Dealing With Men in a Plastic Surgery Practice

By: Dr Barry Eppley

While the overall number of male plastic surgery procedures performed in the past decade is up, women still far outnumber male patients by about 10:1 in most parts of the country. While male plastic surgery patients undergo some different procedures than women, their motivations for undergoing face and body changes 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. Generally speaking, most women undergo plastic surgery for internal self-image motivations. They want to fell better about themselves. Correcting a physical flaw is one approach to self-improvement. (and perhaps the easiest?) Whether it is a tummy tuck to look better in clothes or t have their eyes done to look more refreshed, plastic surgery for women is mainly about improving themselves and is not necessarily for others. I hear this over and over...'my husband says I look fine the way I am'...or...'my friends say I look fine'. But yet, women want to have the surgery anyway...because they to effect an internal self-image change. 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. or other external raesons.

The male plastic surgery patient is also different from the female patient in other ways as well. They often do not prefer to undergo radical procedures that make a drastic change in appearance, have less pain tolerance, follow postoperatve instructions less carefully, do not want a prolonged physical or social recovery, and can be more vocal about the outcome of the surgery. (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 support, in society for suffering through a plastic surgery recovery. And the aging of men is generally better accepted in all societies. 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. Because of the male mentality, some plastic surgeons do not enjoy working 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 male patient, who often is more consumed with his personal appearance, can be quite demanding and is most likely to require more than one surgery to make happy.

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