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What is Facial Feminization Surgery?
Facial feminization surgery, also called FFS, is a collection of procedures designed to alter the appearance of the face, making the face look more feminine. Facial feminization surgery changes the shape and size of facial features. The range of facial feminization techniques includes cosmetic surgery procedures, maxillofacial surgery and reconstructive surgery. Some facial feminization surgery procedures include hair removal and hair transplants.
What are the types of Facial Feminization Surgery?
Facial feminization surgery typically involves nose, chin, jaw, lip and cheek enhancement. The most common Facial Feminization Surgery procedures are:
Number of sessions required
- Trachea shave: A trachea shave as part of facial feminization surgery is used to reduce the prominence of an Adam’s apple. A trachea shave is completed under sedation and the thyroid cartilage is shaved in order to reduce it.
- Jaw shave: A jaw shave, or mandibular angle reduction, reduces the size of the jaw and changes its shape to rounder and narrower. A jaw shave is carried out through incisions in the mouth or under the jaw.
- Chin recontouring: Facial feminization surgery may include chin shaving and chin implants to alter the shape of the chin. With chin shaving, the surgeon cuts the bone and moves it forward or back to correct the appearance of the chin. Chin implants are placed in the chin through cuts in the lower gums. Liposuction may also be carried out to remove excess fat from beneath the chin.
- Brow lift: A brow lift is often performed as part of facial feminization surgery to raise the eyebrows and tighten the skin on the forehead.
- Forehead bossing: This form of facial feminization surgery, also called brow bossing, is carried out by shaving and altering the bone in the forehead and by adding implants to smooth the appearance of the forehead.
- Scalp advancement: Scalp advancement, or hairline correction, reshapes the hairline by lifting and bringing it forward for a more feminine appearance. An eyebrow lift can be carried out at the same time as scalp advancement.
- Rhinoplasty: A standard nose job or rhinoplasty procedure is carried out to make the nose more feminine in appearance.
- Cheek augmentation: The cheeks are filled with implants to soften the features and create a more proportionate and feminine face.
- Lip lift: A lip lift raises the lip by shortening the gap between the tip of the nose and the top lip. Lips can also be made fuller with the addition of implants or injections.
Facial feminization surgery may require a number of procedures before the final results are achieved, depending on the needs of the patient.
How popular is this type of surgery?
Facial feminization surgery is increasingly popular among transsexuals who seek a more feminine appearance in order to live more comfortably as a woman. Facial feminization surgery is less common in non-transsexual women who want to correct a masculine-looking face.
Duration of procedure/surgery:
The duration of facial feminization surgery depends on the procedures carried out. Typical facial feminization surgery lasts between four and six hours.
Depending on the type of facial feminization surgery carried out, patients are likely to spend one night in hospital after the procedure. However, single procedures such as the trachea shave or nose surgery are outpatient procedures and don’t require an overnight stay.
The type of anesthesia used will depend on the facial feminization surgery the patient undergoes. Most procedures are carried out under general anesthesia.
Some pain and bruising is to be expected for two to three days following facial feminization surgery. Recovery time varies depending on which facial feminization procedure is carried out but extensive procedures can take up to six weeks to fully heal. Patients typically return to work after a week to two weeks but avoid strenuous physical activity for up to six weeks.
Facial feminization surgery, like all forms of surgery, is not without risks but serious complications are rare.
- Bruising (can be extensive).
- Blood clots.
- Infection (uncommon, and treated with antibiotics).
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia or drugs.
- Changes in vision or speech, depending on the procedure.
- Numbness and facial muscle weakness (temporary).
- Keloid scars (raised scars).
- Unwelcome results (minimized with an experienced surgeon).
- Minimize facial scarring with vitamin E, vitamin capsules, creams and ointments.
- Following jaw surgery, clean the mouth with mouth wash and stick to soft foods for a few days.
- Apply ice packs to bruised areas.
- Leave dressings and tapes in place on the surgeon’s advice in order to help the skin heal.
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