5 Cosmetic Surgeries You've Never Heard of but Might Want (a Christmas List)

A guide to five lesser-known cosmetic surgeries for men.

Photo: Peter Dazeley via Getty Images

What do you get for the man who has everything? He already owns a fancy watch, he's been to the priciest restaurant in town, and he doesn't have time to fly halfway around the world. Better abs—now that's something he could always use. And a bigger schlong: Who doesn't want that? This year, cosmetic surgery may be the It gift: More than a million procedures were performed on guys in 2012, according to figures from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. But while the majority of those doctor visits were for things like nose jobs, liposuction, and face-lifts, we suggest you consider some lesser-known, but equally self-esteem-enhancing, procedures.


  1. Scrotoplasty (Scrotum Lift)

__ What it is: In a nutshell (LOL), a scrotum lift is a face-lift for your balls. Some men really sag down there and just can't hang with it. A doctor can remove excess skin and generally tighten the tackle, improving crotch-area comfort and appearance (look, Ma, no wrinkles!) while preserving normal function of the family jewels. For the record, this is not the so-called ball-ironing procedure George Clooney has joked about to the press. Ball ironing does exist, but it's a nonsurgical cosmetic procedure designed to spruce up the area (i.e., no actual reshaping is done). Either way, getting this kind of work done takes balls (ugh!).

Cost: $4,500 to $8,000

Procedure time: 1 to 2 hours

Recovery time: 4 to 5 days


  1. Pectoralis Plasty (Pec Implants)

__ What it is: Sometimes even endless hours in the gym can't override genetics to give guys the sort of muscle definition they crave in their heart—and, more specifically, in their chest. Pec implants to the rescue! Here's how it works: The surgeon inserts a soft-but-solid silicone thingy through a small incision, and voilà, your chest looks like Gerard Butler's in 300 (making your face look like a matinee idol's is a separate procedure). You can actually choose the size, so if resembling Schwarzenegger in his seventies prime is more your speed, you can go bigger. But note: This is a gateway surgery and could easily lead the weak-willed to biceps implants, triceps jobs, and even calf enhancements.

Cost: $5,000 to $9,000

Procedure time: 1.5 to 2 hours

Recovery time: 1 month

__ 3. Lipo-etching (Abdominal Etching)

__ What it is: If your ab muscles are solid but they're obscured by a layer of fat, abdominal etching can give you the six-pack you always dreamed of. Befitting its artistic-sounding name, ab etching requires a skilled surgeon to liposuction out the fat between the ab muscles, leaving behind indentations that give you that Brad Pitt–in–Fight Club look. Word to the wise: While ab etching can work wonders, it'll only do so if you have already well-developed stomach muscles waiting to come out of hiding. Consider instead this Jersey Shore–inspired handy garment.

Cost: $3,000 to $5,000

Procedure time: 45 minutes to 2 hours

Recovery time: 1 to 2 weeks


  1. Follicular Unit Extraction/Follicular Unit Grafting (Body Hair Transplant)

__ What it is: While most men wish they had less chest hair—and resort to laser hair removal or elaborate manscaping regimens—some want torso carpeting. Would-be bears seeking a chest-hair transplant will need hair from somewhere else on the body to harvest and graft to the chest area. (Typically the best spot to mine for donor hairs is the back of the head, but pubic and underarm hair can be used to supplement in a pinch.) Using a technique called follicular unit extraction, the surgeon will remove hairs individually at the donor site and place them exactingly on the chest. Even though you might need upwards of 2,000 grafts to cover the pecs and sternum, the process is relatively low on the ouch meter. And a couple of months down the road, the transplanted hairs magically grow on their own.

Cost: $5,500 to $11,000

Procedure time: 3 to 8 hours

Recovery time: None


  1. Phalloplasty (Penis Enlargement)

__ What it is: Phalloplasty is the ne plus ultra of male cosmetic surgery. No matter what those "natural male enhancement" spam e-mails claim, surgery is the only way you're going to increase length or girth down there. Until recently, phalloplasty was only for men seeking penile reconstruction after damage to the penis or female-to-male transsexuals, but now surgeons perform it for purely cosmetic reasons. Happily, the surgery to lengthen the wiener is surprisingly simple: The surgeon loosens the ligament connecting the penis to the pubic bone, freeing the schlong to extend further. Typical post-surgery length gains are one to two inches. Increased penile girth is generally accomplished by grafting tissue below the skin, resulting in a 10 to 30 percent increase in circumference. However, when it comes to girth enhancement, do be aware that the bulk of the increased bulk will be apparent when the penis is flaccid. Tis a hard truth.

Time: Lengthening, 1 hour; girth enhancement, 2 hours

Cost: $6,000 to $15,000

Recovery time: 2 to 3 days

—Ian Landau

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