Female to Male FTM Top Surgery in Sydney by Dr Kernohan
Female to Male Top Surgery is also known as Transgender Chest Surgery or Gender Cosmetic Mastectomy. FTM Top Surgery is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the breasts to give patients a more contoured masculine chest profile. The surgery not only includes the removal of tissue and skin but also proper repositioning and reconstruction of the nipple.
Top surgery for transgender men and nonbinary people is done as a part of the gender transformation process (previously known as gender reassignment surgery). It can help patients get a bit closer in their journey to match their physical characteristics to their self-affirmed gender.
What is FTM Top Surgery?
The goal of FTM Top Surgery is to remove excess breast tissue and skin and reposition the nipples and areola to create a more masculine-looking chest. The surgical approach used depends on the physical appearance of the patient and specific characteristics. Larger breasts can require a more complex breast reduction technique compared to breasts that are smaller in size.
Benefits of FTM Top Surgery
Here are the benefits of FTM Top Surgery:
1. Better Emotional and Psychological Comfort
FTM Top Surgery is an effective treatment for trans men as it can improve social relations and alleviate the emotional discomfort caused by gender dysphoria.
2. Better Mental Health
Trans Men struggling with gender dysphoria can get confined in their biological bodies which sometimes manifests as depression.
3. Lower Risk of Breast Cancer
Eliminating the glandular tissue can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
Dr Kernohan’s FTM Top Surgery Photo Gallery
Taking a look at previous FTM Top Surgery procedures can give you an idea of what to expect. You can see Dr Kernohan’s past patient photos during your consultation.
Is FTM Top Surgery Right for Me?
FTM Top Surgery might be a good choice if:
- You have realistic expectations from the procedure
- You are in good physical health
- You are in good mental health
- You have a well-documented case of gender dysphoria
- You do not smoke or can quit it for at least three weeks before and after the surgery
- You are 18 years old or above
Top Surgery Consultation
Before the surgery, you will be required to come in for the consultation. This is your time to ask any questions that you might have. Make sure to discuss all your concerns and expectations with Dr Kernohan.
You will also need to have appropriate psych support and WPATH paperwork done before surgery.
The FTM Top Surgery Procedure
Based on your health and medical history, you will be handed over a list of pre-operative instructions to follow which might include:
- Do not eat or drink anything for a period of 12 hours prior to the operation
- Avoid blood thinning medications for at least 2 weeks before the surgery
- Do not smoke for at least a month before starting the FTM surgery
- Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 2 weeks prior to the surgery
The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia which means you will be asleep through the procedure. The surgery involves creating an incision around the chest, removal of breast tissues and skin, and closure of the sutures.
Depending on the size, and shape of boobs, nipples and areolas, Dr Kernohan will help you choose the surgical technique. The most popular techniques for FTM Top Surgery are discussed below:
1. Double Incision with Free Nipple Grafts
It is popularly known as bilateral mastectomy and is ideal if you have a medium to large sagging chest. The use of this technique involves a horizontal or curved incision that is created on the upper as well as the lower border of the chest muscle. Dr Kernohan will detach the skin to expose the fat and glandular tissue and remove it. Another incision will be made to remove and resize the nipples which are then grafted back into a correct position on the chest wall.
This surgical approach is often used when the nipples sit lower than the fold beneath the chest. This allows for efficient grafting and repositioning. It is expected to lose some sensation in the nipples post-surgery. To complete the procedure, the skin will be sutured below the pectoral muscle.
2. Inverted T-surgery or T-anchor
This technique can be ideal for patients with large breasts and excess skin. The incision resembles an inverted T shape or anchor shape. Dr Kernohan will keep the nipple and areola on a pedicle of skin, which means there are few chances of dealing with loss of sensation after the surgery. An additional vertical incision is also made during this process. The advantage of this technique over double incision is that there is a low risk to experience nipple loss. As some level of tissue is left behind, the results are less flat when compared to double incision surgery.
3. Keyhole Top Surgery
If you have a smaller chest, this might be the right surgical approach for you. As evident from the name, Dr Kernohan will create a small incision that resembles a keyhole under the lower border of the areola and he will use it to remove the underlying tissue. With this technique, patients can expect a high level of flatness and the incision also remains intact.
