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More Kenyan men getting liposuction

By Graham Kajilwa | August 10th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

What are the behaviour pattern differences between the male and female patients you see in your practice?

Men are generally shy about health issues and also the demand for looks is more on women than men. They also tend to go for non-surgical procedures. It is also easier for women to create time from work to heal after the procedures. This is unlike male clients, who may feel that this is a lot of time or commitment. There are also some procedures that male clients have alternatives to like hair transplant, but they find it easier to just shave than go for the procedure.

Which cosmetic procedures do Kenyan men seek out the most?

Those would be male baldness hair transplants and face rejuvenation, which involves removal of wrinkles. This is done using the Botox injections. There is also gynaecomastia or man boobs, which is reduction of breast size, and rhinoplasty, which is also known as nose-jobs. For women, the most common are breast reduction, butt lifts and liposuction. There are men now seeking liposuction too. There is an increase in the demand for the services, which is also the case internationally. Previously, cosmetics procedures were being sought by women, but with the increase, probably in the next 30 years it will be 50-50 between men and women.             

What do you think are the motivations for most men to seeking cosmetic surgery?

I would say appearance and health factors. For example, if you have man boobs you know you cannot go shirtless in public recreational places like swimming pool or go jogging. But apart from self-esteem, some procedures like breast reduction (in both men and women) have health benefits, as they reduce strain on the spine. Baldness is the other self-esteem related procedure among men. Sometimes someone is 25, are bald and they cannot get a spouse, or they just want to look young in order to impress an interview panel in a job.

Do you get penile enlargement requests?

Penile enlargement is not so common here, but there are those extreme requests which are not possible, like a 70-year-old who wants to look like they are 20. As a doctor, one has to be very open with the patient on what is possible and what is not. Remember, cosmetic procedures are not necessarily medical, so you do not want to do a procedure only for the client to end up with a health complication that was not there before. Not everything a patient wants can be provided. We also do psychological evaluations and consult because some patients may have a psychiatric illness. Sometimes we would advise the procedure to be cancelled. If you feel the patient is unlikely to benefit from the procedure, it is better to tell them you are sorry you cannot perform it.

What do I need to know about a hair transplant before I go in for a procedure to sort out my baldness?

The way a hair transplant is done is different, depending on the person’s ?race. For example, the growth of hair follows a particular pattern for Caucasians or the white race. During a hair transplant, this must be considered. For Africans, the hairs do not seem to have any particular pattern.  

Does my race count in other cosmetic procedures?

Yes, because globally, one of the most sought after surgical cosmetic procedures among the men from the Caucasian race is eye lift; but this is because of how their skin ages. Majority of Africans may not need such procedures since the skin will still be firm. Nose job is also common out there compared to Africans.

What is the age group of male clients who seek cosmetic procedures?

Majority of the clients are between late adolescent to age 25. This is especially for those seeking reduction of breast size (man boobs). These are basically students finishing high school or in university. For baldness (hair transplant) and liposuction, the age is between 35 and 55.

Do you think self-esteem issues are a big factor among the younger clients?

Complaints usually come from the children themselves due to peer pressure, so they ask their parents for medical examination. Such children have self-esteem issues, as they cannot play with their friends or engage in activities like swimming. The older population walk in by themselves.

Are there any procedures that cannot be performed in the country?

No, we have the expertise and skills locally. Cosmetic procedures are not a rocket science type of surgery. The notion that overseas services are better is based on their aggressive marketing. As such, you find people travelling for simple procedures like removal of an appendix. Locally, the medical board, for example, cannot allow me to go to the streets and shout about my services.

Is there a difference in how male and female patients recover?

There is no much of a difference. It is more or less the same. The careful thing to do is to meet the patient’s expectation. If you do this, they tend to recover quickly, but when their expectations are not met, then the recovery period is protracted. It is good to also note that cosmetic procedures are best done on healthy patients.

As told to Graham Kajilwa


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