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How Common Is Regret After Top Surgery?

Posted by Dr. Hugh McLean on 22 August 2019
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Like any surgery, FTM/N top surgery is a big deal. After all, it is a major procedure where you have to undergo general anesthesia in order to alter your appearance. Unfortunately, it is relatively common for individuals who do decide to have this procedure done be told that they will one day regret it… but as most people will also tell you, this is incredibly rare.

How Common Is Regret After Top Surgery?

That being said, that does not mean there is no one out there who do not regret their decision to have top surgery. There are a variety of factors that can lead to regretting your FTM/N top surgery and its results. To help you avoid any of these negative feelings, we’ve compiled a list of questions you should ask yourself before scheduling your procedure.

Do You Have Realistic Expectations?

Making sure that you set yourself up with realistic expectations for your FTM/N top surgery is extremely important. While this responsibility is primarily on the surgeon to ensure you understand what to expect, some additional responsibility does fall onto the patient as well as their support team. Finding a stabilizing influence who can help you through the entire process and help diffuse unreasonable hopes and expectations.

Another great way to make sure you understand what results to expect is to look at before and after photos of other patients. Not only will seeing images be able to inform you of past results, but it will also provide you with insight into the surgeon’s abilities. You can use this information to decide whether or not the surgeon you are currently considering is right for you.

Have You Chosen the Right Procedure Type for You?

When it comes to selecting the right FTM/N top surgery procedure type for you, there are two options that you can choose from.

The first option is a double incision mastectomy. This procedure is recommended for anyone who has medium to large breasts with more of a significant overhang. For this procedure, two horizontal incisions are made across the chest along the top and bottom of the pectoral muscle. The breast tissue is then removed, as well as the nipple so it can be resized and repositioned on the chest for a more masculine aesthetic.

The second option is a keyhole or periareolar mastectomy. This procedure is for individuals with smaller breasts and tighter skin around their chests. Unlike the double incision mastectomy, in this surgery, the nipple is not removed. Alternatively, a small incision is made at the bottom of the areola, which is how the breast tissue is removed.

Your surgeon will be able to help you understand which procedure is best for you as well as all the associated risks and complications with both.

Are You Aware of All Potential Surgery Complications?

Regret after FTM/N top surgery is rarely ever related to transition regret, but more likely due to certain complications with the procedure or that the results are not optimal. Even then, there are many studies that prove that top surgery improves individuals’ self-esteem, mental health, body image, relationships and overall quality of life.

Any kind of surgical procedure poses its own list of risks and some of the more serious potential complications include infection, blood clots, or adverse reactions to anesthesia. Other factors that patients should keep in mind before undergoing FTM/N top surgery is that there will be visible scarring and reduced or loss of nipple sensation. Additionally, you may require further corrective surgery if there are certain complications.

Knowing these factors beforehand will reduce your chances of regretting your surgery and set you up to love your outcome so much more.

Did You Choose an Experienced Surgeon?

There is no denying that FTM/N top surgery is a big deal. Not just what it means physically, but what it potential means regarding one’s emotional and mental state. Making sure that you choose a doctor that you trust to do the best job possible will help ensure you do not regret your decision.

There are a variety of factors you can keep in mind when choosing your surgeon. Take into consideration their expertise, experience and specialization. Are they an expert in the procedure you are interested in having done? How long have they been performing it? What is there success rate?

Whenever you go into a consultation, make sure you come prepared with a list of questions you can ask your potential surgeon. This is a very overwhelming process and preparing a little beforehand can help ease the stress of it.

The simplest way to ensure that you will not risk regretting any aspect of your gender-affirming surgery is to make sure you do your research beforehand. This way, you can realistically set your expectations, make sure you have chosen the right procedure, know all potential surgical complications and have chosen the right doctor.

If you are interested in learning more about FTM/N top surgery, McLean Clinic can help! Dr. McLean is incredibly experienced in this field and has been performing top surgeries for over two decades. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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