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Gender-Affirming Surgery

What Is Gender-Affirming Surgery?

Gender-affirming surgery is a choice for people with gender incongruence. This is a condition in which people identify with a gender different from their birth sex.

This surgery attempts to change your body's external appearance to align with your internal gender identity.

Types of Gender-Affirming Surgeries

We offer two main types of gender-affirming surgeries at UPMC: facial and chest.

Facial surgery

This surgery recontours the bone and soft tissues of the face to make features more masculine or feminine.

Procedures we perform to improve gender congruence include:

  • Adam's apple reduction/augmentation (tracheal shave/grafting).
  • Brow lift.
  • Cheek/malar augmentation.
  • Chin reconstruction.
  • Forehead cranioplasty.
  • Hairline advancement.
  • Jaw recontouring.
  • Nose reshaping.
  • Sinus setback.

Chest or "top" surgery

  • For female to male surgery, surgeons perform a total mastectomy to remove breast tissue.
  • For male to female surgery, surgeons perform breast augmentation to enlarge and lift the breasts.

What to Expect With Gender-Affirming Surgery

To have gender-affirming surgery, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old or have consent from a legal guardian.
  • Have a confirmed diagnosis of gender incongruence.
  • Have a letter of support from a mental health provider.

The screening process may also include:

  • A psychiatric assessment.
  • An internal medicine exam.
  • Hormone testing.
  • Possible hormonal therapies.
  • A minimum duration of the current gender role.

Healing after surgery

Regardless of the procedure, doctors recommend a six-week recovery period to ensure proper healing.

You should avoid heavy lifting or vigorous exercise during this time. Your surgeon will advise you regarding any other precautions or potential complications.

Our Plastic Surgeons

Make an Appointment for a Consult

To schedule a consult for gender-affirming surgery, call 1-877-639-9688 or fill out our contact form.

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