What is Gender affirmation surgery?
Gender affirmation surgery/gender confirmation surgery/transgender surgery are all terms for a life-changing surgical procedure in which your surgeon changes physical and sexual characteristics.
This procedure may help with the treatment of gender dysphoria. Gender Dysphoria is a psychological condition in which a person does not identify with the gender they were born.
There are two main types of top surgery. Male to Female (MTF) and Female to Male (FTM). The surgery either removes breast tissue to make the chest more masculine or involves breast implants and/or tissue to make the chest more feminine.
Other transgender plastic surgery
- Top surgery (chest masculinisation surgery), surgeries or chest sculpting with implants (performed by Dr Briggs).
- Bottom surgery, Orchiectomy, vaginoplasty, scrotoplasty, hysterectomy for masculinisation, facial feminisation surgery.
- While Dr Briggs does perform top surgery he doesn’t offer bottom surgery.
It is also known as Transgender Breast Augmentation or feminising breast surgery – breast mammoplasty. The surgical procedure adds tissue or implants to make a more feminine chest.
This procedure is for trans women who want to look more feminine and overcome their gender dysphoria by transforming the shape and size of their breasts.
Female to Male top surgery is the reconstructive surgical procedure involving the removal of breast tissue.
Other names for this procedure include; masculinising chest surgery or subcutaneous mastectomy.
It is a treatment of gender dysphoria in transgender men. The goal of this surgery is to help transgender men make a physical transformation to the gender they identify with.
Gender Affirmation Before and After Photos
Visit the clinic to see the real patient photo gallery of Before and After Gender Affirmation surgery. Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly.
Hormone Therapy and Gender Surgery
Hormone therapy involves either testosterone and estrogen. It is not a necessity before top surgery. However, in some transgender men, hormone therapy can help the chest muscles to grow. While, for women, it can increase the breast tissue before breast augmentation.
Hormones before surgery may give an individual a better outcome after the top surgery but it is not a necessity. The doctor often tests your hormone levels before the surgery to ensure if it is within the target range.
Your Transgender Surgery Journey
Before you undergo top surgery, you will have a thorough consultation with your surgeon to fulfil certain prerequisites. Your doctor will screen and diagnose your mental and physical health status and if you have any medical comorbidities. It includes:
- Evaluate your personal and family medical history
- A general physical examination that includes all your reproductive system assessment, cardiac, respiratory, or gastrointestinal system assessment.
- Various lab investigations of your blood, urine, or X rays.
- Along with physical assessment, your doctor will also require a mental health examination.
- This will include your gender identity and dysphoria.
- How your gender identity has made an effect on your school, home, office, and all your friends and family.
- Mood issues
Consent for Gender Confirmation Surgery
After discussing all the risks, complications and conditions with your doctor, you must give informed consent that includes:
- Risks and benefits.
- Alternative method.
- Social and legal implications.
- Complications as well as the irreversibility of the procedure.
If you are nervous or unsure of the procedure, you can always talk with fellow transgender people who have undergone similar procedures.
Recovery and Results after Top Surgery
After surgery, your chest will be wrapped and compressed for several weeks following the surgery. Some additional precautions you must take after the procedure are:
- Sleep – You will need to sleep with your body at an angle. This is to raise your torso so you are not lying flat. You should sleep in this postion for few weeks after the surgery.
- You must avoid heavy chest exercises for 2 to 3 months post-surgery.
- Additional surgery- You may need additional surgery if you need to improve your chest size or shape.
- You will need to follow up if you desire further hormone replacement therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average cost for gender affirmation surgery?
The price usually depends on the type of surgery you are doing. The typical cost of gender affirmation top surgery can range from $12,000 to $20,000 or more. The costs depend on the different techniques done.
Hormone therapy and further follow-up require additional charges as well depending upon the doctor you visit.
Is gender affirmation surgery painful?
The surgery is done under general anaesthesia so you won’t feel pain at all during the procedure.
How do you pay for MTF surgery?
Since your insurance does not always cover this surgery, you may have a variety of options to pay for surgery.
- Personal loan
- Credit cards
- Family loan
- Crowdfunding and fundraising
Is gender affirmation surgery considered cosmetic?
Although gender surgery is done to manage the medical condition gender dysphoria, it is considered cosmetic.
However, it is considered a medical necessity under the following conditions:
- You are above 16 years of age and are legally approved to choose whatever gender you want.
- You are in complete well-being with no further medical illness.
- There is an applicable Medicare item number
- Your life significantly improves after surgery.
Do you get scars after MTF top surgery?
Yes, MTF top surgery results in some degree of scarring. But they will gradually fade and flatten over time. Most patients have felt their final results are well worth the scars in the beginning.
How do I know which type of top surgery is best for me?
Your surgeon will give you the best professional advice before the procedure.
The procedure depends upon your chest size, shape, skin elasticity, your preferences for nipple and areola size and placements.
How long does the top surgery take?
It depends on the procedure and the surgeon. Generally speaking, it can take between 1 hour and 3 hours.
Can breasts grow back after top surgery?
Although a little tissue is left behind to maintain the contour of the chest, 95% of the tissue is taken. So, breast tissue will not grow back.
Will I need multiple surgeries for the MTF top surgery?
Most patients only require a single surgery however <5% will have to undergo additional surgery which will be a very minimal procedure.
When can I resume my daily work activities after top surgery?
You can leave the hospital the next day after surgery but you can only resume your office job after 2 to 3 weeks. You are recommended to avoid heavy chest work for 2 to 3 months.
Choosing the Best Plastic Surgeon in Australia for Gender Surgery
There are huge differences between cosmetic surgeons and plastic surgeons concerning their education, training, qualifications, operating rights and more. Dr Patrick Briggs is a highly experienced plastic surgery expert and member of FRCS, ISAPS, ASAPS and ASPS, all of which are protected medical titles and ensure a certain (minimum) level of expertise and experience. Moreover, he is a specialist plastic surgeon that is qualified to operate in accredited hospitals around Australia.
Plastic V’s Cosmetic Surgeons
There are definite benefits to choosing a plastic surgeon over a cosmetic surgeon. It is important for you to know who your surgeon really is. Advertising is often deceptive, and “cosmetic surgeons” are NOT specialist plastic surgeons.
A cosmetic surgeon could just be a regular GP who has decided to perform body surgery, whereas a qualified specialist plastic surgeon will have years of study and membership from their governing body (ASAPS, ASPS, ASPS-USA, ISAPS).
Unfortunately, it doesn’t require much training to become a ‘cosmetic surgeon’ in Australia, the existing medical laws allow almost any doctor with basic qualifications to perform these surgeries, should they choose to. Not all surgeons who perform all body surgeries in Melbourne have extensive training.
Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne Plastic Surgeon – FRCS (Plas)
Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon. Both he and his team are dedicated to excellence in patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Not only does he offer high-quality results he also offers natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results. Furthermore, he is experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.
How can we help?
Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 8 am – 6 pm on Weekdays.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.