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    Surgical nuances of the male patient

    Dr. Joe Niamtu discusses the male surgical patient, mano a mano

    People are people and discussing cosmetic surgery patients underlines similarities that are gender blind. There are, however, many physical and biopsychosocial differences between men and women. The skin is different, the fat deposition is different, muscles are different, hormonal influences are different, motivation is different and other issues, such as communication and compliance, are different. Although many of the procedures we perform are almost exactly the same for men and women, their preop and post op management has many nuances.

    My practice is limited to cosmetic facial surgery and men are about 15% of my patient base. This is a very similar number for many of my colleagues. Other surgeons may have large hair transplantation or rhinoplasty practices and have many more male patients. For the average practitioner, men and women pass through our offices in a very similar manner. Having said that, seasoned doctors can spew forth a list of differences in treating male patients.

    In my experience, men are more compulsive and single-procedure oriented than women. Female patients are often frequent fliers in a cosmetic practice. They come in for skin care, spa treatments and surgical procedures along the way. Men, on the other hand, may present for eyelid surgery or a facelift and never be seen again, or not for years. Men do not convert to long-term patients as frequently as females and opt more for the “one and done” concept.

    Privacy is a very important factor for cosmetic surgeons regardless of gender, but there is no doubt that having cosmetic facial surgery for a man is, in general, less common and less accepted by male peers than it is for women. While many women will share their cosmetic surgery experience with others, many men won’t. They are also less accepting of allowing their before and after pictures to be used by the office. Many male patients will also admit that they feel uncomfortable arriving at a cosmetic surgery office and being the only man sitting in a reception room full of women. In addition, the average cosmetic surgery office is set up with a feminine theme. The colors, furnishing, magazines, etc. are usually aimed at female clientele. So not only does a male patient feel embarrassed about sitting in a reception room full of women, but there is nothing for him to do there, as he is probably not going to read Vogue.

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