Gender transition is a personal and emotive process that only the person choosing to undertake it can fully identify with. Furthermore, the gender reassignment procedures involved with the physical transformation need to be carefully considered.
One surgical element regarding male-to-female (MtF) transition that requires further examination before going ahead is facial feminisation surgery (FFS). A prospective patient may have questions such as: ‘Is it painful?’, ‘When can surgery take place on my transition journey?’ and ‘Is it possible to change a number of features in one operation?’
Leading plastic surgeon Mr Christopher Inglefield speaks to Top Doctors in order to provide expert answers to these, and more, questions about facial feminisation surgery.
Can facial feminisation surgery (FFS) happen at any stage of transitioning?
Yes, it can happen at any stage of one’s transition.
Because of its incredible feminising power, it is frequently one of the first surgeries transfeminine patients will request in their transition.
Which features most commonly require facial feminisation?
The most common procedures patients consider as part of their FFS are:
- Hairline lowering
- Forehead/brow shaping
- Chin reduction or augmentation
- Adam’s apple removal
How much of the face can be feminised in one operation?
Most of the features can be addressed in one operation. Overnight hospitalisation can be offered if many procedures are performed together so that the patient can be monitored the first night after surgery. The number of procedures patients decide to have at once is very much dependent on the patients' requests, medical wellbeing as well as social and financial circumstances of the patient.
Is facial feminisation surgery painful?
Even when patients have more than one procedure performed at once, they don’t usually experience a lot of pain following their operation. Many, however, report feeling discomfort. Upon being discharged from the hospital, we provide patients with different kinds of medication for pain relief if they experience mild pain or for when they feel more severe pain.
What is the price of facial feminisation surgery based on?
All of our quotes are individualised as they can vary based on the procedures the person wants to have. Our quotes include hospital and anaesthetist fees, pre- and post-operative care for one year, pre- and post-operative manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) and a nurse on call 24/7. If the individual is on a budget, Mr Inglefield can discuss which procedures will make the biggest impact based on their goals and they can prioritise the procedures they'd like to have done that remain within their budget.
What is your professional advice for someone considering facial feminisation surgery?
To anyone considering FFS, we would recommend getting as much information as possible from your surgeon or clinic. It is also important, as a patient, to understand your own goals and know what each surgery can achieve, as well as the risks of each procedure.
If you’re considering facial feminisation surgery, Mr Inglefield is available for expert consultation via his Top Doctors profile. Make an appointment here.