MTF (male-to-female) top surgery is an integral part of the transition for many transwomen, as it helps fulfill their vision of attaining a feminine figure. For those that have looked into the process, you may have come across the term breast augmentation. This is a surgical procedure that uses implants to enhance the size and shape of your breasts. Getting breast augmentation surgery is an emotional milestone as it helps align their outward appearance to how they feel on the inside. It gives them the feminine silhouette they want so they can live in their truest, authentic self. The procedure can be done during any part of transition — whether it’s at the start, middle or end. With that said, many transwomen prefer to get it done midway into their physical journey after they’ve begun implementing other physical changes to their bodies.
A common question asked by many transwomen in regards to this procedure is about implant size — “what’s the right implant size for me?” In order to figure that out, there are a couple of factors at play that help determine what implant is right for each patient as each case is unique. But before let’s get into that, let’s breakdown what MTF top surgery is and different types of implants available for this procedure.
MTF top surgery is a simple breast augmentation surgery. Many of the techniques used in MTF top surgery is used in the traditional breast augmentation procedure, with little variation between the two. During the procedure itself, incisions are made on the chest where the implants are inserted. Placement of the implant either goes on top or below the muscle depending on the surgeon’s discretion. Once they’re satisfied with the placement of the implants, your surgeon with close the incision in a discreet location that minimizes the appearance of scarring once fully healed.
During recovery, patients report tightness around the chest as the skin and muscles try to accommodate the new implants. This sensation lasts for a couple of days but will need some getting used to. Depending on a number of factors, recovery will last anywhere between three to eight weeks before you’re able to confidently purchase a bra that fits properly. Once patients are fully healed, they’re typically extremely satisfied with their results and look forward to living this new stage of their life in the body they were meant to be born in.
There are currently two types of implants on the market right now that you can use for your augmentation surgery. The one patients typically go with depends on the look and feel they want their new breasts to have. Undoubtedly the most popular of the two is the silicone implant, as they mimic the look and feel of real breasts. They also have a reputation of lasting longer and have lower chances of rupturing down the road. The second option is saline implants, which has a rounder and firmer feel than the silicone option. They’re inserted into the body deflated and then filled with salt water solution during the augmentation procedure. Some patients prefer this method as it controls the size of the implant, ensuring that it complements the breast and chest frame of that individual, providing a more natural looking result. While both implants have their own pros and cons associated with each of them, your surgeon will go through all those factors as well as your own personal preferences to determine the type that’s right for you and your lifestyle.
During your consultation with your surgeon, they will conduct a full upper body examination to assess which range of implant sizes will work well for you. They’ll consider your current frame, the size of your chest and skin elasticity to determine the implant sizes that will work on you. Once that’s figured out, your surgeon will pass along sample implants for you to try on in a bra, so you can envision what you will look like once you’ve fully healed.
Because the skin on the chest is a lot tighter for transwomen, it’s important to start out at a reasonable implant size so your chest can adjust. In most cases, the recommended sizes are what patients like to go with but for those that desire a bustier chest, they’ll typically have to go through two procedures so your chest skin can stretch and adjust properly to their desired size once it’s ready.
Getting MTF top surgery is a life-altering experience. Besides going to a reputable surgeon, you want to go to a clinic that’s inclusive and LGBTQ2+ friendly so you feel comfortable throughout the entire process. McLean Clinic is not only one of the GTA’s leading plastic surgery clinics, but they’re also leaders in both MTF and FTM top surgery procedures and have helped a countless number of individuals through their physical transition. They combine expertise as well as compassion so patients feel supported at all stages — from the consultation, straight through to recovery. Contact them today so they can help be a part of your transition story!