Plastic surgery trends come and go—the 80s saw their share of facelifts, the 90s were all about extra-large implants, and the 00s continue to focus on non-surgical injectables like Botox. But there’s one trend that the bigwigs at American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) haven’t calculated: couples plastic surgery. Leading surgeons say that an increasing number of people are partaking in plastic surgery as a couples activity. It’ll require a bit more dough than a walk in the park or a dinner date, but the men and women who’ve done it swear that it’s been a major bonding experience.
It’d be a stretch to say that all couples think alike, and that’s why they’re drawn to plastic surgery. But it’s not a stretch to say that couples grow together, have similar goals, and consistent concerns. Many couples who walk into a plastic surgeon’s office tell the doctor the same thing: “I want to look younger,” or “I want to be thinner.” For a woman, the procedures that coincide with youth may involve lip augmentation and a breast lift while a man may be more concerned with a stomach pooch or his dull skin. Couples are used to making joint decisions, and the decision to get plastic surgery is no different.
Couples plastic surgery can also be convenient. Taking time off of work to recover could be mutually helpful, and even fun! Whether the couple chooses to recuperate in an inpatient suite or at home, having a loved one by your side can make the process go by faster. And if a couple has found a prized doctor that they truly trust, many of them see no reason to spread out the procedures.
Obviously, plastic surgery is more of a woman’s thing. The numbers for men are rising, though: in 2012, ASAPS reported that 9% of all total plastic surgery procedures were performed on men. While it’s a small slice out of the pie, that’s nearly 800,000 men in the United States. Experts believe that many of these men can thank their wives for their foray under the knife.
It’s not that wives are pushing their husbands into getting liposuction or a tummy tuck—it’s more like the husbands go through the surgery process with their wives and get acclimated to the whole idea of plastic surgery. They’re there for the consultation, 3-D imaging preview, and the results. "It's a male ego thing. When a wife comes in and has work done and is delighted with the outcome, the husband or partner feels more confident and secure and more likely to ask questions," said Dr. Richard Chaffoo, a La Jolla plastic surgeon. It’s almost as if they’ve experienced the surgery themselves. If their wife’s experience was positive, there’s a good chance that any qualms he had about a little nip and tuck will be forgotten.
Dr. Malcolm Z. Roth, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, believes that men sometimes get plastic surgery to keep up with their wives: "Sometimes the man will say, 'Well, I think my wife's looking good, and I don't want to look as old as I look when she looks so young and energetic.’”
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