What is FTM top surgery?
For many trans men and non binary folks, top surgery is a critical aspect of their gender transition. It is a significant surgical procedure that involves the removal of breast tissue and the reshaping of the chest to create a more masculine appearance. The decision to undergo top surgery is deeply personal and should be made after careful consideration and consultation with healthcare professionals.
The benefits of top surgery go beyond physical changes. It can also have a significant impact on the emotional and mental well-being of individuals. For many, the removal of breast tissue can help alleviate feelings of gender dysphoria and improve their self-confidence and body image.
Types of FTM Top Surgeries
Double Incision Mastectomy (DIM)
The double incision mastectomy is the most common type of FTM top surgery. During the procedure, the surgeon makes two horizontal incisions across the chest, removes the breast tissue, and repositions the nipple to create a more masculine appearance.
This surgery is generally recommended for individuals who have a larger chest, as it allows the surgeon to remove more tissue and create a flatter appearance. However, it does leave visible scars across the chest. The scars will fade over time but may be noticeable for up to a year after the surgery.
The double incision mastectomy is one of the most effective types of FTM top surgery in terms of creating a completely flat chest. It is also a good choice for individuals who wish to have a more significant reduction in breast size.
Peri-Areolar Mastectomy (PAM)
The periareolar mastectomy is a less invasive type of FTM top surgery. During the procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision around the areola, removes the breast tissue, and repositions the nipple.
This surgery is best suited for individuals with smaller chests, as it does not allow the surgeon to remove as much tissue as the double incision mastectomy. However, it does have the advantage of leaving only a small, circular scar around the areola, which can be easily hidden by clothing.
The periareolar mastectomy may not be as effective at creating a completely flat appearance as the double incision mastectomy. It is also important to note that the scar around the areola may be more noticeable for individuals with darker skin tones.
Keyhole Mastectomy (KH)
The keyhole mastectomy is another type of FTM top surgery that is best suited for individuals with smaller chests. During the procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision around the nipple and removes the breast tissue from underneath.
This surgery is less invasive than the double incision mastectomy and can produce excellent results for the right candidate. It is also a good choice for individuals who wish to minimize scarring, as the incision is small and may be easily hidden.
However, the keyhole mastectomy does not allow the surgeon to remove as much tissue as the double incision mastectomy. It is also important to note that this surgery may not be as effective for individuals with larger chests.
Inverted T Mastectomy (IT)
This procedure, which is commonly known as the inverted-T or anchor mastectomy, is similar to the double incision mastectomy but includes an additional vertical incision that runs from the nipple to the bottom of the chest. This additional incision is necessary for those with larger chests, as it allows the surgeon to remove excess tissue and skin in a more effective manner while still ensuring a natural-looking chest contour.
The Right Type of Surgery
It's important to consult with a qualified surgeon who can help you choose the right type of surgery for your body type and desired results. Please consider:
The size of your chest
The amount of breast tissue you have
Your skin elasticity
The location of your nipples
Preparing for Surgery
Before the surgery, it's important to prepare yourself both physically and mentally. Here are some tips to help you get ready for your top surgery:
Stop smoking and using nicotine products at least two weeks before surgery
Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet
Get plenty of rest
Arrange for someone to drive you to and from the surgery
Prepare your home for your recovery period
The results of top surgery vary depending on the type of procedure you choose, but most trans men report feeling more comfortable and confident in their bodies after the surgery. It's important to follow your surgeon's post-operative instructions carefully to ensure a smooth recovery and optimal results.
How to Take Care of Yourself After FTM Top Surgery
Congratulations on your FTM top surgery! After undergoing such a significant procedure, it's important to take proper care of yourself to ensure a smooth recovery. Here are some tips to follow:
Rest and avoid strenuous activities: Your body needs time to heal, so it's important to get plenty of rest and avoid any strenuous activities for several weeks after your surgery. This includes lifting heavy objects, exercising, and anything else that could put strain on your chest area.
Take pain medication as prescribed: Your doctor will likely prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort you experience after your surgery. It's important to take this medication as directed to ensure that you remain comfortable during your recovery.
Ice your chest to reduce swelling: Swelling is a common side effect of FTM top surgery, but icing your chest can help reduce this swelling and make you more comfortable. Try icing the area for about 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
Follow a healthy and balanced diet: Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help aid in the healing process and give your body the nutrients it needs to recover. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Keep incisions clean and dry: Keeping your incisions clean and dry is crucial to prevent infection. Follow your doctor's instructions for cleaning the area, and avoid getting it wet until your surgeon gives you the go-ahead.
Wear a compression garment: Your surgeon may recommend that you wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling and aid in the healing process. Make sure to follow their instructions for wearing it, and wear it for as long as they recommend.
Attend all follow-up appointments: It's important to attend all follow-up appointments with your surgeon to ensure that you're healing properly and to address any concerns or complications that may arise.
Remember, everyone's recovery process is different, so it's important to listen to your body and follow your doctor's instructions carefully. If you have any questions or concerns during your recovery, don't hesitate to reach out to your surgeon for guidance.