When a baby is born, the first instinct, of adults, is to know its gender. By looking at the genitals, a baby is designated as male or female.
However, some men are born with female physical appearance, and vice-versa. This class of persons is commonly referred to as transgender people. They have a gender identity that clashes with their assigned birth sex.
There’s no worse struggle as that of having to defend your gender every time you meet strangers.
No lady wants to be perceived as a man because of her thick brow, her deep-set eyes or her heavy jaw. Nor does a person who identifies as a man want to be perceived as a woman simply because they speak in shrill voice or have woman-like lips.
Naturally, masculinity or femininity does not always match with their obvious birth sex. But, with the advancement of technology, it’s possible to reassign your gender.
It’s also possible to feminize a man-like face or masculinize a woman-like face. This is through procedures such as facial feminization and top surgeries.
What is Facial Feminization Surgery(FFS)?
Facial feminization surgery, or FFS, is a set of aesthetic surgical procedures, which includes tracheal shave, forehead recontouring, nose reduction surgery, brow lift, eyelid surgery, chin and lip surgery, cheek augmentation, canthoplasty, among other procedures; done to moderate manly appearances and give your face a feminine look.
There is a corresponding surgery for those who want to give their face a masculine look called Facial Masculinization Surgery (FMS).
FFS is done in bits; each face area is dealt with in independent procedures. The procedure is unique to each and every patient. Also; anyone can go for FFS – there’s no right age to have an FFS.
However, for some FFS procedures such as top surgery, patients who are 18 years and below will require parental approval before they can undergo the operation.
What is the cost of facial feminization surgery?
The total cost of a Facial feminization surgery is a composite of:
- The plastic surgeon’s fee
- Facility expenses
- Anesthesia charges
- Pre-surgery medications, tests and x-rays
- Post-surgery costumes such as binders
FFS costs range from $20,000 to $50,000 depending on the surgeon performing the procedure, the type of the facility, your geographical location, and the number of constituent surgeries performed.
Below are the approximate costs of some of the most common facial feminization procedures:
|Procedure||Lowest price||Highest Price|
|Forehead re contouring||$6,000||$9,000|
|Female to male cost||$7000||$24000|
|Male to female assignment cost||$7000||$24000|
Source: Real Self
Most insurance companies do not cover facial feminization surgery because it is viewed as a cosmetic procedure.
However, if it’s proved that removal of a facial part will correct a health condition, then insurance covers may apply. To know if your insurance company covers any of the FFS procedures, kindly consult your insurance provider.
Facial feminization surgery recovery
FFS recovery depends on the type of performed procedures. Recovery from a top surgery takes between three to six weeks. To hasten the recovery process, after the FFS surgery, avoid lifting more than 5 pounds. If a forehead reduction procedure is done, then avoid plucking your eyebrows for a few weeks.
One of the non-invasive methods of performing female to male surgery is called ‘Breast Binding’.
This is done so as to level breast tissue and as a result, create a leveled-looking chest and it needs one to wear a binder for about one week from the day of surgery.
For the days when the binder is worn, make sure you do not wear it more than 12 hours at a time. Also, make sure you do not sleep in your binder. All these are suggested so as to avoid complications such as rattling or wheezing in your lungs.
Risks that may occur during or after the surgery
- After the FFS procedure, your jaw or chin nerves may get damaged resulting in long-lasting loss of feeling in the face and tongue. Also, chin and cheek implants may cause infections.
- Scarring is a normal occurrence for any type of surgery, but most of the FFS scars are not visible. However, some FFS surgeries such as scalp advances and lip lift may leave noticeable scars.
- Facial feminization surgery may also result in bleeding, slow healing of cuts and bones, hematoma, lengthy swelling, implant relocation, hair loss, and anesthesia-related risks.
For a successful and long-lasting facial feminization surgery or facial masculinization surgery, always make sure to do the following:
- Avoid using hormone replacement therapy two weeks before and after the surgery.
- Discuss your facial feminization or masculinization surgery goals with your surgeon; an FFS that worked for your friend might not work for you!
- Select a board-certified plastic surgeon with craniomaxillofacial training. According to the NewYorker, Dr.Jordan Deschamps-Braly is one of the world’s leading leaders and experts in facial feminization surgery.
- Take after-surgery medications as instructed by your surgeon.
Sometimes, for one to attain extensive and permanent feminization or masculinization, it requires one to perform multiple surgeries.
Complications may occur after the surgeries; if you experience difficulties in breathing, unfamiliar heartbeats or chest pains, promptly seek medical attention.