For transgender individuals, the journey to self comes with many personal decisions. It is important to find a Doctor who has worked with transgender patients because it is equally a physical journey as it is mental.
From coming out to family and friends, to legally changing their identity on government documents, to choosing what (if any) gender-confirming surgeries, the list can seem overwhelming at times.
Doctor Jaime Schwartz understands that support from family, friends, community, and medical professionals is crucial. Transwomen who are considering MTF surgery likely have many questions and concerns prior to their procedure.
This guide can help transwomen and those in their lives understand the basics before they undergo MTF breast augmentation. Read on to learn about implant types, recovery, and other important information.
There Are Several Implant Options
Saline implants are a saltwater solution contained within a silicone shell. A benefit of saline implants is that they can be customized during surgery to ensure precise size and fit. For transgender clients, however, they may not be the best choice.
Saline implants have a chance of showing visible wrinkling or ripples if implanted in a patient who does not have enough breast tissue to start. Because of this, one of the following options may be better suited for a transwoman.
Like saline implants, the silicone version starts with a silicone shell. The inside of that shell is a softer gel. This style of implants is a popular choice with Trans clients since they look and feel much like natural breasts.
Cohesive Gel "Gummy Bear" Implants
Gummy Bear implants are referred to as cohesive or form-stable. This type of implant has a thicker consistency and maintains shape more so than the alternative materials.
Transwomen benefit from their natural, tapered shape that is more voluminous at the bottom.
Harvested fat from elsewhere on the body can be relocated to increase and sculpt the breast area. This technique can be used alone or in addition to other implants to increase size, shape the breast, and define the chest area. Grafted fat can also soften the appearance of implants to mask them and give an even more natural appearance.
Some Insurances Cover Top Surgery
Out of pocket costs for MTF surgery can average between $3,000 and $10,000. Certain factors can affect the price, such as desired breast size, body size, and body shape.
However, some insurances do cover transgender surgery today. Each plan is different, but large insurance providers such as Anthem, Aetna, Cigna, and even some Medicaid plans may have transgender care coverage. It's important to consult with each insurance company to see what options are available.
Doctor Jaime Schwartz of Beverly Hills, California provides financing options for those who are not covered by insurance.
With MTF Surgery, Timing is Important
For transwomen who are on HRT (hormone replacement therapy,) the timing of augmentation is something important to consider. Doctor Jaime Schwartz will not operate until the timing is right for your body.
Patients taking estrogen generally notice that breast growth starts soon afterward. However, it is a slow and gradual process. Transwomen can expect full development to take two or more years to reach maximum natural growth.
Because of this, Doctor Jaime Schwartz recommends that male-to-female (MTF) patients on HRT wait at least 18 months before undergoing top surgery. This time allows the nipples to develop and helps stretch the skin in the breast areas so implants fit better and are more natural. It is easier to augment existing breast tissue than it is to implant on a flat chest.
There Are Extra Requirements
When looking into surgical options, it's not uncommon for a surgeon to require a reference or recommendation for the patient. Clinical psychologists or gender therapists can write a recommendation saying their patient is in sound mental health and is a good candidate for confirmation surgeries.
Many surgeons also require Trans patients to have lived in their gender identity for a predetermined length of time. 1-3 years is a common figure to expect in order to be considered for augmentation or other confirmation surgeries.
The patient will be put under anesthesia for the duration of your procedure. Doctor Jaime Schwartz uses the general anesthesia, TIVA, which is an intravenous method.
TIVA only takes a few hours to wear off and results in less nausea upon waking. Thanks to the Schwartz Rapid Recovery ™ method, many patients feel well enough to go out to dinner the following night. The surgeon may inject Botox or apply a local anesthetic in the chest muscles during the surgery to help with site pain.
Depending on the surgeon, post-op patients may be recommended an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or may be given a prescription. A few days of discomfort and pain are common after the procedure, which should lessen over a week or two.
Expect some bruising, swelling, and soreness around the surgical area. Especially for the first four days, it's important to minimize exertion and activity to reduce bleeding risk.
Most of Doctor Jaime Schwartz’s patients return to work after a week. In four weeks, patients will likely feel back at 100% and can begin to use their upper body more over time. In six weeks, most can resume their regular exercise routine. The key is to ease into upper body moving slowly during recovery in order to heal without complication.
It's important to sleep on the back with the head raised for the first week to reduce swelling. After the initial week, side sleeping is permissible if tolerated. After four weeks, any sleep position is fine.
Get a Consultation with Doctor Jaime Schwartz Today
Doctor Jaime Schwartz is a top surgeon for transgender MTF breast augmentations. At Dr. Schwartz’s office, he and the entire team treat all of their patients with the sensitivity and care they deserve. He understands that top surgery for transwomen is a unique procedure that takes special planning and care to give the best possible results.
Remember, there is no surgical requirement for transgender individuals. However, if a patient wants MTF surgery to help alleviate their dysphoria or help confirm their gender, the professionals at Schwartz are here to help.
Contact us for a personalized consultation today with plastic surgeon Doctor Jaime Schwartz in Beverly Hills, California.