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Elliot W. Jacobs, MD, FACS - Diplomate, American Board Of Plastic Surgery

Specializing in Primary &
Revision Gynecomastia Surgery

815 Park Avenue New York, NY 10021

MTF Top Surgery: FAQ

If you’ve been thinking about top surgery for a long time, as is the case for many transgender individuals, you have probably read all the information you can get your hands on. Unfortunately, most of what you’ll find on the Internet is targeted to females seeking breast augmentation. There’s still not much available that addresses the needs and backgrounds of people transitioning from one gender to another.

If you’re still deciding whether transsexual surgery is for you, you may want to go ahead and schedule a consultation with Dr. Jacobs. You can get the benefit of his three decades of working with both men and women, and he will never pressure you to decide to have surgery. An in-depth conversation with Dr. Jacobs may be just what you need to determine “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.”

In the meantime, here are some questions you may have in mind.

How long do breast implants last?

Although breast implants continue to be improved over time, even breast implant manufacturers will caution you that implants shouldn’t be expected to last forever. If a saline implant ruptures, the body absorbs the sterile saline solution while the implant deflates. The effect is noticeable and replacement is required. If the outer shell of a silicone implant ruptures, it is much more difficult to detect as the material doesn’t leak. The FDA recommends patients have periodic MRI tests to ensure silicone implants remain intact. No matter which style you choose, it’s prudent to anticipate needing to replace implants eventually.

Are silicone implants really safe?

If you’re concerned about the safety of silicone implants, you may be thinking of a time when they were taken off the market several years ago. The liquid silicone filling used in those days occasionally leaked, causing fears about the possibility of related health problems. After 14 years of investigation, the FDA determined there was no evidence that silicone implants caused disease or other issues, and the devices were re-approved in 2006. In any case, today’s silicone implants are filled with a form-stable gel that does not leak. You don’t need to be worried about silicone implant safety.

What if I discover my implants aren’t the right size for me?

It is possible to swap your breast implants for larger or smaller models in a second procedure. Of course it is preferable to take plenty of time to make a decision about size so you can avoid top surgery revision.

Is breast augmentation reversible?

Strictly speaking, yes, breast augmentation is reversible. You need to understand that your chest will not look like it did before surgery, though. It’s likely your implants will have caused your skin to stretch to some extent, and your scars will remain. That’s why we stress the importance of being certain that male to female surgery is right for you.

Will my areolas need to be enlarged?

While it’s true that female areolas tend to be larger than male areolas, enlarging yours would probably not be worth the tradeoff in scars. If you feel your areolas are too skimpy, you can consider tattooing.

Will I have an increased risk of breast cancer?

Breast implants and augmentation surgery do not increase the risk of breast cancer. If anything, hormone therapy may have some impact on your risk. If you have not already discussed this with your primary care physician or endocrinologist, we recommend doing so.

Can you work with out of town patients?

Yes, we regularly work with patients from other states and countries. We are known for our expertise in breast surgery for men as well as women, and people fly to New York for plastic surgery with us. Our staff can help with travel arrangements, accommodations and even someone to stay with you the night after surgery if needed. We can accomplish some of the before and after work electronically. Give us a call at 212-570-6080 to discuss the process or visit our “Fly-In” web page.

What are my financing options?

If you need to pay for your procedure over time, we accept most major credit cards. You can also choose to work with Care Credit, a financing company serving the healthcare industry. Read more about your options here.

We hope we have covered some of your questions with this information. If you have others, please email us. We’ll be delighted to hear from you.

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