University of Virginia Plastic Surgery
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue 4th Floor
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Phone: (434) 924-1234
Location Hours: Monday–Friday | 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Gender Affirming Top Surgery FAQ: Benefits, Recovery & More

Woman's torso covered in glittery rainbow stripes

Gender confirmation surgery is a very personal, important procedure that helps transgender people feel more comfortable in their bodies. UVA Plastic Surgery is a high-volume center for top surgery and will offer gender-confirming bottom surgery in the near future as well. We see transgender plastic surgery patients from throughout Virginia and as far as Tennessee, West Virginia, and North Carolina who travel to us for exceptional results. The experience is a deeply personal one, and our practice is thrilled to expand our services to provide even more opportunities for empowerment through plastic surgery.

In this blog post, I’d like to answer a few of the questions I most commonly hear about top surgery, how it’s performed, and what it’s like to undergo. Read on to learn more.

What is gender confirmation surgery?

Gender confirmation surgery is a procedure that alters a transgender person’s physical appearance to better resemble their identified gender. There are a variety of procedures that address different areas of the face and body, including top surgery, bottom surgery, and facial feminization or masculinization surgery. Learn more about these options in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ guide to gender confirmation procedures.

How is top surgery performed?

Top surgery directly addresses the appearance of the chest. There are generally 2 variations:

  • Male to Female (MTF): MTF procedures create larger, more feminine breasts through the use of implants, as seen in our photo gallery. This procedure is customizable, but many patients opt for silicone implants placed through incisions made along the inframammary fold.
  • Female to Male (FTM): In FTM procedures, breast tissue is removed to create a flatter chest, and the areolas are often resized and repositioned for a more masculine appearance. Incisions may be placed around the areola or along the inframammary fold. You can see our patients’ chest masculinization before and after pictures in our photo gallery.

Like breast augmentation or breast reduction procedures, each surgery is customized to give you the results you’re looking for while keeping scarring to a minimum.

What are the benefits of top surgery?

Top surgery helps reduce feelings of gender dysphoria so you can feel more comfortable and confident in your body or feel more like you. The procedure creates an appearance that is better aligned with your vision of yourself and your gender. Top surgery isn’t necessarily a part of every person’s transition, but for the right candidates, the experience is often quite emotional and exceptionally rewarding.

What is top surgery recovery like?

Recovery time varies from patient to patient. FTM patients can typically return to daily life after around 2 weeks, and MTF patients can return after 1 week. Before your surgery, your surgical team will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions. We explain more about how to prepare for FTM top surgery in a related blog post.

As you continue to research top surgery and plan for your procedure, it’s essential to limit your search to only board-certified plastic surgeons. This certification represents the highest standard of training and experience, and it’s one of the most important steps you can take to plan for a safe and satisfying plastic surgery journey.

If you have other questions about transgender surgery options at University of Virginia Plastic Surgery, please contact us online or call us at (434) 924-1234. I look forward to hearing from you and joining you on your journey.

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