Plastic surgeons are seeing more male patients on their operating tables. It's a new trend doctors believe is related to an improving economy and competitive job market.
"I think for men, they are looking for a more subtle change, a more subtle improvement, but an improvement none the less," said UT Medical Center's Chief of Plastic Surgery Dr. Joseph Chun.
Dr. Chun says most men are looking for a more youthful appearance, by targeting the eyes and neck. Others want to remove excess skin after extreme weight loss.
He points out another motivation for male patients: job competition.
"I have had men specifically come in and say, 'Hey, I'm competing with guys that might be 10 or 15 years younger than I am. I'm still a viable employee, but I need to maintain a certain look so that I can remain competitive.'"
Dr. Chun sees a link between an improving economy, and more men signing up for surgery.
"It has to do with the confidence in the economy, confidence in people's ability to remain employed. [It] has really made a difference in increasing volumes of cosmetic surgery," he said.
Dr. David Reath also practices plastic surgery in Knoxville. Patients come to him with similar concerns.
"I think that we all relate ourselves to people in terms of how we view ourselves," he explained. "So, if I'm feeling better about how I look, I'm going to have much more confidence and I'm going to portray myself in a better manner."
Dr. Reath has seen a jump in the number of male patients the past few years, and even includes a "Guys Guide to Plastic Surgery" page on his website.
He says many different types of men are looking to improve their bodies.
"What we're seeing is everyday people who have had a concern, and want to address it," said Dr. Reath.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, plastic surgery producers are up for both men and women.
ASPS data reports 13.8 million procedures, both surgical and minimally invasive, were performed in the United States in 2011. That's up 5 percent from 2010.