For many masculine-presenting or female-presenting individuals, the chest area is a common cause of debilitating gender dysphoria. Some men and non-binary individuals will spend ample time binding their chests to make themselves appear more masculine to help alleviate their body dysphoria, while women will find padded bras or use miscellaneous materials to make themselves appear fuller and more feminine. These temporary solutions may work fine at the moment, but they aren’t always convenient and require a lot of precision and time to make them appear natural.
At North Atlanta Plastic Surgery, Dr. Amy Alderman offers her transitioning patients a caring environment to explore the benefits of gender-affirming top surgery to help relieve gender dysphoria. Being assigned a gender at birth then growing up to feel it is not their self-identified gender can present all kinds of mental, physical, and social challenges. The Spa at NAPS offers gender-affirming top surgery to help patients physically transform into their true gender identity. Continue reading to learn exactly what you need to know about gender-affirming top surgery, including what it is, the benefits of the procedure, and the best ways to prepare.
What Is Gender Affirming Top Surgery?
Gender-affirming top surgery at The Spa at NAPS offers transgender, gender-diverse, non-binary, and gender-non-conforming adult patients the opportunity to align their outward appearance with their internal identity. Top surgery is a generalized term used to describe an operation that changes the look of a person’s chest. Because breasts are often associated with female bodies, transgender men or people who were assigned female at birth may want to have their breasts removed or significantly reduced to match their true identity.
On the other hand, transgender women or people who were assigned male at birth but identify as female can choose to have breast augmentation surgery to create a fuller, more feminine figure.
Transmasculine Top Surgery—Transmasculine top surgery is a surgical procedure to make the chest appear more masculine. The operation involves removing the breast tissue and manipulating the skin and chest muscles to have a more masculine appearance. The surgeon will resize the breasts, remove any excess skin, and create a flatter contour to the chest. The patient can also choose to change the size and placement of their nipples and areola as part of their operation.
Transfeminine Top Surgery—Surgery to increase the size of the breasts is called transfeminine top surgery. Closely related to the popular body contouring procedure breast augmentation, the surgeon will use breast implants inserted under the skin or chest muscles to create stunning, feminine curves.
What Are the Benefits of Gender-Affirming Top Surgery?
- Mental Health Benefits—Clinical studies and research have shown that the main benefit of gender-affirming top surgery is the long-term mental health benefits patients experience after their recovery. Some studies specifically showed that patients who underwent gender-affirming top surgery experienced lower rates of psychological distress associated with gender dysphoria. With this mental relief, these patients also experienced improved social and professional lives and a significant reduction in needing mental health treatments.
- Improved Quality of Life—The majority of transgender patients, after undergoing their gender-affirming top surgery, have reported a significant improvement in their quality of life as they are now able to live in their identifying gender. Patients can participate in sports, date, exercise, travel, and experience life without feeling self-conscious or fearful in their bodies.
- Enhanced Self-Image—The majority of pre-surgery transgender patients struggle with low self-image, self-esteem, and negative self-image due to not feeling masculine or feminine enough. One of the benefits many patients can expect to experience from their gender-affirming surgery is feeling more settled and confident in themselves.
- Better Social Affirmation—Transgender people take a lot of time to make non-surgical changes to more closely identify with their gender and to signal to others the gender they identify with. For some people, these changes can be changing their pronouns, name, clothing, wearing makeup, or taking hormonal replacements. However, for many people, these changes aren’t enough. Gender-affirming top surgery helps allow trans patients to feel more closely aligned to their true self-identity and appear as their self-identified gender to others around them, helping them feel more confident overall in public and social settings.
How to Prepare for Gender-Affirming Top Surgery?
Preparing for your gender-affirming top surgery is generally straightforward. However, knowing how to prepare for your surgery and recovery can help lessen some pre-and post-surgery anxiety. First, Dr. Alderman will require that in you’re in good mental and physical health.
General Preparations—If you are seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist, we strongly encourage you to continue your sessions. By working closely with a professional, they can teach you coping skills to ease your mind of concerns about your procedure and your recovery. Additionally, make sure that you take advantage of your consultation with Dr. Alderman by asking any questions you have about your top surgery. She can help alleviate any doubts or concerns you may be feeling by presenting things in ways you can understand and explaining everything you can expect. In the time leading up to your surgery, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to keep yourself in good physical health.
One Month Before Surgery—If you smoke or vape, you’ll need to quit at least one month before your surgery. Nicotine products can slow down the healing process and lead to infection. You should also expect to be nicotine-free throughout your recovery period as well. You should also limit your caffeine intake and alcohol consumption. If you are currently taking medications or supplements, be sure to report them to Dr. Alderman to ensure these won’t interfere with your surgery or recovery. If you are currently taking testosterone injections, you should be able to continue them depending on your schedule, but you may need to stop these injections a day or two before your surgery date.
What Types of Gender Affirming Surgery Are Available at North Atlanta Plastic Surgery?
At North Atlanta Plastic Surgery, Dr. Amy Alderman offers many surgical options to help patients physically align with their true gender identity. Options can include facial, chest, and genitalia surgery. Dr. Alderman specializes in top surgery, enhancing a more masculine or feminine contour and appearance to the chest and breast area.
Schedule Your Gender-Affirming Top Surgery Consultation with Dr. Amy Alderman!
Dr. Amy Alderman has made breast surgery the primary focus of her career and practice. At the University of Michigan, she focused on reconstruction for women with breast cancer before transitioning from breast reconstruction to cosmetic breast surgery when she moved to Atlanta. Her illustrious career has led her to become nationally recognized as an expert in breast surgery. To learn more about gender-affirming surgery with Atlanta’s best, contact our office by calling (470) 381-3610 or requesting a consultation online.