Q: What exactly is Facial Feminization Surgery?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Facial cosmetic surgery can play an extraordinary role in the transitioning process for those wanting to feminize their facial features. The male face inherently has structural features that are viewed to be more masculine, such as a strong nose, prominent brow bone, higher forehead, Adam’s Apple, strong chin and jaw structure. Facial Feminization Surgery refers to a combination of surgeries that work harmoniously to feminize the face. Some of those surgeries may include rhinoplasty, hairline lowering, brow lift, brow reduction, laryngeal shave, chin augmentation or reduction, lip lift and facial fat grafting.
Q: How does Facial Feminization Surgery fit into a patient’s transitioning process?
Dr. Philip Solomon: The transitioning process varies from patient-to-patient and may include hormone therapy, hair-removal procedures, both facial and body cosmetic surgery, and gender reassignment surgery. What is important to one patient may be different to another, however, looking female in appearance is often a priority for a patient’s exterior to match how they feel. Patients often start their transitioning process with hormone therapy which, on its own, can help feminize the face. Clothing, hair and makeup are easily accessible and affordable options for looking and feeling more feminine. Cosmetic surgery may then be considered as patients become more comfortable in their own skin and want the world to see them for who they are.
Q: How do you start the surgical process?
Dr. Philip Solomon: We provide a comprehensive consultation with all our patients, however, with patients undergoing facial feminization procedures, we are certainly sensitive to the challenges that may accompany their changing identity. We do our best to ascertain their motivation, needs and goals. In certain cases, we may find it helpful to communicate with the patient’s other health care providers. A strong support system is important throughout the surgical process, as recovering from facial cosmetic surgery can be hard for any patient making changes to their face.
Q: What does this surgery entail?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Facial Feminization Surgery is very personal. Feminizing the nose is often desired. Creating a slope on the bridge of the nose, narrowing the nose and refining the nasal tip, all help create a more feminine-looking nasal appearance. The brow bone, Adam’s Apple and chin are typically more prominent in men leading to a more masculine appearance. We offer Brow Bone Reduction Surgery, Hairline Lowering, Brow Lift, Tracheal Shave Surgery and Chin Reduction to help refine and feminize the face. To further feminize the face, our patients may want Upper Lip Lift Surgery, Cheek Augmentation and Facial Fat Grafting, which can help contour and sculpt the mid-face and cheeks.
We work collaboratively with our patients in planning their surgery. Some patients do multiple procedures at once, while others prefer to do them more gradually over time.
Q: How long is the surgery and what is the downtime?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Most cosmetic surgeries have a downtime that ranges from seven to 14 days, depending on the extent and number of procedures performed. Residual swelling can last anywhere from three months to one year, depending on the procedure. It really takes a full year post-surgery to see the true results as subtle changes continue to evolve during this period. We have a wonderful team at Solomon Facial Plastic that is extremely supportive and accessible throughout the entire process, and we do our best to ensure a positive and memorable surgical experience.
Q: What kinds of non-surgical treatments might accompany Facial Feminization Surgery?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Once patients have undergone Facial Feminization Surgery, we often see them back in the clinic for smaller, less-invasive procedures such as filler injections or laser treatments, which can add subtle but beautiful enhancements. Laser resurfacing can help give a refreshed and glowing appearance to the skin, as it evens out the skin tone, reduces pore size and improves skin texture. We have seen our patients take their surgical results to another level when augmenting with these non-surgical procedures. We do find that our patients who undergo Facial Feminization Surgery are extremely appreciative of the work we provide during their transitioning process, which is incredibly gratifying for me as a surgeon.
Before and After Results Below – Male to Female