Body Masculinization Procedures

man_body_largeTraditionally, the ideal male physique includes a broad and defined upper torso, trim waist, and minimal fat in the lower body area—in short, a classic “V-shaped” figure. While top surgery and hormone therapy combined with diet and weight-training exercise are helpful options for trans men who wish to obtain a more masculine physique, certain areas of fat storage such as the hips, legs, and buttocks can be difficult to change through diet and exercise alone. Body masculinization surgery (BMS) is an ideal procedure for trans men who would like to obtain a more masculine contour throughout the upper and lower body. While everyone is different, many patients who have undergone BMS report greater satisfaction with their appearance and improved self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth.

While testosterone is produced by both males and females, males have higher levels of this hormone in their bodies. The effects of testosterone are responsible for the physical qualities that we typically think of as masculine, such as body hair. Thanks to testosterone, genetic men tend to store fat in the middle of the body, around the waist and abdomen. Similarly, estrogen causes genetic women to carry weight in their hips, thighs, and buttocks. A waist-to-hip ratio of 0.9 is considered most attractive in men, while a ratio of 0.7 is preferred for women.

Body masculinization surgery is achieved by performing liposuction in the upper and lower body. Liposuction is a very safe procedure that uses a suction tool to remove unwanted fat. Areas that may be targeted during BMS include the flanks, inner and outer thighs, upper body, chest, back, and/or buttocks; performing liposuction in these areas can reduce the “hourglass” shape that is a defining female characteristic and lend a fit, masculine appearance to the physique.

During liposuction, tiny incisions are made in the area targeted for treatment. Because the incisions are so small, liposuction is considered a nearly “scar-less” procedure. A surgical tube called a cannula is inserted into the incisions and used to loosen and remove unwanted fat by vacuum suction. Absorbable sutures may be used to close the incisions, or they may be left open to allow excess water to drain from the body and prevent the formation of unwanted pockets of fluid. A tight compression garment, or “girdle”, will also be worn following the procedure; this garment will help to reduce swelling and aid in the overall healing process. In order to ensure the very best results from your BMS, it is essential to wear the girdle according to your surgeon’s instructions.

The total duration of surgery depends upon how much fat is being removed, and how many areas are being treated. Because it is such a safe procedure, liposuction/BMS is typically performed while the patient is awake, using a local anesthetic. However, general anesthesia may be used in some cases. Most patients require about one week to recover from liposuction, although every patient is different. Light walking during the recovery period can help to prevent complications from occurring, but strenuous exercise should be avoided for several weeks during the post-surgical period. Some swelling, bruising, and pain is to be expected for a few weeks following the procedure. Additionally, some patients may require a secondary procedure if loose skin or uneven contours are noted in the treatment area. BMS/liposuction is generally offered on an outpatient basis, and your nurse will provide you with detailed recovery instructions prior to discharge from the Trans Center.

Because every patient is unique, the surgeons at the International Center for Transgender Care don’t believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Instead, we opt to work with each patient to design a unique treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. Our surgeons are not only highly skilled technically, but have the aesthetic and artistic awareness to know what constitutes a masculine physique. During the preoperative consultation, your surgeon will take the time to discuss and understand your goals for body masculinization surgery. He will also perform a physical exam of the upper and lower body and answer any questions you might have about BMS/liposuction and the recovery process.

Although most trans men are very happy with the results of their BMS, no surgery is without risk. While serious complications are rare, these can include fluid build-up, infection, blood clots, or nerve damage. For this reason, it’s important to choose a highly skilled and experienced surgeon for your BMS/liposuction. It is important that trans men understand the risks and benefits of BMS and have realistic expectations going into surgery. While BMS can provide you with a more masculine appearance, results may not be “perfect”. For best results, you should continue with any hormone therapy, diet, and exercise regimens as prescribed.

Body masculinization surgery is an important component of the female-to-male transition, offering many physical and psychological benefits for the trans man. Because BMS is such a significant procedure, it is paramount to work with only the most expert surgeons. At the International Center for Transgender Care, our board-certified surgeons have more than 20 years of experience treating transgender patients. We are proud to offer all of our services in a respectful, welcoming environment at our world-class surgical center in Dallas, Texas. We look forward to assisting you in achieving the very best possible results for your BMS. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or call us at (972) 543-2477.

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