Surgery Prep and FAQs

Packing List

hunter smWhen I was getting ready to take my son to Cleveland for gender affirming FtM top surgery, I realized that I hadn't really prepared any sort of "things to pack" list. Thankfully, there are so many out there in social media land (aka Facebook), that I could pose the "What do I pack," question at the last minute and be assured of getting some pointers and must-haves for the trip.

  • Lots of comfy pillows (especially is driving home the next day)
  • Zip up shirts or button up shirts (nothing that needs to go over the head)
  • If you don't have shirts like this head to the local thrift store — you can cut off the sleeves to a zip up hoody or long sleeve shirt and you won't spend more than a few dollars.
  • Pull on basketball type shorts (elastic waist)
  • Pull on pajama bottoms
  • Nutritious and easy to digest snacks for the hotel room (fruit, granola bars, string cheese, juice, water bottles)
  • Bendy straws
  • Stool softener (this will be on surgeon's list) like Colesce
  • Ear buds for music
  • Books and magazines for mom and dad or travel buddy

Questions to ask the surgeon

It's important to be prepared for this important appointment. Whether you're meeting with the doctor in person, or skyping, you'll want a written list of questions. This way, you will get all the information you need in order to make an informed decision about which surgeon and the type of procedure you're prefer.

  • What type of procedure is best for me? Why?
  • How many top surgeries like this do you perform in a week? In a year?
  • How long have you been doing FtM top surgery?
  • Do you have before/after pictures?**
  • What are the chances I'll need any revision down the road?
  • How long is the surgery?
  • How long is the recovery?
  • When can I resume normal activities?
  • How soon can I return to work?
  • When can I start exercising? What type of exercise and weight lifting is ok?
  • Will I be nauseous when I come out of anesthesia?
  • How long until the scars fade?

**Check out Trans Bucket to see before and after pictures by different surgeons. You can set up a free account. It's a great way to compare doctors and pricing. This is all content that is generated by real people after their procedures. The images are not retouched by a surgeon. Real people. Real results.