FTM Top Surgery – The Ultimate Guide for Patients

FTM Top Surgery

What is Female to Male – FTM Top Surgery?

The primary goal of female to male – FTM top surgery is to remove breast tissue in order to make the chest appear more masculine. We typically perform a mastectomy for transgender men to remove their breasts. The surgery is also commonly called transmasculine top surgery and masculinising chest surgery.

What are the benefits of FTM top surgery?

FTM top surgery can play a huge role in reducing gender dysphoria for transgender men and helping them improve their quality of life. The major benefits of FTM top surgery include:

  • More masculine chest and sculpted appearance
  • Improved self-confidence, feeling more comfortable in your own skin
  • Results are permanent and typically not reversible
  • Increased ability to “blend in” in public, appear more traditionally masculine

What is the double incision surgical approach?

Several different techniques can be used to perform FTM top surgery. The double incision technique is the most common and most widely used method. During surgery for a double incision technique, your plastic surgeon will make two horizontal incisions at the top and bottom of your breasts. The incisions are designed to emphasise your natural pectoral muscles and will look more natural and masculine after time.

Once your plastic surgeon makes the incisions, they will lift the skin, and remove fatty tissue along with the nipple. Your nipple will then be resized and repositioned on your chest to create a more masculine appearance. Your plastic surgeon may also choose to pair the procedure with liposuction to shape your chest and achieve a firmer look.

What is the keyhole surgical approach?

The keyhole surgical approach involves a tiny incision made below the areola, where the breast tissue is removed. We use the keyhole surgical approach for patients with smaller chests. Using the keyhole technique, the areola and nipple stay intact, and most sensation remains. No excess skin is removed in this approach.

What if I already have small breasts?

The keyhole technique is best if you have smaller breasts and tighter skin around your chest. The nipple is not removed using this method. Instead, your plastic surgeon will make a small incision along the bottom of the areola to remove breast tissue with liposuction. This technique reduces the loss of nipple sensation and results in less visible scarring than the double incision method.

Can FTM top surgery reduce nipple sensation?

Unfortunately, loss of some nipple sensation is common for FTM top surgery patients. If you have a double incision top surgery, you will likely experience loss of feeling in your nipples and chest wall skin for up to several months after surgery. Patients who have keyhole incision top surgery retain more sensation, but will still experience decreased nipple sensation for a few weeks after surgery.

Which surgery is best for medium to large breasts?

The double incision method is best if you have medium to large breasts with a slight overhang. In this procedure, your plastic surgeon will remove most of your breast tissue and excess skin, while also resizing and placing the areolas in a more masculine position.

If you have larger breasts, you may need to have your nipples and areolas removed, resized, and grafted back onto your chest to finish your surgery. The double incision method, while highly effective, often results in more scarring and loss of sensation in the nipples.


What should I expect during a consultation for FTM top surgery?

Your specialist plastic surgeon will evaluate your overall physical and mental health during your initial consultation. They will also take pictures, examine, and measure your breasts to prepare a customised treatment plan.

Next, they will discuss your options, different techniques, and the results you can expect from top surgery. During any FTM top surgery consultation, you should be prepared to discuss:

  • Your transition
  • Medical conditions, allergies, etc.
  • Current medications
  • Alcohol, tobacco, and/or drug use
  • Previous surgeries
  • Surgical Goals

How to prepare for FTM top surgery

Your plastic surgeon will give you specific instructions to prepare for a surgery that you should follow carefully to ensure a smooth recovery process. To prepare for FTM top surgery, you may be asked to:

  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid alcohol in the weeks before surgery
  • Set up transportation for after surgery
  • Provide a letter of recommendation from your therapist
  • Take or adjust certain medications
  • Dress in comfortable, loose clothes
  • Stop eating or drinking the night before surgery
  • Avoid taking aspirin or other drugs that may increase bleeding

What is the recovery process like?

After your FTM top surgery, your plastic surgeon will apply gauze or bandages along with a compression wrap or support bra to minimize swelling and support the reconstructed chest. A small tube may also be temporarily placed under your skin to drain excess blood or fluid. You will continue to heal for several weeks as swelling subsides and your results improve. Your plastic surgeon will give you specific instructions to follow after surgery. Generally, you should:

  • Take medication to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection
  • Avoid lifting more than 5-10kgspounds for several weeks with your torso elevated for the first week
  • Schedule and attend regular follow-up appointments

Also, because some breast tissue typically remains after FTM top surgery, we recommend you talk to your general doctor about routine breast cancer screening after treatment.

When will I see results from my surgery?

As your body heals, you will gradually see your chest taking on a new, more masculine shape and appearance. Mild swelling after surgery may make your breasts appear fuller than they actually are. However, after a few weeks, you can expect swelling to begin to subside. Overall, it will take about 6-12 months to see your final results.

About Our Plastic Surgeon – Dr Patrick Briggs FRCS (Plast)

Dr Patrick Briggs Best Perth Cosmetic Surgeon

Dr Patrick Briggs offers high quality, natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results and is vastly experienced in BreastBody and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.  With world-wide expertise Dr Patrick Briggs is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men and women.


Book your Initial Surgery Consultation

  • Email us or Call on 1300 264 811  to arrange your initial consultation appointment with Dr Patrick Briggs.
  • A Referral from your GP or specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral.
  • Your initial Consultation Booking Fee with a Specialist Surgeon is usually $300 and your booking fee is paid ahead of your appointment and will secure your consultation date. You can pay by phone by calling us to affirm payment or book an appointment time. We have online payment methods if necessary.

What to Bring to your Plastic Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
  • Take notes and read the literature provided  on the procedures thoroughly
  • Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

Request more information about the procedure – call or contact us

Please contact us using our contact form to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our reception staff who will be able to provide you with further information.

Send an enquiry today or phone 03 8849 1400  during clinic hours, Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

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