Article by Kyla Annear, Marketing Manager of Sound Aesthetics

If there is one thing we know about men, it’s that they are built to compete. Few of them like to show vulnerability, particularly at the workplace. Think about it. When was the last time you heard a guy admit at the office that he had made a mistake? Or asked advice from a junior employee? How often do you hear a guy acknowledge that he didn’t know the answer to something in a meeting? I think you’ll agree that it’s a rare occurrence – as rare as Halley’s comet in actual fact.

The office provides an interesting dynamic for men. Today the older generation has to compete even more with younger men who may appear to know it all, or seem to be ahead of the pack as they put in longer hours. This type of pressure (along with the built-in competitive nature), has pushed some men to opt for cosmetic procedures to give them a younger appearance and better physique. This is because it’s often believed that looking younger and healthier means you can cope better in the workplace, and thus you won’t be passed up for great opportunities.

The Ken Men

We know that the male grooming market is now worth billions of dollars worldwide. It’s okay for men to reach for the moisturiser, or even head to the salon. Consequently, plastic surgeons have seen a significant rise in male clients, although their numbers do not yet equal women.

According to Colorado-based plastic surgeon, Dr. John A. Millard: “Men are interested in plastic surgery, but there are times when they wouldn’t take the next step due to the stigma or fear of being judged. Now, there are procedures that are swaying men toward cosmetic surgery that have grabbed their attention because they are more acceptable.”

Typically men will opt to have rhinoplasty, hair transplants, or eyelid surgery. But two procedures that are frequently requested are liposuction and high definition body sculpting.

The solution

Because men don’t have the time to take off work since they are typically the breadwinners of the household, they need a procedure that has nominal downtime for recovery. This means that the procedure needs to be minimally invasive.

VASER Lipo (Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy Resonance) is one of the top technologies on the market today that can do all of this. VASER uses liposelection, not liposuction, to remove unwanted fat.

What’s the difference? VASER removes fat only. Fluids are infused into the target area and then the system selectively emulsifies the fatty tissue. VASER energy (i.e. ultrasound) targets fat leaving as much of the remaining tissue matrix intact as possible, allowing for optimal skin retraction. In the next step, the emulsified tissue is aspirated. So fat is no longer removed as a solid, but as a liquid, and thus the entire process requires less power. This means that it is less traumatic on the body, and also reduces physician fatigue. Almost any area of the body can be operated on using VASER Lipo, but men will typically opt for fat removal from the abdomen and breasts. “VASER is able to do rapid debulking in these areas leaving a satisfactory result,” says Dr. Grant Hamlet, a VASER Lipo physician and trainer in the UK. “To be an ideal candidate for the procedure, a man’s weight must fall within an ideal BMI range and he must have realistic expectations.”

But some men want more than just debulking. They may already be in fairly good shape, but want some definition.

Six-pack abs made to order

The popularity of VASER Lipo around the world is due to its precision and ability to deliver immediate results – as seen with the High Definition Vaser technique. Many men are now able to get their abs and pecs sculpted.

The technique was invented by plastic surgeon Dr. Alfredo Hoyos of Colombia, and since 2004 around 1500 people have undergone the R112 000 – R140 000 procedure.

Dr. Hoyos (37) was experimenting with the VASER machine’s metal canula, (which emits ultrasound) on cadavers when he noticed that it was delicate enough to remove the layer of fat just beneath the skin without harming any of the vital tissue. Often referred to as the ‘sacred centimeter’, this subcutaneous fat layer is almost impossible to burn off with exercise.

In the past, plastic surgeons have steered clear of this layer because if it is damaged, there is excessive bleeding, bruising, and occasionally, deformities. But now that VASER allows doctors to treat this area, men or women can have their abs sculpted and shaped.

“Everyone told me this was dangerous, but I discovered that it was possible to work in the sacred centimeter because the instruments we were using were so precise,” says Dr. Hoyos.

The results speak for themselves. “This is the procedure that draws men toward cosmetic surgery,” says Dr. Millard. “A big part of it is that most people cannot become muscular and defined just by going to the gym. Now we have a procedure that allows them to achieve these results and still eat a steak.”
But patients need to be aware of careless surgeons. Some might want to cut corners in order to save time, and some might not be properly trained.

As for side effects, expect some swelling. Patients are only allowed to start their fitness routines one
month later. Remember, since high definition liposelection is designed to be a sculpting procedure, rather than a debulking one, the ideal candidate is a person who already has good muscular tone without excessive amounts of fat or lax skin.

Lifestyle change

Speak to any man who has had the procedure and he will admit that the decision to have VASER became a catalyst for a lifestyle change. Many have spent hours at the gym and have not been able to get the ideal abs until now. “It changed my life,” says Dr. Hamlet. “I had the procedure done and had six litres of fat removed. I have high definition VASER sculpted abs where none were before. Today, I watch what I eat. I’m healthier than I have ever been. I never want to lose what I achieved with VASER.”

According to Dr. Hoyos: “After the surgery my patients fell in love with fitness all over again. I had one guy who was a couch potato. He had the procedure and now he’s running marathons.”

The man in the mirror

Perhaps all of the fuss with male vanity comes down to the Beckham effect. Men are allowed to be proud of how they look. And why not? They have always been vain, now they don’t need to be ashamed of it.

Dr. Alfredo Hoyos specialises in plastic, aesthetic, maxillofacial, and hand surgery. Originating from Colombia, he has trained in some of the top hospitals in the world including Mount Sinai Hospital (NY), Manhattan Eye and Ear Institute, for facial aesthetic surgery, and he has also studied at New York University in aesthetic surgery. He is a member of the Colombian Society of Plastic Surgery (SCCP) and the International Confederation of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (IPRAS). Dr. Hoyos is known for inventing new techniques using VASER. These include: VASER-assisted high definition liposculpture, VASER-assisted Hi-Definition miniabdominoplasty, and EVE lipectomy.