In the year that has seen the likes of Liam Neeson, Tom Cruise and Sean Penn all reveal their toned torsos, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of male patients in their fifties and sixties seeking cosmetic treatment in order to achieve a more defined, muscular physique at a later stage in life.
One such man is 54-year-old Donovan Nelson, who has undergone laser liposuction and pec implants to keep up with his 33-year-old wife.
Donovan from Braintree, Essex, was once in very good shape – exercising regularly and eating healthily – but nevertheless he struggled to maintain a body that was toned and muscular through exercise alone.
In his younger days Donovan, who owns his own marketing company, was better able to achieve the results he wanted but after starting a family and living a busy working life, he struggled to maintain a lifestyle that was active enough to give him the body he wanted.
Donovan’s wife Anna is also 21 years his junior and so the pressure to look fit and in shape alongside her was even larger because of this age gap.
In the end he resorted to a treatment called VASER high def at The Private Clinic, performed by Dr Mike Comins.
The treatment was carried out under local anaesthetic and involved melting away the unwanted fat and removing it via a tiny canula.
Dr Comins targets the underlying fat during the procedure and suctions it out around the musculature to create a more defined, finished result.
Speaking to MailOnline, Donovan said: ‘You can only go so far with exercise and at my age it’s much harder to keep the weight off.
‘I do a lot of cardio but it’s hard to shift the fat in certain areas, especially after a certain age.
‘The good thing about this treatment is it’s targeted weight loss off the area you want to lose it from. I had love handles and fat below my pecs and I wanted to get rid of it.’
He underwent the treatment six months ago and it set him back £10,000 but he maintains that it was worth every penny.
He said: ‘Now I feel so much more confident and I love walking around without my top on.
‘I like to go to Ibiza every summer for a few days and dance with my top off – being over 50 it’s hard to dance around with your top off unless you’re in good shape.
‘I would say to other men, try and get in shape through exercise first, but if that doesn’t work then perhaps surgery is a better option. Also, the amount it costs is a good incentive to keep it off.’
He said: ‘I do get told I look very young for my age. I once got stopped at passport control as the officer didn’t believe it was me, because of my age.’
He also had a pec implant a few years ago and is keen to have more treatment on his lower abdomen next as he wants more definition there.
And it seems that Donovan isn’t alone in his quest for more definition.
The number of men above the age of 50 who have undergone the non-surgical alternative to liposuction at The Private Clinic of Harley Street has increased by more than 110 per cent in the past two years.
Now, almost 20 per cent of the total number of men who undergo VASER at the clinic are above the age of 50.
Dr Mike Comins, cosmetic doctor at The Private Clinic, who has performed more VASER treatments than any other practitioner in the UK, said: ‘Some four-five years ago the average age of a patient who came to me expressing an interest in VASER was around 30 years old. At that time it was incredibly rare for men in their 50s and 60s to seek the treatment.
‘Now a considerable proportion of the males I treat are 50 or older, which demonstrates a dramatic change in attitude towards cosmetic treatment.
‘Gone are the days where men can afford not to care about the way they look and their physical health and fitness. Now these men are in the public eye and they care a great deal about looking and feeling fit and healthy beyond the age of fifty.
‘For these individuals, treatments like VASER can go hand in hand with regular exercise, to help ensure that they look and feel fitter and younger.
‘VASER is also far more suitable for these patients than traditional liposuction because it involves very little downtime, allowing the patient to get back to their day to day working routine almost immediately.’