One cosmetic surgery clinic has reported a surge in the number of men having the procedure this year, with 43% more patients signing up for the operation in January and February compared with the same period last year and bookings continuing to rise.
Dubbed the “man tuck”, medics say the procedure, which involves removing excess fat and skin across the midriff, stitching the stomach muscles tighter together and creating a new bellybutton, is most popular among the 35-plus age group.
This is the age when men begin to discover the dreaded “menopaunch” – the combination of ageing, over-eating and under-exercising that gradually turns a firm youthful six-pack into a sagging middle-aged overhang.
Patient numbers might have been expected to fall during the recession, given that the operation costs upwards of €7,340 at the Dublin clinic of the Harley Medical Group, the clinic that reported the increase in business.
But marketing director Liz Dale said the effect was exactly the opposite as competition in the workplace drove men to work harder at staying trim and youthful looking. She said over half the man tuck patients had lost a lot of weight through diet but were left with excess skin that no amount of exercise would shift.
“Many of the ‘man tuckers’ are businessmen who have been on a health kick, but following weight loss, find themselves with loose, overhanging skin on their stomachs. Competition in the workplace sees many men fighting to be fit but losing the weight around the midriff can throw up as many problems as it solves.”
Men are facing up to their body image issues in other ways too and Harley’s Dublin clinic saw an increase of 23% in the total number of rejuvenation procedures among the over-35s over the last year.
The number of men getting botox treatment to relax facial lines was up 23% while the numbers getting dermal fillers to plump out wrinkles was up 17%.