Cosmetic Surgery: Not Just for Women
Richard Rakowski remembers staring into the mirror the day he turned 50. Inside he felt 16, but the face staring back at him was his father's. He calls it a "biological dysfunctional moment," which sent him to a plastic surgeon for an eyelift.
Besides making him younger-looking, the visit left him wondering how he could profit from the $90-billion cosmetic surgery market.
Principal, Kidd & Co., a Greenwich, Conn.-based investment firm; Chairman, Advanced Aesthetics Institute, West Palm Beach
His surgery: Blepharoplasty (eyelift).His Reason: To look as good as he felt.Why are men getting into plastic surgery? "The whole fabric of the economy has changed. Men are recognizing to be competitive they need to look good. Aging could be a liability."
In February, Rakowski opened the Advanced Aesthetics Institute in West Palm Beach, offering an array of cosmetic procedures for both men and women at a single "Four Seasons-style" facility.
The center features state-of-the-art medical treatment rooms, day spa facilities, a salon and valet parking. A concierge coordinates, advises and schedules procedures from simple hair coloring to Botox injections to a full facelift, breast augmentation or liposuction (or "body sculpting," as Advanced Aesthetics refers to it).
Some clients drop anywhere from $20,000 to $75,000 for makeovers.
The facility is the first of several that Rakowski has in the works for Florida's so-called vanity markets, areas like Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Miami, where disposable income and demographics lend themselves to a high demand for cosmetic surgery.
Rakowski is counting on getting a big boost from men. Nationally, men comprise 18% of the traditionally women-centered cosmetic surgery business. Says Rakowski: "It's the fastest-growing segment. We expect that to hold true at our facility."
Word of Mouth
Dr. Jeff Ganeles' pioneering work in dental implants landed him on the reality TV show "Extreme Makeover" recently. The Boca Raton dentist says his prime patients are businessmen in their 50s to 70s.
"We're seeing more and more executives and business people take advantage of implants," he says. "They're not sensitive to the cost."
And it's a good thing, considering implants can run from $4,000 to $35,000. By comparison, a three-tooth bridge costs $4,000, and dentures cost about $2,500.
The procedure, which requires implanting a titanium anchor into a patient's jawbone then attaching a new tooth or cap, can be performed in a single office visit compared to what used to be a six- to nine-month procedure.
According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, "Men are more likely than women to say they want facial cosmetic surgery for work-related reasons." Here are the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures men seek:
Laser hair removal: A laser beam penetrates hair follicles and destroys them.
Laser resurfacing (face): A carbon dioxide laser device removes the outer layer of skin. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. Recovery takes one to three weeks.
Fat injections: Collagen or Botox injected under the skin plumps up creased or furrowed facial skin. The procedure can also be used to make lips fuller.
Filler injections: Organic and inorganic substances -- the latest is Restylane -- are injected into soft tissue areas, adding volume and minimizing wrinkles and lines.
Hair transplants: Types of instruments used vary depending on the type of transplant -- micro, mini or laser, for example.
Hair transplants have long been the domain of men. Dr. Richard Greene, a dermatologist and internationally renowned hair transplant specialist who practices in Plantation and Hallandale, estimates he's completed hair transplants in more than 11,000 patients in the 25 years he's been in practice. The trend continues to rise, Greene says. "It's a cosmetic world, a youth society."
Cost: $3,000 for a general session consisting of several hair grafts only. Up to $12,000 for a major session of 1,000 to 1,200 grafts. (One graft generally covers approximately 1 millimeter.)
Time: An average procedure takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours. New hair growth usually can be seen in three months.
After-care: Usually nothing more than Advil.