More Men Leading With Their Fake Chins

Successful 'look' leads to increase in implants

FRIDAY, May 18, 2001 (HealthDayNews) -- More men are trying to make it in today's tough job market by keeping their chins up -- with a little cosmetic help.

A small but increasing number of American men are fighting the "chinless wonder" stereotype by having plastic surgeons sculpt confidence and business success via chin implants and neck liposuction.

"When you look your best, you feel your best," says Dr. Barry Weintraub, a spokesman for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) who has private practices in New York and Los Angeles. "Men want to remain competitive in business as they get older. So they may get a face-lift or create a balanced face by getting a chin implant because it can have a rejuvenating effect. It provides a shot in the arm, a psychological lift."

Baby boomers are increasingly turning to plastic surgery to remain competitive in business, Weintraub says. "They're starting to see some skin sagging, a little chunkiness around the neck. And here's what the combo usually is: If someone has a retrusive [small or pushed-back] chin, we do a chin implant, and to get rid of the added flesh on the jaw line, some liposuction of the neck, and more often than not in a man, some profiling down the nose."

Chin implants increased 33 percent last year, the ASPS reports. In men, the number increased from 1,220 in 1999 to 1,626 in 2000. Men accounted for about a quarter of all chin implants in the United States, though male face-lifts have not kept pace. The society reports a drop in those surgeries from 6,697 in 1999 to 4,940 in 2000.

Cleft or no cleft?

Weintraub says he refuses to do chin implants for about one-third of the people who ask for chin augmentations. "What you want is aesthetic balance. There are indications when to put in a chin, or you could end up looking like the Wicked Witch of the West," he says.

What kind of chins do men want?

"They do ask for clefts," Weintraub says. "And a lot of people bring in pictures, torn out of magazines sometimes, of movie stars or family members." Actor Anthony Quinn has a classical chin, Weintraub says. "But a lot of people bring in pictures of Brad Pitt, of Michael Douglas, with his strong chin and cleft."

Plastic surgery, in general, is becoming more popular for men.

"There is no question that over the past few years there has been a definite increase in the number of procedures done on males," says Dr. Richard Greco of the Georgia Institute for Plastic Surgery, in Atlanta, and chairman of the Public Education Committee for ASPS. "The most common procedure performed on all patients, as well as in males, is liposuction."

Greco says plastic surgery's psychological lift can put the success in a successful business career. "I know for a fact that there are patients who have, in their opinion, salvaged their careers with facial rejuvenating procedures, especially in the light of this recent spate of downsizing," he says.

"Basically when people have these procedures, they feel better about themselves. They emanate confidence and an aura of excitement, and it's contagious," Greco says.

What To Do

For more on chin implants, see the ASPS. And check the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons for the newest in trends in plastic surgery.

And read these HealthDay stories on plastic surgery.

SOURCES: Interviews with Barry Weintraub, M.D., spokesman, ASPS, New York City, and Richard Greco, M.D., Georgia Institute for Plastic Surgery, Atlanta; May 14, 2001, Times of London
Consumer News