From man boobs and love handles to big noses and sticking-out ears, cosmetic surgery for men is booming in Scotland.
What began as surgery for treating soldiers who had sustained horrific injuries in World War One has now become a huge business available on the high street for men who want to fix their perceived physical imperfection.
The most recent statistics show that the number of men undergoing cosmetic surgery has doubled in the past decade, from 2,440 in 2005 to 4,614 in 2015.
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The figures from industry body the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) show that one in ten procedures are now carried out on men.
One of the most popular is gynaecomastia – male breast reduction – costing around £3000. Almost 800 men underwent the procedure last year, a rise of 13 per cent from the previous year.
Hundreds of men also opted for liposuction, facelifts, nose jobs, eyelid surgery, brow lifts and ear correction.
Figures for every available procedure were up by between ten per cent and 15 per cent, year on year.
Almost 1,000 men had Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) costing around £1,500 in 2015, up 15 per cent from 2014.
The number of invasive liposuction procedures rose to 586, 20 per cent up in twelve months.
BAAPS does not provide regional figures but plastic surgeons in Glasgow and Edinburgh say there is also increasing demand among men in Scotland.
Consultant plastic surgeon Vivek Sivarajan, who heads up the Elanic clinic in Glasgow, said: “The percentage of the Scottish market that is male has increased year on year for the last four years - not just on the surgical side, but also the non-surgical.
“Men are much more likely to have Botox injections and facial fillers. Also, men are more likely now to get skin care. Men are much more image conscious now.
“The main procedure men get is gynaecomastia - or man boobs – liposuctions, and eyelids. In terms of gynaecomastia, these are mainly young guys, often those that go to gym.
“Male breast development is surprisingly common and they maybe can’t get their chest as flat as they’d like.”
Consultant plastic surgeon Ken Stewart, who has been practicing for 14 years, said there has also been a steady increase in the number of men seeking cosmetic surgery at his clinic at Spire’s Edinburgh hospital at Murrayfield.
“I’d say 20 per cent in my practice are men,” he said. “The industry is still heavily dominated by women but there has been a gradual increase, year on year. Men look for correction of ears and noses. More often they are coming for facelifts. We also see a lot of man boobs.
“Many seek treatments following weight loss because they are left with skin laxity. When people have bariatric (obesity) surgery they feel a lot better about themselves, but they often need skin tightening.
“The beneficial psychological effects are huge. Plastic surgery is about self-confidence. A lot of people have little hang ups about their ears, noses or man boobs. By removing that barrier you allow them to kick start their lives.”
With a growing number of clinics in Scotland’s biggest cities, access to such surgery is becoming easier, and improvements in treatment mean people can have procedures under local anaesthetic and be home on the same day.
Sivarajan said: “In the past, treatment was open surgery, under general anaesthetic, with a scalpel. That led to a lot of scarring – it really wasn’t a good treatment or solution. But it has been revolutionised over the last few years, with the advent of assisted liposuction.
“We use Smart Lipo, a laser-based system which allows fat to liquefy, making it easier to remove. And it’s very quick to do under local anaesthetic. You can barely see any scarring.”
However, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS president Michael Cadier warned men not to rush into any procedures.
He said: “The results of modern aesthetic procedures in the right hands can be subtle, natural-looking and attractive, but what is most important is for patients to remember that surgery is on the whole life-changing and irreversible – far from a trivial status symbol beauty treatment.
“The decision to undergo surgery must be well thought-out, with managed expectations, understanding the risks through fully informed consent and - most importantly - choosing the right specialist provider who is properly trained and accredited.”
BAAPS sets the industry standard by facilitating training and maintain close links with the European Association of Societies of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (EASAPS) and also with the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS).
A spokeswoman for BAAPS said: “Whilst all plastic surgeons are examined at a baseline level of cosmetic surgery in the FRCS (Plast.) exam, to become a member of BAAPS surgeons need to fulfil a number of other criteria.
“Applications are scrutinised by the Council of BAAPS and then voted on by the membership at the Annual General Meeting, attended by more than 200 surgeons.
“BAAPS demands that its members act both ethically and with probity; membership can be removed after due process if there is evidence of continued failure to act in a manner becoming of a member.”
'I didn't want to go into by 50s with a belly and love handles'
Glasgow-based businessman Martin Sansone, 47, who is originally from Nottingham, had liposuction in July.
He admits he’s a “very busy guy” and “wasn’t focusing on my health” - but he did exercise regularly and couldn’t get the look he wanted.
Sansone said: “When I was younger I was sporty and I had a flat stomach. I knew I wouldn’t get that washboard look again because I was on my rowing machine every day and I couldn’t shift the weight. It was really irritating me.
“When people are overweight – like it or not - they are judged, and I didn’t want to go into my 50s with a podgy belly and love handles. I wanted to be able to get into smart suits and look good.”
Sansone began researching cosmetic surgery and eventually approached a clinic in Glasgow for advice.
He said: “Beforehand I think you have to isolate yourself enough to make an informed decision. You need to go out and get the information, speak to professionals and take your time. And then you go and do it.
“It was a big decision. You don’t want to spend three and a half grand and not see anything for it.The cost was a motivator. If it was a few hundred pounds you could do it every year. But three and a half grand is a chunk of money that you don’t want to waste.
“For me, it was worth it. The procedure was on the upper and lower stomach. I was really happy with it. It reduced my waist from 38 to 32 inches. So I have no love handles. My friends are all very jealous.”
Sansone admits he was initially reticent about telling people about the procedure.
He said: “For a long time a certain generation off men found it all a little bit wimpy or lame. I had some friends say to me to be careful who I tell. But I’m really not bothered anymore.
“I don’t know if it’s celebrity culture, but marketing now is much more tailored to cosmetic surgery for men – how we feel, how we present ourselves. I think it’s important. It helps with your confidence and how people perceive you.”
Sansone added: “It was strange being in the clinic because I didn’t see any other men. It is still female oriented. I think people like me are part of a new era and there will soon be no stigma associated with men getting cosmetic procedures.”