Everything you should know about facial feminization surgery

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Facial feminization surgery has been traditionally stigmatized in our society, but, as we evolve and become more open minded towards the trans+ community, facial feminization surgery has become an important topic to discuss due to the importance this procedure has for many transgender women’s wellbeing. 

The importance of facial feminization surgery

Facial feminization surgery, or FFS Surgery for short, is the term used to describe  a group of plastic and maxillofacial surgeries that aim to soften prominent facial features or, in other words, to feminise them. These type of procedures are sought by people of any and all genders, since anyone who wants to change their bone contours is the perfect candidate for this kind of surgery. 

But the group of patients that benefit the most from this type of surgery are, without a doubt, patients in a gender transition (male-to-female), for whom this type of procedure can be truly life changing. These advanced surgical approaches help patients of this demographic group to achieve an external appearance which aligns more closely with their gender identity.. 

Scientific studies have proven that faces have characteristics which our brains typically recognize a face as male or female. These characteristics are primarily found in the shape of the forehead, cheeks, nose, lips, chin and jaw. With FFS Surgery, these areas are changed to be more similar to how they were before puberty caused changes in the skin, hair and skull development.

Types of facial feminization surgeries

Each and every patient is different, so when we speak about facial feminization procedures, it can entail different things depending on each patient and their needs. Therefore, a different approach, be it more or less aggressive, should be applied each time according to the look the patient wishes to achieve and their already existing facial features.

Among the different types of techniques that can be involved in FFS, the most common ones are:

  • Forehead reconstruction FFS: the forehead area is one of the most important ones regarding revealing gender traits. While male skulls tend to have a more prominent brow bone, forehead and lateral eyes areas, a female forehead is usually rounder with a smooth transition to the nose area . The feminization of the forehead can be done by forehead feminisation contouring (by sculpting the entire area) or by proper forehead reconstruction (by remodeling and a reconstruction of the interior wall of the frontal sinus).  Both techniques involve the removing of the excess of bone.
  • Lower Jaw & Chin feminization surgery: this type of proceeding can produce either a dramatic or a subtle change in the final looks of the patient. Male jaws tend to have a greater bone volume, while male chins tend to also be more square-shaped and have a greater bone volume and height than females. Among the different jaw and chin FFS procedures, common options include chin recontouring, lower jaw recontouring and masseter reduction with botulinum toxin treatment. 
  • Hairline feminization surgery: Hairlines which match our forehead look natural. This type of procedure is especially recommended to patients that have also been subjected to forehead reconstruction FFS. The method employed is normally by the use of hair transplants, which can be done before the forehead reconstruction FFS (in which case it is recommended to wait at least 12 months before so the transplants can properly settle) or during the forehead reconstruction FFS (Simultaneous Hair Transplants, or SHT). 

But FFS includes much more than maxillofacial surgery, including the following procedures: 

  • Blepharoplasty
  • Lip lift or lip surgery
  • Lipofeminization and Neck liposuction
  • Rhinoplasty (nose job)
  • Adam’s apple reduction (tracheal shave)

All these proceedings aim to achieve a more feminine appearance that looks natural and not obviously operated so the patient can feel comfortable with the final outcome.  An evaluation with a FFS surgery specialist will help you decide which kind of proceedings will be needed to achieve your desired final looks, so we recommend you check only the most experienced professionals for this.