Female to Male Top Surgery – Gender Surgery in Melbourne
Female to Male (FTM) Top Surgery also known as bilateral mastectomy is now available in Melbourne by Dr Patrick Briggs, Specialist Plastic Surgeon and Gender Surgery expert.
What is Female to Male Top Surgery?
Female to Male Top Surgery (FTM), Transgender Chest Surgery or Gender Cosmetic Mastectomy, is a surgical procedure that focuses on the removal of the female breasts to create a more masculine chest profile. The procedure includes not only the removal of breast tissue and excess skin but also proper repositioning and reconstructing of the nipple area.
Dr Patrick Briggs, Specialist Plastic Surgeon (FRCS) has comprehensive experience in bilateral mastectomy and chest contouring, altering the female breasts to mimic and function as a males should. However, several technical aspects need to be considered beforehand.
FTM Top Surgery usually uses one of two techniques, depending on the patient’s breast size and physical appearance. Bilateral Mastectomy is generally the technique of choice for patients with larger breasts. While the Perialeoral approach is applicable for patients with smaller breasts.
What are the benefits of Female to Male Top Surgery?
Since the effect of testosterone to reduce breasts in trans men is minimal, FTM Top Surgery plays an important role in relieving gender dysphoria. Some of the benefits of FTM Top Surgery include:
- Significant improvements in psychological and social functioning
- Enhanced body confidence
- More masculine look
- Lower future risk of breast cancer
Am I a Good Candidate for Female to Male Surgery?
- Unhappy with your breast shape and size
- Have realistic expectations before undergoing surgery
- Good physical and mental health
- Non-smoker, or a smoker willing to quit
- 18+ years old
- Able to make a decision based on complete information and to consent to the surgery
Then you may be a good candidate for FTM Top Surgery.
FTM Top Surgery Before & After
Want to see more ‘real patient’ FTM Top Surgery before and after photographs, performed in Accredited Melbourne Hospitals by Dr Briggs, a highly experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeon?
What Should I Know About Having Female to Male Top Surgery?
Before the operation, you will have an appointment with a surgeon to determine and completely check your health and set a plan. This is a good time to ask questions to ensure you understand the procedure as well as the risks of the surgery. Your surgeon will decide which surgical technique is applicable for your specific case.
Depending on your medical record, you will receive pre-operation instructions that may include:
- Not eating or drinking for at least 12 hours before the operation
- Avoid blood-thinning medications
- Refrain from smoking
- Refrain from drinking alcohol
FTM Top Surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia, which means you won’t be conscious during surgery. Dr Briggs will make an incision around your chest and remove the breast and other tissues. The incision is then closed with sutures.
Female to Male Procedure Details
There are several techniques for performing Female to Male top surgery. These are based on; the incision, size and shape of the breasts, size of the nipple, and size of the areola. All the techniques have been discussed below;
Double Incision with Free Nipple Grafts
Also known as a bilateral mastectomy. This surgery is done if you have a medium to large sagging chest. A horizontal or curved incision is made on the upper and lower border of the chest muscle. The skin is peeled back and the exposed fatty tissue is removed. Another incision is made and nipples are removed, resized, and again grafted back in a more aesthetically pleasing position.
This surgery is most beneficial if you are a transgender man with a nipple position lower than the fold beneath the chest. Due to the fact, the nipple stalk and nerves are cut to allow for repositioning and grafting, the sensation of the nipple can decrease. As a result, patients may notice a loss in sensation, however, touch sensation should remain intact. Finally, the skin is sutured below the chest muscle i.e. pectoral muscle.
Inverted-T Surgery or T-Anchor
This surgery is for patients that have large chests with some extra skin. In this surgery, an incision is given as an inverted T shape or anchor shape where the nipple and areola are not touched. Since the nipple is preserved, the sensation remains intact. An additional vertical incision will also be required in this surgery.
The main advantage of this surgery over Double Incision surgery is that nipple sensation remains intact and nipple loss is not an issue. However, the drawback is that some tissue must be left behind to help supply blood to the nipple. This results in less ‘flatness’ of the chest when compared to the double incision surgery.
Keyhole Top Surgery
This could be the perfect surgery for you if you have a small chest. As the name suggests, your surgeon will make a small keyhole like incision under the lower border of your areola and the underlying tissue is removed. Fortunately, nipple sensation will remain intact and patients also get a comparatively high level of chest flatness.
Recovery From Female to Male Top Surgery
- After surgery, you may feel pain and stiffness. The first couple of days are usually the most uncomfortable.
- Your surgeon and anaesthetist will prescribe some pain medication, but the pain level shouldn’t exceed a moderate level.
- You can expect going back to work or school 2-4 weeks after the surgery. However, this depends on the choice of surgical technique as well as your overall health.
- Most patients can go back to their usual physical activities 6-8 weeks after the surgery.
- Swelling and pain will gradually decrease in the first couple of weeks, but you will have to sleep on your back for at least 10 days to minimise the pressure on your chest.
- Dr Briggs will give you specific recommendations to minimise the scarring.
- It should be noted, that scarring can be dramatically increased by not following the advice given by Dr Briggs and his team.
- Furthermore, some FTM Top Surgery methods require patients to use drains to prevent fluid accumulation.
FTM Top Surgery Cost
Every patient is different, therefore the prices vary. At the conclusion of your first consultation, you will receive a price quote. Your FTM surgery quote will include your surgeon’s fee, anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital fees. It is advisable to check with your private health insurer to find out if you are eligible for cover before you proceed.
Will Medicare cover my FTM Surgery?
