Investigating Gender Differences in Canadian Plastic Surgery Online Patient Education

Aesthet Surg J. 2022 Apr 16;sjac094. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjac094. Online ahead of print.


Background: The public interest and demand for cosmetic surgery is growing in North America. As practices continue to advertise cosmetic procedures, male consumers must also be given fair consideration in a market targeted mostly towards women.

Objectives: This study investigates the advertising trends of plastic surgery clinics to assess for prevailing gender differences among online Canadian plastic surgery practice advertising.

Methods: The 2021 College of Physicians and Surgeons directory for each province and territory was used to identify all practicing plastic surgeons. A systematic search using Google (Mountain View, CA) was conducted to analyze the websites of Canadian plastic surgery centers, in the following manner: "[physician name] [province of practice]".

Results: A total of 209 websites and 13,838 images were identified and analyzed. Of these images, 12,386 (90%) were female and 1452 (10%) were male patients or models. While only 20% had a male services page, 62% of all centers offered gynecomastia procedures. The most common procedures targeting men were blepharoplasty (95%), liposuction (93%), and abdominoplasty (93%). The Prairies region had significantly fewer websites with male-only pages, compared to all other Canadian regions.

Conclusions: Despite the increase in cosmetic surgery procedures for males, the market for cosmetic surgery procedures targeted towards males remains insignificant. An increase in the advertising of in-demand male cosmetic procedures can allow for a broader consumer market and a subsequent increase in benefits for plastic surgeons.