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Several gender affirmation treatments and surgeries exist to help you achieve the body you want and deserve. Top surgery is one of the most popular gender surgeries along the transition journey.

If you are interested in receiving top surgery, it can be helpful to understand more about the procedure and what you can do to prepare for it.

What Is Top Surgery?

Top surgery can change the appearance of your chest, depending on your gender identity. 

For female-to-male top surgery, the surgeon removes the breast tissue to give the appearance of a flatter, more masculine chest. For male-to-female top surgery, the surgeon instead augments the breasts to create more feminine body contours. 

While not every patient opts for top surgery, it is often a step on the journey to gender transformation. You may choose top surgery as part of your gender affirmation treatment. 

Top surgery can help give you a renewed sense of confidence and also help with gender dysphoria you may feel when your physical features do not correspond with your gender identity. 

Female-to-Male Top Surgery

Female-to-male top surgery, also known as a mastectomy, removes existing breast tissue to give the chest a more masculine look. 

Depending on your breasts and desired results, a trained plastic surgeon can use multiple surgical techniques to remove the breasts. A peri-areolar mastectomy is usually best if you have small breasts. The incision is made around the nipple, removing breast tissue through the tiny hole.

Alternatively, you may benefit more from a double-incision mastectomy. The surgeon removes the breast tissue through two larger incisions during this procedure. As a result, the surgeon will take extra care to position the scars and nipples to make them less noticeable.

Male-to-Female Top Surgery

Male-to-female top surgery, also known as chest feminization surgery, helps provide feminine-looking curves if you were assigned male at birth. MTF surgery involves using breast implants to enhance and feminize the chest. 

MTF top surgery is a similar procedure to breast augmentation for cisgender individuals. You can achieve larger breasts with saline or silicone implants, fat grafting, or a combination of the two. Your surgeon can recommend the right implants and surgical techniques for the right results. 

What to Know Before Getting Top Surgery

Whether you need FTM or MTF top surgery, there are eight key considerations to keep in mind before undergoing the procedure:

1. Finding the Right Surgeon Is Key

First and foremost, you want to make sure you are in capable hands. Having a surgeon with extensive experience with transgender patients is crucial, as they have a much better understanding of the uniqueness and importance of transformation surgeries. 

The board-certified surgeons at Vegas Plastic Surgery Institute want you to feel seen and heard throughout your transformation journey. They can provide the support you need while using their skill and artistry to deliver exceptional results. 

2. Managing Expectations Is Important

Knowing what to expect before your top surgery is essential. For example, understanding what recovery entails and that you may have some scarring can help you feel more prepared. 

3. The Healing Process Varies

Because everyone’s body is different, the healing process varies. However, to promote healing, you should always follow your surgeon’s aftercare guidelines. Whether it be avoiding strenuous activity or wearing a post-op garment, these recommendations will help give you the best results possible. 

While you may feel stressed or frustrated at some point during your recovery, try to keep in mind that your future self will be grateful for your patience. 

4. Create a Safe Environment to Heal

Healing is one of the most significant parts of your surgical journey. After surgery, you should have a safe environment to begin your recovery. This environment can include having a comfortable place to rest and recover and pre-planned meals to give you energy.

The less you have to worry about during your healing, the better. When you focus solely on yourself and your recovery, you will likely find your healing to progress more quickly. 

5. A Strong Support System Can Impact Your Experience

Along the same lines as a safe environment, a strong support system can make all the difference for you.

Getting any type of surgery is tough, but gender surgeries come with their own set of challenges. Surrounding yourself with family and friends that understand you and want to help you can make your surgery and healing physically, mentally, and emotionally easier.

It is common to feel like you want to do everything alone, but having the right people around you is priceless. 

6. You May Have to Make Lifestyle Changes Before Surgery

Your surgeon may recommend specific lifestyle changes before your surgery. For example, smoking can negatively affect your recovery. Therefore, your surgeon will require stopping smoking for some time before your surgery to help ensure proper healing. 

7. Take Care of Travel and Recovery Accommodations Ahead of Time 

If you are an out-of-town patient, it is best to arrange travel and recovery accommodations ahead of time. This can include flights, hotels, and assistance during your recovery. Doing so can give you peace of mind and make the surgical process easier.

Taking the First Step Toward Top Surgery

The first step on the road to top surgery is a consultation. At Vegas Plastic Surgery Institute, you can receive care over the phone before your first appointment. VPSI offers a friendly, compassionate environment, along with surgical excellence from board-certified surgeons.

Learn more about the top surgery procedure and how it could benefit your personal journey today.