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11 January 2013 15:45 | By Hugh Wilson, contributor, MSN Him

Cosmetic surgery for men: would you go under the knife for a better body?

More men than ever are opting for cosmetic surgery, but is it ever worth it?

Man going for surgery (© Image Broker Rex Features)

Would you ever consider getting some work done?

We’re not talking about getting someone in to grout your bathroom or convert the attic. No, we mean would you ever consider having a bit of nip and tuck?

We only ask because latest figures show that more and more men are doing exactly that. According to new statistics, moob jobs (to get rid of unwanted chest flab - also known as gynaecomastia), are up 38% in the last year alone.

So would you go under the knife for the sake of your looks? We slice up the pros and cons.

More men are having cosmetic surgery

What’s not up for debate is that more men than ever are getting moob jobs, nose jobs, tummy tucks or butt implants. The figures from The Private Clinic on Harley Street are backed up by another new study, from cosmetic surgery firm Transform, which shows a 28% increase in moob operations in the last year.

Meanwhile, last year the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) reported that the biggest increase in all cosmetic surgery procedures was male tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), up 15% year on year. In 2011, male surgery accounted for 10% of the total, continuing a gradual rise over the previous decade.

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Man looking in mirror (© Getty Images)

More men are unhappy with what they see in the mirror

Why are more men getting nipped and tucked?

Experts think that men are losing their prejudice against cosmetic surgery. Spending time and money to look good, and even going through pain and discomfort for the sake of vanity, is no longer seen as unmanly.

“I have certainly noticed an increase in the number of men who come to me to find out more about male chest reduction procedures,” says Dr Dennis Wolf of The Private Clinic.

“Today men are more aware of the treatments available to them and are more open to the possibility of undergoing a cosmetic procedure in a bid to get the shape and the physique that they would like.”

According to Pat Dunion, a spokesperson for Transform, many men are turning to cosmetic surgery for the parts exercise alone can’t tone.

“Man boobs can be difficult to shift using exercise alone. More and more men who are feeling self-conscious about the size of their chest area are turning to chest reduction surgery to overcome their problem and boost their confidence.”

“With male celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey, David Beckham and Tom Daley regularly showing off their super-toned bodies, men have become far more aware of how they look.”

And that might be fuelling the trend for moob jobs more than anything else. Some commentators have suggested that the sight of all those perfectly toned male Olympians - and the hero worship heaped upon them - has lead more men to more extreme lengths in the quest for a better body.

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Muscly man (© Getty Images)

Super-toned athletes may be spurring men to go under the knife

Is cosmetic surgery good for men?

The question is, if men are catching up with women in the cosmetic surgery stakes, is that a good thing or not?

There’s certainly anecdotal evidence to suggest that many men are happy with their moob jobs, tummy tucks or facelifts. But the largest study on cosmetic surgery satisfaction to date paints a different picture.

The study, admittedly conducted back in 2004, reviewed 37 papers which, in total, questioned over 3,000 people who had undergone surgery. It found that certain procedures usually produced a feeling of satisfaction in patients, and that was especially true for breast reduction operations in women.

But in men, cosmetic surgery was not such a success. The study found that in general men - especially young men - who undergo cosmetic surgery are far less likely than women to be happy when they see the results in the mirror.

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Man comforted by woman (© Getty Images)

More men than women may be disappointed by the results of surgery

Vote now:
An error occurred while trying to display the data. Please try again later.

Men: would you ever have cosmetic surgery?

Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results

    9 %
    Yes - I already have
    91 votes
    24 %
    Yes - at some stage
    259 votes
    10 %
    Maybe - if safety improves
    108 votes
    22 %
    Maybe - if the cost comes down
    229 votes
    14 %
    No - I don't need it
    148 votes
    21 %
    No - I don't agree with it
    227 votes

Total Responses: 1,062
Not scientifically valid. Results are updated every minute.

Is cosmetic surgery worth it for men?

Meanwhile, some experts believe that many men are starting down a worrying path. Increasingly, men are feeling forced into ever more extreme measures in order to meet societal expectations of what constitutes a good physique.

David Frederick, a psychologist at the University of California who conducts research into body image, says that, 50 years ago, the ideal man portrayed in movies and other media was far less toned and muscular. Today, everyone from athletes to toy action figures to the pumped up models who grace the cover of men’s magazines have bulked out and buffed up.

The idea that men are becoming more anxious about their body image appears to be confirmed by research from psychologists at the University of the West of England.

Their study found that more men than women - 80% compared to 75% - talked in a way that highlighted their physical flaws. An alarming 38% said they would sacrifice a year - or more - of their lives to get the perfect body.

“We knew that ‘body talk’ affected women and young people and now we know that it affects men too,” said Dr Phillippa Diedrichs, who conducted the research.

Research has also found that men are becoming more competitive about their bodies, driving each other to ever more extreme measures to get the perfect torso or the most toned thighs.

If so, it seems the increase in male cosmetic surgery may be part of a larger, and quite worrying trend. We may be going to greater lengths to look good, but there is little evidence that extreme solutions to body anxiety - whether that’s excessive exercise or cosmetic surgery - really make us happy.

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