Facial feminization and masculinization surgery “(also known as gender affirmation surgery) refers to a number of procedures that can be performed to transform the face for a softer, more feminine appearance or an angular, more masculine appearance, respectively. The World Professional Organization for Transgender Health (WPATH) has adopted facial feminization and masculinization surgery as both medically necessary and essential to the well-being of transgender individuals.
Why Patients Trust Dr. Ellis
Dr. Ellis can perform traditional cosmetic procedures with the goal of making facial features appear more masculine or feminine. There are several areas in the face that are commonly addressed during consultation. Dr. Ellis will design a treatment plan that may include the hairline, forehead, eyebrow, eyelids, cheeks, lips, jaw structure, neckline and Adam’s apple (thyroid cartilage).
Candidates for Facial Feminization and Facial Masculinization
Candidates for gender affirmation surgery should be physically and mentally healthy and have a strong desire to have their outward appearance better correspond with their gender identity. Dr. Ellis reviews several factors during the consultation phase to confirm a person’s candidacy. Since nicotine can make the recovery process significantly more difficult, it is important for patients to be non-smokers or quit smoking ahead of their procedures.
Overview of Procedures
Office-based solutions like the use of Botox, fillers, hair removal and skin resurfacing can help achieve a patient’s desired outcome. However, true transformation may require surgical solutions that combine an understanding of how gender and ethnicity interplay.
Generally, facial feminization combines procedures to add volume to the midface/cheeks and soften angular areas of the face including the jawline and lower forehead. Rhinoplasty is a common procedure that can smoothen the nasal dorsum, narrow nasal width and refine the tip. Masculinization surgeries often include facial implants or formal jaw surgery to add definition and added proportion to the lower face.
Facial Feminization and Masculinization: Specific Procedures
|Neck||A tracheal shave gives the neck a smoother contour with a less pronounced Adam’s apple.||Transferred cartilage can create the appearance of an Adam’s apple.|
|Nose||Removing cartilage and bone creates a smaller nose, with a round nasal tip that points slightly upward.||Widening and elongating the nose for a masculine shape. The nasal tip should look more angular and project outward.|
|Forehead||Removing the bone above the brows that creates a masculine-shaped ridge.||Widening the forehead can be achieved by flattening the ridge above the brows and adding distance between the brows and hairline|
|Cheeks||Facial fat transfer or implants give the cheeks a rounder, fuller and elevated appearance.||Cheek implants can create an angular shape for the face.|
|Chin||Shaving down the jawbone gives the jawline an oval shape, rather than a sharp, masculine one.||Fat grafting, synthetic implants or bone implantation can create a sharp, defined jawline|
|Lips||Dermal filler (like Juvederm or Restylane) adds cushiony fullness to the lips. It can also shorten the distance from the nose to the lip||N/A|
Recovery and Results
Dr. Ellis provides his patients with full recovery details that reflect the procedures they have chosen to undergo. He prescribes medication to help manage any post-surgical discomfort and provides tips for minimizing swelling to accelerate the healing process. He also schedules periodic appointments to check on his patients’ progress and ensure that the results of surgeries performed are successful.
Most results achieved with facial feminization and masculinization are permanent. The main exception is for procedures performed with dermal filler. Injectable treatments are temporary and need to be performed every several months to maintain the results. As these procedures are quick and require no downtime, most patients have no complaints.
Cost of Facial Feminization and Masculinization
The cost of gender affirmation surgery depends on the combination of procedures the patient chooses to undergo. During a consultation, Dr. Ellis can discuss more specific prices as a surgical plan is devised.
Some health insurance plans cover some or all the cost of these procedures. Most patients find it worthwhile to review their plan before a consultation to understand what they are entitled to and what they can expect to pay out-of-pocket. Financing options are available for patients who would prefer to make payments toward the total cost of their procedures.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Ellis and the entire plastic surgery team at Northwestern understand that the reasons a patient undergoes gender affirmation surgery are highly personal. We are committed to protecting your privacy and well-being through every step of his process (consultation, surgery and recuperation).
To build a rapport with the doctor and learn more about Dr. Ellis’s experience with facial feminization and masculinization, please schedule a consultation by calling (312) 695-6022 today.