You may be able to meet the criteria for the following medicare item numbers
- Female to Male Mastectomy – 31519 x2
- Female to Male Mastectomy – 31519 x2 + Free Nipple Graft 45451 x2
Risks & Complications of FTM Surgery
Like every surgical procedure, FTM Top Surgery comes with certain risks and complications:
- Risk of Infection
- Scar formation
- Numbness under the arms
- Blood accumulation
- Dissatisfaction with the results
- Reduction or complete loss of the nipple sensation
- Failed nipple graft
Why Choose Dr Patrick Briggs?
With a wealth of experience and training, Dr Patrick Briggs is dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising FTM Top Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes. Dr Patrick Briggs is fully qualified with current ASPS and ASAPS memberships. Dr Briggs offers high quality, natural-looking surgical results and is highly experienced in gender confirmation surgeries.
FAQ About Female to Male Top Surgery
How can I know which surgical method is best for me?
- The best way to find out is by consulting your surgeon. Not all patients and body types are the same. FTM Top Surgery is a very personalised surgical procedure that differs for each and every patient.
What are the effects of hormones on the breast?
- Usually, hormone therapy doesn’t assist with a significant change in breast size of FTM patients.
When can I shower after FTM Top Surgery?
- At your first post-op appointment, Dr Briggs will confirm whether or not you are able to shower.
- However, you need to keep your incision away from direct contact with water.
- Using wet wipes to keep clean can help in the first days following surgery.
How long will I have to stay in a hospital?
- It depends on the method performed and how you are feeling.
- Discharge to home care is generally either the day of the surgery or the day after.
- Some will stay overnight for observation.
Will I wear chest garment after the FTM Top Surgery?
- We always advise patients to wear a compression garment as it aids recovery and helps get a better result.
More Female to Male FTM Gender Reassignment Surgery FAQS
What is FTM top surgery called?
- Other names for FTM top surgery include; masculinising chest therapy or subcutaneous mastectomy.
- It is different from a reductive mammaplasty because it removes all the glandular tissue, leaving only the pectoral muscle and the skin.
How do you get top surgery FTM?
- Top FTM or female to male surgery is the most commonly performed type of surgery for transgender men.
- It involves complete removal of the breast glandular tissue and contouring of a more masculine-looking chest.
- The surgical procedure may also involve free nipple grafting and reduction in the size of the areola.
How old do you have to be to get top surgery in Australia?
To get a top FTM or female to male surgery in Australia, you should be at least 18 years of age.
What are the risks of top surgery?
- Like any other surgical procedure, female to male top surgery involves certain risks, this risk include;
- Poor wound healing,
- fluid accumulation in the breast area.
- The fluid may move, and swelling may also be present in the tummy area.
- Clotted blood underneath the skin.
- This can be recognised as swelling that does not go away and is solid to the touch.
- Tissue necrosis
- Nipple necrosis is the most common necrosis that can happen.
- Fat tissue necrosis can also occur in male chest contouring that is done by fat grafting.
- Scarring in varying degrees
- A good surgeon will clean, cut and properly suture the wounds.
- However, the scars appear as a normal part of the skin healing and reattaching itself.
- General dissatisfaction with the results
- it is important to have realistic expectations of what surgery can and cannot be achieve.
Is Top surgery painful?
- Top surgery is mildly painful during the recovery.
- Although you will take pain relievers a cold pack and a compression garment can help keep swelling and pain within reasonable limits.
What should I wear after top surgery?
- After the top FTM surgery, your surgeon will instruct you to wear a compression garment.
- You may need to wear it for several weeks.
- A compression garment help to reduce swelling, increase the aesthetics of the results and keep the tissues in place as they reconnect.
- Over the compression garment, you may wear loose, comfortable clothes, but beware not to get too hot.
How long do you stay in the hospital after top surgery?
- You will need to stay in the hospital or a location close to the hospital for at least a few days.
- This is to accommodate less stress due to travelling to the Dr clinic for post-op checkups.
- Consult your specialised plastic surgeon for more individualised information on hospital stay after an FTM top surgery.
How long do you have to sleep on your back after top surgery?
- You should sleep on your back after a female to male top surgery for several weeks.
- You should also sleep in a reclined position.
- If your recovery demands more or less time sleeping on your back, your specialised plastic surgeon will inform you of that.
- It is important always to follow the doctor’s advice.
How long do you have to wear a binder after top surgery?
- You should wear a binder or a compression garment for at least several weeks after the surgery.
- The exact timing depends on the scope of the procedure, the nature of the procedure, as well as your recovery pace and any other individual factors your specialised plastic surgeon deems important.
Can you wear a binder on a plane?
- You have the right to wear whatever clothes you feel most comfortable with.
- Understand that due to the screening process and over rising safety standards, you may be asked to undergo additional screening at the airport.
Can breasts grow back after top surgery?
- Breasts cannot grow back after a female to male top surgery.
- There will be swelling for the first few weeks after the surgery, but once it subsides, you will be able to see the approximate shape and size of your new chest.
- Be mindful that gaining weight may result in fat tissue increasing in volume and the breast growing.
- Also, if you do not strictly follow the hormonal therapy regimen, a drop in testosterone levels may make more fat tissue deposit in the chest area.
- A similar phenomenon can be seen in ‘moobs’ or ‘man boobs’ with cisgender men.
How much does it cost for FTM top surgery?
- In general, you should expect the cost of an FTM top surgery to start at some AUD 10,000.
- For a more specific quote, contact Dr Patrick Briggs, Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne.
- He will be able to assess your situation properly and provide a particular price.
How do people afford top surgery?
- In some cases, Medicare may cover a part of the cost of the surgery.
- However, if you do not fall into the Medically Necessary category, you may opt for financing plans.
Does health insurance cover FTM top surgery?
- if the procedure is medically nevessary Insurance will cover some costs of the FTM female to male top surgery.