FTM Top Surgery: Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing a Procedure and Surgeon

Which top surgery procedure should I chose?
While there are certain criteria (such as chest size and skin elasticity) that help determine the procedure best suited to you, the surgeon(s) that you consult with give you their professional recommendation based on your body type and goals (ex. low scarring, or less chance of revision, etc.)

How do I chose a surgeon?
A mix of research, consideration of various factors (such as procedures offered, cost, geographic location, etc.), and pure gut instinct will guide your decision making.

Can I get top surgery if I'm under 18 years old?
Some surgeons require clients to be 18 years or older for surgery, while others will perform surgery on those younger than 18 with parental consent. For legal reasons, only those who are 18 and over can make enquiries on this website. If you're under 18, please have your parent or guardian complete the info request form.

Preparing for Top Surgery

What should I do to prepare my body for top surgery?

  • If you smoke, stop. Smoking negatively affects healing and can contribute to the loss of nipple grafts. At minimum, do not smoke for 14 days before top surgery.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Avoid processed foods, excess sugar, etc.
  • Exercise regularly, and include exercises that target your chest muscles. Defined chest muscles will provide more contour for the surgeon to work with and will help improve your surgery results.
  • Abstain from alcohol for two weeks prior to and following top surgery. Alcohol thins your blood and can increase bleeding and bruising.
  • Discuss any medications you are taking, including testosterone, with your surgeon and/or anaesthesiologist. Your surgeon will likely provide you with a list of medications and herbal products to avoid before surgery.

Healing from Top Surgery

How long will I be in the hospital/clinic?
Top surgery is almost always outpatient surgery, which means that you will be able to leave the clinic a few hours after your surgery and return to where you are convalescing. If you have traveled to Australia for surgery, plan to stay in the area for about 1 week after surgery to attend your post-operative appointment(s) with your surgeon.

Will I be in much pain after my top surgery?
The answer depends on your personal pain threshold but generally pain is low to moderate, and can be effectively managed with pain medication. You may only need Tylenol or Tramadol for pain. Many surgeons prescribe the stronger opioids Percocet or Vicodin for post-op pain, but keep in mind that cause constipation in many individuals. Do take pain medication if you are in pain as being in pain is not conducive to healing.

Will I have surgical drains after my top surgery?
Maybe, it depends on your surgeon and the procedure you have. Double incision and peri-areolar top surgery generally require drains.

Will I need to wear a binder after my top surgery?
Maybe, it depends on your surgeon and the procedure you have. Post-op compression promotes healing and helps minimize scarring. Many surgeons recommend that you wear a surgical compression vest for up to 6 weeks if you have double incision or peri-areolar top surgery, and up to 4 weeks for those having keyhole top surgery.

How much time off will I need to heal up from my top surgery?
The answer depends on what type of activities you will resume. If you are a student or have a desk job, plan to go back 2 weeks post-op. If you engage in sports or have a more active job that includes lifting and physical activity, you'll need to take 4-6 weeks off after surgery. For weight training, wait at least 8 weeks post-op. For those having double incision top surgery, high intensity chest workouts should be avoided for up to 3 months. Light activity such as walking helps with healing and is recommended just days post-op.

What will I need to do to take care of my chest after surgery?
You will receive post-operative instructions from your surgeon about how to care for your incisions, and how to empty your drains (if you have them.) Once your incisions have completely closed, you can try using 100% silicone gel (such as personal lubricant) and/or silicone or polyurethane gel sheets to improve the appearance of your scars. Keep your scars out of the sun or use a strong sunscreen for a minimum of 1 year.

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