Nip and tuck: more men turn to cosmetic surgery

Shane Warne's teeth are now so bright they're in danger of needing a UV rating. Sam Newman constantly looks as if he has just stepped off a thrilling amusement park ride. And while Paul Hogan might protest that ''that's not a knife'' which has contributed to his steam-pressed look, all three men appear to have turned to cosmetic treatments to stave off the signs of ageing.

And they're not alone. According to some of Melbourne's leading plastic surgeons, these high-profile men are among a growing number of Australian males queueing up for cosmetic surgery and less invasive treatments such as Botox and fillers to maintain their youthful looks.

Melbourne plastic surgeon Chris Moss says 20 per cent of his patients are now male, up from 10 per cent five years ago, and 10 years ago most of his few male patients were getting reconstructive surgery for medical reasons.

''But now we get a lot of men coming in for things like rhinoplasty [nose jobs], upper and lower eyelid lifts, neck lifts and then things like Botox and fillers,'' he says.

He cites television extreme makeover shows and the increasing number of celebrities, both male and female, undergoing surgery for making plastic surgery more acceptable. ''It's lost its stigma a bit. It's become a bit more normal and therefore less intimidating for men to go down that path,'' Dr Moss says.

Dr Moss's patients fall into two main categories: men in their late 40s and 50s, who want to look ''refreshed'' for professional reasons, and men in their late 20s and 30s who simply want to look better.

''I see a lot of men now who are coming in for rejuvenation of their face because they basically want to present better in the workforce and prolong or optimise their careers,'' he says.

''These are men who are often in good jobs, who don't want to look tired, who don't want to look old, and who, basically, don't want to be viewed to be out of date.''

A leading Melbourne fashion identity, who recently enlisted Dr Moss to perform a lower face lift to eliminate his drooping jowls, believes a sagging face can spell a flagging career.


''It got to the point where I kind of felt like I was looking a little worse for wear,'' says the 47-year-old, who did not want to be named.

Dr Moss believes the higher incidence of divorce could also be contributing to a rise in men seeking cosmetic surgery as men returned to the dating scene.

Whatever Warnie is doing, it seems to be working. The 41-year-old is the envy of men across the globe since wooing Liz Hurley to his Brighton home earlier this month.

Late last year he took to Twitter to respond to rumours about his sparkling new look. ''NO have not had facelift or any work done to face, training hard and lost 5kg, yes have had teeth whitened,'' Warne tweeted.

Experts believe Warne has also had Botox to reduce frown lines and fine lines around the eyes, and some laser resurfacing to smooth and even out skin tone.

While Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan has also denied ever going under the knife, controversial Footy Show host Sam Newman has made no secret of having had plastic surgery, and in 2007 he had Botox injections live on air.

Dancing with the Stars judge Todd McKenney is another high-profile personality not ashamed to admit to having had some cosmetic help, including Botox, Thermage to tighten the skin, and intense pulsed light therapy.

Dr Moss says, overall, men tend to be more private about their cosmetic surgery.

Property investor Adam Rex, 26, who had Dr Moss alter his nose last year, is an exception.

''As a teenager, I never liked the look of my nose and when I was 15 I broke it, which made the problem even worse,'' he says. ''If you want to improve your body you go to the gym, if you want to improve your mind you go to university. I wanted to improve the way I looked, so I did this.''

While there are no Australian figures that show the rate at which men are taking up cosmetic procedures, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons says 26 per cent of all rhinoplasties in 2009 were performed on men, as well as 27 per cent of cheek implants, 25 per cent of eyelid surgery, 11 per cent of forehead lifts and 9 per cent of facelifts.

The president of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Peter Callan, says Australian trends in cosmetic procedures tend to reflect those found in America.

In his Geelong practice, Dr Callan says, he has seen a significant increase in the number of men seeking cosmetic procedures, and, in particular, non-surgical treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers.

One of his patients, a 61-year-old businessman who had a neck lift, says the operation has prolonged his working career by restoring his confidence.

''For about 10 years I had this fold of skin under my neck which bugged me to the point where it began to impact on my work,'' says the man, who did not want to be named.

''I'd be at meetings and I'd have my hand on my chin, trying to push it up … in the end, I didn't want to go to functions and meetings were becoming stressful because of it, so I decided to do something about it.''

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This article Nip and tuck: more men turn to cosmetic surgery was originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald.