What is involved in facial feminisation surgery?

Written by: Mr Christopher Inglefield
Edited by: Karolyn Judge

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.


Pink, blue, black and white transgender flag in chalk on grey concrete


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: 



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


By Mr Christopher Inglefield
Plastic surgery

Mr Christopher Inglefield is one of London's leading plastic surgeons. As a highly experienced consultant plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon, Mr Inglefield has performed thousands of procedures.

Throughout his career, Mr Inglefield has gained vast experience in a wide range of specialities, with areas of specialist interest including gender confirmation surgery, facial feminisation surgery, body feminisation surgery, masculinisation surgery and male chest reduction, breast surgery, breast implants and reconstruction, hair line lowering, eye bag surgery and facial rejuvenation, rhinoplasty and non-surgical nose job, labia reduction and labiaplasty. Furthermore, he embraces the latest technological and surgical developments to ensure that the service he offers to his patients is constantly evolving.

Mr Inglefield was born in Trinidad, West Indies, and obtained his medical degree from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica and Trinidad in 1985. After attaining his degree, he went on to complete his specialist surgical training in the UK, passing the examinations to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1990. Soon after, he became passionate about plastic surgery and after six years of developing his specialist skills, he passed the intercollegiate specialist examination (in plastic surgery) and was awarded the FRCS(Plast) in 1997. This confirmed his expertise in all aspects of plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery and he was added to the UK GMC specialist register.

He regularly attends national and international conferences and workshops as an attendee and invited speaker. What's more, he has also written several papers and contributed to many specialist books and journals within the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery. He is a member of the UK Association of Aesthetic Surgeons, World Professional Association for Transgender Health, British Burn Association, the British Microsurgical Society, the British Association of Surgical Oncology and the Royal Society of Medicine - Plastic Surgery.

Mr Inglefield has appeared on numerous occasions for television and radio programmes including Botched Up Bodies, BodyShockers, Radio 5 Live, NBC and Granada. In addition, he has been interviewed and quoted a number of times in national newspapers and magazines, such as The Sunday Mirror, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, The Daily Mail and Marie Claire, Harpers Bazaar, among others. In 2012, Mr Inglefield was accredited with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Aesthetic Awards for his work and dedication to innovation within the field. He is admired by both his peers, as well as his patients.

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