FTM top surgery can be a transformational moment in a person’s life. Its ability to reduce dysphoria and improve a transgender person’s quality of life has been seen time and time again. If you’re looking into FTM top surgery for chest masculinization, it’s best to know as much as possible about the procedure beforehand.

The Procedure

Typically, FTM takes around three to four hours to perform. The exact time will vary according to a number of factors, including the amount of tissue to be removed and the techniques used.

At the start of your FTM top surgery, general anesthesia will be administered in order to keep you comfortable and free of any pain during the procedure.

Once the anesthesia has fully taken effect, Dr. Schnitt will create incisions in order to perform the surgery. There are a number of incision options for the procedure, and these will be discussed as part of your consultation. Each option has its own pros and cons.

Double Incision: This technique is Dr. Schnitt’s specialty. It is the most commonly used technique and is quite effective for medium and larger breasts. During it, horizontal incisions are created below the patient’s pectoral muscles and then tissue is removed for a more masculine chest. The nipples and areolae are carefully removed, resized, and grafted onto the new chest.

Inverted-T: This technique is notable in that it preserves nipple sensation and avoids nipple grafting. During it, horizontal incisions are made below the pectoral muscles, with additional incisions around the areolae and down to meet the horizontal incisions. This allows the nipple-areolar complex to be repositioned without grafting.

Peri-Areolar: During this technique, two concentric circles are made around each areola. The tissue between these two incisions is removed.

Keyhole: During this technique, an incision is made along the bottom border of the lower half of the areola. Tissue is then removed. This technique is best for patients with smaller breasts.

Once the procedure is complete, the incisions are closed with the help of surgical sutures.


As part of your consultation, Dr. Schnitt will give you post-surgical care directions that you must follow very closely. This will lead to a lower chance of complications during the healing process.

It will be important to arrange beforehand for a friend or family member to bring you home after the procedure, as you will not be able to drive yourself home. This person should stay with you for at least a day after the procedure in order to help out while you rest and recover.

For around four to six weeks, stay away from any physically taxing activities, including your regular exercise routine and heavy lifting. Raising your arms over your head should also be avoided during this time.

Pain-control medication will be prescribed. You will also need to wear a post-surgical elastic garment around your chest for three to six weeks. This garment helps your skin better conform to the area’s new contours and controls post-surgical swelling.

Contact Us to Learn More

Dr. Drew Schnitt is a board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schnitt to discuss your FTM top surgery, contact our office today.