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10 Questions To Ask Your Surgeon Before Transgender or Gender Affirmation Surgery

Preparing for Transgender or Gender Affirmation Surgery. Ask your Surgeon Lots of Questions!

Your transgender surgery requires careful consideration. While you’ve likely mentally prepared for this journey and envisioned your outcomes, it’s crucial to be well-prepared with the right questions for your gender affirmation surgeon.

Asking the right questions will give you the tools and information you need to make informed decisions about your surgical path.

10 Best Questions to Ask Your Surgeon

During your initial gender affirmation surgeon consultation, you should come prepared with the following list of questions to make sure your consultation is successful.

1. What are your qualifications?

While it might appear obvious, it’s important to acknowledge the variations in surgeons’ qualifications and specialised areas. For transgender surgery, make sure that your doctor is a specialist plastic surgeon with extensive experience treating transgender patients and performing the surgery.

Questions like “How many years of transgender surgery experience do you have?” and “What specific training do you have in MTF transgender surgery techniques?” is a great place to start.

2. Am I a suitable candidate for the procedure?

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for transgender surgery. Whether or not you are a suitable candidate will depend on the specific procedure you’re hoping to schedule.

Your chosen gender affirmation surgeon will walk you through the different treatments they offer, including alternative procedures that may be a better fit. Breast augmentation for MTF patients is extremely common.

It’s smart to research the procedure(s) you’re interested in before your consultation. But remember that your surgeon will give you their professional recommendation based on your overall health and goals.

3. What can I do to make sure I get results?

The best way to ensure you get the results is by closely following your surgeon’s instructions. During your consultation, ask your surgeon about ways to achieve optimal results or decrease the risk of complications.

Although there are things you can do before any surgery to reduce risks (eg. quit smoking), every procedure is different. A Gender reassignment surgeon will be able to tell you exactly how to prepare for your treatment.

4. Where and how will you perform my procedure?

Plastic surgery treatment facilities can vary tremendously. If your surgery requires significant recovery time, you may need to stay at the facility for a few days.

During your consultation, your surgeon will go through the procedures they offer that could give you the results you want.

Ask them to explain how each procedure is performed and make sure you understand the process. Learning more about your treatment will help you feel more prepared.

5. Which surgical technique do you recommend?

There are several different techniques used for MTF gender confirmation surgery. For breast augmentations, there are both saline and silicone implants to choose from and various methods to place the implants. Each choice has its pros and cons. It’s important to understand your options before making a final decision.

Although the list of options may seem overwhelming at first, a good surgeon with gender affirmation surgery experience will be able to walk you through the decision-making process. It’s best to ask for their professional opinion and which surgical technique they recommend.

6. What are the risks and complications?

Every surgery has potential risks and complications. Ask your surgeon about the most common risks and complications associated with your procedure. They will likely provide you with a list of steps you can take to mitigate risks and prevent complications both during and after surgery.

7. Do you have before and after photos for this procedure, and what results can I expect?

It is essential to make sure the procedure you choose will be able to deliver the results you’re hoping for. Request before and after photos of past patients to get an idea of the results you can expect. However, every surgeon has their own style and level of expertise. Look at each picture carefully to understand how the procedure will change your body.

8. What are my pre-op and post-op instructions?

As we previously discussed, the best way to ensure you get the results you want is to follow your surgeon’s instructions. Your surgeon will provide you with a detailed list of pre-op and post-op instructions to ensure your treatment goes as smoothly as possible. Each procedure will have its own list of instructions. Ask your surgeon for the instructions well in advance so that you have time to prepare.

Typical pre-op instructions include completing blood testing, quitting smoking, and refraining from drinking alcohol. Standard post-op instructions include taking specific medication and refraining from strenuous activity for a few weeks to months.

9. How long is the recovery period?

Depending on the procedure you’re interested in, the recovery period will vary.

Ask your surgeon what your recovery will entail making accommodations for yourself in advance. At the very least, you will need to take time off work and arrange for someone to pick you up from surgery and keep an eye on you for the first 24 hours.

10. Are there any requirements before I can schedule my Gender Affirmation Surgery with my surgeon?

You will need a referral from a General Practitioner or Medical Specialist. Most surgeons also require a letter from a therapist or similar paperwork before scheduling MTF gender confirmation surgery. Ask your surgeon about their specific requirements and what you can do to expedite the scheduling process.

Medical references and further reading about transgender surgery:

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons are dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Broughton Snell
Dr Stephen Kleid
Dr Gary Kode

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001124843

Dr Craig Rubinstein

Dr Craig Rubinstein is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Hawthorn East, Melbourne. With over 20 years of surgical experience especially in all areas of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, but particularly in breast surgery. These include Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction as well as Breast Surgery Revision.

Furthermore, he believes that surgical customisation, precision planning and technical expertise help him to provide optimal surgical outcomes for his patients.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001190266

Dr Broughton Snell

Dr Broughton Snell is a Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His training in Plastic Surgery took place in Australia and the United States of America (USA).

Dr Snell is a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon having completed his Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon MED0001052799

Dr Stephen Kleid

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Septo-rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, as well as, a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Kleid trained at Melbourne University, then completed surgical training at various hospitals including Royal Melbourne, Royal Children’s, The Eye and Ear and St Vincents. He worked as a surgeon at the University of Florida Medical school for further experience.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001405964

Dr Gary Kode

Dr Gary Kode is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, with experience in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments.

Dr Kode is a member of several organisations, including the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), The International Confederation for Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and he holds a Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday - Friday.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.

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