Trans Lifeline Library:


Masculinizing Surgical Procedures


Masculinizing Surgical Procedures


There isn’t a single masculinizing surgical procedure; there are a variety of procedures that enable people to pursue the options that feel most affirming and necessary to them.

When you’re selecting a surgeon, you can often ask to see HIPAA-compliant before and after photos of other patients who’ve had the same procedure with that provider to get a better idea of what your results will look like. You can also check websites like Reddit for photos that are submitted by patients sharing their own results. Every surgeon puts their own spin on surgeries, so don’t be afraid to shop around until you find a surgeon who uses a technique that you like.


Mayo Clinic–Masculinizing Surgery

UI Health–Masculinizing/Defeminizing Procedures

Callen Lorde–Gender Confirming Surgeon List and Resources for Preparing for Surgery

FTMSurgery.Net–Guide To Masculinizing Surgical Procedures

Top Surgery:

Top Surgery refers to the surgical removal of breast tissue and/or the sculpting of a more masculinized chest, and may involve nipple grafts/removal/repositioning.

It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions both before and after surgery. Some surgeons will ask patients to lose weight beforehand to reduce the risk of possible complications and to gain a better result. Some surgeons will also ask you to stop smoking or vaping before and after the surgery to improve your circulation and ensure a healthier recovery–nicotine restricts your blood vessels and may cause issues with scar and nipple graft healing.

Embrace the prospect of having “t-rex” arms for a few weeks after your surgery. It’s advised to have someone around to help you afterwards (though not always necessary), and to move anything you might need to use (like cups or hanging clothes) to surfaces that are below shoulder height and don’t require you to over-extend your arms up or forward. There’s no rushing when it comes to lifting your arms–pushing yourself too hard early on in the healing process can lead to ripped stitches, increased scarring, and a longer recovery time.

You may have come across the term “dog-ears” in your research about surgery. This refers to excess skin in the armpit area after a top surgery. While some surgeons may extend their incision up along the side of the chest to avoid this, not all do. “Dog-ears” may require a revision surgery to remove the excess skin.

Following your surgeon’s aftercare instructions and staying in communication with their office regarding any concerns you may have about your recovery is an important part of the process. The team that performed the surgery wants you to have a result that you’re happy with, so make sure that you direct any questions about complications, healing, or what to expect in the weeks and months following surgery to them. 

Johns Hopkins–Top Surgery

Denver Health–FTM Top Surgery

Cleveland Clinic–FTM Top Surgery

Gender Confirmation Center–F2M/N Top Surgery Myths

Gender Confirmation Center–F2M/N Top Surgery

Aesthetic Procedures:

Cleveland Clinic–Facial Masculinization Surgery

Gender Confirmation Center–Gender Confirming Facial Surgery

Gender Confirmation Center–Body Masculinization Surgery

Bottom Surgery:

Johns Hopkins–Phalloplasty for Gender Affirmation

Cleveland Clinic–Metoidioplasty

Cleveland Clinic–Phalloplasty

Gender Confirmation Center–Bottom Surgery

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