For many individuals going through gender reassignment surgery, a pivotal step to feeling right in their skin is Male to Female (MTF) breast augmentation.
MTF breast augmentation is not that much different from traditional breast augmentation. However, picking breast implants for MTF breast augmentation comes with its own set of considerations.
Traditional vs. MTF Breast Augmentation
Many of the differences between traditional vs. MTF Breast surgery comes from the differences between transgender patients and cisgender women. Trans women typically have wider, more pronounced chests than cisgender women.
Trans women and non-binary individuals who take feminizing hormone therapy may find that they have some breast tissue growth but not enough to give them the fuller, more round breast mound they want.
While MTF breast augmentation can certainly provide fuller breasts, they may feel somewhat more firm than natural breasts. That is why it’s essential to have realistic expectations for your results and understand the expectations and limitations of surgery.
Types of Breast Implants
Picking the best breast implants of your top surgery will depend heavily on the individual’s build and the look they are trying to achieve. Tell help determine the best breast implants for your MTF top surgery, your plastic surgeon will examine the amount of breast tissue you currently have, the shape of your chest wall, your build and chest size.
While your plastic surgeon will be able to determine the best type of breast implant for you, here are the different items to consider when choosing your breast implant.
Silicone vs. Saline
Silicone and saline implants are the two types of implant filling. Silicone is used in all implants as the outer shell, then they are either filled with silicone or saline. Both of these options come with their own set of pros and cons.
Silicone implants are natural feeling as they are firmer and smoother. Today’s silicone implants are much safer and more durable than those of even 10 years ago and have a very low rupture rate.
Saline implants may require a smaller incision and cost slightly less. However, these types of implants are susceptible to producing a rippled appearance along the outer edge of the breast, creating an unnatural appearance. Rippling is quite common is you have very little breast tissue to begin with.
Breast Implant Shape
When considering MTF breast augmentation, you’ll also need to determine your preferred profile projection and width. Profile projection refers to how far the breast implant will project out from your chest wall and typically ranges from high, medium or low.
The width refers to how wide you want your implant to be. You’ll also determine whether you’d prefer the traditional smooth, round implants or the more subtle effects of tear-drop shaped implants.
Choosing the Size of Breast Implant
What looks good on one person may not be right for your body type. Consider your frame and your current amount of breast tissue when you select your breast implant size. Many transgender women are taller and have larger builds than cis-women. If you are taking hormone therapy, you may have noticed some breast development.
How much skin tissue you have may limit the size of your implant. In this case, your plastic surgeon may recommend using a smaller breast implant or starting with tissue expanders.
Tissue expanders are placed where your breast implants will go, either under or over the chest muscle, and are gradually filled with a saline solution to make space and prepare your tissue and muscles for larger implants.
Take Your Time at Your Consultation
It’s a good idea to consider your options before heading into your consult, but if you’re not sure of your exact needs by the time it rolls around, that’s okay. Your MTF top surgery consultation is the time when you and your plastic surgeon will go over all of these options and more.
During your consultation, you can ask all of your questions, try on different breast sizers and look at before and after photos of other MTF top surgery results to be sure you’ve found the right surgeon for you. You may want to bring a sports bra to try on the sizers, and bring a photo of your desired results as an example.
Working with a qualified plastic surgeon who specializes in top surgery can be your most important decision for achieving the best MTF breast augmentation results. They should work with your anatomy to help you achieve the best outcome and feel more like your authentic self.
Dr. David Dellinger at Elysian Plastic Surgery in Austin is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who maintains a practice focus on body contouring surgery, breast enhancement and facial rejuvenation.