Living with a physical body that is different from one’s true gender identity is incredibly challenging on numerous levels, both functionally and psychologically. For many transgender females (transwomen), the issues resulting from these challenges lead to a general dysphoria that is often accompanied by depression, anxiety, disregard for one’s health, substance abuse and/or various other negative effects. Thankfully, transgender plastic surgery and medicine has progressed tremendously over the years, enabling the male to female (MTF) transition to be completed more easily, naturally, predictably and with results far superior than what was obtained in the past.
As a member of the “World Professional Association for Transgender Health” (WPATH), Scottsdale plastic surgeon Steven H. Turkeltaub, MD performs male to female (MTF) breast surgery at his practice to help patients achieve a more feminine appearing chest as part of their gender transformation. From your initial consultation through your final post-operative visit, Dr. Turkeltaub will deliver unparalleled attention, professionalism, understanding and support in a completely judgement-free environment. His aim is to fully comprehend your specific needs and personal perspectives, customize a treatment plan that aligns with your unique goals and lifestyle and ultimately help you finally realize the gender transition that is both essential and life changing.
- What is MTF Transgender Top Surgery?
- How Is the MTF Breast Procedure Performed?
- What Is MTF Breast Surgery Recovery Like?
- Is There Insurance Coverage for MTF Transgender Top Surgery?
- What Does MTF Transgender Breast Surgery Cost?
What is MTF Transgender Top Surgery?
MTF (Male to Female) transgender top surgery is the gender affirming procedure that transforms a genetically male chest to a more feminine appearing one. It is essentially a breast augmentation for those with gender dysphoria. However, there are some substantially different and important issues that must be addressed in order to obtain the best possible outcome. These will all be discussed with you in great detail at the time of your consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub.
How Is the MTF Breast Procedure Performed?
Male to female breast surgery is performed the same as a standard breast augmentation. During the procedure, breast implants are carefully inserted through a predetermined incision and placed either above or below the pectoralis major muscle to achieve a more feminine-appearing chest. Dr. Turkeltaub employs a very gentle and meticulous surgical technique to help limit any post-operative discomfort and allow you to achieve the results that you desire.
The potential risks associated with MTF breast surgery are identical to those experienced in breast augmentation. These will be discussed with you at the time of your consultation.
Breast Implant Options
At the Arizona Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Turkeltaub offers a wide array of breast implant sizes, configurations, shapes, types and implant fill material that includes various levels of silicone gel cohesiveness in order to help meet the unique needs and desires of every individual. The implant options will be discussed comprehensively at the time of your consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub. Based on a multitude of factors, he will make recommendations to you that will help you to obtain the results that you desire.
For more specific information about implants, please visit Dr. Turkeltaub’s page on breast implants.
MTF Breast Surgery Incision Choices
Individuals considering male to female breast surgery have three incision options through which implants can be placed. These include:
- Inframammary – This incision is made at the crease beneath the breast known as the inframammary fold. The location of the inframammary incision allows for optimal short- and long-term flexibility, improved exposure and visualization during surgery and better predictability of results. For these reasons (among several others), it is the most common incision used for the placement of implants.
- Transaxillary – Located in the armpit, the transaxillary incision is the second most popular technique due to the absence of any incisions/scarring on the breasts themselves. Despite this key benefit, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration before selecting this approach, all of which will be discussed at the time of the consultation.
- Periareolar – The periareolar incision is made along the lower-half margin of the areola. When performed skillfully the resulting scar can be relatively inconspicuous. This approach, however, is rarely a viable option especially when silicone breast implants are selected. The reason for this is that it is difficult or impossible to realistically insert fully filled silicone implants through incisions made along the lower half of the generally smaller-sized nipples one is starting out with.
Following a thorough review of the advantages and disadvantages of each option, Dr. Turkeltaub can help you select the best incision location for your unique needs and desires.
There are two implant placement options for MTF breast: in front of the pectoralis major muscle (submammary) or behind it (submuscular or subpectoral). For the reasons highlighted below, Dr. Turkeltaub recommends placing breast implants submuscularly most of the time.
- The risk of capsular contracture (hardening of scar tissue around the implant) is reduced
- There is more tissue to cover and conceal any potential implant rippling
- The superior interface between the chest wall and implant creates a more natural look
- The muscle provides added support for the weight of the implant
What Is MTF Breast Surgery Recovery Like?
A firm, form-fitting compression dressing is placed immediately after surgery and remains on for about two to three days before being replaced by a sports-type bra. This is to be worn all day and all night for approximately two weeks, after which it is strongly recommended that you wear a bra that provides optimal support as often as possible to help maintain an ideal breast shape and limit sagging over time.
Swelling and firmness in the breasts will typically be experienced initially, sometimes causing the breasts to look larger and feel harder than anticipated. Fortunately, these symptoms should resolve over the course of several months to eventually reveal a size and contour closer to what was originally envisioned.
There may be some mild to moderate discomfort within the first few days of recovery, but most patients are able to return to non-strenuous jobs and normal daily routines after about five to seven days. It is strongly recommended that any sports, vigorous exercise and other similar activities be avoided for at least three weeks.
Though the overall results can be seen initially, it can take several months or longer for most all of the swelling to subside, the skin to stretch out and the muscles to relax. By six months you will be very close to seeing the long-term results.
These results can dramatically improve one’s comfort, confidence and appearance allowing for a very positive and successful transition.
Is There Insurance Coverage for MTF Transgender Top Surgery?
Unfortunately, MTF breast surgery is considered to be cosmetic in nature by insurance companies and, therefore, is almost never a covered benefit. Consequently, and like the very similar breast augmentation procedure, you would need to pay for this on your own.
We will provide you with explicit pricing information so that you will know up front what the expected costs will be. Financing options are available, if needed, to help make your breast surgery a wonderful reality for you.
What Does MTF Transgender Breast Surgery Cost?
Based on patient submissions to RealSelf.com, the cost of MTF top surgery in the Scottsdale region typically spans from $2,975 to $10,500, with an average price of $6,425. While these numbers can give you a good idea of what your MTF breast surgery might cost, it is important to understand that there are several factors that can influence the exact price of your treatment. Some of the most notable elements that dictate the total expense of MTF breast procedures include the surgical technique utilized, the complexity of the operation, the particular implants selected, the plastic surgeon’s level of skill and experience, the geographic location of the practice, and charges for the anesthesiologist and the operating facility. Pre- and post-operative medications and any post-surgical garments are usually not included in the quoted fees but ultimately are an additional cost.
To obtain a personalized quote for MTF top surgery, you will need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub. During this appointment, he can review your specific needs and goals, develop a custom treatment plan and provide a detailed breakdown of all expenses associated with your procedure.
If you are interested in payment plan options, a knowledgeable member of our team can assist you in the application process for plastic surgery financing. Our practice partners with CareCredit®, ALPHAEON® CREDIT and several other trusted healthcare lenders that can help make MTF transgender breast surgery an affordable reality for virtually all budgets.
Want More Information on MTF Top Surgery?
To learn more about MTF top surgery or if you wish to schedule a consultation, please contact our practice today. Dr. Turkeltaub would be pleased to help you achieve your essential life-changing transformation you need and deserve.