Gender Reassignment Top Surgery

For many men and women, making the choice to have gender reassignment surgery (alternate names include gender affirmation surgery, gender confirmation surgery, and a sex change) is a significant step toward becoming who they were meant to be. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Yale Popowich respects and supports patients who are transitioning. He performs gender confirmation top surgery to help Portland patients along this life-changing journey.

Candidates for Top Surgery

Although most patients who come to our practice for this procedure have thought about it for a long time, it’s important to understand that the results of top surgery are permanent. During consultations, our doctors take the time to determine if the patient is a good candidate for surgery. Important factors include being:

  • A nonsmoker or willing to stop smoking before and after surgery
  • At or near a healthy, stable weight
  • Physically healthy
  • Emotionally healthy with clearance from a mental health professional
  • On hormone therapy for at least 1 year

Most patients have been living as a member of their desired gender for a while, which is beneficial to the overall success of the procedure.

Top Surgery Techniques

Our plastic surgeons usually perform top surgery as an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia. The details of the surgery vary between patients and genders. In general:

  • Male-to-female (MTF) top surgery involves enlarging the breasts using silicone or saline implants. The breast size and shape are personalized to the patient’s preferences-accounting for body type, lifestyle, and desired appearance.
  • Female-to-male (FTM) top surgery involves the removal of breast tissue and resizing the nipples/areolas (if necessary) for a masculine appearance. The size and location of scars depend on the original size of the breasts and the surgical technique used.
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Recovery After Top Surgery

Patients return home the same day, in the care of a responsible adult. Discomfort is typically managed with prescription pain medication, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. FTM patients will need to wear a compression garment to minimize swelling. Patients are encouraged to begin gentle walking within a few days of surgery. Strenuous exercise and exercises involving the upper body may be resumed after about 6 weeks. Most patients are ready to return to non-strenuous jobs within 10 to 14 days; those with physically demanding jobs will likely need more time to heal.

Next Step

Dr. Popowich is seeing more and more men and women ready to begin the physical part of their transition at Portland Plastic Surgery Group. If you’d like to get started or are still thinking about top surgery, request a consultation online to meet with an experienced and supportive board-certified plastic surgeon. Or you can call our office at  (503) 292-9200 to schedule an appointment.

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