Plastic Surgery

Facial feminization surgery

What is the Facial feminization surgery?

Facial feminization is a surgical procedure designed to alter a masculine face to create a feminine face. While occasionally desired by women to reduce masculine facial characteristics, these procedures are often sought by those undergoing transition from male to female.

What is the procedure?

Facial feminization surgery involves bony and soft tissue surgery of the face, neck, and thyroid cartilage. Some doctors include facial hair removal and hair transplants as part of facial feminization surgery.

FFS is usually performed under general anesthetic requiring a hospital stay of 1 or 2 nights. FFS normally takes approximately 4 to 6 hours to perform depending on the complexity of the surgery. In the majority of Facial Feminization Surgery, a facial support garment is fitted at the end of surgery to help control swelling and reduce movement post operatively. This should be worn day and night for the first week.

What kind of result can you expect?

The results are first and foremost natural. The goals of Facial Feminization Surgery, FFS are to provide an aesthetically pleasing, feminine facial shape which is in balance with your facial features – i.e. looks natural and does not appear abnormal. Remember it can take 6 weeks or more for the final result to be achieved.

Recovery period and recommendations

Moderate pain/discomfort is expected for 3 – 5 days. Patients can go back to their normal daily activities after 1 to 2 weeks, but avoid strenuous exercise / activity for 6 weeks including any contact sports.

Possible side effects and complications

Common to all surgical procedures there are always risks associated with surgery. However, complications are uncommon even with complex Facial Surgery. Bruising can occur and may take 2 weeks to resolve, while major bleeding is rare. Infection is infrequent (less than 0.5%) and will require a course of appropriate antibiotics. Facial muscle weakness is uncommon, but typically affects the forehead or corner of the mouth and is temporary lasting 6 weeks. Permanent weakness is rare – this risk is greater with redo Facial Surgery. Abnormal scarring, hypertrophic and keloid scars are uncommon. Some altered sensation around the cheeks is expected and will commonly return to normal between 6 to 12 weeks after surgery.

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