multitude of factors coming together including refined surgical techniques, new products and a fashion trend towards more masculinizing appearances of the face and body.

For the face, I have seen a strong trend towards the desire for more defined and strong jawlines. Men want not only a more pronounced chin but a jawline that goes with it. This includes more angular and defined jaw angles and a more straight jawline that connects it with the chin. To create this effect, more men are having a three-piece jaw implant approach of one chin and two jaw angle implants…as opposed to just an isolated chin augmentation procedure.

Men are also seeking stronger more ethnic noses as well. Men do not want smaller, dainty or upturned noses. They prefer noses that have a high, but straight, dorsal line. Even a small hump on the bridge may be acceptable if it is just a slight bump. They want a more narrow nasal tip but not an over rotated one. A straight and not too long of a nose is more important than a perfectly straight dorsal line for some men. I have done a few noses recently where the men prefered to leave just a little bump on the nasal bridge…to look better but still like their original nose somewhat.

While Botox and injectable fillers will always play a very small role in male facial rejuvenation, other slightly more invasive procedures are of more interest. A little liposuction under the chinj or along the neckline can help clean up the jawline in relatively short order. Fat reducing skin tightening devices, like Exilis, are also popular when a guy sees some neck or jowl line skin laxity developing. While the results are more subtle not the magnitude of surgery, the lack of downtime is very appealing.

Body procedures in men are becoming increasingly dominated by chest reshaping efforts. At the smallest level, the protruding nipple is a problem for men of all ages and nipple reductions are a simple and quick reduction procedure done in the office. Gynecomastia problems are often much smaller today than in the past. ‘Puffy nipples’ problems have become more common than the larger breast mound gynecomastia issues from years ago. Men simply don’t like any protrusions from their chest other than a well-shaped pectoralis chest muscle profile. Using either small cannula liposuction to reshape the pectoral outlines or creating increased muscle size by the placement of pectoral implants, men are making changes to their chest that diet and exercise can not create.

Men are becoming more familiar and comfortable with what plastic surgery has to offer. But their desires and needs are somewhat different than that of women and it is important that they seek improvements through plastic surgeons who are in tune with these more contemporary male aesthetic procedures.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Plastic Surgery’s Did You Know? The Male Beauty Trend

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012


While women make up the vast majority of plastic surgery and skin care patients and always will, the number of men having procedures and using advanced forms of skin care is increasing. While just a few percent of the total beauty pie decades ago, it is now around 10% of almost 9 million procedures performed.. The most common male plastic surgery procedures has not changed much, rhinoplasty, eyelid tucks, facelift, liposuction and gynecomastia reduction, but the number having them has. Interestingly the number of men using skin care products accounts for almost half of all beauty products sold. The most popular beauty product is eye creams and acne products, probably representing the difference between middle-aged and teen age males. But men are prone to not buying their own products but frequently borrow from their spouses. (up to 25% say that they do) Male interest in topical skin care is reflected by the development of complete male product lines by every major manufacturer.

Plastic Surgery’s Did You Know? Men and Plastic Surgery

Saturday, July 14th, 2012


While the majority of plastic surgery is still done on women, a slowly increasing number of men are joining the ranks. While some of the procedures are clearly different between men and women due to obvious variations in anatomy, it is also important to recognize that these differences extend between the ears also. Men and women are psychologically and behaviorally different when it comes to cosmetic surgery procedures. In general, men are usually less knowledgeable about cosmetic surgery although this is changing in the internet era. They often present for treatment when their face and body concerns are more severe. Men have less tolerance and often unrealistic expectations for recovery after surgery. Similarly, they are less accepting of the risks of surgery. Men are more interested in one-time surgical fixes than they are in maintenance treatments. Unexpectably, men are often more demanding about the results of their surgery particularly that of younger men. Male plastic surgery involves more than just gender-specific operations but requires good patient management skills as well.

The Evolving Nature of Men Who Undergo Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Over the last half of the prior century, cosmetic plastic surgery was largely associated with the female gender. From breast augmentation to facelifts, women made up 85% to 90% of the procedures for making one look younger, more fit and to feel better about themselves. Men constituted a minority of the procedures and included eyelid lifts in older men and rhinoplasty in younger men.

