Mr. Jackson

How Long Does It Take to Transition from Male to Female?

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Gender affirmation surgery is a series of procedures that allow individuals to transition to their self-identified gender. This includes individuals who are the male sex at birth and self-identify as female gender, as well as those who are female sex at birth and self-identify as male gender. Gender affirmation surgery represents part of the steps taken by an individual to improve emotional well-being, mental health associated with a self-affirmed identity, and quality of life.

Reasons for Choosing Gender Affirmation Surgery

People choose to have gender affirmation surgery, also known as gender confirmation surgery, as a way to change their bodies to better reflect the gender with which they identify. In the past, it has been referred to as a sex change or sex assignment surgery in the past, but society has become more aware of the motivations behind the surgery, and, thus, it is now more properly referred to as gender affirmation surgery.

What is Involved in Male-to-Female Gender Affirmation Surgery?

Gender affirmation surgery, whether it is male-to-female or female-to-male, focuses on three distinct areas of the body – facial reconstruction, chest area, and genitalia.

Male-to-Female Gender Affirmation Facial Surgery

Facial surgery for male-to-female gender affirmation surgery aims to create more feminine features in the cheeks, chin, jawline, nose, and other areas of the face. Facial surgery is not required in all cases. It depends on the natural characteristics of the face, as well as any personal desires.

Chest Surgery for Male-to-Female Gender Affirmation Surgery

For male-to-female gender affirmation surgery, the chest area is changed to create a more feminine appearance. Referred to as “top surgery,” this typically involves using implants to create breasts, although other techniques may be used.

Genitalia Surgery for Male-to-Female Gender Affirmation Surgery

“Bottom surgery” for male-to-female gender affirmation surgery is typically the most complex procedure. The male genitalia are reconstructed by removing the penis and testicles to create a functional vagina. Dr. Widenhouse performs top surgery only.

How Long Does It Take to Transition from Male to Female?

Dr. Widenhouse may recommend that your male-to-female gender affirmation surgery be performed in stages, allowing for ample healing time in between each surgery. Facial surgery has an initial healing period of two weeks, and full results take several months. “Top surgery” typically takes six months to one year for full healing. 

Other Factors to Consider for Male-to-Female Gender Affirmation Surgery

There are several other steps that take place prior to your gender affirmation surgery. You may need to take hormones to enhance feminine features, such as breasts, while minimizing masculine features, such as hair growth and the pitch of your voice. Counseling sessions with a licensed professional are strongly recommended. 

Schedule a Consultation for Your Male-to-Female Gender Affirmation Surgery

At Port City Plastic Surgery, Dr. Widenhouse works with patients who are preparing for their male-to-female gender affirmation procedures. He helps you feel confident about your choice to have the procedures, and he helps you know what to expect. Contact us today to schedule a personal consultation at our Charleston or Daniel Island location.



2683 Lake Park Drive
Charleston, SC 29406


125 River Landing Drive
Suite 101
Daniel Island, SC 29492