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June 18, 2017

The Basics of FFS: Facial Feminization Surgery

As society’s attitudes towards transgender people slowly shift, topics such as FFS or Facial Feminization Surgery are becoming more openly discussed. At the same time, the medical community is reaching a consensus on the importance of facial feminization for the overall well being of trans women. But for many people, the concept of FFS surgery remains somewhat mysterious. That’s why we at FACIALTEAM wanted to put together this simple guide to the basics of facial feminization surgery.

In this post, we’ll go over what FFS is, what types of procedures it includes, and what patients can expect if they decide to embark on this journey.

What is Facial Feminization Surgery?

FFS is the acronym for “facial feminization surgery”, which is an umbrella term for a group of maxillofacial and plastic surgery techniques employed in Facial Gender Confirmation and Facial Harmonization. It is exactly what it sounds like: any surgery that is used to make the face appear more feminine. Usually the topic is brought up in the context of transgender women, sometimes referred to as “MtF”.

However, FFS surgery is sought for by people of any and all genders, which really is much more diverse than the simple binary, male or female:  gender-queer, gender fluid, two-spirit and more. Anyone who wishes to soften or harmonize their facial features could be a candidate for this type of surgery. On the contrary, in the case of people in gender transition, it is far from a cosmetic whim and more of a life-saving treatment.  Hundreds of testimonials prove that facial gender confirmation opens the door to a higher self-esteem, to better integration in today´s world and helps to avoid the consequences of social isolation such as suicide, hate violence and crippling discrimination.

MOVE ARROWS SIDE TO SIDE TO SEE ALL BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS

What procedures are included in facial feminization?

The combination of surgical techniques employed in a personalized FFS treatment plan is highly individualized. It all depends on the patient’s goals, features, underlying facial structure, and overall health. There is no one-size-fits-all set of procedures used in facial feminization. However, some of the most common approaches include:

Maxillofacial surgery, procedures used to reshape the bony structures of the face

– Brow & Orbital reduction surgery

– Jaw reduction and/or reshaping

– Chin surgery, reconstruction and contouring

Facial cosmetic surgery of soft tissue structures

– Lip lift or lip surgery

– Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)

– Neck liposuction

Other procedures that are helpful for feminizing the face

– Hairline feminization via hair transplants or lowering

– Rhinoplasty (nose job)

– Adam’s apple reduction (trachea shave)

Specific procedures will be chosen based on each patient’s unique case, with the goal of softening certain exaggerated features that have a masculinizing effect on facial harmony. The objective is a naturally more feminine appearance without looking “overdone” and without visible scars.

What is involved in getting FFS surgery?

The very first step in any facial feminization process is an in-depth, personalized evaluation with an FFS specialist. It is advisable to meet with multiple providers for an initial consultation so you can choose the right expert for you. Although there are many plastic surgeons who offer FFS, it´s best to concentrate on providers with a proven track record specifically in transgender surgery.

This consultation should include a conversation about what your desires and expectations are and the type of results you want from your FFS treatments. It is the specialist’s responsibility to help adjust those expectations into realistic parameters given your existing facial features and structure as well as your safety.   It´s always good to ask what ratio of corrections they have in this procedure as well as the total times this particular surgery has been performed so you know they have experience.

You may also be given a quote for the treatment plan proposed by each specialist. This is important, because each patient’s face is so unique that it is usually impossible to have a predefined price list for each procedure. For example, there are many different factors that can affect the cost of forehead feminization surgery. The size of the forehead, the location the incision will be made, whether the hairline needs to be feminized, whether hair transplants will be used, etc. – all of these need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Like most cosmetic surgery, less is often more. The key to optimal FFS is balance and harmony. Our goal at FACIALTEAM is essentially to reveal the feminine face that is already yours, which changed due to the effects of puberty, and is hidden just under the skin.

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