While women have shown a keen interest in using cosmetic surgery to improve their looks for decades, it’s only in recent years that men have become more invested in enhancing their appearances, particularly through “medical grooming”.
According to Dr Huang of The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, men are now more conscious of their looks than ever before. He attributes the spike in male cosmetic surgery to today’s fierce job market. Many men want to be more competitive in the workplace, and they believe that it’s crucial to look younger and more attractive in order to compete with their younger counterparts.
While the percentage of men requesting aesthetic treatments has gone up, the number of women seeking cosmetic enhancements has continued to rise as well. The difference, says Dr Huang, is that while women favour both surgical and non-invasive methods, men tend to prefer procedures that have very minimal recovery time. “Because most men have a lower tolerance for downtime, there seems to be a demand from the male patient population for procedures that allow them to get back to work as soon as possible,” he says.
Fortunately, for the busy professional, cosmetic procedures can now fit into the tightest of schedules. Thermage, for example, is essentially a non-surgical facelift that uses radiofrequency energy to tighten the collagen fibres under the skin to create a “shrink-wrap” effect. This treatment is particularly appealing to patients who are busy because there’s absolutely no downtime. It only requires one session, but the effects can last one to two years.
Also popular are Botox and fillers, both of which are used to give the face a more youthful, smooth appearance. As we age, we develop grooves below the eyes and on the upper part of our cheeks, as well as laugh lines. Botox softens lines caused by muscle action, while fillers are injected to fill grooves and depressions in the face that normally result from sagging. Injecting deep into the cheek creates a lifting effect, which means patients can benefit from a mild facelift without having to take time off of work.
The use of medical-grade skincare systems is also important for patients looking to achieve a healthier looking appearance, and rejuvenation treatments can help to further repair tired, aging skin. The Hydrafacial, for example, is a high-tech microdermabrasion treatment that exfoliates while hydrating and revitalising the skin with antioxidants.
And it doesn’t stop at the face. Recently, there have been more effective options for fat reduction without having to go under the knife. While liposuction is still the gold standard, it still involves recovery time. However, thanks to effective new techniques, fat in the tummy area can be reduced successfully without surgery. Liposonix, for instance, is a machine that transmits ultrasound energy through the skin to liquefy fat and zap fat cells without damaging the skin. Like Thermage, this non-invasive treatment can be done just once, and a patient doesn’t even have to take a sick day to get it done.
Breakdown of one-session-only procedures that can be done during your lunch break or after work…
Perks: Smooths fine lines and wrinkles to create a younger appearance.
Price: From $400 for a single area to around $2,000 for the whole face.
Approximate time in the chair: 10 minutes.
Treatment: Filler injection
Perks: Fills grooves and depressions, creating a slight facelift.
Price: About $2,000 per 1ml syringe (can go a long way).
Approximate time in the chair: 15-30 minutes.
Downtime: None – you’re good to go, though understandably you might be a little numb at injection sites.
Perks: Tightens and lifts your face and neck to create a more youthful look that’ll last at least one to two years.
Price: $5,000-$8,000 depending on how much you want done.
Approximate time in the chair: 1-1.5 hours.
Downtime: None, but light sedation is used, so pencil it in for after office hours.
Perks: Patients typically notice a one-inch reduction on their waistline after two to three months.
Price: $4,000-$6,000 for abdomen or love handles; it’ll cost more for both.
Approximate time on the table: 1-1.5 hours.
Downtime: None, though you may experience a little swelling and bruising on your belly. Minimal sedation is used so it’s best to schedule this one for end-of-day.
Perks: Exfoliates, cleans and hydrates skin.
Price: $3,000-$4,000 for a programme of five treatments.
Approximate time in the chair: 15-20 minutes.
Downtime: None – no redness means that no one will know.
All of the above can be booked at the The Cosmetic Surgery Clinic at 290 Orchard Road, #20-01 Paragon Medical Centre. Tel. 6733 3372.