Each year, more than 9,000 patients across the United States undergo transgender top surgery. Also called sex reassignment surgery, both FTM (female-to-male) and MTF (male-to-female) variations are widely performed, with patients most appreciating the marked improvement in confidence, body image, and overall quality of life.
If you’ve been considering transgender top surgery, you probably have questions. Are you a good candidate? What is the preparation and recovery process like? Will this procedure affect any other part of my transition?
At DeLuca Plastic Surgery, we’re here to help. We want to make every procedure as transparent and beneficial as possible. Before you decide on FTM or MTF transgender top surgery, here’s what you need to know.
Transgender Top Surgery: MTF
MTF transgender top surgery, also known as transfeminine top surgery or transgender breast augmentation, aims to feminize the patient’s chest by enhancing the size and shape of the breasts. As the latter name suggests, the procedure most commonly involves breast augmentation–or implants–to recontour, reshape, and revitalize the chest for a fuller, feminine look.
More importantly, for many patients, the procedure means no more wearing artificial breasts or padded bras–or dealing with body or gender dysmorphia.
Transgender Top Surgery: FTM
FTM transgender top surgery, or masculinizing chest surgery, aims to masculinize the patient’s chest by removing breast tissue. However, the goal is more than just a flat chest–it’s a sculpted, masculine aesthetic. Whereas MTF procedures enhance and fill the breast via implants, FTM procedures reduce and flatten the chest through subcutaneous mastectomy.
Like its MTF counterpart, masculinizing chest surgery can help alleviate body and gender dysmorphia and avoid the risks and complications of chest binding.
Preparing For Your Procedure
During your initial consultation, we’ll go over your goals, medical history, and overall physical and mental health to ensure you’re a good candidate.
Before top surgery, most surgeons recommend patients obtain a letter of support from a mental health provider. This letter asserts that patients meet the World Professional Association of Transgender Health standards of care criteria.
Additionally, like any other procedure, patients must be in good physical health.
Once approved for surgery, patients should discontinue smoking or nicotine use as well as caffeine and alcohol intake. Patients taking testosterone, estrogen, or other hormone treatments may continue taking them depending on your schedule.
Your surgeon will give more precise instructions on what you can and cannot take as the date of your procedure approaches.
What to Expect During Your Procedure
FTM top surgery is done outpatient under general anesthesia. Depending on your breast size, we’ll work with you to develop the best surgical method for optimal results.
During the procedure, we’ll make incisions in the skin to remove breast tissue, contour and reduce the breast wall, reposition the nipples and areola, and reshape the chest.
MTF top surgery is also done outpatient under general anesthesia. Again, depending on your intended breast size, we’ll work with you to develop the best surgical method for optimal results.
During the procedure, we’ll use silicone or saline implants to augment breast shape and increase breast size to reshape the breasts into a feminine look.
Both procedures take anywhere from 2-4 hours and patients are free to return home post-procedure.
Recovery & Outlook
Recovery time varies from patient to patient, but most patients can return to work within a week or two post-procedure.
For most patients, the first-week post-procedure is the most uncomfortable, but most side effects, including swelling, discomfort, and soreness, typically subside within a few weeks.
During that first week, we recommend patients sleep on their back and avoid both showering and strenuous activity. To control swelling and discomfort, we recommend the use of an ice pack.
About a week after your procedure, you’ll meet with your surgeon for a postoperative appointment. At this point, we’ll remove the dressing and you’ll get to see your new chest for the first time.
Ready to Schedule Your Consultation?
Research–including scientific studies–has found an overwhelming majority of patients approve of their decision. Less than 1% of study participants expressed regret. The consensus is clear: FTM and MTF transgender top surgery helps patients achieve a new lease on life.
DeLuca Plastic Surgery is proud to offer the most advanced, cutting-edge techniques in FTM and MTF transgender top surgery. From your initial consultation to your stunning results, we’re in your corner to answer all your questions, alleviate your concerns, and improve your confidence, body image, and quality of life.