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FFS NYC: Preparing Yourself for
Facial Feminization Surgery

Facial Feminization Surgery

If you’ve done all the necessary research on facial feminization surgery (FFS) and have undergone consultations with your top surgical center choices, then you might feel you’re ready. It’s definitely not easy to filter through hundreds of websites, support groups, forums, social media, and marketing to get to this point in your journey towards facial feminization. Below are some tips that experts from FFS NYC have gathered to prepare for these important medical interviews. With these you won’t end up drawing a blank on the day or miss out any important information on this important life decision.

Come up with a list of questions for your consultation with the surgeon

Below are some general questions you may want to ask the facial feminization surgeon in consultation, whether face-to-face or online. This is based on a list by FFS NYC.

  • How many years of facial surgery training has the surgeon had?
  • Is the surgeon trained specifically in the field of plastic, craniofacial or maxillofacial surgery?
  • Which competent medical boards in the world (or country) certify the doctor as a surgeon?
  • Are they active members and participants of any of the committees of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health?
  • Does the surgeon have access to hospital privileges in facial feminization?
  • What training has the surgeon received, or does the surgeon provide training to other surgeons in facial feminization surgery techniques?
  • Is the surgeon’s facility accredited by an international certification agency, like the ISO in Europe?
  • Does the surgeon have access to hospital privileges in facial feminization?
  • Does the surgeon consider you a strong candidate for FFS Surgery?
  • What sort of surgical techniques would the surgeon recommend for you?
  • How does the surgeon contemplate and establish the plan of procedures?
  • What plans should you make and how can you help the surgeon during your recovery phase?
  • What complications or risks are involved with the procedures?
  • What happens if you are dissatisfied with the outcome or the results?
  • Does the surgeon provide example images to help you have a realistic expectation on the potential result of your surgery?
  • How will the surgeon handle any complications and is there any insurance that would cover such?

In addition it wouldn’t hurt to ask other questions such as the number of patients they have operated on with FFS, or what is included or not in their services.

Talk to your surgeon about your expectations on the facial feminization surgery

The surgeon or patient coordinator may ask more information such as photos, facial features you want to modify, or any skull CT scans or virtual simulations. These will help prepare the doctor for your meeting. Depending on the kind of FFS consultation, you may be expected to cooperate with the following:

  • Providing information on your general health status. Do you have any existing health conditions or risk factors?
  • Getting an assessment of your facial bone structure and an evaluation of the skin quality.
  • CT scans of your skull
  • Photographs, 3D images, and/or measurements.
  • A two-way conversation on the initial recommendations of procedures, both “essential” and what one might consider “optional.”
  • A discussion on your objectives and their relation to the realistic possibilities.

Seek Information from those experienced in FFS consultations

There are a couple of references on this topic by both patients and surgeons alike. Look for updated information since the study of facial feminization surgery and patient care is constantly growing.

There is valuable conversation happening in online forums with regards to facial feminization surgery. Although it won’t be easy to filter out all the information, you may find some from certified experts quite useful.

What to do after the consultation?

Now it’s time to evaluate and sort out all the information you have collected in the facial feminization surgery consultations. If you still have any questions after that, it’s better if you can send those enquiries to the centers you’re interested in. Make sure to clarify everything and wait for a response as this is a process that is not supposed to be rushed or decided on based only on word-of-mouth information.

In other words, it’s important that you voice out all the doubts you have in your mind before you move ahead with an important life decision such as FFS.

What to expect from your facial feminization surgery

According to FFS NYC, you can expect the following procedures performed on you:

Forehead contouring

The bony ridge above the eye sockets tend to be more pronounced in men. In women, the outline of the forehead is usually higher, smoother, and more upright. In some cases, there are more rounded protrusions. In order to make the forehead more feminine, surgeons will cut a small piece of the forehead bone, remove, reshape it and then put it back in place.

Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)

This involves cutting away excess tissue to make the upper eyelids more feminine-like.

Rhinoplasty

In transgender women, rhinoplasty is done to reduce the overall size of the nose and its angles.

Cheek augmentation

Women usually have rounder cheeks in the middle third of their faces. This is often due to the fact that there is a greater concentration of fat in that area. In order to have a more feminine appearance, check augmentation can be performed with cheek implants. In some cases, surgeons change the cheek size and shape by fracturing and moving the cheekbones to a different position, or taking fat from other parts of the body such as the belly or thighs and placing it on the cheeks.

Lip Procedures

Lip procedures such as lip lift can shorten the distance between the lip and nose, creating a shorter, more curled lip and a more feminine appearance. Lips can be augmented with the help of implants or fillers, or from taking fat from another part of the body and injecting it into the lips.

Genioplasty (chin reduction)

To achieve a more feminine chin, surgeons shorten and narrow them by making a cut along the chin bone and remove a small wedge of it. Then the chin bone is reattached.

Mandibular angle reduction

Men tend to have larger and broader jaws than women. To achieve a more feminine jaw, FFS NYC surgeons sculpt or remove outer layers from the lower jaw.

Patients may need skin-tightening surgery such as face-lifts or other treatments as well.

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