What is FTM (Female to Male) Top Surgery?
Female to Male (FTM) Top Surgery, also known as chest masculinization surgery, is a surgical procedure that involves removing breast tissue and reshaping the chest to make a more masculine appearance for transgender individuals who want to have a more masculine chest.
The surgery can involve different techniques, depending on the patient’s anatomy and goals, but the most common procedure is double incision mastectomy with nipple grafts. This involves making an incision across the chest to remove breast tissue, then repositioning the nipple and areola to create a more masculine appearance.
What are the Reasons for FTM (Female to Male) Top Surgery?
Since the effect of testosterone to reduce breasts in trans men is minimal, FTM Top Surgery plays a role in relieving gender dysphoria and helping patients physical appearance meet the gender they identify as.
Reason that Female To Male Top Surgery patients may have include;
- Significant improvements in psychological and social functioning
- Lower future risk of breast cancer
- More masculine chest and appearance
- Increases the ability to “blend in” in public, due to the more traditionally masculine appearance
- Results are permanent and typically not reversible
Female to Male Before and After Photos
Due to the recent updates in guidelines by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), our website is currently undergoing substantial revisions. As a result, we have had to remove the majority of our Before and After photos to comply with these new regulations. Our utmost priority is to maintain the accuracy and compliance of our content, and we are actively working to reintroduce a more extensive collection of before and after photos in the near future. You can view additional Before and After photos of Dr Briggs’ patients, during an in-person consultation at our clinic.
Click here to see more Before and After Female to Male photos or Visit the clinic to see the patient photo gallery of Before and After Female to Male surgery.
The photos on this website and in our office are for informational purposes. The images demonstrate the potential outcomes of procedures. Individual results will vary, and effects cannot be guaranteed. The photos do not promise or guarantee specific results. They are meant to help visualise potential outcomes.
Each patient is unique, and many factors affect surgical results.
In consultations, Dr. Briggs evaluates each patient and discusses realistic expectations.
Am I a potential Candidate for FTM Top Surgery?
You may be a potential candidate if you meet the following;
- Unhappy with your breast shape and size
- Have realistic expectations before undergoing surgery
- In good physical and mental health (medical evaluation may be required)
- A Non-smoker, or a smoker willing to quit
- 18+ years old
- Able to make a decision based on complete information and consent to the surgery
Hormone Therapy and Gender Surgery
Testosterone and estrogen called the male and female sex hormones are used for hormone therapy.
Hormone therapy is not a necessity before top surgery. However, in some transgender individuals, hormone therapy can be given for the chest muscle to grow and for others, 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.
Moreover, the doctor will often test your hormone levels before surgery to ensure if it is within the targeted range.
Your Transgender Surgery Journey
Before you undergo top surgery, you will need to get a referral from a General Practitioner (GP) or Medical Specialist, you will also need to undergo a mental health evaluation. Only then will you be able to book a consultation with a surgeon. At this consultation you will have a thorough discussion with your surgeon to see if you fulfil certain prerequisites. Your doctor will screen and diagnose your mental and physical health status and if you have any medical comorbidities. Your consult includes;
- Evaluation of your personal and family medical history
- A general physical examination that includes all your;
- reproductive system assessment
- cardiac assessment
- respiratory assessment
- Gastrointestinal system assessment.
- Various lab investigations of your blood, urine, and/or X rays.
- Along with a physical assessment, your doctor will also require a mental health examination. This will include your gender identity and dysphoria.
- As well as, how your gender identity has made an effect on your school, home, office, and your friends and family.
- And, any mood issues
Risks and Complications of Female to Male (FTM) Surgery
Like all surgeries Female-to-Male (FTM) surgery carries risks and potential complications. Here are some of the risks and complications associated with Female-to-Male top surgery:
- Poor Wound Healing
- Changes in Sensation
- Anesthesia Risks
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
- Cardiovascular and Respiratory Complications
It’s essential for individuals considering this surgery to have a comprehensive consultation with a specialized surgical team and a mental health professional experienced in gender-affirming care. This allows for a full understanding of potential risks and reasons helps individuals make informed decisions about their healthcare. Following pre-operative and post-operative instructions and having a support system in place can contribute to a smoother recovery process.
Visit our Risks page for more information.
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 reasons.
- Alternative method.
- Social and legal implications.
- Complications and 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. Some additional precautions you must take after the procedure are:
- Sleep position – you will need to sleep with your body inclined at an angle. In other words, your torso needs to be elevated during sleep for a few weeks after the surgery.
- Excercise – You must avoid heavy chest exercises for 2 to 3 months post-surgery.
- Additional surgery – You may need additional surgery if you need to alter your chest size or shape.
- Follow up – You will need to follow up if you desire further hormone replacement therapy.
Female to Male (FTM) Top Surgery 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. The hormone therapy and further follow-up require additional charges as well depending upon the doctor you visit.
Is gender affirmation surgery painful?
During surgery, you are under general anesthesia so you won’t feel pain. Although recovery can be uncomfortable it is usually manageable.
Is gender affirmation surgery considered cosmetic?
Although gender surgery is done as a management of the medical condition gender dysphoria, it is, unfortunately, still considered cosmetic, it is only 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 Female to Male (FTM) Top Surgery?
Yes, top surgery results in some degree of scarring. But they will gradually fade and flatten over time.
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 may take anywhere from 1 to 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 removed so, breast tissue will not grow back.
Will I need multiple surgeries for the Female to Male (FTM) Top Surgery?
Most patients only require a single surgery however <5% will have to undergo additional surgery/revision surgery.
When can I resume my daily work activities after top surgery?
Usually, you can leave the hospital the day after surgery. However, you should take 2 – 3 weeks before resuming work and only then if your job is not labor intensive. You should also refrain from heavy chest work for approximately 2 to 3 months.
Choosing a Plastic Surgeon in Australia for Gender Surgery
There are differences between cosmetic surgeons and plastic surgeons concerning their education, training, qualifications, operating rights and more.
In Australia, a plastic surgeon must have the following qualifications:
- An undergraduate degree in medicine, typically a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree.
- A minimum of two years of general medical training as a junior hospital doctor.
- Completion of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) surgical education and training program, which includes at least five years of accredited surgical training, with at least two years in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
- Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Plastic surgeons in Australia must also be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and adhere to the standards and guidelines set forth by the Medical Board of Australia.
You also want to ensure the surgeon you choose has:
- Extensive experience in different types of Gender affirmation surgery
- Available Patient Before and After Photos.
- Detailed recovery plans
- A great support team.
Plastic V’s Cosmetic Surgeons
There are definite benefits to choosing a plastic surgeon over a cosmetic surgeon, and it is important for you to know who your surgeon really is. Cosmetic surgeons are NOT specialist plastic surgeons.
Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon.
Both he and his team are dedicated to patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
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.
The information provided in this article is for educational and informational proposes. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. The author and publisher of this article make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content of this article. The information contained in this article is strictly at your own risk.