INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Waiting rooms in plastic surgeons offices were once consumed with women. Now, men fill many of the seats, seeking the same surgeries and procedures their wives have had for years.
“I look at it like getting a haircut, going to the dentist,” said Tim, a patient at Winslow Plastic Surgery in Carmel.
Tim has had Botox and fillers for years.
“Once it was done, I really liked the results,” he said.
He’s a part of the fastest growing clientele for plastic surgeons.
“I’ve done it for the last two or three years. I came to an event with my wife and just did it on a fluke and it was so painless and easy and I had never thought about doing it before and it made sense, so I just continued on after that,” he said.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 10% of cosmetic procedures performed in plastic surgeons’ offices last year were done on men. Since 1997, the number of men partaking in plastic surgery has gone up 325%.
“Just to look better and look cleaner, image is important to me,” said Tom McNitt.
Like many trends, the popularity of plastic surgery among men is skyrocketing because of social acceptance. Friends are sharing stories and pushing in new patients, like McNitt.
“I got some friends that have done it and they got great results so I figured, I’d give it a shot,” he said.
“It’s a little more acceptable because it’s non-invasive stuff, it’s lasers, and skin treatments, and things that isn’t really plastic surgery,” said Carmel plastic surgeon, Dr. Jan Turkle.
Turkle has been a practicing plastic surgeon for 23 years.
“The younger guys, again I think they are raised in a world where skin care for men and grooming and just some of the things to take better care of yourself is much more acceptable,” she said.
She’s seen her industry’s practices and procedures change drastically over 23 years. She’s also seen her clientele shift from women to men. 15% of topical procedures performed in her Carmel office are done on men.
“People of both genders are more and more aware, if they’ve got something that’s problematic, but there are solutions and it’s probably because it’s talked about more,” she said.
Botox and laser hair removal are the most requested procedures. More than 600,000 were performed on men in 2015. When men go under the knife, it’s most often for a nose job or an eyelid lift.
“When we see a situation that can be easily corrected today and you know that it can, why not?” said Turkle’s patient, Steve Holloway.
Not all plastic surgery is cosmetic. Holloway had an eyelid lift following years of battling bad eyesight – from his heavy lids.
“A week, pretty much the swelling was gone. Two weeks, it was pretty hard to tell, and four weeks as far as anybody could tell, there was nothing that had happened,” he said.
“People are looking for ways to fit into society. There are so many social pressures to look a certain way,” said Adam Allman, a Mental Health Counselor with the St. Vincent Medical Group.
Social acceptance of men taking care of their appearance, and the growing race to look young, Allman said, is behind the surge in men seeking plastic surgery.
“Just look at the models that are out there, if they’re not chiseled, rock solid, and have the perfect hair, the perfect face, then they don’t last very long in the model industry,” he said.
Men are also getting breast reductions. More than 27,000 were performed in 2015 alone. Liposuction is a popular procedure as well with 25,000 performed last year. Both of those procedures among men are up 5% from the year before.