Recovery From Female to Male Top Surgery
FTM Top Surgery is a major surgery which essentially means that you will need some time to recover. During the recovery phase, be sure to follow all Dr Kernohan’s instructions to minimise the chance of any complications.
You might experience some pain and stiffness for the first few days after the surgery. The first couple of days are going to be the most uncomfortable ones. Make sure to keep on taking the pain meds to prevent pain from increasing and stay as comfortable as possible.
Most people are able to return to work in about 2 to 4 weeks after the surgery. It essentially varies depending on the choice of surgical technique as well as your overall health. Sleep on your back for at least 10 days and avoid putting pressure on your chest. You will be given instructions on avoiding scarring. In certain cases, drains will be placed at the level of the chest to prevent fluid accumulation.
Risks of FTM Top Surgery
FTM Top Surgery is a complex procedure and carries certain risks. During your consultation, you will be informed of any risks. Some of the risks include poor wound healing, seroma, fluid accumulation in the breast area, haematoma, swelling, blood clotting underneath the skin, nipple necrosis, fat tissue necrosis, scarring in varying degrees, asymmetry, and general dissatisfaction with the results.
Cost of FTM Top Surgery in Sydney – How Much FTM Top Surgery Costs in Sydney?
The cost of FTM Top surgery depends on the experience and expertise of the surgeon, facility, technique used, and the overall complexity of the procedure. In Sydney, FTM Top Surgery cost can range from $10,000 to $20,000.
In certain cases, Medicare might pay for a part of the surgery. If that’s the case, you can also connect with your health insurance provider to pay for some of the charges. In case, your claim isn’t approved by Medicare, you could opt for surgery financing plans.
FAQs about FTM Top Surgery
Here is a list of frequently asked questions we get regarding FTM Top Surgery:
Is FTM Top Surgery considered to be a major surgery?
- Yes, it is major surgery associated with certain risks and complications. Hence, it is very important to choose a highly experienced plastic surgeon and follow all the pre and post-op instructions.
Is FTM Top Surgery a painful procedure?
- You won’t feel anything during the procedure as the surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. However, it is very normal to feel pain and discomfort during the first few days after the surgery. It can be controlled with the help of painkillers prescribed by your plastic surgeon.
How long will it take me to heal after surgery?
- Generally speaking, people are able to go back to work about two weeks after the surgery. However, full recovery can take up to 6 to 8 weeks for some people.
How should I sleep after FTM Top Surgery?
- Sleep in a reclined position on your back for at least 8 weeks after top surgery. Always get a clearance from your surgeon before you start sleeping on your side or stomach.
Will I feel my nipples after FTM Top Surgery?
- Well, the sensation will persist but you will most definitely lose the hypersensitivity you experienced earlier. The loss of sensation depends on the surgical technique used. Please discuss this with Dr Kernohan.
How long do you have to wear a binder after top surgery?
- Make sure to wear a binder/compression garment for a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. The exact timeline is based on the scope of surgery, the technique used, overall recovery, and other individual factors that are deemed important.
Can breasts grow back after FTM top surgery?
- No, your breasts cannot grow back after the surgery. Please note that there will be a bit of swelling after the surgery which can give you the illusion of slight fullness. However, once the swelling subsides, you will be able to see the approximate shape and size of your chest. Overall weight gain might result in increased fat tissue which can result in fat deposits in the chest area. You have to be very diligent in your hormonal therapy regimen. A significant drop in testosterone levels can also result in more fat tissue deposits in the chest.
Will health insurance cover my FTM top surgery?
- If the procedure is deemed as a medical necessity and you are able to get coverage from Medicare, chances are insurance will also pay for the surgery. If your surgery isn’t considered a medical necessity, then in most cases, you won’t get any coverage. As different health insurance funds vary drastically, it is always a good idea to check with your provider firsthand.
Do I wear chest compression garments after the FTM top surgery?
- Yes, it is important to wear a compression garment as it greatly helps to speed up the recovery process. If you don’t wear a compression garment, expect the swelling to linger on for longer.