What Kenyan men get ‘done’ during plastic surgery

Plastic surgery is hardly a new phenomenon in Kenya especially among women who seek out the services to enhance their beauty or slow down the ageing process.

However, what many may not know is the practice has equally attracted a growing number of men, with Kenyans turning to the services to maintain a young look, trim down a sagging belly, acquire firm biceps and an instant six-pack among others.

Citizen Digital spent time with Dr Stanley Ominde Khainga, a plastic surgeon and Chairman of Kenya Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery to shed more light on why there are increased instances of cosmetic surgery being performed on Kenyan men.

Bald hair transplant

This is the most popular procedure done on Kenyan men, according to Dr Khainga.

During a hair transplant, a surgeon removes a strip of hair from the back of the patient’s head and grafts it at the front of the head where balding occurs.

“Those follicles in those areas (in the back of the head) are permanent, they are never going to shed off so we take advantage of that,” he said.

“We can remove them and transplant them anywhere else on the scalp or on the body and it will be permanent.”

However, if a man has not yet finished losing his hair at the time they receive the transplant, problems will arise.

According to Dr Abraham Armani, a hair transplant surgeon and founder of Armani Medical in Dallas, Texas, hair transplants for men at their teenage and 20s is not advisable.

Reduction of big tummies

Kenyan men who are not happy with big bellies opt to go for Liposuction – commonly referred to as ‘lipo’ – a cosmetic procedure that reshapes the male body by permanently removing fatty deposits around the abdomen, hip and thigh areas.

Men who go for liposuction, according to Khainga, want to: reduce body fat, increase their self-confidence and esteem and feel good wearing clothes that were previously unsuitable for their bodies among others.

He said the most common causes of a huge belly are: aging, hereditary factors, lifestyle, prior surgery and significant fluctuations in weight.

To get muscle implants

Khainga said Kenyan men are turning to plastic surgery to get muscle implants to increase their bicep volume.

He, however, added the practice is common in the Northern and western countries of the world, and that Kenyan men who prefer the implants to steroids are a bit on the low.

“In however much there are steroids, some men do implants to make them look muscular and bulky – on the arms they put muscle implants and on the abdomen they put abdominal implants to have what they call the packs.”

Khainga advised those who desire to go for muscle implants to insist on medical quality silicon, and not industrial quality (if implants are silicon).

Khainga said men who express interest in muscle implant services are those in their late 20s and those above 30 years of age.

To reduce breast size

Yet another reason why Kenyan men are subscribing to cosmetic surgery services is because they want to reduce the size of their breasts.

According to Dr Khainga, this is a common practice among men who are past their 30s and those who are overweight.

He said that breast reduction is done by surgically harvesting out the excess fats in the breasts.

Dr Khainga said professional plastic surgery is conducted at Nairobi, Kenyatta and Aga Khan hospitals, with the practice not devolved in other parts of the country since there are only eight licensed plastic surgeons in the country.

He advised patients to seek plastic surgery services from certified surgeons in the three hospitals, and not use quacks disguised as plastic surgeons.

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