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How Painful Is Facial Feminization Surgery?

There are a lot of factors that affect pain after facial feminization surgery. The first factor, What is getting done? And how it’s done? If the facial feminization surgery procedure only involves removing a little fat from the neck. It’s a small procedure, liposuction or a direct excision of fat, that might not be so painful. However, if we’re doing lots of things, we’re contouring the bone, taking some of the bone off of the forehead, contouring it, putting it back on, plating it, shortening the forehead with a bigger incision, doing eyelid surgery, changing the bone of the lower jaw, doing nasal surgery — you see, it can become pretty extensive.

And often we do all of these in one operative setting. So, that may create more pain, more scarring, more swelling, more bruising. I like to look at what the patient wants to achieve, and then what I’m going to do. Then I try to predict for the patient what the pain level is going to be. Of course, there is a variation based on that individual’s patients ability to deal with their pain.

What is done in facial feminization surgery?

This is a very broad question, because facial feminization surgery involves many potential procedures. It could involve just narrowing and making smaller of the nose. It could involve making the chin smaller, making the chin narrower, making the lateral jaw narrower or wider. It could involve surgery, which changes the contours of the forehead, lifts the eyebrow, etc. And, if the patient desiring facial gender reassignment surgery is of a certain age, we may even be doing a facelift along with all of the FFS procedures. So there are a variety of things. And what gets done to that individual patient really is based on an in-depth and individualized consultation. During an effective consultation, we match what I do with what an individual wants, and the type of healing process and recovery they choose to tolerate.

Is facial feminization surgery worth it?

In general, for the vast majority of my patients, FFS is very worth it. It is clear that most people that come to me that desire facial feminization surgery are very satisfied with the results. It’s in part due to the fact that I’m able to listen to them, and communicate effectively what they’re going to get, in terms of results. This makes them very satisfied with the end product. So, does that make it worth it? I think so. Whether any procedure is worth it, is ultimately up to the individual. A nose job, a facelift, or a variety of surgeries designed to change an individual’s sexual orientation in their face. So it may not be something that I can put a “worth” on, but the individual patient can certainly value that.

When a patient isn’t satisfied, it’s generally because their expectation isn’t aligned with what an expert surgery is going to produce. Satisfaction requires expert surgery AND expert communication. Patients have to communicate what they want to achieve, and surgeons have to be the person that tells the individual what can be achieved. If we get that kind of communication, the satisfaction rate is very high, and that translates to this being worth it to that individual patient.

How expensive is facial feminization surgery?

It really depends on how much gets done. If I’m doing just a little surgery, taking a little fat out of the neck, or putting a little chin implant in, or just reducing the chin, it might have a relatively low price tag. And that would contrast with somebody who’s having seven or eight procedures all at once.

So, the range could be anything from $3,000-4,000 if I’m just doing a very small procedure. Or it could be $30,000-50,000, if I’m doing many things. and I’m doing them all at once. As you can see, it’s sort of a broad question to ask how expensive is it? Facial feminization surgery involves the potential of many different surgical procedures. And the important thing is a well-communicated consultation discussing all the the possibilities. If we do that, we’re likely to get satisfaction, and we’re likely to have a surgery that is really worth it for most patients

I love doing all the procedures related to facial gender reassignment, and for those simply seeking a more feminine look. I’d love to hear from you, and see you in my office. Thanks so much for watching.

About Dr. Jonathan Sykes

Dr. Jonathan Sykes is a world-famous expert plastic surgeon who performs all cosmetic and functional plastic surgery procedures on the face and neck. He is a past president of The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and served on their Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also a Professor Emeritus in Facial Plastic Surgery from UC Davis Medical Center, and the former Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at that institution.

He is known as the expert’s expert, and is often called to consult and advise other plastic surgeons in both Northern California and Beverly Hills. He has a special interest in eyelid and browlift surgery, facial rejuvenation surgery including facelifts, and rhinoplasty. He also has a particular interest in facial feminization surgery. Have questions? Email Dr.Sykes at: [email protected]