How to Prepare for Transgender Top Surgery

How to Prepare for Transgender Top Surgery

Posted on September 1, 2020 by Dr. Susan MacLennan

Gender-affirming top surgery is a life-changing procedure. If you’re ready to pursue transgender top surgery, here are some steps to take to prepare.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

Transgender top surgery is covered by most health insurance plans in Vermont. Insurers have different requirements for approval, so before your consult it’s helpful to call your insurance to get their policy. For example, many health insurance providers require that you have a letter on file from a mental health professional before you can be approved for top surgery. Once you have the required documentation for your insurance, schedule your consult.

Choose a Surgeon You’re Comfortable With

When it comes to transgender top surgery, it’s especially important that you seek care from a surgeon you feel personally comfortable with and respected by. Transgender and gender-nonconforming patients have unique healthcare needs that not all doctors are familiar with. My staff and I pride ourselves in being approachable, trustworthy, and friendly with all patients. We care for transgender and gender non-conforming patients every day, and top surgery is a very popular procedure in our practice. You’ll feel welcomed and well cared for from your initial consultation appointment through your post-op appointments. Check our website to view before-and-after photos of patients who have given us permission to share their photos with others.

Understand the Options

The most common techniques are “double incision” with nipple graft (for patients with larger or droopier breasts), and periareolar (“keyhole”) for patients with very small breasts and no droop. We perform both techniques regularly and can advise you which is better for your situation. We can also modify technique based on your needs; for instance we have a few patients who have preferred not to have nipples.

Set a Recovery Plan

Recovering after top surgery requires about 2 weeks off work and 3-4 weeks of less activity than usual. Immediately after surgery, you will need to have a trusted friend or family member drive you home and care for you. Most patients do great from a pain control standpoint and don’t require more than Tylenol and anti-inflammatories. Some cases, but not all, will require the use of drains, but we promise, the drains are not as scary as the internet would have you believe! Drains, if used, are typically removed within 7 days after surgery. You’ll wear a compression vest for a few weeks and get back to normal activity by 3-4 weeks after surgery.

Schedule a Consultation

To schedule a transgender top surgery consultation, call Mountain Lake Plastic Surgery at (802) 231-4284 or request your appointment online.