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The Average Cost of Top Surgery Across Canada

Posted by Dr. Hugh McLean on 9 February 2021
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Educating yourself about FTM top surgery procedures is a step towards experiencing the most comfort you can have in your own skin. Because it removes the image of having breasts, top surgery procedures help transgender men to fully transition into their self-affirmed gender, physically. If you’ve always wanted this procedure, knowing the average top surgery cost across Canada is a step towards reaching this goal. 

The Importance of FTM Top Surgery Procedures

Transgender men who wish to undergo top surgery experience distress called gender dysphoria. This discomfort is caused by the difference between experienced gender and gender assigned at birth. 

According to a survey conducted by Trans PULSE, 59% of transgender individuals knew that their bodies didn’t match their gender identity at age 10. This number rose to 80% of transgender individuals by age 14 – affirming the fact that gender dysphoria is a heavy cross that one has to bear at an early age.

Top surgery is a natural step for transgender men as they transition to a life they can fully call their own. For some, a physical transformation enhances a sense of self. While some don’t necessarily choose to undergo surgery, transgender people relate to their bodies in their own individual ways, and they need to make choices that suit their needs the most.

FTM top surgery Canada

The Different Kinds of Top Surgery Procedures

Top surgery for transgender men is a set of common FTM surgical procedures that remove the breast tissue to achieve a masculine upper body appearance. Many patients who have gone through the procedure feel more at ease about their affirmed gender. 

Here are some types of FTM top surgery procedures:

Double Incision Mastectomy

Considered the most commonly used technique, this procedure is ideal for patients who have medium to large-size breasts. It is also known as a bilateral mastectomy with nipple grafts. 

The skin on the chest is opened with two horizontal incisions located at the top and bottom of the pectoral muscle, without causing any damage to the muscle. The skin is pulled back to be able to remove the breast tissue. Additional liposuction procedures are recommended to achieve a more masculine contour and to prevent an effect called “dog ears.” 

The nipples are removed and decreased in size. They are then strategically placed on the chest to create a more masculine appearance for the patient. This procedure takes between three to four hours and is usually an outpatient surgery. General anesthesia is administered to make the procedure painless and comfortable for the patient. 

Keyhole Top Surgery

This type of gender-affirming procedure involves creating a small incision at the border of the areola. The breast tissue is carefully taken out through the incision. Keyhole surgery is recommended for patients with naturally smaller breasts, or those who have elastic skin surrounding the areola. 

In some cases, this type may preserve the natural nipple sensitivity because the nipple stalk and the areola are untouched. Depending on the patient’s case, the nipples may or may not be resized. Because of these factors, this type of top surgery procedure offers a higher chance of maintaining nerve sensation. 

Because of the small incisions, patients tend to heal faster and experience very minimal scarring. Once the patient is fully recovered, the scar from the incision is barely visible. 

Body Contouring

Body contouring procedures aim to give the patient a more defined, muscular upper body of a male. Body contouring requires certain lifestyle changes in order to achieve the best results. If patients are on the curvier side, a balanced diet and a weightlifting program could result in a more masculine upper body. 

When these changes aren’t enough to bring the patient closer to their desired appearance, liposuction is usually performed. Liposuction can be used to eliminate unwanted fat from the upper body. It is a long-lasting solution to decrease the feminine curvature on the upper waist and hip areas. Liposuction is minimally invasive and uses a thin suctioning tube to remove pockets of fat. It also works to define abdominal muscles and lift the buttocks. 

Additionally, hormone therapy helps transgender men achieve masculine features such as facial hair, body hair, and deepening of the voice. It also aids in fat and muscle distribution to match the male form. Some patients are required to go through hormone therapy before being approved for an FTM top surgery procedure. 

The Varying Costs of FTM Top Surgery Across Canada

Bilateral Mastectomy

The exact cost of a bilateral mastectomy varies on several factors, including your body type and the surgeon you consult with. Generally, this type of top surgery costs between $8,000 to $9,000. Depending on your specific circumstance, additional liposuction may be done as part of your top surgery procedure or performed as a separate cosmetic male chest contouring procedure. This is considered an added cost. 

