FT(N) Top Surgery

************Content warning! Body, Chest, Medical Surgery, Terminology, and description ********************

What is it and Why?

So, there is a clear content warning on this post because it can be hard to talk about our bodies. Especially getting a surgery that I will get because it will make me feel more comfortable in my skin. What I’m talking about, is Female to Male Top surgery, or as it’s known in the medical world as a mastectomy. Although for me, it will be a “Female to Nonbinary” transition. To start, the doc takes out the connective tissues and some fat in the chest and also keeping some in, to shape the chest into a more masculine look. I am trans masculine. But this surgery is in no way necessary to be Trans. If I decided against it I would be no less Trans. However, I personally feel like this surgery would be a big and necessary step in my transition.

The reasons for wanting Top surgery boil down to my chest dysphoria. I am constantly uncomfortable and self-conscious by my chest. The size of it, the shape and feel of it, and the bumps that they make under all my shirts. Because of this I regularly Bind my chest. A binder looks like a sports bra but it’s made of a strong or multiple fabric on the front and stretchy breathable fabric in the back, to push the chest flatter. They work well and alleviate most of my dysphoria when I wear one. Although it’s not all great. You have to be aware of your breathing, drink more water, can’t wear in the heat for too long (Because you sweat A LOT), and when it’s not hot, only wearing for eight hours max. I don’t do this but I’ve heard of Trans folks that wear their binder constantly based on extreme dysphoria, almost 24/7 even when they sleep. This is extremely dangerous and can damage ribs and the lungs’ ability to expand. So, wearing a binder is not the greatest and I would prefer to simply have a flat chest in general, then having to spend another summer binding in the heat.

How Would it Work?

If I got Top surgery I would have to get the Double incision method, because all of the other methods require you to have a chest size of B or under.  The Double Incision method is where incisions are made across the bottom of each breast, and the fatty tissue is taken out. In this process, unfortunately, this method usually involved removal of the nipple. Then, repositioning it on the newly masculinized chest. Then, it would be all done. And recovery would take around 1-2 weeks. To achieve Top surgery, I am trying to double down on health insurance, and then saving up for other extra costs that I’ll have to pay. I am lucky to live in a state in the US that most health companies cover Transgender operations.

To Testosterone Or Not To Testosterone?

Since it is Female to “Male”, I have had a debate on whether I want to go on testosterone. I do identify as Nonbinary and I always will. But my desire to not be seen as a woman is very strong. Again, luckily the surgeons in Oregon don’t require me to be on testosterone to get the surgery, although if I ever want to go to other surgeons, like in Seattle for instance, it’s all based upon the surgeon. They have their preferences on whether they operate on those on testosterone or not. It’s kind of gate-keepy for Nonbinary folks out there. But going on testosterone would also give me some physical benefits that I’ve been considering, to feel my true self. Like my voice dropping, body weight distribution, and no shark week. I still have some thinking to do in that aspect. (And to get a new job so I can afford it).

Thank you for reading about my desire for Top surgery. I will post another article about worries and doubts I have with going on testosterone and having top surgery tomorrow. Below I will have some interesting videos on the subject and more informational sources!

Love, Rhian.

Sources!

http://www.ftmguide.org/terminology.html

https://www.genderconfirmation.com/surgery/double-incision/

^^^^^ Warning this one has a graphic animation!

https://transguys.com/features/chest-binding

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