Ask the Plastic Surgeons


By Wendell Smoot, MD, Reza Sadrian, MD, Carol Hollan, MD and John Smoot, MD

Q. The majority of the information available focuses on plastic surgery procedures for women. I’d be interested to know what options are available for men. Can you share some insight on this topic?

A. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), there is a growing trend to treat men’s biggest body complaints. Physicians have seen an increase in the number of men seeking plastic surgery to improve their physical appearance.

As men age, it generally becomes increasingly difficult for them to maintain a streamlined physique, even if they maintain a healthy diet and engage in regular exercise. Despite attempts to keep their youthful body proportion, many men develop fat around their chest and abdomen.

The increase in fat on the chest results in the appearance of male breasts, medically referred to as gynecomastia. 40 to 60 percent of men suffer from this issue, which can be corrected by breast reduction. The ASAPS reports that breast reduction was one of the top five plastic surgery procedures performed in 2011. The fat can be removed by liposuction or by cutting out excess glandular tissue. The procedure takes approximately two hours and is typically performed on an outpatient basis. Minimal scarring will fade over time, as will any post-surgical swelling or bruising.

Additionally, many men experience an increase in mid-section fat, often referred to as a “beer belly.” This is caused by an intake of too many calories from alcohol, but can also be attributed to genetics. Liposuction can remove the excess fat and was listed as the most common procedure for men last year according to the ASAPS. This procedure was often combined with a tummy tuck to remove excess, sagging skin left over after fat removal.

The face is another common area of concern for middle-aged men, as lines and wrinkles are difficult to hide. For men, the two most popular options to treat this issue are Botox injections and facelifts, reports the ASAPS. Botox in a non-invasive temporary treatment that requires multiple injections over a period of time. Alternatively, facelifts offer permanent results, which is a more invasive procedure with a longer recovery period. As we always recommend, discuss your desired outcome with your physician during an initial consultation, so that he/she may be better able to determine the correct procedure for your condition and optimum desired results.

John Smoot, MD, is Chief of Plastic Surgery at Scripps Memorial Hospital-La Jolla and Wendell Smoot, MD, has been voted by his peers as Top Doctor in San Diego for five consecutive years. Carol Hollan, MD, is San Diego’s first female board-certified plastic surgeon while Reza Sadrian, MD, is one of very few plastic surgeons dually certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery as well as oral and maxillofacial surgery. The practice has over 20 years of tenure in the industry and each is individually board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Any of the physicians can provide consultations on plastic surgery procedures and/or laser and skincare treatments at their Laser and Skincare Center and can be reached at their offices on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital-La Jolla in the Ximed Medical Building by calling (858) 587-9850 or via the web at