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What is Included in a Female-to-Male Surgery?

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Gender affirmation surgery, also known as gender confirmation surgery, involves a series of steps to transition from female sex at birth to the self-affirming male gender. The gender affirmation journey typically begins with hormone therapy to reduce feminine characteristics and enhance masculine characteristics, such as facial hair growth and deepening of your voice. Female-to-male gender confirmation surgery is one of the last steps, and it is often the most self-affirming. Dr. Widenhouse works with individuals who are ready for the surgical transition.

What is Included in Female-to-Male Surgery?

Female-to-male surgery includes procedures to change the facial structure, chest area (“top surgery”), and genitalia (“bottom surgery”). The process is typically performed in stages to allow each area of the body to heal properly. Dr. Widenhouse discusses the staging of the procedures with you during the initial consultation. He also explains what to expect from the surgery, as well as your personal desires for your gender affirmation surgery.

Female-to-Male Facial Surgery

Facial modification is not required for all female-to-male gender confirmation surgeries. Dr. Widenhouse may recommend it if you want your features to be more masculine, such as your jawline, cheek area, chin, and nose. You can choose to enhance one or more areas of your face, depending on your personal desires.

“Top Surgery” for Female-to-Male Gender Affirmation Surgery

“Top surgery” for female-to-male gender confirmation surgery involves creating more masculine contours in the chest area. Hormones may help with this by reducing breast size. The surgery involves removing breast tissue and fat. Dr. Widenhouse may also recommend fat transfers, liposuction, and silicone pectoral implants to give your chest masculine contours.

“Bottom Surgery” for Female-to-Male Gender Confirmation Surgery

The genitalia are the third area of your body that is changed as part of gender confirmation surgery. Known as metoidioplasty, this involves creating a penis using the tissue of the clitoris. Hormone therapy helps with this step by enlarging the clitoris. Female-to-male surgery also involves removing the vagina. Dr. Widenhouse performs top surgery only.

How Long is Recovery After Female-to-Male Gender Confirmation Surgery?

Dr. Widenhouse develops a personalized surgical plan during your consultation, and he may determine that combining procedures is the best approach. This may reduce the healing time for your surgery. In general, recovery from facial surgery is two weeks to six months. “Top surgery” requires healing of six to 12 months. You will likely have some downtime during the initial phases of healing.

What are the Risks of Female-to-Male Gender Affirmation Surgery?

Any type of surgery carries risks, so it is important that you work with a plastic surgeon who is experienced in cosmetic surgery, as well as gender affirmation procedures. Common risks of surgery are infections, bleeding, improper healing, and scarring. We provide detailed aftercare instructions that help minimize the risks, and Dr. Widenhouse schedules routine follow-up appointments to check your healing, results, and satisfaction.

Learn More About Female-to-Male Surgery

If you are ready for or considering female-to-male gender confirmation surgery, we encourage you to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Widenhouse of Port City Plastic Surgery. He helps you understand what to expect from your procedures, and he explains the best approach to help you transition from female to male. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.



2683 Lake Park Drive
Charleston, SC 29406


125 River Landing Drive
Suite 101
Daniel Island, SC 29492