Having a mammoplasty, whether to remove or implant breasts, is one of the main decisions for anyone who identifies as trans. Generally speaking, those who understand themselves as non-binary or transgender men and are considering undergoing the procedure have the option of removing or reducing the size of their breasts. On the other hand, those who understand themselves as a transgender woman can have implants to enlarge the bust region. While the process is important - after all, it is part of many people's identities - it is normal for it to cause a little fear and uncertainty. So, think carefully about the idea and talk to one or more doctors and trustworthy people to see if you are prepared or prepared.
Method 1 of 2: Preparing yourself mentally and emotionally
Step 1. Determine if you have a Gender Dysphoria picture
Gender dysphoria is characterized by a constant state of dissatisfaction caused by the incompatibility between a person's gender identity and biological sex. Think about whether you fit this parameter - and, most importantly, whether it generates a strong desire to change the way your breasts look. See examples:
- A person who was born female but identifies as a non-binary or transgender male may want to hide, tie or even remove the breasts.
- A person who is born a male but identifies as a transgender woman may want to accentuate the appearance of the breasts, such as with padded bras.
- Many surgeons and even some health plans ask that patients interested in having sex reassignment surgery prove, with technical and psychological reports, that they have gender dysphoria. Talk to a doctor or therapist (if you have any such treatments) about how you feel about your body.
Did you know?
Not all transgender people have dysphoria, and everyone has the right to decide how far they want to go in terms of surgical procedures. Gender identity does not cease to be valid just because there is no intention to undergo physical changes.
Step 2. Reflect on how dysphoria affects your quality of life
Living with a picture of gender dysphoria can be extremely complicated. Consider whether you feel or have symptoms of stress, anxiety, or depression due to the way your breasts look. If so, it may be time to consider surgery - especially if other methods of fighting dysphoria, such as using binders or estrogen injections, do not have the expected effect.
Try to put together a list of specific ways you think surgery will improve your life. For example: include items like "My self-esteem will improve" and "I won't have to use binders anymore"
Step 3. Try to build a broad support network
Whenever you decide to have any more drastic surgical procedure, whatever it is, it is important to have the emotional (and even practical) support of the important people in your life. Think of family and friends you can turn to in times of need before surgery. Then talk to them and find out what each is willing to do.
- For example, ask your brother or sister if one of them could make your decisions for you during your hospital stay, and ask a friend who is willing to listen to you about the procedure.
- If you don't have family or friends you can count on, talk to a trusted doctor or your therapist and ask for referrals from support groups for people who are trans or who have gender dysphoria.
Step 4. See a therapist who can help you deal with mental issues
Going through a mammoplasty is a very personal decision. As such, it may be worth talking to a therapist to discuss the mental, emotional, and even physical aspects of the procedure. This can contain some of the stress associated with the surgery, and it can help you make a more informed decision about the issue. If necessary, talk to your trusted doctor and ask if he has referrals for psychologists.
- Transgenderism and gender dysphoria are not mental disorders. However, many trans people develop conditions such as depression and anxiety because of the prejudice they suffer in their daily lives and the confusion they end up feeling. If this happens, remember that you are not alone or alone and that there are always treatment options for mental conditions.
- A therapist is the best person to help you set positive and realistic goals in terms of transition, as well as talk about the emotional aspects of the surgery and the recovery process.
Step 5. Understand your gender identity well before surgery
A mammoplasty is quite a step, as it permanently alters the body. If you find you have dysphoria, explore your gender expression and look for ways to make peace with that reality. This will all make your decision easier. Therefore, before actually opting for the surgery, think carefully if you really want to undergo the procedure. Even if it seems like the ideal path, it's always better to be sure - even if you need to think about it for a while longer.
- Some surgeons and health plans impose certain requirements on patients who intend to undergo mammoplasty, such as living with the gender they identify with for a specific period. However, this is more common with those seeking sex reassignment.
- Waiting, even for a while, can be a real torture for someone who has a very serious picture of gender dysphoria. If that's the case, talk to your therapist, trusted doctor, and family and friends and explain what's happening to you.
Step 6. Ask people who have had surgery for tips and advice
If you know a person who has undergone mammoplasty, they can be a valuable source of information in your decision-making process. If you don't know anyone in particular, look for contacts in support groups or do an internet search (on social media, for example). Here are some interesting questions:
- "What do you think would be important to know before surgery?"
- "How was your healing and recovery period?"
- "Were you satisfied (or satisfied) with the result of the surgery?"
- "Did you suffer discrimination or were you the victim of any attacks because of the surgery?"
