Under The Knife: Dr. Joseph Cruise

Under The Knife: Dr. Joseph Cruise

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed that men are becoming more conscious of how we take care of our bodies. Style has become more diverse and meticulous, gym memberships are as common as owning a car or having a cell phone, massages are the go to gift for the man of the family, and the bi weekly manicures/pedicures have become bonding time with parents, spouses, and/or friends. And just think about it, there was a time where men would wash their faces with the same washcloth that they used for their entire body. That’s right…it happened (and in some cases still happens).
That said, today, there are more and more men opting to go under the knife for cosmetic surgery. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), in 2015 1.2 million men were opting for surgery which is three times the amount 8 years prior. In 2017, statistics from ASAPS, showed that the most popular plastic surgery procedures for men are liposuction, eye-lift surgery, breast reduction, tummy tucks, and face-lifts. That being said, questions began to arise from our staff. Is the male image one of insecurity or of perfection. Or, is the strive for perfection creating the insecurity?
We asked internationally renowned board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph Cruise about surgical and non-surgical treatments for men. His Cruise Plastic Surgery is known as one of the top plastic surgery centers in Southern California. He is a leading expert in gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is a condition where male breasts become enlarged, either because of excess breast tissue, excess fat, or both. His years of specialization and experience has enabled him to perfect his surgical techniques and provide his patients predictable results that can be life-changing. Dr. Cruise created the “Cruise Classification System” to demonstrate the different types of gynecomastia and the recommended treatment for each. We had a chance to sit with Dr. Cruise and ask a few questions about the new trend of surgical acceptance amongst the male population.


SUAVV: What is one of the most popular procedures for men in 2018?

Dr. Cruise: Liposuction is extremely popular in 2018. When fat alone is the problem, liposuction is the gold-standard treatment for getting rid of excess fat. Through a tiny incision, a small tube called a cannula is inserted to loosen fat beneath the skin. It is then suctioned out. Liposuction will not only remove unwanted fat, but it will help sculpt the body for an improved shape. There are various types of liposuction treatments available ranging from the traditional tumescent liposuction, ultrasound assisted, laser assisted, and suction assisted. An evaluation by a board certified plastic surgeon is necessary to determine if you are a candidate for liposuction.


SUAVV: Let’s go to an easy area that men may have a concern; adult acne. What treatments are good for men with facing this problem?

Dr. Cruise: Dermabrasion can reduce the visibility of acne scarring. Dermabrasion smooths out skin irregularities from the face and other areas such as neck, shoulders and chest. It removes the top layers of facial skin in order to smooth the skin’s texture and help new skin grow healthier and thicker with higher collagen levels. When the top layer of skin is removed, the new skin grows with a more equal, higher collagen production, which results in a smoother, more youthful appearance. It can reduce, improve and smooth out deeply pitted acne scars. It helps flatten out depressed or elevated scars. Dermabrasion restores an overall youthful look and texture.

SUAVV: I’ve also heard that facial rejuvenation with fat transfer has become a popular trend. Can you describe what that is?

Dr. Cruise: Fat transfer is a technique that involves removing fat from unwanted areas of the body through liposuction and then using that fat to enhance the volume and fullness in other areas. Fat transfer adds volume to the face where volume has been lost. Fat transfer can improve skin quality and texture and can give the face a fuller and more youthful appearance. Fat transfer procedures as a whole have become more popular because people have become more interested in enhancing their appearance in a more natural way with fewer risks, less downtime, and without looking overdone. Fat is typically harvested from the abdomen, flanks, back or inner thighs, followed by placing it into areas such as the cheeks, temples, upper/lower eyes, and lips. Fat transfer recovery is quite easy in comparison to other plastic surgery procedures, making it an attractive option for facial rejuvenation.

SUAVV: What are the benefits of having fat transfer?

Dr. Cruise: Using a person’s own fat has many benefits. Using your own fat eliminates the chance of an adverse reaction to a manufactured product such as dermal fillers. It also provides a natural-looking result by restoring volume lost during the aging process or due to significant weight loss. The results of fat transfer are long-lasting. Fat that survives the transfer is permanent in most cases, unlike fillers which require ongoing re-treatment. In the long run, fat transfer may be less expensive than the cost of having fillers done every 6 months to 1 year.

SUAVV: How long is the recovery for a procedure like this?

Dr. Cruise: The recovery period takes 2 to 3 weeks for swelling. Some patients may experience asymmetry or lumpiness during the recovery period. Swelling is the primary symptom patients will experience. There is usually little to no bruising. The incisions from the fat removal become undetectable over time and there are no incision marks from the fat injections. Facial fat transfer is approximately $5,900 and is often times performed under local anesthesia in an office-surgical room. The cost will vary depending on the area or number of areas being treated. As with all cosmetic procedures, it is recommended you meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in facial rejuvenation and fat transfer, to determine if you are a candidate.

SUAVV: On to a bigger question, can you describe gynecomastia?

Dr. Cruise: Men afflicted by gynecomastia often have breast tissue that grows considerably, typically under the nipple and areola. Breast tissue is firmer to the touch than breast fat and is described as being both firm and squishy, rather than flabby like breast fat. Those suffering from gynecomastia often feel humiliated and insecure about their condition. Fortunately, there is a surgical solution for getting rid of enlarged male breasts.

SUAVV: And that solution would be gynecomastia surgery? Is it like a breast reduction for a male?

Dr. Cruise: Actually, yes. Gynecomastia surgery (a.k.a. male breast reduction) is a surgical procedure that removes excess breast tissue, fat or both with the goal of creating a masculine appearing chest. The procedure may consist of skin excision, breast tissue excision, and/or liposuction to remove fat. My gynecomastia surgery has become so advanced and efficient that most of my patients have surgery under local anesthesia. The more severe gynecomastia cases are typically performed under general anesthesia in a Medicare accredited outpatient surgery center. The procedure takes anywhere from one to three hours in length. The most exciting aspect of gynecomastia surgery is that the results are permanent.

SUAVV: This is a little more major than the other surgeries we spoke about. How long is the recovery for this?
Dr. Cruise: If the patient’s job doesn’t require physical activity or strenuous labor, they can usually go back to work in three to seven days. Swelling can last up to a period of six months and bruising may persist for a couple of weeks or so. Following surgery, we require male breast reduction patients to wear a custom-designed gynecomastia compression garment for several weeks to aid in the healing process and outcome of the result. After surgery, the physical appearance is corrected and men no longer feel the emotional issues caused by having gynecomastia. This leads to a renewed sense of confidence which usually results in men becoming more social and outgoing. Men can feel comfortable wearing fitted clothing and taking off their shirt at the pool or beach.

ABOUT DR. JOSEPH CRUISE: Joseph Cruise M.D., has been in practice for over twenty years and has extensive experience in the fields of cosmetic surgery, burn surgery and gynecomastia surgery. Dr. Joseph Cruise is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, The Rhinoplasty Society and the Orange County Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Cruise is regarded as one of the top plastic surgeons in Southern California and one of the top gynecomastia surgeons in the world. Cruise Plastic Surgery is located at 2081 San Joaquin Hills Road, Newport Beach, CA 92660. For more information on Dr. Joseph Cruise and Cruise Plastic Surgery, call 949-446-1421 or visit orangecountycosmeticsurgery.com and breastlift.com and lagynecomastia.org and Facebook.com/cruiseplasticsurgery and Instagram.com/cruiseplasticsurgery.