Before and after: Manboob reductions and calf implants

Philippa Lees
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
One of Dr Darryl Hodgkinson's gynaecomastia patients
One of Dr Darryl Hodgkinson's calf implant patients
One of Dr Darryl Hodgkinson's calf implant patients

While cosmetic surgery has long been popular with women, men are having procedures in greater numbers than ever– and the most popular treatments are surprising.

According to experts, along with Botox procedures, calf implants and 'manboob' reductions are the most popular cosmetic surgeries for men in Australia.

The BRW Fast 100 report of fastest growing industries recently included "vanity services", estimating Australians will spend $1.4 billion on cosmetic procedures this year, including $225 million on Botox. Aussies are expected to spend a further $7 billion on personal grooming and fitness.

Sydney cosmetic surgeon Darryl Hodgkinson told ninemsn that men now make up at least 30 percent of his patients.

"In my personal practice of over 20 years in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, the percentage of male cases has grown over the last ten years from 20 to 30 percent of total surgical procedures," he said.

"The most popular male procedures include rhinoplasty [nose surgery], liposuction, facial rejuvenation surgery [facelifts and eyelid surgery], gynaecomastia [man boobs] and body contour procedures and implants."

He said these particular body implants had become popular because the breasts and calves are typically hard to shape.

Celebrity men with scrawny legs

"This is an especially difficult area to build up with exercise and men with skinny calves, sometimes referred to as 'bird legs', seek out this surgery as they are embarrassed when wearing shorts."

Originally introduced as a means to reshape legs withered by polio by Canadian surgeon Lloyd Carlson, calf implants have been used since the 1970s but are now experiencing a surge in popularity.

"Body implants are solid silicone implants which can be pre-fabricated or custom manufactured to correct contour deformities in the calves, buttocks, pectorals and arms," said Hodgkinson.

"Unlike a breast implant, they are solid, not liquid. They cannot break and rarely move, but care is necessary to place them as deeply as possible."

Gallery: Rid yourself of beer belly

The manboob procedure is similar to a breast reduction in women and, like with calves, efforts to reshape through training show poor results. Manboobs can be the result of weight loss, or localised fatty tissue.

Hodgkinson says men have become far more comfortable getting work done and often do it with their partners.

"There is virtually no stigma surrounding male cosmetic surgery anymore and cosmetic surgery is often encouraged by a patient's partner, wife or girlfriend who may or may not have had some surgery themselves."

However, the Australian Society of Cosmetic Surgeons warns that just because the procedures are more common doesn't make them more risk-free.

Author: Philippa Lees

Approving editor: Rory Kinsella.

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