But the past ten years has seen the number of men interested in and having cosmetic plastic surgery increase and the old 90:10 women to men ratio change to one closer to 70:30. This has been spurned by a variety of factors including the emergence of the many non-invasive treatments such as Botox, injectable fillers and laser hair removal. But the increase in men has not been driven completely by non-surgical treatments. The number of men having actual surgery has also dramatically increased as society places an increasing value on looking fit and energetic. It is no longer a negative stigmata for men to have surgery as looking good is more valued than how one gets there.

Men now take a greater interest in their appearance than ever before. They not only want to look good dressed but undressed as well. They also want a face that matches their body and helps them look energetic and competitive in the workplace. They work out at home and in gyms, eat more healthy and wear form fitting and fashionable clothing. They work into their later years and retire later. As they get older, their surrounding colleagues become younger. Many are also divorced with younger wives and girlfriends who themselves may have had plastic surgery enhancements.

Men undergo many of the typical face (eyelid lifts, facelifts and rhinoplasty) and body contouring procedures (liposuction and gynecomastia reduction) that have existed for years. But there are also many newer or improved surgeries that have attracted the male patient. Facial contouring procedures such as chin, jaw angle and cheek implants and body contouring surgeries such as pectoral and calf implants and advanced liposuction technologies continue to add to a growing male plastic surgery population.

While the primary goal of all cosmetic plastic surgery is the same, a satisfied patient with a complication-free experience, there are a number of differences between the male and female patient both before and after surgery. When a women comes in for elective plastic surgery, she is usually open to suggestion and recommendations and will often go along with what the plastic surgeon believes is the best course of treatment. This may often be different then what they thought or may be additional procedures to complement their initial request. Many men, however, come in for a very specific treatment and know exactly what they want. They may listen to other recommendations but usually don’t want additional procedures or much of a difference from their preconceived surgical plan.

After surgery, however, is when the greatest differences between man and women exist in plastic surgery. Most people believe that women are more particular in the result and are harder to please. However, that has not been my experience. Contrary to popular opinion, I find men to be much more particular and desirous of further surgical improvement. They are also quick to want to revise an operation even before the final result from swelling and tissue settling has occurred. This has been true whether it is facial or body surgery. But it is not true for all male patients. This is a phenomenon that is most seen in the younger male patient between the ages of 20 to 40 years old. This is likely due to the societal demands that this generation is exposed to and the evolving nature of one’s body and self-image in their younger years.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Facelifting Options for Men

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Men pose uniquely different challenges than women when it comes to the consideration of facelift surgery. Men age just like women but usually are only concerned with their neck when becomes more of a waddle. As a result, they often are seen in plastic surgery consultation with more advanced facial aging concerns than what one sees in women. Because of their more advanced neck issues and the heaviness of the male skin, minor or more minimally invasive procedures are not going to be effective at making a significant difference in their neck. Only a real facelift procedure will do the trick.


But the typical facelift operation is more difficult in men because of two hair issues….their beard skin and the hairline and quality of hair density (or lack thereof) around their ear area. As the conventional facelift procedure uses incisions in and around the ears, with a subsequent redraping of skin back and over the ear, men will often end up with beard skin behind their ear and potentially even inside their ear after the skin excess is trimmed. For this reason, the male facelift must often use an incision in front of the ear at the junction of the beard and non-hearing skin just in front of the ear to keep hair out of the ear after the operation. Keeping beard skin from ending up behind the ear is difficult and most men should expect that they will have to shave behind their ears after a facelift procedure. ( at least for an inch or behind the ear lobe)


For some men, their sparse hair over the temple areas and around the ear may make a conventional facelift very difficult to do to end up with good camouflaged scars. This is rarely a problem in women. Usually the scar ends up above the ear in the hairline, but with todays’ very short hairstyles particularly in men with thin or little hair,  it may not be very camouflaged and this is a very real consideration and concern. No male wants any area of the facelift scar to be visible so where to end the scar, and how that may affect the outcome of the procedure, must be thoroughly discussed prior to facelift surgery.


