Do you even botox, bro?
You’ve probably met guys who’ve had visible plastic surgery, and questioned why a man would ever do that to himself unless he was a septuagenarian Las Vegas lion tamer. But here’s the thing: what about the men who’ve had a little work done here and there that you didn’t notice, because the surgeon did a great job? Here, Dr. Maurizio Viel, an Italian cosmetic surgeon who, along with his brother Robert, founded the London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery in Harley Street in 1990 before founding a branch in Dubai Healthcare City, argues why the latter course of action is entirely possible.
I’m going to hazard a guess that the number of male patients has risen dramatically in recent years.
Yes, because men are more aware of what is available and they understand that the surgery itself is not so dramatic anymore. The techniques have improved, the downtime is shorter and the pain is less than it was back in the day. And also men are more aware that their image is important for their job and for their personal life as well.
In other words, men want to be part of the future and not be a dinosaur in the corner office.
Oh, definitely, the job environment has changed. You don’t want to be the old boss who never leaves his chair and who just dictates what his employees need to do. The social life is now part of the job for many types of businesses. So you look in the mirror and say, “Ok, I don’t want my belly or my double-chin; I want to look young and fit for my age”. Aesthetic procedures, invasive and non-invasive, along with more physical training and a better diet, can make these men look younger at an older age.
What are your most popular treatments?
Day-to-day, it’s Botox. A lot of men also do liposuction to create the six pack or to lose the CEO belly that you get when you are office-bound or you travel a lot. We also do a lot of body reshaping, using fat injections to improve the shape. And when we do this, we use mesenchymal stem cells, because it helps to have a better fat retention so we don’t lose much fat when we inject them.
Dr. Maurizio Viel
Talking about the Botox, I’ve seen people who did it at 30 and it looks great because it’s just dealing with a few minor wrinkles. But when you see older people who have done a lot of it, it doesn’t look good. So where’s the line?
What do you think about me?
Well, you look very natural.
Ok, I have been doing Botox for 15 years, so I think this answers your question. It’s important how you do it. You must know where to inject and how much. You need to see the patient, the dynamic of his muscles, gather information and then you can give good results. And, after 15 years, you still look younger and absolutely natural and normal.
And what about guys who have had really obvious eye lifts. That just looks bad, right?
Men and women are different and if the surgeon does 99 percent of his work on women and one percent on men, he will use the same technique, and this is when the men will look funny. If I do an eye lift for a woman, the woman needs to put on mascara, so the eye lift is higher. The man doesn’t have to wear mascara, right? When you operate on a man you must keep the expression, the features of a man.
So when you see a male celebrity who has probably had some work done but still looks great, what are they likely to have had done?
Well, it depends, but you can do a face lift and if it’s not overdone you will look refreshed and younger, but no one will be able to see what you did, and that is the secret. What we want to do for men and women is that, when they come back after two weeks to their social life, everybody will tell them that they look great, refreshed and they can just say that they have been on holiday. Sometimes what works best is the combination of different techniques. It’s like a package.
Tell me which celebrities have had work done that you think looks good
I’m not going to give names. It wouldn’t be fair!
Well let’s just speculate. Here’s a picture of George Clooney. What do you think?
[Studies picture] I don’t think he has done anything…maybe something to improve the complexion, but he doesn’t look like he’s had Botox or an eye lift. But the complexion is good.
To improve the complexion you need to get rid of broken blood vessels?
Yes, and reduce the open pores to make the skin feel smoother and brighter in terms of colour.
So there are a lot of options beyond Botox and face lifts? You can just make your skin look better…
Yes, we do a lot of face rejuvenations using your own blood, we do the PRP [Platelet Rich Plasma] therapy, which helps you to refresh your skin, and, as well, you can go 10 steps further and instead of using your blood, you can use your mesenchymal stem cells, taken from the fat, and this has a great rejuvenation effect.
How does that work?
We collect the fat and send it to the lab. Then you have the concentration of the mesenchymal stem cells and we use a Dermapen or a very fine needle to reinject it under the skin of the face. This procedure is becoming more and more popular as it improves the formation of new collagen, elastin and blood vessels, so the result is a brighter and refreshed skin with smaller open pores and no fine lines. And this is all very natural. You can do the treatment on Thursday and on Friday you would have some red lines but on Sunday you can go to work.
How long does it take?
Forty-five minutes and you’re good to go. And we do the same treatment with stem cells for the scalp. After two or three times you see that your hair is thicker and it will also grow faster.
Is it temporary?
No, it’s not temporary because when the stem cells are reinjected they give more strength to your hair bulb. And we also do a procedure for men so they can, let’s say, ‘upsize’ in a different department.
Oh, is that popular now?
Yes, since 1991. My brother [Roberto] and I were the first ones doing this in London, so most probably we are the surgeons who have the most experience in the world with this treatment.
What developments do you foresee in the future?
There is a lot of research into anti-ageing and rejuvenating medicine, including genetic DNA research, stem cell research and bioidentical hormones.
Do you do hormone replacement therapy?
I don’t prescribe it but I strongly believe that it is important. Men need to have their hormone profile checked because, after a certain age, the growth hormone slows down and needs to be replaced with some bioidentical hormones, which could help to protect the cardiovascular system and also to improve the skin appearance.
As things stand, to what extent can a man expect to look younger as he ages?
The most important aspect is your mind. You need to want to be active. Then you need to keep exercising three to four times a week — not more because then you wear out your joints — and maintain a proper diet. And after all that, come to doctors like us who will take care of you in a natural, harmonic and subtle way, without making too many changes.
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Dr. Maurizio Viel is co-founder of the London Centre of Aesthetic Surgery in Harley Street, lcas.com.