Keyhole Top Surgery

Generally, this type is less expensive than the double incision mastectomy procedure by $2,000. However, costs will still depend on your body type and specific needs. 

Body Contouring

Liposuction across Canada costs about $4,000 in smaller areas and $10,000 in larger parts of the body. The cost depends on how many sessions it would take to reach the patient’s desired result.

A patient and surgeon consultation

The Average Top Surgery Cost in Ontario

The total of your top surgery cost in Ontario will depend on the procedure and the surgeon you choose. 

Generally, the cost of FTM top surgery methods across Canada ranges from $4,000 to $12,000. This estimated cost may or may not include consultation fees. A down payment is usually required to secure your surgery date, and usually covers 10% to 50% of the cost. 

Aside from the surgery and consultation costs, you will need to pay additional fees, such as:

  • Anesthesiologist fee
  • Additional facility fees
  • Pathology fees
  • Other medical test fees

After your surgery, you will also have to account for recovery costs such as:

  • Medications
  • Paper tape
  • Medical compression vest
  • Gauze
  • Scar care topical creams, and more

To avoid feeling like you’re paying into an endless stream of expenses, you should make it a point to ask your surgeon about such fees.

FTM Top Surgery Cost and Inclusions at McLean Clinic

Now that we’ve discussed the different types of FTM top surgery and the costs involved, it’s clear that it can add up to thousands of dollars. The best way to move on with this procedure is to consult a surgeon who offers an all-inclusive rate.

McLean Clinic offers FTM Top Surgery procedures for an all-inclusive rate of $8,900. This cost includes all of the following:

  • Initial consultation
  • Pre- and post-op instructions
  • Pre-operative visit
  • Surgery
  • General anesthesia
  • Facility fees
  • Pathology fees
  • 24/7 support
  • Post-operative visits
  • Surgical binder and dressing supplies

For more information about pricing and fees, visit this link.

OHIP Top Surgery Application and Coverage

Out of all the transitory stages you need to go through, settling your top surgery cost in Ontario, or all across Canada, can be expensive. For some, it can be covered by their private insurance policy, but others aren’t as lucky.

 If you want your surgery to be covered by public insurance, such as OHIP, you must follow certain criteria.

1. You must receive a proper diagnosis.

In order to have your FTM procedure covered, you need to be professionally diagnosed with gender dysphoria. To attain this, you need to see a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a behavioural therapist.

2. Show that you are fully prepared for the treatment and surgery.

Aside from your diagnosis, you must be able to demonstrate that you are ready to live your life as a male. You must be willing to show that this is a decision that you stand by for the rest of your life. 

There are some ways to complete this important step:

  • Modifying your appearance to match being a male
  • Living and residing in your current community as a male
  • Discussing your desire to have the FTM top procedure to your family and friends
  • Attending counselling sessions 
  • Openness to be addressed by your chosen male name
  • Receiving testosterone treatments

Some surgeons recommend living as a male for at least a year, with the addition of hormone therapy before performing any FTM procedures.

3. You must fully accept all the risks involved.

It might sound intimidating, but this only means that you need to understand the potential risks involved in FTM procedures. You might need to attend counselling to prepare you mentally for implications such as fertility loss, health risks, and certain aftercare treatments. Your counsellor will assess your ability to accept these conditions.

4. Attain approval from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Your FTM procedure must be approved by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term care before you can set a schedule for surgery. If you have already scheduled a surgery before making this application, OHIP will not cover your top surgery costs. 

While OHIP provides funding for genital and chest surgery, the requirements are quite different. For top surgery, you will need to have a surgeon submit a proper assessment form. This form contains all information suggesting that you have completed the three steps mentioned above.

While there is no certainty that your top surgery cost in Ontario will be covered by your insurance, completing these four steps will get you closer to that possibility.

The Most Affordable Top Surgery Cost in Ontario

Dr. Hugh A. McLean is an accomplished and reputable cosmetic surgeon servicing Mississauga, Ontario. With many successful clients, his well-rated top surgery procedures give patients the best results, so they can live the lives they truly want. If you’re worried about settling bills, we offer financing services so our clients can afford our top surgery cost in Ontario.

Call us today to book a free consultation.

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