Me also will not get as dramatic a change in the neck as women will with a facelift. The heaviness and thickness of male facial skin does not allow it to tightened as much. And the way the facelift must be done in consideration of their hairline will also play a role in the outcome. Men are also prone to more ‘rebound relaxation’ in the jowl and neck area after surgery due to the quality of their skin, another factor that plays into the long-term outcome. Fortunately, men do not usually want a dramatic change anyway from any facial procedure so all of these issues usually add up to a good result that will please most men.


In rare cases of the much older male (usually greater than 65) who has a large neck waddle and does not want or can not undergo a significant operation, the direct neck lift can be an option. Rather than using any incisions around the ears, the loose skin is cut out directly in the neck. This produces a pretty significant change that offers a much more limited recovery. And can be a consideration if the man can accept a scar running vertically down from the chin to the adam’s apple. Surprisingly that scar can heal very nicely due to it being in beard skin which scars less than non-beard skin most of the time.


Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

The Psychological Considerations of Plastic Surgery in Men

Friday, April 4th, 2008

While it is true that the overall number of plastic surgery procedures performed in the past few years is up, and the number of men as a percentage of this total is increased, women still far outnumber male patients by about 10:1 for most practices. While male plastic surgery procedures are somewhat different from woman’s, their motivations for undergoing plastic surgery are also different.
While both men and women undergo plastic surgery to look physically better, you have to dig beyond this obvious level to understand what their true motivations are. The desired physical concerns or desired changes are just a reflection of their unspoken concerns. As a general statement, most women’s motivations for plastic surgery are true self-image issues. They want to fell better about themselves. Correcting a physical flaw is one approach to self-improvement. (and perhaps the easiest?) Whether it is to have a breast augmentation to look better in clothes or to have a facelift to not look old, women seem to be much more concerned about doing the surgery truly for themselves. I hear this over and over…’my husband doesn’t think I need it…or…’my friends say I look fine’. But yet, women want to have the surgery anyway…becasue they want to fell better about themselves. Men, conversely, often undergo plastic surgery because they want things. Whether it be to have more women, sex, money or power…it most always deep down is motivated by a desire for external or more tangible things. As a plastic surgerycorollary to ‘Men are Venus, Women are from Mars’…Women do things for themselves, Men usually do things for somebody else.
Men undergoing plastic surgery also are different from women in other ways as well. They usually are not interested in complex procedures that involve any significant recovery, they are usually less compliant than women, their response and tolerance to pain is often more pronounced, and they often are more critical of the results. (or they are at least more vocal) Much of this has to do with the general greater impatience of men who want to get to the final result quickly…and usually more discretely. This is why smaller more subtle procedures for men are often better, even if the result is not as significant. Men get no accolades, and certainly little sympathy, in society for suffering through a plastic surgery recovery. Women, conversely, garner more empathy if they are suffering to look more ‘beautiful’. In fact, our society expects them to do so.
The handling of the male plastic surgery patient, I have found, is quite different from a female patient. And not all plastic surgeons can work well with men. They often require more time and patience than most female patients. And the demands of the younger male patient are higher than that of an older man. The young ‘narcisistic’ male patient can be the most demanding and the most likely to require revisional surgery to achieve a their satisfactory result.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Dr. Barry EppleyDr. Barry Eppley

Dr. Barry Eppley is an extensively trained plastic and cosmetic surgeon with more than 20 years of surgical experience. He is both a licensed physician and dentist as well as double board-certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. This training allows him to perform the most complex surgical procedures from cosmetic changes to the face and body to craniofacial surgery. Dr. Eppley has made extensive contributions to plastic surgery starting with the development of several advanced surgical techniques. He is a revered author, lecturer and educator in the field of plastic and cosmetic surgery.

Read More

Free Plastic Surgery Consultation

*required fields

Military Discount

We offer discounts on plastic surgery to our United States Armed Forces.

Find Out Your Benefits