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Introduction to Gender-Affirming Top Surgery

The process of learning about top surgery options can be overwhelming.  This summary page will provide a thorough overview of the different sections of this website and help you make your way through the learning process.Think of this page as something of an annotated site map – and then click on the links to access the information described below.

Top surgery is also called chest masculinization, breast augmentation, breast feminization, etc., depending on the type of surgery being done and what communities you are involved in. We use the terms “chest reconstruction top surgery” and “breast augmentation” as these are non-gendered terms that we hope are acceptable and affirming for a broad range of people seeking these surgeries. We use the term “top surgery” as an umbrella term for chest reconstruction top surgery and breast augmentation.

At its core, top surgery is defined as a variety of procedures which alter the characteristics of the chest to affirm the patient’s desired aesthetic and functional outcomes.This means a significant reduction or removal of breast tissue or a breast augmentation to make the chest appear larger and change the contour of the breasts. 

Wonderful resources on the internet explore the experience and nuances of being transgender, which is a discussion beyond the scope of this website.This website deals mainly with the components of gender confirming surgery.

Top Surgery

Chest reconstruction top surgery is a procedure that removes breast tissue to create a smaller or flatter chest. A breast augmentation is a procedure that can enhance and increase the size of the chest.

General Top Surgery Information

For someone thinking about chest reconstruction top surgery or breast augmentation there are several considerations. Numerous procedures are available, and the decision among the procedure types can feel overwhelming.We have put a description of the major types of top surgery procedures on this summary page and on a separate page there is a description of how you choose your top surgery incision based on your body’s anatomy. And, if you want to geek out (like Dr. Mosser does) and dig into how these procedures actually work, we have digitally animated videos about top surgery techniques here, with an ever-growing library.

Top surgery and breast augmentation are not the only procedure or the only gender confirming surgeries we do – though they are the most requested.There are other procedures available, such as gender-focused body contouring or facial surgery, and even trusted referrals to other providers who perform genital gender confirming surgery as well.

People of all different genders will undergo all different types of surgeries available; surgical decision-making is highly individual, and it is up to the individual to determine what their gender is. Gender is a component of self-knowledge and not determined by others or by surgical choice.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, it’s a good idea to schedule a virtual or in-person consultation In the meantime, as you get closer to surgery ,you can read our resources on preparing for top surgery and recovery.

Insurance Approval for Top Surgery:

It is important to recognize that while insurance plans are increasingly covering gender confirming surgical procedures, not all do.Companies that do provide coverage often have confusing preauthorization requirements.Therefore, understanding this somewhat daunting process can be part of the challenge patients face. We have laid out a full description of the transgender surgery insurance approval process for you. In fact, we have a full-time member of our team called our Insurance Concierge, who will take this off your hands entirely and keep you informed as they works toward getting your surgery approved by insurance.

Hopefully this short overview has given you an idea of the resources we think are most helpful.We believe in you, and we believe in the transgender, nonbinary, and gender expansive community. Please reach out to us via the contact us page for anything we can do to help.

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