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Gender Affirming Surgery for Transgender Patients

Gender Affirming Surgery for Transgender Patients

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The highly experienced Plastic Surgeons at New York Plastic Surgical Group are dedicated to helping patients in New York City and Long Island feel comfortable in their bodies and confident in their appearance. Many of our surgeons are board-certified and we specialize in a variety of gender-affirming surgical procedures for transgender patients, including facial surgery, transmasculine top surgery, and transfeminine breast augmentation. The decision to have plastic surgery is a very personal one, and you can expect compassionate and comprehensive care from our qualified team of experts.

Our team of plastic surgeons has received specialized training in gender-affirming procedures. They adhere strictly to the guidelines, policies, and standard of care established by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). So you can rest assured our clinical staff is well-equipped to provide safe and compassionate care for all individuals seeking gender-affirming surgeries.

Candidates for Gender-Affirming Surgery

Candidates for gender-affirming surgery are typically over 18 years of age and in good general health. The best way to determine if surgery is right for you is to schedule a consultation appointment at one of our NYC or Long Island offices. Please be prepared to discuss your hormone treatment regimen and other details of your gender transition.

What Types of Gender-Affirming Surgery Does NYPS Group Offer?

When a person’s assigned or biological sex does not match their gender identity, there are many ways they can express their gender in order to live a more comfortable and authentic life. Transgender, gender fluid, or non-binary people may change their names, adapt their clothing, and undergo hormone treatment. Not all transgender people decide to have surgery, but for people who experience the stress or anxiety of gender dysphoria, gender-affirming procedures can be an effective solution that improves overall well-being.1

Gender-affirming surgery, also referred to as gender confirmation surgery, can include a variety of procedures that aim to help patients create an appearance that is more in line with the typical physical standards of their gender identity. At New York Plastic Surgical Group, each patient receives a personalized treatment plan to meet their unique needs and goals. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health defines such surgeries as medically necessary for the health of transgender patients.2 We are proud to offer the following procedures to individuals seeking gender confirmation surgery:

Chest Reconstruction for Transgender Men

Chest reconstruction surgery, sometimes called FTM top surgery or subcutaneous mastectomy, creates a more masculine-looking chest. This type of surgery may also benefit non-binary people who would like a less feminine-looking chest. In this surgery, breast tissue and excess skin are removed and the chest is given a masculine contour. The nipple and areola may also be resized and repositioned or the nipple can be removed completely if so desired.

Breast Augmentation for Transgender Women

Breast augmentation with breast implants and fat transfer techniques can enhance a feminine appearance. Your breast augmentation treatment plan can vary depending on a number of factors, including your aesthetic goals and whether you have developed breast tissue as a result of hormone therapy. Learn more about breast augmentation surgery.

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Gender-Affirming Facial Surgery

As human beings we have been socialized to recognize certain facial characteristics as distinctly male or female. To help transgender patients physically reinforce their gender identity, we offer a wide range of surgical options. Some of the same procedures used for facial feminization may also be utilized in facial masculinization, with different techniques employed depending on a patient’s underlying bone structure and aesthetic goals. Our surgeons have an in-depth understanding of facial proportions and can use their expertise to create a customized treatment plan that delivers natural-looking results.

Facial feminization for transfeminine patients

The contours of a feminine face tend to be more refined and delicate than a typically masculine face. Transgender women may opt for a brow lift, rhinoplasty, lip augmentation, jaw contouring, fat grafting, or facial implants in the cheeks or chin.

Facial masculinization for transmasculine patients

Masculinity is often associated with a rugged appearance and strong features. In order to achieve a more masculine appearance, transgender men may choose to have rhinoplastyfacial implants, brow contouring, or jaw reshaping.

Recovery from Gender-Affirming Surgery

Your recovery will vary depending on which procedure you have and your individual treatment plan. Your surgeon will let you know what to expect from recovery, including how much time you will need away from work. It is important to understand and follow all aftercare instructions in order to optimize your results and have a healthy recovery.

