The forehead has been regarded as the most gender-defining region of the face. Cis-females tend to have lower hairlines, flat to smooth forehead contour with eyebrows that sit above the orbital rims, while cis-males are recognized by longer foreheads commonly combined with frequent hair-loss patterns, and “bossing” where the frontal sinus resides accompanied by eyebrows that sit lower along the on the more prominent orbital rims. There are several procedures that can lead to your desired appearance:
- Hairline advancement: Reducing the length of the forehead by advancing the hairline is an important aspect in feminizing the overall appearance of the face.
- Brow lift: Raising the eyebrows above the orbital rims is an important aspect in feminizing the overall appearance of the face.
- Frontal bone reduction: Reducing the relative projection of the frontal bone and orbital rims are an important aspect in feminizing the overall appearance of the face.
Nose, jaw and throat procedures
- Rhinoplasty: The nose is the most prominent and central feature of the face. It also is responsible for one of the most important aspects of life: breathing. While noses vary widely in shapes and sizes, there are a number of gender-defining features confined to the nose. Altering the appearance of the nose, often combined with improving nasal breathing, can play an important part in balancing the overall appearance of the face.
- Jaw Augmentation/Reduction: The jaw is frequently an area cited for dysphoria in many trans and gender non-conforming individuals. Wider angles and more prominent chins tend to confer a more masculine appearance, while smaller proportions are more feminizing. Increasing the size of the jaw can be an important aspect in masculinizing the overall appearance of the face.
- Thyroid Cartilage Shave: The neck, and more specifically the “Adam’s apple” is frequently an area cited for dysphoria in many trans and gender non-conforming individuals. The prominence is actually a cartilage that composes and important part of the voice box. Reducing the size of the thyroid cartilage can be an important aspect in feminizing one’s overall appearance.
What to know before starting your surgery journey:
- Review your medical history. Be prepared to answer questions about current and past medical conditions. Talk about any medications you're taking, or you have taken recently, as well as any surgeries you've had. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications. If your desire for a procedure is related to gender dysphoria, your doctor will likely ask detailed questions about your transition journey. Ensure you alert your physician if you have a history of sinus infections or prior sinus surgery.
- Plan to take at least a week off from strenuous activities and work. You will be given restrictions on weightlifting limits and instructions to help reduce complications.
- Stop smoking. Smoking decreases blood flow in the skin and can slow the healing process. In addition, smoking increases the risk of tissue damage. If you smoke, your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking before surgery and during recovery.
- Avoid certain medications. You'll likely need to avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding. Stopping hormone therapy is generally not required. Please discuss with your surgeon.
- Discuss your expectations. Explain why you want a certain procedure, and what you're hoping for in terms of appearance. Make sure you understand the benefits and risks, including scarring.
- Arrange for help during recovery. Make plans for someone to drive you home after you leave the hospital and stay with you for at least the first night of your recovery at home.
Why Choose Ohio State for gender affirming facial surgeries?
Ohio State is among one of the first academic institutions focusing on gender affirming care of the head and neck. Our facial plastic surgeons have dedicated a large portion of their careers to providing care to this underserved population with focus on improving experiences and outcomes of our patients. We work in a multidisciplinary capacity to provide holistic and comprehensive care to trans and gender-nonconforming individuals, recognizing the unique experiences of our patients when developing treatment plans.