Transgender Chest Surgery

What is Female-to-Male (FTM) surgery?

Female-to-Male (FTM) chest reconstruction surgery, also known as “top surgery,” is a solution for transgender men or non-binary transgender people who want to reduce or remove their breasts, to achieve a more masculine physique.

The medical term for top surgery is “Transgender Mastectomy” and is in the category of procedures considered to be reconstructive chest surgery that removes breast tissue.  When the presence of breast tissue is a component of gender dysphoria, top surgery can be a highly effective treatment.

Many surgical procedures fall within the category of top surgery. These include the most common and powerful double incision procedure, as well as minimal scar techniques such as the keyhole or periareolar incision, as well as different skin excision procedures and procedures which to varying degrees, preserve the nerve supply to the nipples, such as the inverted T, the buttonhole, the lollipop, and the fishmouth. Each of these procedures come with both benefits and costs. Hence, a thorough discussion with a specialist plastic surgeon who is comfortable with performing all of the available methods is the best way to match your desires, priorities and anatomy with the best procedure for you.

What is Male-to-Female (MTF) surgery?

Male-to-Female (MTF) breast augmentation is a solution for transwomen or non-binary transgender people who wish to achieve a more feminine looking appearance through a surgical procedure that uses saline or silicone implants to enhance the size and shape of your chest.

MTF breast augmentation requires careful decision making to ensure the result meets the desired outcome.  There are a variety of ways to perform the surgery, a variety of sizes and shapes of breast implants to choose from, and nowadays, autologous fat transfer is another option for people who want a more subtle result.

Is it right for me?

Choosing to undergo surgery is a complex process shaped by internal feelings and philosophies as well as by external circumstances such as your overall health and mental health.  You must have a GP and specialist plastic surgeon who you feel you can trust so that your expectations are realistic and achievable.

The ultimate goal of the surgery is to make you feel more comfortable with your body by better aligning your physical characteristics with your internal sense of self and the self you’d like to present to the world.

Potential complications

All surgery comes with some degree of risk. For example, bleeding and infection are possible. Your specialist plastic surgeon will fully explain potential complications during the consultation process and commit to supporting you during recovery

By seeking out the services of a member of ASAPS, your surgery will be performed in an accredited facility. This is a facility that meets the required standards of sterilisation and infection control.  In Australia, these are the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NS & QHS Standards).  On this basis, patients should avoid having transgender chest surgery in facilities that cannot provide evidence of meeting the NS & QHS Standards. It’s important to note that patients who have surgery performed overseas, particularly in the developing world, are taking a significant risk as they cannot guarantee the sterility standards of the facility.


During surgery

Your time in surgery may vary according to your needs and the specifics of the procedures being performed. Your specialist plastic surgeon will explain everything to you during your consultations.


One of the most important reasons for choosing a reputable surgeon is that they will be by your side throughout the recovery process, ready to reassure and support you at every stage. Ask your specialist plastic surgeon what recovery will involve for you.