FTM Surgery in Chicago

Female to Male (FTM) Surgery

What Is FTM Surgery?

Female to male (FTM) surgeries are gender-affirming operations that form an integral part of the gender transition process for transgender men. FTM surgery is an option for those seeking a more masculine physical appearance. FTM surgeries fall into two broad categories — Top Surgery and Bottom Surgery. As one would expect, the former focuses on the upper half of the body, and the latter on the lower half. Top Surgery is the most common gender-affirming surgery for transgender men. This is a reconstructive operation focusing on the chest, and involves breast removal (Mastectomy) and chest contouring. Bottom Surgery is less common, and involves a reassignment of the sexual organs via one or more surgical procedures.

How Is FTM Surgery Performed?

FTM Top Surgery is accomplished through a number of different procedures, all aimed at giving patients a masculine appearance for the torso. Two of the most common procedures are the Double Incision and Keyhole surgical procedures. Dr. Steinbrech specializes in both of these surgeries, and offers them to FTM patients. Double Incision Top Surgery is also known as a bilateral mastectomy and usually involves nipple grafts. During this operation, which usually lasts three to four hours, two incisions are made (on the top and bottom of the pectorals) and the breast tissue is removed. The chest area is then given a masculine contour, while the nipples are removed, resized and grafted (patients tend to lose sensation in the nipples afterward).

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Keyhole Top Surgery is meant for patients with smaller chests. A small incision is made below the areola, and liposuction is performed to remove breast tissue. In Keyhole operations, the nipple is not removed or resized (and nipple sensation is maintained).

Preparation For FTM Surgery

Patients can prepare for FTM Surgery in a number of ways. In the weeks leading up to surgery, it is important to avoid alcohol and tobacco products, as these can complicate the postoperative healing process. During your preoperative meetings, Dr. Steinbrech will notify you if you need to cease the use of any medications. This initial consultation will also address any questions or concerns you may have, as well as your specific aesthetic goals.

It is important to be prepared for the recovery period. Exact recovery varies depending on which type of surgery is performed, but patients should arrange transportation home and be prepared to miss at least two weeks of work.

Who Is a Good Candidate For FTM Surgery?

FTM operations are highly individualized procedures meant to fulfill each patient’s ideal body image. Procedures are specifically intended for transgender men and nonbinary individuals. All candidates should be in overall good health before undergoing FTM Surgery.

FTM Surgery Is a Good Option If You:

  • Are a transgender man or a nonbinary individual
  • Desire a masculine appearance, in accordance with your gender identity
  • Have realistic expectations regarding the results of FTM Surgery

What Can I Expect From FTM Recovery?

Recovery time varies from person to person and often depends on the type of FTM Surgery that was performed. By performing intercostal nerve blocks with Lidocaine before starting the procedure, and by avoiding the use of drains, Dr. Steinbrech’s patients have a dramatic decrease in their postoperative pain. Nevertheless, swelling, discomfort and mild pain are common side effects and are most noticeable within 24-28 hours after surgery. Swelling may not fully reduce for many weeks, but patients can typically return to work within fourteen days of operation. Physical exercise, including running and weight lifting, can generally be resumed within six to eight weeks. Dr. Steinbrech holds postoperative consultations to keep patients healthy and informed throughout the healing process.

Schedule a Consultation for FTM Surgery

Dr. Steinbrech looks forward to meeting with you to discuss your personal transformation journey. To learn more about FTM Surgery and your individual treatment options, please contact Dr. Steinbrech and schedule your consultation today.

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