Seeking ftm top surgery recommendations!
August 15, 2013 2:18 PM   Subscribe

I am beginning to seriously look into ftm top surgery (double mastectomy for a more masculine chest) within the next couple of years. I would like your recommendations of surgeons to look into. If you or someone you know has had a good (or bad!) experience, please let me know. Looking for names, locations, ballpark cost, and any specific requirements I should know about.

If this influences your answer:

-- I am in the SF bay area, and I'd like to stay local (where local is defined as "Bay area, San Jose, and Sacramento and outlying areas we could drive to in 8 hours or less"), but I will travel anywhere. I'd rather not go international unless the service is exceptional and significantly cheaper. I am less likely to have support from family or friends if I have to travel (I'm nobody's dependent, so taking additional time off work to care for me might be hard.)

-- I would prefer to work with surgeons who follow an informed-consent model, but I will work with surgeons who require permission from a therapist/GP if they're otherwise the best choice.

-- Less expensive is better, but I understand that good work costs.

-- I would prefer to maintain nerve function in my chest, even at the expense of masculine appearance. I am somewhere around a C-cup, so I am aware that minimally-invasive techniques are probably not for me, but I know some surgeons have multiple options. I don't care about minimizing scars; I'm not trying to "pass" perfectly with my shirt off.

Thanks for your advice and suggestions!
posted by blnkfrnk to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You're in the bay area? You want Brownstein & Crane. They have a great reputation and have been in the business a long time. I'm having surgery with them in December -- memail me if you want more details.
posted by dorque at 3:03 PM on August 15, 2013

And now that I have more than 30 seconds to write a response, some more thoughts:

- There aren't really any options that I know of other than keyhole/peri and double incision, and at a C-cup I don't think you're a candidate for peri, which is what gives you the best chance at retaining nerve function. FWIW, I don't think you're supposed to lose overall nerve function even with a double-incision surgery -- it's mainly the nipples you lose, because of the grafts.

- Most surgeons require you to be around about a week post-surgery for some followup care that isn't optional, so plan for that.

- Brownstein & Crane's office have been great in email communication with me; really respectful, quick to follow up when I had questions, and generally really helpful. Brownstein was one of the first surgeons in the country to do FTM top surgery regularly, and Crane is his hand-trained successor now that Brownstein's retired. They really know their stuff.

- They do require a letter which conforms to the current WPATH standards of care.

- I'd rather not post my quoted cost here in public (no reason really, just my own weird money hangups), but I'm happy to tell you via memail if you're curious.
posted by dorque at 3:26 PM on August 15, 2013

Check your me-mail.
posted by hoyland at 3:29 PM on August 15, 2013

And if for some reason you end up not wanting to go with B&C, the other two big names that get thrown around a lot in the FTM community are Fischer (in Baltimore) and Medalie (in Cleveland).
posted by dorque at 3:29 PM on August 15, 2013

As dorque says, Dr Brownstein's retired (a relative had keyhole surgery with him a couple of years ago, and it turned out great). Presumably his expertise lives on in his partner and their office was very helpful and communicative.
posted by pickingupsticks at 7:45 AM on August 16, 2013

I realize this is an old thread, but for reference - there is at least one surgeon who uses a different technique than most others, aimed at maintaining/preserving nipple sensation. Basically, they leave the nipple attached to nerves/blood supply during surgery as opposed to taking it off and grafting it on again. Dr. Steinwald in Chicago is the main name I've heard in connection with this method. (His website says he uses a variation on the "Inferior Pedicle/Wise-Pattern approach to breast reduction. This is designed to keep the nipple attached to its natural blood/nerve supply, and therefore preserve nipple-areolar complex viability and sensation as best possible.")

I believe this is the same technique as what's described as "T-anchor" in this post.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:51 PM on October 30, 2013

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