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You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you. ~ Carly Simon

Is it vanity that is driving increasing numbers of men to seek cosmetic surgery? After all, in the animal world it is the male peacock who sports the vivid tail feathers, the male lion who wears the splendid mane. I’ve seen a steady increase in men requesting facial rejuvenation surgery. I would argue that this drive to “look younger” is due less to vanity and due more to the desire to look refreshed – to look healthier and more vital. Most men accept that aging, and the accompanying changes in appearance are inevitable. Even though it is unfair, in our society men have many advantages, including the ability to avoid the “onus” of aging. In the movie world we see male actors in their 60’s, and even 70’s, playing romantic leads with women 30 years younger!

So while most men can accept looking older, no one in this competitive world wants to look worn out, worn down, less vital. They don’t want to look tired when they aren’t. They want their appearance to reflect the inner energy they feel. It really isn’t vanity. Looking “worn out” isn’t necessarily a characteristic of aging. Genetics plays a role – what we inherited from our parents. The environment plays a role – how one has treated themselves over the years; too much sunlight, smoking, weight gain.

One can inherit the tendency for “bags” under the eyes, drooping skin above the eyes, heavy brows with deep frown and forehead lines. With age we see the accumulation of loose skin and muscle of the neck and lower face. These features alone and in combination can give one that worn and weary look. These features can make us look older than we feel.

Elective cosmetic operations can be done to correct these unwanted features. The operations can be done alone or in combination. When contemplating elective cosmetic surgery, one is expected to be anxious. I spend considerable time with my patients before surgery to put them at ease. Though I reassure patients that the procedures are extremely safe, most patients are more worried that they may end up looking “unnatural,” like Kenny Rogers or Mickey Rourke. They are nervous that they will not look like themselves, that they will have an artificial look. Their fears are not unreasonable. If you Google “Celebrity Cosmetic Surgery,” you’ll see galleries full of scary results.

Giving patients a natural look is an important principle of rejuvenation surgery that I follow. I show prospective patients before and after photos of our patients to reassure them that they will have a natural look. The gentleman in the photo has had rejuvenation surgery of the forehead, face, and neck. He also had a rhinoplasty (nose job.) He goal was to look younger, more relaxed, less intense.

Facial rejuvenation operations done by experienced board certified plastic surgeons are common and safe. Find a surgeon who specializes in facial rejuvenation surgery and ask to see before and after photos of typical patients. The operations are performed in a comfortable outpatient setting usually using sedation and local anesthesia to provide a peaceful anxiety free experience. Recuperation is quick, and pain during recovery is not an issue. Patients are happy.

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