Why should women be the only ones taking advantage of body sculpting and toning treatments when men also want to look and feel their best? “We are now entering a paradigm shift in aesthetic medicine where we are not designing and implementing gender-specific procedures,” says New York City board certified plastic surgeon Ryan Neinstein, MD. “But we are creating procedures to meet society’s demands.” Because his patients are living healthier lifestyles than ever, both women and men are looking for non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures to be the last mile in their aesthetic and fitness goals. But that doesn't mean male body contouring treatments are the same as their female counterparts. Here, a guide to the body contouring procedures that are on the rise for men.
Liposuction is highly common in plastic surgery offices of late. It’s a cosmetic procedure that removes fat via suction and is performed with a thin tube called a cannula, which is attached to a vacuum. New York City-based board certified plastic surgeon Umbareen Mahmood, MD, says that “men are increasingly looking for a solution to address stubborn areas of fat that they may be unable to improve at the gym.” One of the most common areas they want to tone up are the flanks (a.k.a. love handles), she says, as many men complain that these persist despite a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Neinstein agrees that liposuction of the love handles is, to quote Zoolander’s Hansel, so hot right now. He notes that his version of liposuction does not simply remove fat, but uses energy to melt fat and tighten skin with virtually no scarring or downtime. “It is the most in-demand procedure for health-conscious men, as this is their most diet- and exercise-resistant area,” he says.
2. Gynecomastia Surgery
Gynecomastia is an enlargement or swelling of breast tissue in men, most commonly caused by male estrogen levels that are too high or are out of balance with testosterone levels. Gynecomastia surgery (i.e. male breast reduction) is popular at Dr. Mahmood’s practice. “Throughout the summer months when men are without a shirt at the beach and even throughout the year when they are in a gym locker room, wearing a fitted shirt, etc., the appearance of their chest can become a concern,” she explains. “More men are becoming vocal about feeling self-conscious about the appearance of their chest, and are seeking treatment for gynecomastia.”
EmSculpt® is the first FDA-approved device to build and sculpt muscle. The non-surgical treatment builds muscle safely and effortlessly in areas like the abs and buttocks. Oh, and it all takes a fraction of the time it would take if you were to do it via traditional exercise. “In conjunction with the desire to have a more toned abdominal and flank area, men are interested in the benefits of EmSculpt®,” Dr. Mahmood says. “Men find this appealing either to maintain their hard work at the gym, or to help boost their fitness efforts.” The EmSculpt® device causes 20,000 contractions of the target muscle (in this case, the abdominal rectus muscles) within 30 minutes.
Dr. Neinstein says EmSculpt® is also one of the most popular procedures for men at his practice. “The real key is that for people who are already in shape, it helps push their muscle cells beyond their plateaus so you can get those extra results that are so hard to obtain in the busy day-to-day of our lives in the city,” he explains. Another great thing about this device is that it has a built-in resting phase so it washes away the lactic acid you create when you’re doing the contractions. “This means you don’t get the downtime and soreness that you would expect with 20,000 sit ups,” he says.
4. Lymphatic Drainage
Lymphatic drainage is popular when it comes to facial treatments, of course, but men are reaping the benefits of this practice to shape and tone their bodies as well. A lymphatic drainage massage is a form of gentle massage that encourages the movement of lymph fluids around the body. The lymphatic system’s fluid helps to rid your body’s tissues of waste and toxins. Dr. Neinstein says that he has incorporated a detoxifying and water-reducing massage practice that originated in Brazil and Colombia into his treatment offerings. “We started these massages to help patients heal faster from surgery, but we have found patients choose to continue them indefinitely,” he says, adding that it’s nice to be able to blend technology with human touch services like massage.
5. Lipoetching (a.k.a. Abdominal Etching)
As you've likely noticed, the midsection is a major area of interest for men. Lipoetching is a type of liposuction in which a very small, specialized cannula is used to carve shapes out of the fat that lies on top of the muscle anywhere on the body. It creates a chiseled look without the need for exercise. Who wouldn’t want a six-pack without enduring, you know, all the things that go along with acquiring a six-pack?
In Dr. Neinstein’s office, abdominal etching is becoming more and more popular. In this procedure, finesse liposculpting is used to bring out abdominal muscles in males with good muscular tone but with some stubborn fat on top of the muscles that is restricting their visual appearance, he says.
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