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Frank Agullo, MD En Español

What Should You Know After Your FTM Top Surgery?

October 17, 2019 | FTM Top Surgery

Transgender men who have chosen to undergo female-to-male top surgery did so after much thought and consideration.

Female-to-male top surgery allows trans men to achieve a more masculine form and physique, which can significantly increase how comfortable they are in their bodies.

Shirtless man baring his chest.

Shirtless man baring his chest.

While all recovery expectations will be discussed with you during your consultation, there are general guidelines to keep in mind.

Recovery Times Vary

Your FTM top surgery is tailored to your specific needs and the size of your current breasts. The techniques applied by Dr. Agullo during this procedure will reflect those specifics.

Due to the different techniques and the fact that no two people heal in the same manner, there is no definite recovery time frame for top surgery. But generally, patients return to normal, non-strenuous activity in 7 to 10 days. Full activity without restrictions can usually be started four weeks after the procedure.

Dr. Agullo performs top surgery through a periareolar incision or a double incision.

  • The periareolar incision option is ideal for patients with small or medium-sized breasts. This incision encircles the areola and is usually considered to be less invasive than the double incision.
  • The double incision is best for larger breasts. This uses a horizontal incision along the breast crease (inframammary fold) and an additional incision around the areola to move the nipple.

Following your breast removal surgery, your chest will be wrapped in a compression garment that will reduce swelling and maintain your new chest contour.

This garment is most effective when worn for at least four weeks—the specific amount of time will depend on your body frame and how you heal.

Post-operative pain also varies on the patient. Some patients experience discomfort that is best eased with prescribed oral medication. Others find that over-the-counter medication like TYLENOL® is enough to minimize their pain.

Your return to exercise and physical activity will also depend on the techniques used for your top surgery.

All patients, regardless of incision, should avoid strenuous workouts for a minimum of four weeks.

Dr. Agullo will advise you when you can return to your normal activities and workouts during your consultation.

Scarring Will Develop

All men will have scarring around their areola after top surgery, and those who undergo double incision top surgery will have an additional scar below the chest muscle.

There is no way to stop scars from forming, although there are ways to minimize their appearance.

Your incisions will be taped together after the procedure to prevent the incision from separating.

Incisions can still separate after the tape comes off, however, so patients should try to prevent any physical trauma to the breast area.

The compression garment and scar gel provided will also help with the minimization of this scar, and practices like silicone strips and gel are also useful in scar reduction.

Cancer Risk Is Not Eliminated

Breast cancer is a common and serious form of cancer that affects women.

October is breast cancer awareness month.

October is breast cancer awareness month.

Because breast cancer is so widespread among women, many do not realize that men are still at risk for developing breast cancer.

While they have far less than women, men do have some breast tissue where cancer cells can still grow.

Your top surgery removes a significant amount of breast tissue.

Therefore, your cancer risk will be significantly reduced. That being said, there is no guarantee that all of the breast tissue will be removed.

Top surgery patients should still perform routine breast exams and be on the lookout for any abnormal changes to the breasts.

For Additional Questions

For more information, or to find top surgery near you, contact Dr. Agullo at Southwest Plastic Surgery by calling (915) 590-7900 or by filling out our online contact form.