Step 7. Get a psychological report before having the surgery
Before you can have the surgery (through your health plan, for example), you need a report from the psychologist that indicates that you are fully capable of undergoing the procedure. That's why therapeutic follow-up is so important, as this professional even helps in the treatment of a series of anxiety, stress and related problems. The report may include, among others:
- Information about your dysphoria, including how long you have had the condition.
- Details about other possible mental health conditions and how you treat them.
- An opinion from the psychologist regarding your understanding of the risks and benefits of the procedure, as well as ways in which it will improve your quality of life.
- Information about your support system.
Step 8. Think of external factors that could impact the surgery
As stated, undergoing mammoplasty is a complex decision that is usually influenced by factors such as dysphoria or, at the very least, discomfort related to the breasts. However, you may need to take other factors into account, such as waiting for a vacancy in the SUS, taking a vacation from work to recover at home, etc.
Some health plans cover all (or almost all) of the surgery expenses
Step 9. Do what you feel you should
You can seek tips and advice from doctors, mental health professionals, friends and family, but in the end it's 100% your decision. Only continue the process if it seems the best for your life.
Again, the decision whether or not to have the surgery is 100% yours - and you have the right to change your mind. Think hard and don't be influenced by what others think is right
Method 2 of 2: Taking care of every medical part
Step 1. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of surgery
Before you undergo a mammoplasty, make an appointment with your doctor or surgeon and discuss the details of the procedure. He can explain the steps of the surgery, the period of healing and recovery, how the post-operative works and what the possible complications are, as well as showing what the realistic results are.
- The procedure is serious and presents a series of risks and possible complications, such as bleeding, infections, permanent scarring and accumulation of blood and other fluids at the site of the procedure. Augmentation mammoplasty carries these same risks, but it can also cause asymmetry in the breasts or even leakage and displacement of the implants.
- Look for a doctor who has experience in this specific type of surgery.
Step 2. Discuss different types of surgery with your doctor
During the consultation, the doctor will indicate which is the best procedure for your physical type and your post-operative goals. Each type of incision has its pros and cons, and there are several factors that determine which one is ideal: the final size of your breasts, the level of elasticity and firmness, and the sensitivity of your nipples, and so on.
Talk specifically about the types of incisions your doctor can use during surgery
Step 3. Perform a general checkup
Before the actual surgery, your doctor will want to confirm that you are in proper health. Therefore, make a check-up and all exams that he recommends.
- Talk to your doctor if you have any serious health problems or if your family has a history of conditions such as heart disease, hemophilia, or breast cancer.
- If you have a serious problem, treat it (or, at the very least, ease the symptoms) before the procedure.
- Explain to the doctor what medications, vitamins or supplements you take - as they can have an effect on mammoplasty.
Step 4. Take all necessary exams
In addition to the physical check-up, the doctor may order tests to rule out other possible problems. Despite this, not every surgeon has this requirement with younger and healthier patients. If it happens to you, be prepared to do one or more of the following examples:
- Blood test.
- Basic metabolic panel.
- Blood count.
- Examination of liver enzymes.
Step 5. Stop smoking
If you smoke, cut off all nicotine consumption, in whatever form, for at least three weeks before and six weeks after your mammoplasty. If necessary, talk to your doctor and ask for tips on strategies that will help you control your addiction in time.
Also avoid consuming alcohol and any recreational drugs, whether legal or illegal, in the weeks before and after surgery. Things like that can affect the body's reaction to anesthesia and increase the risk of serious complications
Step 6. Maintain a healthy weight to reduce the risks of surgery
Being overweight or having a high body mass index (BMI) can pose risks not only to anesthesia and post-surgical recovery, but also to the overall outcome of the procedure. Talk to your doctor or see a nutritionist who can help you set healthy goals before surgery.
Eating healthy meals and exercising frequently before surgery are two strategies that facilitate the healing and recovery period
Step 7. Wait until you are of legal age to make legal decisions
In general, only those over 18 years of age are legally competent to decide on mammoplasty and other types of procedures. If this is not your case, you will need your parent's or guardian's permission for anything of the sort.
Furthermore, there are surgeons who prefer not to perform such radical surgeries on minors, even when there is permission from their parents or guardians
- It is unlikely that your health plan will cover all the costs of the procedure and surgery. Be prepared to invest heavily in this journey - and, if possible, do all the financial planning beforehand so you don't get scared.
- You do not need to be treated with hormones before having a mammoplasty, but they can optimize the results of the procedure (especially if you are transitioning to non-binary or transgender men). In any case, discuss your decision with the doctor first.