What is Facial Feminization Surgery?
Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS) is a set of reconstructive surgical procedures that alter typical male facial features to bring them closer in shape and size to typical female facial features. Facial feminization surgery involves bony and soft tissue surgery on the face, neck and thyroid cartilage. Some doctors include facial hair removal and hair transplants as part of facial feminization surgery.
While occasionally desired by women to reduce masculine facial characteristics, these procedures are often sought by those undergoing transition from male to female. Transgendered individuals and male to female transsexuals may desire facial feminization surgery to transform the face and facilitate their desired transformation.
Dr. David Mashhadian at Rodeo Surgical Art in Beverly Hills is skilled in facial feminization surgery and is increasingly sought out by the transgender community.
How Do You Determine How to Feminize a Face?
Faces contain secondary sex characteristics that make male and female face readily distinguishable. Females will typically have a more pointed chin and less nasal prominence than males. The forehead is also different in males from females, specifically in the areas of the brows and mid-forehead and the shape of the skull that affects the drape and contour of the skin. Changing the shape of the skill will assist in changing one feature from distinctly male to female.
Why Facial Feminization Surgery?
For many transgender women, facial feminization surgery is necessary to treat gender dysphoria; the formal diagnosis used by psychologists and physicians to describe people who experience significant dysphoria (distress) with the sex and gender they were assigned at birth.
Undergoing this process is important in reducing gender dysphoria and generally helps trans-women integrate socially as women. Studies have shown that the mental health-related quality of life for trans-women who have had facial feminization surgeries is significantly higher that for trans women who have not. There are only a limited number of surgeons globally who specialize in facial feminization surgery, and Dr. Mashhadian is one of the most sought surgeons for this process.
What Procedures Fall Within the Scope of Facial Feminization?
The facial feminization process is unique to each individual. FFS can include various bony and soft tissue procedures such as the following:
Males tend to have lower eyebrows relative to the position of their brow ridges when compared to females. Females’ brows tend to be above the brow ridges while males’ brows tend to be below the ridges. A browlift will result in a more womanly appearance.
Rhinoplasty (nose job) – Males tend to have larger and wider noses than females. Standard rhinoplasty procedures are generally used to feminize a masculine nose. Rhinoplasty is effective in achieving female facial profiles in patients undergoing male-to-female sex reassignment.
Females tend to have fuller cheeks. Cheek implants are used to feminize cheeks. The come in different sizes and can be placed in different positions depending on the needs of the patient. Bone cement can be used instead of silicone implants. Another possibility is a fat transfer from another part of the body injected into the cheeks.
Chin contouring –
Males tend to have longer chins that may be square with a flat base while females’ chins tend to be rounded. The chin can be reduced in height with a procedure called a “sliding genioplasty” where a section of bone is removed. The square corners can usually be shaved down.
Males tend to have jaws that are wider and longer than those of females and often have a sharp corner in the back. The back corner can be rounded off. Bone can also be shaved off along the lower edge of the jaw to reduce width and height, and the chewing muscles can be reduced to make the jaw appear more narrow.
The opening between the opening of the mouth and the base of the nose tends to be longer in males than in females. To feminize a mouth, a lip augmentation has the effect of lifting the top lip, placing it in a more feminine position and exposing a little of the upper incisors. The surgeon may also use a lip lift to roll the top lip out a little making it appear more full.
In males the hairline is often higher than females and usually has receded corners above the temples. With a hair transplant, the hairline can be moved forward and given a more round shape. Hair transplants can also be used to thicken hair that has been thinned by male pattern baldness.
About Rodeo Surgical Art
Our office is located in Beverly Hills, and Dr. Mashhadian has a great passion for helping people. Dr. Mashhadian graduated top of his class from New York University and completed his General Surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine along with his Maxillo-Facial Surgery training. He has received numerous awards in both academic and clinical arenas. Dr. Mashhadian is also a Diplomate of American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and has been given the honor of being appointed a Board Examiner for the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.