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Male Facelift Success Self-Help Advice

Written by Paul Wolf

More than vanity, the youthfulness of the job culture draws boomer men to consider plastic surgery as a career development strategy.

At first, only the very rich had plastic surgery. Then it was almost exclusively women. After all, how could your average macho guy handle a tummy tuck under his belt? Or face up to collagen injections?

 
Midlife Advice on Diet and Weight
Liposuction: $3,000 to $8,000. 10 days to 2 weeks.
Eyelid surgery: $2,000 to $7,000. 10 days to 2 weeks.
Hair transplant: $2,800 to 4,000.
Nose reshaping: $3,000 to $5,200. 10 days to 2 weeks.
Facelift: $5,000 to $12,000. 3 weeks.
Collagen injections (non-surgical procedure, periodically repeated): $320 to $550. 2 days to a week. 
 
With changing attitudes, more natural-looking surgical handiwork, a youth-driven job culture, and the exceedingly popular procedure of liposuction, men are catching on to plastic surgery in a big way.

"Very factually, men often call me and ask me about the pros and cons of a certain surgery," says Dr. Mark Solomon, a plastic surgeon with a practice just outside of Philadelphia.

Plastic surgery is very acceptable.

Men's cosmetic concerns are not the same as women's. Liposuction, the most popular cosmetic procedure among men, is almost always directed at that scourge of the male species: love handles. Even men in their twenties go under the knife and vacuum tube for the sake of maintaining a svelte image.

As their popularity grows, the cost of many cosmetic procedures is dropping. For example, sucking the fat out of a single trouble spot through liposuction may be as inexpensive as $3,000; bigger sucking jobs may run as high as $8,000.

At $5,000 to $12,000, a facelift isn't necessarily more affordable than it was a generation ago.

Naturally, plastic surgery is most popular with men encountering the first signs of middle age." The legacy of the boomer generation is to be the best we can, and appearance is part of that," Solomon says.

While women have always primped in front of the mirror, for men it is a little more raw, as in the case of wanting to look good in the gym or in a jogging suit.

Or at a job interview.

"We live in a youth culture, and the Silicon Valley technology revolution is really associated with the young," said Dr. John Owsley, a plastic and aesthetic surgeon practicing in San Francisco.

The boomer generation also is waiting until much later in life to have children, bringing new reasons to have plastic surgery, says Owsley.

My male patients will tell me, "When I go to the PTA with my six year old, people come up to me and ask if I am the grandfather.? "

Actor Stanley Jacobs says plastic surgery rescued his career.

 
ADVICE
Recognize that, to some employers, how your face and body look may be as important as how your resume reads.
Regardless of whether you are interested in plastic surgery, carefully assess your appearance before you step into the job market.
Think of your goal as not to look perfect or to fool people on your age, but to boost your confidence by looking your best.
Consider makeovers, personal trainers, diets and even plastic surgery as viable options for gaining a competitive advantage in the job market. 
 
Jacobs, a 56-year-old on-air pitchman, was informed by his employer that his appearance was no longer an asset to the promotion of its product line.

His saggy jowls and baggy eyes were more noticeable under the harsh lights required by video than they were in-person, they said, and so his contract wouldn't be renewed.

"Having plastic surgery was exactly like sitting down for makeup," he said. "It was absolutely no big deal. When someone says you can do something to continue your career, you do it," says Jacobs, who kept his job.

These days, employment consultants say plastic surgery can be as valuable a part of your job-seeking strategy as a perfect resume or a new wardrobe, especially when your self-confidence can so easily be undermined by the sidelong glances of twentysomethings as you walk down the hall to a job interview.

According to Debbie Brown, a career counselor and job-search coach with Atlanta's D & B Consultants, these days even 40-year-olds experience age discrimination. What's more, discrimination notwithstanding, research has shown that attractive people are more likely to get hired.

"I don't say it's about age, but about looking good."

Helen Harkness, a Dallas career consultant, had a facelift in her fifties after she got her doctorate and began to do career counseling, and she gladly shares that bit of personal history with her clients.

"People didn't even know I had a facelift; they just came up to me and said, "You look so rested. You must be glad to be done with school."

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If you can't get past your Aunt Mabel's vintage 1972 facelift, that rubbery stretch of skin that looked more alien than natural, consider the experience of actor Stanley Jacobs: "Even the makeup girls didn't notice that I had plastic surgery."

 
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Common surgeries for men and their recovery time, which you define as how long it takes to resume a normal work and personal schedule:
Liposuction: 10 days to 2 weeks.
Facelift: 3 weeks.
Eyelid surgery: 10 days to 2 weeks.
Nose reshaping: 10 days to 2 weeks.
Collagen injections (non-surgical, repeated periodically): 2 days to a week. 
 
Like many others who have had plastic surgery, Jacobs, a TV pitchman who went back on air 21 days after his facelift, says he never wanted to look younger, just as good as he could for his age.

"It wasn't my intention to look exactly the way I did when I started doing this kind of work 20 years ago."

Take it from Jacobs or take it from the plastic surgery community itself: Today's facelifts look natural and leave no trace.

Here's why: In the old days, a facelift was like pulling at the ends of a bedspread while leaving the rumpled blankest underneath. It restored the fatty surface layer to its youthful position, but didn't touch the layer of facial muscle and connective tissue between the skin and the bone.

To arrive at a natural outcome, you must restore the youthful position of both layers. Hide the tiny scars in the hairline, behind the ears and under the chin, and now you are really in business.

By smoothing the jowls, tightening your neck and elevating your cheeks, a procedure can take off 10 years, and keep you looking 10 years younger than you would have without a facelift, and that's good for the rest of your life, says Dr. John Owsley, who practices in San Francisco.

Most often a facelift is done on an outpatient basis. Usually, you are given a local anesthetic to numb the area and a sedative to make you drowsy. You may opt for a general anesthetic, in which case you'll just sleep through the whole procedure.

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