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Facial Feminization Surgery

Overview

At birth, the gender of a child is assigned based on the presence of the sex organs. Transgender women are assigned male at birth due to their sex organ, but with passing age, they might feel their gender identity is different (gender dysphoria). This can be distressing for them emotionally and mentally. Several transgender females undergo facial feminization surgery to treat gender dysphoria. 

Facial feminization surgery includes a range of procedures to change masculine facial features to feminine ones. This includes movement of the hairline to reduce the forehead, augmentation of lips, face upliftment, reshaping, and resizing jaw and chin. 

About Facial Feminization Surgery

Many facial features help differentiate the gender, like eyes, jaws, eyebrows, and cheeks. Many transgender females undergo a facial transition to make themselves more comfortable and confident. Facial feminization surgery includes a set of cosmetic surgeries to make the facial appearance feminine. This includes many procedures:

  1. Eyebrows lifting – Raising the eyebrow to make the face feminine.
  2. Hairline advancement – Removal of male peaks from the hairline and bringing it forward.
  3. Reshaping jaw and chin – Making the jaws pointed to give a feminine appearance since the male jaw is somewhat square in shape.
  4. Reshaping Adam’s apple – Males have a prominent Adam’s apple, so it is reduced in size.
  5. Rhinoplasty – A nose surgery that makes the nose slimmer and trimmer.   
  6. Cheek Augmentation – Cheek implants give a feminine appearance to cheeks.

Who Qualifies for Facial Feminization Surgery?

Not everyone can  undergo facial feminization surgery. There are some of the following factors which decide who can qualify for this surgery:

  1. You must be in good health, both physically and mentally.
  2. You must have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria
  3. You must not suffer from significant health conditions like bleeding disorder, blood clotting, heart disease, or kidney disease.
  4. You must be 18 years or older.
  5. You must understand the limitations of undergoing cosmetic surgery.
  6. You must have the normal  lipid profile , blood count, blood sugar, enzymes, and electrolytes in your body.
  7. You must quit excessive use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco

Why is Facial Feminization Surgery Conducted?

Transgender females might still feel the need for further transition, even after changing their sex. The face is one of the features that exhibit more feminine characters. So they visit a cosmetologist to undergo transition, to feel more confident and comfortable with the transition. The surgery includes a set of procedures like cheek augmentation, eyebrow upliftment, Rhinoplasty, lip lift, forehead contouring, and many other ways to convert masculine characters into feminine ones. 

How is Facial Feminization Surgery Conducted?

It can be performed on transgender individuals above the age of 18. You need to consult an experienced and certified surgeon before undergoing the procedure. Your surgeon will ask your advice regarding the kind of features you need and then describe the results. 

To get the anatomical information, you need a CT scan. Several photographs will be clicked before and after the surgery. Your surgeon will provide you guidelines regarding medications, eating, and drinking patterns before the surgery. After accessing and evaluating various factors related to your health, you will undergo facial feminization surgery. It includes the following surgeries:

  1. Blepharoplasty – This includes eye and eyelid modification by cutting away the excessive tissues.
  2. Forehead reshaping – Females have a higher and smoother forehead. Forehead bone can be cut and reshaped and placed back to enhance feminine character.  
  3. Rhinoplasty – This involves reducing the size of the nose to make it look slimmer.
  4. Lip lift and augmentation – With the help of the filers and implants, the distance between upper lip and the base of the nose is reduced.
  5. Cheek augmentation – Women have rounder cheeks, so with the help of implants, fat tissues are added to cheeks to make them appear more feminine. 
  6. Genioplasty – This includes narrowing and shortening the chin by cutting, reshaping, and reattaching the chin to make a face more feminine. 
  7. Reduction of the jaw – Since females have a narrow jaw structure, it is removed and narrowed by sculpting. 
  8. Hair transplantation – Men experience hair loss in the temple so that you will be provided with a feminine hairline with the help of hair transplantation. 
  9. Reduction and reshaping of the cartilage in Adam’s apple.

After Facial Feminization Surgery

After undergoing facial feminization surgery, you might experience redness, swelling, and pain on the parts of your face that have undergone surgery. You must perform only mild exercises for the next six months. You must consult a nutritionist regarding your diet since chewing and swallowing might get hampered after facial feminization surgery. Take care of the incisions and bandages after the surgery. 

Benefits

The surgery is essential for gender transition. This helps in the improvement of the quality of life for transgender women. You can observe stable results after a year of facial feminization surgery. You can talk to your specialist about the further treatments and evolution of facial features. 

Risks or Complications Associated with Facial Feminization Surgery

Facial feminization surgery is usually considered a safe procedure, but just like other surgeries, it may still have some risks associated with it:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Suture rupture along the incision
  • Scarring
  • Damage to other structures of the face
  • Seroma (accumulation of fluid beneath the skin)
  • Blood clotting
  • Facial nerve injury

Conclusion

Facial feminization surgery is beneficial for transgender females in enhancing their feminine facial characters. This surgery has multistage procedures, including brows, cheeks, and lips lifting, chin contouring, rhinoplasty, and many more. You must take care of your health and follow the guidelines given by your surgeon post-surgery. 

Request an appointment at Apollo Hospitals

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Facial Feminization Surgery very painful?

Many patients have reported that the Surgery is not painful. It is not worse than a headache or hangover. Your doctor will prescribe you painkillers and analgesics to help you with any discomfort. 

Can females also undergo Facial Feminization Surgery?

Facial Feminization Surgery procedure is a set of plastic and craniofacial surgical procedure to reshape masculine facial features. Transgender individuals usually undergo this treatment, but yes, it can be opted for by females. 

How can my face become more feminine?

In females, cheeks are more prominent, rounder, and fuller than males. In males, cheeks are sharper, angular, and lie flatter on the face.

Is there any insurance cover for Facial Feminization Surgery?

No, there is no insurance cover for the Surgery since it is considered cosmetic surgery. 

Can Facial Feminization Surgery be dangerous?

There are some risks associated with Facial Feminization Surgery like bleeding, infection, poor healing of incisions, failure of the bone to heal, prolonged swelling, and hair loss.

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Verified By Dr Santosh Panigrahy
DNB(General Surgery) DNB(Plastic Surgery), Associate Consultant - Plastic, Cosmetic & Hand Reconstructive Microvascular & Maxilofacial Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals Bhubanswar

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