Some individuals are born with a biological gender that they do not identify with. “Transgender” is an umbrella term for this phenomenon. Some transgender people’s sense of difference is so strong that they identify as “transsexual,” someone who has an overwhelming desire to change their external appearance to match their internal identity. As acceptance of transsexualism has grown within the medical community, a number of surgical procedures have been developed to help patients with this complex process. While hormone therapy can provide some benefits (e.g. decreased hair growth and increased breast tissue), these treatments have no effect on facial structure. Dr. Velargo specializes in surgery of the face and neck and can aid in the surgical transformation process.
Who is a candidate for Facial Feminization Surgery?
Anyone who desires a more “feminine” and softer appearance may be a candidate for facial feminization. This type of surgery is not limited to transsexuals and can be applied towards women who simply have masculine features. The decision to pursue facial feminization can be life-changing step for transsexual patients. Thus, it requires a stable and healthy mental state and a strong support network. Dr. Velargo requires all patients undergoing this transformation to be cleared by a psychiatrist. Dr. Velargo will work with you throughout the process.
What happens during a Facial Feminization Surgery?
As a facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Velargo is keenly aware of how facial characteristics and structures are perceived as overwhelmingly “masculine” or “feminine.” These features include the prominence of the forehead and brow region, the size and shape of the nose, the fullness and size of the lips, the angle and definition of the lower jaw, the position and prominence of the cheekbones and chin, and the prominence of the Adam’s apple. Each of these areas can be addressed with specific procedures performed by Dr. Velargo, alone or in combination.
The upper face can be feminized in the following manner:
- Reducing the prominence of the forehead/ mid-brow region by reducing the size of the bony frontal bar (shaving and sculpting the bone).
- Creating more arched eyebrows with a brow lifting procedure. The brow region in a “masculine” face has a more anterior projection with a greater distance between the flatness of the forehead (frontal bone) and the prominence of the frontal bar.
- Lowering the hairline.
The nose can be feminized in the following manner:
- Reduction rhinoplasty
- Hump removal
- Tip refinement
The lips can be feminized in the following manner:
- Lip augmentation with fillers
- Lip augmentation with SMAS grafting
- Lip advancement surgery
- Lip lifting surgery
The mid and lower face can be feminized in the following manner:
- Cheek augmentation with fillers or implants
- Cervicofacial liposuction
- Lower jaw reduction
The neck can be feminized in the following manner:
- Neck lift
- Cervicofacial liposuction
- Adam’s apple reduction
All procedures are performed in a manner to minimize visible scarring. This surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia; however, some procedures can be performed under local anesthesia with some oral sedation. Dr. Velargo will discuss your options during the consultation.
What can I expect during recovery from a Facial Feminization Surgery?
Your postoperative period and recovery time will differ depending on the specific combination of procedures selected. Please see the specific procedure pages for more detailed information.
Dr. Velargo works closely with his patients in the postoperative period to ensure the best aesthetic outcome possible.
Does insurance cover Facial Feminization Surgery?
Facial Feminization Surgery is considered a cosmetic procedure. Therefore, insurance companies do not generally cover the cost of surgery.
Contact the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery today to find out more about expert Facial Feminization Surgery.