What is Facial Feminization Surgery?
Facial feminization is a phrase generally used to describe a series of procedures – from adding volume to the cheeks to mandibular contouring to rhinoplasty – tailored for each transgender woman to shape and resize masculine features to more typical female features. Each patient’s facial anatomy and expectations are different and therefore the procedures required to achieve her goals will vary. Procedures may include surgical and nonsurgical treatments to attain a more feminine appearance.
Who is a candidate for Facial Feminization?
The surgeons at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery follow the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care for transgender individuals seeking surgery. Letters of readiness from mental health providers are not necessary for facial feminization surgery, although a relationship with a mental health professional who has assessed the individual’s case can be helpful throughout the treatment process. Facial feminization has been associated with functional gains in transwomen who desire reconstructive surgery.
How is Facial Feminization Performed?
Each of the facial feminization procedures addresses a distinct aspect of a patient’s appearance and therefore requires a different approach. Depending on which procedures are indicated, they may be scheduled together or on separate dates. Below is an overview of the procedures offered by the surgeons at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery.
Men and women tend to have different nasal sizes and shapes, with women having more delicate and less pronounced noses. Rhinoplasty, or cosmetic nose surgery, can change the look of this central feature and dramatically alter a transperson’s appearance during the facial feminization process.
Fillers and Neuromodulators
Nonsurgical treatments, including fillers and neuromodulators like Botox or Dysport, can be an effective alternative to surgery to enhance and feminize facial features. Neuromodulators can be used to reduce the size of the masseters in the lateral cheeks to sculpt the face, and the cheekbones can also be augmented with filler. Enhancing the volume of the upper and lower lips is a popular component to the feminization process and can significantly soften and feminize the appearance of the face.
Insider Tops for FFS
- Ask your surgeon about his or her experience with the transgender population and WPATH standards of care.
- Inquire about other procedures (top and bottom surgery) that you may be interested in pursuing.
The Facial Feminization Consultation
When patients attend their initial appointment, they will be met with a compassionate, respectful surgeon with a focused expertise in facial and body anatomy and transgender patient care. The doctor will provide a full-face assessment while listening to the requests of the individual. Imaging, blood work, and other tests may be necessary for the most comprehensive treatment plan to be created. The doctor may also request that the patient schedule follow-up visits prior to any procedures.
FAQs about Facial Feminization
What areas of the face are addressed during facial feminization?
Depending on each transwoman’s appearance, different features may contribute to a masculine look and may benefit from surgical alteration. Most commonly, the bony structures (supraorbital rim, cheeks, jaw, chin), eyebrows, nose, and lips are feminized. In some cases, blepharoplasty, also called eyelid lift or eyelid surgery, is also performed. There is no standard set of procedures as facial feminization is highly customizable to each patient’s individual appearance and aesthetic goals.
Are there non-surgical procedures that are a part of facial feminization?
Fillers to augment cheek or lip volume and improve deep rhytids are a nonsurgical means to feminize a transwoman’s face. In addition, neuromodulators like Botox and Dysport can relax the brows, crow’s feet, and forehead and soften the appearance of the face.
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery
The Plastic Surgeons at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery have over a decade of education and training and are credited with thousands of successful surgeries. The practice’s motto is “beauty revealed,” which is a testament to the natural results the doctors are able to consistently achieve.
For more information on facial feminization options, contact us for a consultation. The Ann Arbor location can be reached at (734) 913-5100, and the Jackson location can be reached at (517) 789-9800.