Grooming

Why Guys Go Under the Knife, According to Vicki Belo

Are you brave enough to make the bold choice to improve yourself?
ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano
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It's time to stop fearing the knife, guys. According to Dr. Vicki Belo of the Belo Medical Group, more Filipino men are becoming open about plastic surgery. They drop by Belo, one of the leading practitioners of cosmetic procedures in the country, for various reasons.

Most men do it to enhance their looks or to look younger. Some are influenced by wives who have already undergone cosmetic surgery. Others sign up to correct deformity sustained in fist fights (a most masculine reason) or accidents.

But really, in her experience, men “do it to better themselves, especially the young men.” In particular, Dr. Belo cites the influence of Koreanovelas and their god-like actors, whose good-looking noses and well-contoured faces have attracted a legion of female fans. “Of course, some men are encouraged to achieve that effect as well,” she says.

Here, more insights straight from the pro.  

What are the most popular procedures for millennials and older men?
"More mature men are into blepharoplasty or “brotox” (botox for men). Younger men, especially millennials, are more open to rhinoplasty. For Asian men, the number one concern is the nose bridge. They really like a strong bridge to complement the high, prominent forehead ridge. For Caucasians or South Asians, what they often do is have their dorsal hump (bridge) reduced."

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What does the ideal nose look like? 
"According to our rhinoplasty experts, ENT surgeons Dr. Nato Pascual and Dr. Eduardo Yap, the ideal nose should have the natural and usual surface landmarks present. The nose has to be proportioned and balanced with the rest of face.

"Clients usually ask for a better tip projection, a bridge, and narrowed alar—the Filipino nose is usually wide. Some male patients prefer a not-so-perfect nose—not perfectly straight and sharp nasal tip. Minor hump and irregularities make it more look masculine."

Should you bring photos as, ehem, pegs?
"Some patients bring photos of their ideal noses, and our surgeons will use this as a guide. Though, we do emphasize that the aim of surgery is enhancement of their natural features. The nose is a focal point in the face, so a simple improvement will show drastic changes in the overall look or impact. We always remind our patients that no two noses are the same. It is as unique as they are, and the enhancement will bring out the better version of themselves."

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Should you get multiple procedures?
"There is a saying: 'Do it right the first time.' That is why we recommend that our patients go to a trusted surgeon and clinic. Because once the human tissue is cut and operated on, the body naturally replaces it with scar tissue. Therefore, the first surgery should be done right.

"The second and subsequent surgeries can be more difficult. Never go for installment procedures like doing tip surgery now and bridge augmentation later in nose enhancements. 

"There may be a second touch-up surgery, which is just a minor procedure, after a few months to a year. This is because of the resolution of swelling and the changes in human tissue in time. 

Can you get more than one procedure at a time?
"Since each body is unique, we take into consideration several factors before doing surgical procedures. The timeline in between multiple cosmetic surgeries are determined by the patient's healing time, recovery, lifestyle, etc. For example, nose augmentation (adding of bridge) and alar trimming (alarplasty) can be done in one go since they are in the same area, the nose.  

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How do you know if you're getting too much done?
"It is really difficult to determine the number [of procedures] that will be too much. The key to this is the doctor’s extensive patient profiling and the complete disclosure of the patient’s medical history.

"For example, there are times Belo surgeons have to decline a surgical repair, especially if the nose is already quite firm and stiff. This may mean that the structure had been replaced with scar tissue and thus wound healing will be a major problem. There is greater risk that the results may come out disastrous.

"We also always caution our patients who smokes because their peripheral circulation is not as healthy as non-smoking individuals. 

Is plastic surgery a thing guys do?
"We can say that surgery for men is something that is becoming more and more open... The world in which we live in today is very open to any situation. Women want equal treatment as men, and vice-versa. If it is accepted for women to get a surgical procedure, so should it be for men. There is no gender preference for rhinoplasty. If it makes you happy, do it."

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What do you do if you're scared of going under the knife?
"Again, we recommend that you do it with a trusted surgeon and clinic. Belo Medical Group is the Philippines' first and only medical-aesthetic clinic that is internationally accredited by the NABH International (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers), making our patient care and safety at par with global standards.

"Our nose enhancement campaign is also our way of helping more men and women feel empowered about making the bold choice to improve themselves. This is our way of showing our support in overcoming the negative notions about cosmetic surgery."

Why should you get anything done in the first place?
"You should do it for the right reasons. It should never be about trying to satisfy others. Surgery is for improvement and never perfection."

Beyond the physical, what are the benefits of plastic surgery?
"For most, there is a boost in self-esteem and confidence. It also adds desirability, and opens more opportunities in their career or profession. And at times, according to our patients, improves love life!

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Clifford Olanday
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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