I had my chest surgery on January 14, 2004, at 9:45 am with Dr. Michael Brownstein (now retired) in San Francisco, CA. I tried to eat healthier in preparation for surgery, but I didn't do a perfect job by any means. Both my then-partner, who had surgery on the same day as me, and I tried to increase our protein intake at least somewhat, and started (again) having salad with dinner in every night and taking a multivitamin and Vitamin C every day. I tried to take up weightlifting, but I just didn't have time. That turned out to not matter at all. You absolutely do not need developed pecs to get good chest contour, if your surgeon is competent. Dr. Brownstein was very clear about that when I asked.
Pictures of my chest are here. None of them are remotely gory; they're of my scars, which are essentially two lines across my chest, and close-ups of my nipples so you can see how they were grafted on, and how they healed, but again, there's no blood or gross stuff at all.
BREAKDOWN OF COSTS
- Dr. Brownstein's fee (just for me): $4,750 -
- Surgical facility fee (just for me): $1,077 -
- Anesthesia fee (just for me): $800 -
- Pathology fee (just for me): $250 -
- 3 round-trip airline tickets: $940.35 -
- Hotel (for all three of us): $785.30 -
- Food, sightseeing, etc. (for all three of us): $452.00 -
- TOTAL: $9,054.65 -
TransBucket.com is by far the best place to look at peoples' surgery results - for bottom surgery as well as top, and Transfeminine as well as Transmasculine folks - and see how the different surgeons measure up.
Check out here for a crash course in the different types of top surgery available to Transmasculine folks, and exactly what they're about.
Some advice from folks who have had top surgery:
Have everything you're likely to need for the next few months - yes, months - within easy reach. Nothing high up on a shelf or in the back of a cupboard where you'd need to reach for it.
Take button-down pajamas and button-down shirts with you. You may not be able to get clothing up over your head after surgery, and you don't want to be raising your arms like that for a while after surgery anyway - keep your elbows below shoulder height for at least six weeks.
The hardest thing after surgery, especially for the first few days, will likely be just getting up and down from beds or chairs or whatever. You use your chest muscles for more than you think, and while your muscles weren't operated on, they're still going to be sore, and all the more so if you have drains in immediately after surgery. Doing workouts to strengthen your abdominal muscles prior to surgery may help make that easier, but you can't use your abs or your shoulders/arms without using your chest muscles at least a little. Don't panic! You will, in all likelihood, be able to use the toilet without help, lift a glass of water or a forkful of food, and get in and out of bed. Just take it easy and be very gentle with yourself as you heal.
Take some sort of baby wipes so you can keep clean during the time before you're allowed to shower again. Be careful of using them near the drain holes, though. People have got infections by getting too close. Try to get the flushable kind, which are less likely to contain alcohol or leave you feeling sticky.
Get bendable straws in case you're too sore to lift drinks the first couple of days.
Have videos handy to keep yourself, and anyone taking care of you, entertained. TV shows are ideal. When you're recovering and on heavy-duty pain medication, you're not likely to have the attention span for a two-hour film, but a 20-minute TV episode is perfect.
Get a loaf of bread and eat a slice every time you take a pain pill, even if you're not hungry or you just ate something else. The bread will help reduce or even eliminate nausea from the pain medication.
Anesthesia can take a long time to drain out of your body - up to a month or more, especially if you're sensitive to it. While it's draining from your body, it can cause significant depression. Talk to your doctor about getting a one-time prescription for antidepressants if this concerns you.
If you have scars, once the surgical tape is off your scars, rub cocoa butter on them to help them fade. (That's after you've used up whatever topical scar treatment your surgeon gave you, if any. You may be given a sample-size container of something like Kelocote or Mederma to start you off.)
If you have scars, keep your scars out of the sun for a year to prevent keloiding. If you must go out in the sun bare-chested, put white medical tape over your scars - not even the strongest sunscreen can do the job.