MALE PLASTIC SURGERY
As with women who have embraced cosmetic surgery as a means to restore or enhance their natural beauty, many men now consider cosmetic surgery an important and useful tool in maintaining or enhancing their masculine appeal. Dr. Rodriguez is one of the only cosmetic surgeons in South Texas who offers pectoral implants and gluteal (buttock) implants for men residing in McAllen, Brownsville, the Rio Grande Valley, and all of South Texas. These procedures are somewhat “exotic” in that few plastic surgeons are thoroughly trained in them, and even fewer plastic surgeons offer these types of male implants and cosmetic surgery.
From pectoral implants to male liposuction, cosmetic surgery has become increasingly popular among men for many of the same reasons it has among women – our society places a high value on looking young, fit, and attractive, regardless of one’s gender. A concern of many men of all ages is fat deposits in areas that are unresponsive to diet and exercise. These deposits are typically in the neck, abdomen, flanks (“love handles”), and breasts (gynecomastia). These stubborn fat deposits can be successfully eliminated via liposuction.
Liposuction, also called LipoSculpting, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes bothersome, localized, disproportionate deposits of excess fat from specific areas of the body, face and neck. If you have localized areas of unwanted fat that you simply cannot lose, liposuction may be the answer.
Because men’s fat is much more dense than women’s fat, we typically recommend VASERLipo® for men, especially for the flanks, abdomen and chest. VASER® is a pre-treatment of the fat with high-frequency ultrasound after the tumescent solution has been administered to the areas treated, before the liposuction is performed. This is because the VASER® energy helps break up the dense, fibrous tissue making the liposuction more effective, and the VASER® energy also enhances the skin tightening that occurs during the months after the liposuction procedure.
Generally, the after effects of male liposuction are mild swelling, bruising, and soreness. The short recuperative time after liposuction generally allows patients to return to work in as little as two to three days. Depending upon the extent of the liposuction, limitations are usually minimal, and patient satisfaction is high.
Gynecomastia Surgery / Breast Reduction
Women are not the only ones who suffer from enlarged breasts. In men, enlargement of the breast tissue is known as gynecomastia, and this can be an equivalent source of discomfort and embarrassment. Gynecomastia is graded based on the severity of the presentation. Mild to moderate enlargement of the breast with primarily fatty tissue (pseudogynecomastia) and minimal skin excess (Grade I or II gynecomastia) can often be treated with VASERLipo® alone. Sometimes, a small peri-areolar incision is needed to remove any hard or firm breast tissue that may be present. For men with more severe breast enlargement with drooping excess skin (Grade III or IV gynecomastia) VASERLipo® is combined with more formal excisional procedures to remove the excess skin and reshape the chest, carefully concealing the scars to create a more masculine appearance.
Many men find that they are unable to develop their chest muscles even with a regular weight lifting regimen. Some men are also self-conscious if they were born with a prominent pectus excavatum (sunken sternum) congenital defect. The pectoral implant procedure helps improve the look of the chest by placing a special implant below the existing chest muscle. These highly cohesive silicone “gummy bear” implants are not soft and gel-based like the silicone implants used for female breast augmentation, so the result is a much firmer, more muscular feel.
Pectoral implant surgery is performed under light general anesthesia in an outpatient surgery center. The operation lasts about 1-2 hours, and the implant is placed through the armpit (trans-axillary) under the muscle to help hide the implant. The scar is almost invisible, hidden in the armpit. This type of implant placement provides the most natural result and creates the look and feel of a built and toned muscle.
Pectoral Implant Recovery
For those with a sedentary job with little lifting and a lot of sitting, the time off work is about 5-7 days, depending upon your individual needs. For those who are required to do physical labor, the time off is about 3-4 weeks. You should elevate your upper chest area with at least 2 large pillows when you are sleeping to help decrease swelling. You will be placed into a comfortable compression garment for the first 6 weeks after surgery. Normally, patients can return to exercise and other activities after 6 weeks. You should not elevate your pulse rate or blood pressure during the first 6 weeks. Remember, too much, too soon equals disaster. Do not immediately return to your weight lifting routine. Ease back into it beginning 6 weeks after surgery. If you do not take care, it could cause tearing of the muscle, severe bleeding, or shifting of the implant.
The shape and contour of the buttocks is a very important component of total body shape and image. Just as some men are unable to build their chest muscles, enhancing the fullness of the gluteal contour can also be a challenge. For some men, VASERlipo® of the abdomen and flanks with fat transfer can result in a dramatic transformation (i.e. the Brazilian Butt Lift), but for men with little or no fat, gluteal implants present the only option to truly enhance the shape and look of their butt.
The procedure is fairly straightforward and involves placing a single scar between the buttocks that, after healing, becomes so well hidden, not even your closest intimate will be able to find it. Like pectoral implants, gluteal implants are made of highly cohesive silicone that are designed to feel like well-developed muscle. During your consultation, we select properly sized implants based on your body’s diameter. During the procedure, the implants are placed within the gluteus maximus muscle, which provides excellent coverage and support. After the procedure, patients wear a specialized compression garment for the first six weeks (much like after liposuction), and it is important that patients avoid sitting or lying on the buttocks for the first 3-4 weeks until the incision heals.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) / Post-Bariatric
In addition to the procedures detailed above, men can also benefit from more traditional procedures such as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) if they’ve lost a lot of weight, either through diet and exercise, or post bariatric surgery, and they are left with excess skin hanging over their waist. The advantages of tummy tuck surgery for men is that the scar is often very well hidden in the hairline, and the additional benefit can be a relative enhancement of other neighboring body parts after the excess skin is removed. An important component of an abdominoplasty is the plication of the diastasis recti (widening of the linea alba between the rectus abdominus muscles). This plication results in the flatter appearance and narrower waist after a tummy tuck procedure. Modern surgical techniques have revolutionized the recovery for abdominoplasty, and our patients are typically walking on the first post-operative day. Most patients whose work does not require heavy lifting can return after 2 weeks, and patients wear a specialized compression garment for the first six weeks.
Ultimately, any cosmetic surgical procedure begins with a private consultation to fully evaluate and determine your personal goals and needs. If you live in McAllen, Brownsville, the Rio Grande Valley or within South Texas, contact us today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Filiberto Rodriguez, a double board-certified cosmetic surgeon, specializing in complex body contouring procedures.