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Contact New York Plastic Surgical Group

Contact us if you have questions about gender affirming surgeries, or if you would like to schedule a consultation. Gender affirming surgery is available at our Garden City and Manhattan locations in New York State.

FAQs About Gender-Affirming Surgery

When is top surgery (gender affirmation surgery) covered by insurance?

Health insurance coverage for top surgery, also known as chest reconstruction or gender affirmation surgery, can vary depending on the insurance provider, the specific policy, and the criteria set by the insurance company. Insurance coverage for top surgery has become more common in recent years as recognition of transgender healthcare needs has increased. However, the specific requirements for coverage may vary.

Here are some general situations in which top surgery may be covered by insurance:

  • Gender dysphoria diagnosis: Insurance companies may require an official diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a qualified mental health professional. Gender dysphoria is a recognized medical condition where an individual’s gender identity does not align with the sex assigned at birth.
  • Hormone therapy requirements: Insurance providers may require that individuals undergo a certain period of hormone therapy (e.g., testosterone for transmasculine individuals) as a prerequisite for top surgery. The duration of hormone therapy required can vary between insurance companies.
  • Letters of support: Some insurance companies may require one or more letters of support from mental health professionals or healthcare providers who can confirm the individual’s need for top surgery based on medical and psychological evaluations.
  • Provider and facility criteria: Insurance providers often have a network of preferred providers and facilities. It is important to check if the surgeon and surgical facility you choose are within your insurance network to ensure coverage.

It’s crucial to note that the coverage for top surgery varies widely between insurance providers and policies. Some insurance plans explicitly cover gender affirmation surgeries, while others may have exclusions or limitations. It is recommended to review the specific details of your insurance policy and contact your insurance provider to understand the coverage criteria, required documentation, and any potential out-of-pocket costs associated with top surgery.

Who is eligible for gender-affirming surgery?

Eligibility for gender-affirming surgery depends on several factors, including a person’s age, overall health, and mental well-being. Generally, individuals who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and have fulfilled specific criteria established by healthcare professionals may be eligible for the surgery.

What are the different types of gender-affirming surgery? 

There are various types of gender-affirming surgery, and the specific procedures depend on an individual’s desired gender and physical characteristics. Common procedures include chest surgery (mastectomy or breast augmentation), facial feminization surgery (FFS), or facial masculinization surgery (FMS).

How do I know which type of surgery is right for me? 

Choosing the right type of surgery is a deeply personal decision. It’s essential to consult with a qualified gender-affirming healthcare provider who can assess your goals, needs, and medical history to help you determine the most suitable surgical options for your gender affirmation journey.

What are the risks and benefits of gender-affirming surgery?

 As with any surgical procedure, gender-affirming surgery carries potential risks and benefits. Risks may include infection, bleeding, scarring, and complications related to anesthesia. Benefits can include improved self-esteem, mental well-being, and a stronger alignment between physical appearance and gender identity.

What are the prerequisites or requirements before undergoing surgery?

Requirements may vary depending on the type of surgery and your provider. Common prerequisites include a letter of recommendation from a mental health professional confirming gender dysphoria diagnosis, hormone therapy for a specified duration, and meeting certain age and health criteria.

Are there age restrictions for gender-affirming surgery?

Many insurance companies recommend a minimal age of 18 but there are exceptions and in some situations, gender-affirming surgery can be performed sooner.

1 Mayo Clinic. Gender Dysphoria. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gender-dysphoria/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20475262. Accessed August 1, 2023.
2 The World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Position Statement on Medical Necessity of Treatment, Sex Reassignment, and Insurance Coverage in the U.S.A. Available: https://www.wpath.org/newsroom/medical-necessity-statement. Accessed August 1, 2023.

The Doctors at New York Plastic Surgical Group have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.

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