What Men Want

A guide to popular cosmetic surgery procedures for men.

mens cosmetic surgery

Men are increasingly seeking ways to tweak the parts of their men are increasingly seeking ways to tweak the parts of their bodies they wish to improve. Luckily there’s an ever-increasing range of options.


Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)

This type of surgery offers a flatter stomach with repaired abdominal muscles and can also be used to sculpt a ‰Û÷six pack’. An incision is made across the lower abdomen, then excess skin and fat is removed and the stomach muscles are tightened. The navel is repositioned when the skin is re-stretched over the stomach and a large scar is created across the lower abdomen. A firm strap and drain are normally worn for a day afterwards, then replaced with a compression garment for several weeks. Most patients need around three weeks off work.


Liposuction can remove fat from the body or to remove a double chin or jowls, in areas usually unaffected by diets and exercise. Fatty deposits are suctioned out through small incisions. Liposuction can be performed as day surgery and patients can usually return to work after about one week, although bruising may last for several weeks and swelling for up to around two months.

Penis enlargement

Surgery can lengthen the penis by up to 5cm and widen it by up to 2cm. With lengthening surgery, a low abdominal incision is made and ligaments are cut at the base of the penis. Fat grafts are taken from the waist or buttocks and are inserted under the skin of the penis to widen it. Patients can take around six months to fully recover, and sexual intercourse should be avoided for at least six weeks. The results are permanent.

Nose surgery (rhinoplasty)

Rhinoplasty is used to change the size of the nose, remove a hump, narrow the nostrils, change the angle or refine the tip. The procedure is performed by either the open-structure technique, when the incision is at the base of the nose, or closed, when the incisions are inside the nose. Swelling and bruising usually subsides within seven to 10 days but final results may not be evident until after a year. The results are permanent.

Facelift (rhytidectomy)

This technique is used to tighten the skin and the muscles of the face, chin and neck, with results lasting around seven to 10 years. Incisions are made behind the hairline and around the ear, then excess facial fat is removed and muscles are tightened. Swelling and bruising may last a few weeks and full recovery may take up to three months.

Endoscopic brow lift

This procedure lifts the tissues of the forehead and brow. With the endoscopic technique, a small telescope is 189inserted through tiny incisions behind the hairline to act as a guide and to ensure minimal scarring. The small muscles of the forehead that cause frown lines are weakened so they smooth or disappear. The results can last about 10 years, although normal ageing does continue. Swelling and bruising can last up to two weeks and full recovery can take up to around six weeks.


Body implants are used to enhance the appearance of the buttocks, biceps, calves, face, pectorals, penis and triceps. They are also used on patients who have had previous surgery, injury or disease. The implant is inserted either above or below the muscle through an incision.

They can be used to correct facial imperfections such as sunken cheeks or a receding chin and can improve facial balance when combined with a facelift or eyelid surgery. Implant surgery can create numbness but this usually subsides. Facial implant surgery can result in swelling and bruising for several days, making talking and eating difficult. Normal activities can usually be resumed after around four to seven days, and the results are permanent, unless the implant is removed.

Ear correction (otoplasty)

Otoplasty is used to correct prominent ears. A thin strip of skin is removed behind the ear and the middle cartilage layer is folded back and secured in position for permanent results. The ears are wrapped for a week and are swollen for a few weeks. Normal activities can be resumed in around one to two weeks.

Hair transplants

Mini-grafts, micro-grafts and follicular grafts are used to produce natural-looking thicker hair. Tiny segments of hair-bearing skin are transferred from the permanent fringe area at the back of the head to the bald area for permanent results. The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia in a series of sessions, which take up to three hours, depending on the number of grafts inserted. Some men can return to work the day after treatment.


Thread lifts

Textured threads inserted under the skin are used to lift sagging tissues, particularly in the mid-face and neck. Insertions are made in the skin through small incisions made above the hairline, under local anaesthetic. The procedure takes about 90 minutes and requires around a week of recovery time. The threads can be smooth or barbed, fixed or free floating, absorbable or non-absorbable. Results generally last several years and extra threads can be added later to compensate for further ageing.

Wrinkle treatments

Wrinkle relaxant (botulinum toxin) injections are used to treat dynamic wrinkles – those formed by repeated muscle contraction from facial expressions such as frown lines, crow’s feet and marionette lines. These injections are also effective for chin creases and the horizontal wrinkles in the lower part of the front of the neck. Patients can typically return to work straight after treatment and results are seen after around four days. Repeat treatment is necessary after about three to five months in most cases.

Dermal fillers, sub-dermal fillers and fat transfer are used to treat static wrinkles, which are caused by ageing and repetitive muscle movement, and loss of facial volume. The range of dermal fillers available are designed for use near the surface of the skin to treat wrinkles as well as at deeper levels to restore volume. Their duration depends on the mobility of the treated area and the formulation. Fat transfer is a longer lasting option where the patient’s own fat is harvested, often during a concurrent surgical procedure.

Cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry can correct discoloured, crooked or missing teeth. Veneers and crowns can be used to fix existing teeth, and implants to replace missing teeth. Recovery time is usually minimal, and results can be dramatic, immediate and permanent. Bleaching can also be used to whiten discoloured teeth.

Hair removal

Hair reduction laser and intense pulsed light treatments treat hair growth on areas such as their chest and back.

A laser or light beam targets the follicle of the hair to destroy it at the base. Around six treatments are needed to remove or thin hair, depending on the area to be treated and the individual patient. The treatment involves mild discomfort and results are long-term.

Intense pulsed light (IPL)

In addition to hair reduction, IPL can be used to smooth fine lines, even skin tone, treat broken capillaries and improve sun damage. It uses multiple wavelengths of light to target specific chromophores (light-receptive cells) in the skin. Several treatments are required for satisfactory results. There is typically minimal down time.

Laser resurfacing

Lasers are used to treat lines and wrinkles, sun damage and pigmentation by removing damaged skin and encouraging the production of new collagen. Modern laser treatments have been finessed and generally involve only temporary tenderness and redness lasting a few days in some cases. They can often be used on the entire face and body as well as the delicate area under the eyes. Carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers can treat severe scarring but involve more serious side effects and longer recovery time.