MTF Gender Confirmation: Facial Feminization

As part of a transgender individual’s transition, facial feminization surgery (FFS) can be used to address concerns from the scalp to the base of the neck.

MTF Gender Confirmation: Facial Feminization

The Skinny


Average Recovery

4 weeks

Permanence

Temporary

Application

Surgical Procedure

Surgical

Yes

Cost

$1000 - $20000

The Specifics


What are facial feminization procedures?

Facial Feminization procedures are a collection of surgical and non-surgical options for male to female (MTF) transgender patients seeking to further refine and define their facial features and neck aesthetic. Facial feminization procedures are used to create a characteristically feminine appearance with voluminous lashes and brows, softer bone definition and contouring, smaller facial proportions, and less prominent jaw and neck anatomy with more soft tissue.

Candidates considering these procedures can choose to pursue only those treatments that are most aligned with their ideal aesthetic. Surgical and non-surgical cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures can be used in addition to medical and hormone therapies from a healthcare provider.

Information on transfeminine top and bottom surgeries and other male to female gender affirming procedures as part of a gender transition for transwomen can be found in our comprehensive guide to MTF gender affirmation solutions.

What cosmetic concerns do facial feminization procedures treat?

  1. Upper Third of the Face: This includes procedures for scalp hair, facial hair, forehead, and eyebrows/eyelashes.
  2. Middle Third of the Face: These surgeries or non-surgical techniques are used to address the cheeks, nose, and lips.
  3. Lower Face and Neck: Procedures in this area are targeted to the jaw, chin, and Adam’s apple.

Who is the ideal candidate for a facial feminization procedure?

The ideal candidate for a facial feminization procedure is a transgender individual undergoing a male to female (MTF) gender confirmation transition. When considering any of these procedures, candidates should consider their general physical and mental health, expectations of the procedure, and ability to commit to the needed recovery times. Facial feminization procedures are generally not recommended for children under the age of 18, although this varies by individual and should be discussed with board-certified providers.

What is the average recovery associated with a facial feminization procedure?

The average recovery associated with facial feminization procedures will vary between procedures. Surgical procedures will generally have weeks to months of recovery, and include bruising, tenderness, and swelling along with activity limitations. Non-surgical procedures may be less invasive with shorter recovery times and less significant side effects. During consultation with your plastic surgeon, specific timelines and side effects are reviewed.

What are the potential side effects of a facial feminization procedure?

Possible side effects following both surgical and non-surgical facial feminization procedures generally include bruising, swelling, pain, bleeding, risk of site infection, altered sensation, difficulty with certain movements, skin discoloration, suboptimal results necessitating correction, and prolonged edema.

What can someone expect from the results of a facial feminization procedure?

The results of most facial feminization procedures are long lasting or permanent. Surgical procedures create permanent results that may take a few months to finalize. Non-surgical procedures are sometimes temporary and require every few months or years maintenance. Results from most all procedures will be subject to aging, weight changes, and use over time.

What is the average cost of a facial feminization procedure?

Depending on the facial feminization procedure, costs can range from $1,000 to $20,000. Temporary procedures are usually less expensive than surgical procedures, but they require ongoing maintenance. The cost of a surgical procedure will be dependent on location, surgeon, and length and involvement of the surgery.

Pros

Both temporary & permanent solutions available

Cons

Comprehensive treatment plan required

Invasiveness Score

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Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect


Facial feminization can encompass any number of surgical and non-surgical solutions. Here, we overview a few of the most common:

The Takeaway


Facial plastic surgery for facial feminization encompasses numerous feminizing FFS procedures to reduce the appearance of masculine features in transitioning individuals. These cosmetic procedures can be an important component of transgender health and transgender surgery in creating the most embodied aesthetic for transgender women.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons Gender Confirmation Surgeries plasticsurgery.org
  2. Karel E Y Claes Chest Surgery for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Individuals PubMed.gov; 2018-07-02
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