This content will first compare different top surgery incisions, and chest contouring techniques that are generally perceived as producing a binary male appearing chest. From there, we’ll explore how those same techniques can be modified to better suit the needs of someone who identifies as FTN (female to non-binary). If you’re generally unfamiliar with non-binary or haven’t heard of gender neutral top surgery as a viable option, please read the introduction to non-binary top surgery so you can get the most out of the content below.
Binary Male Appearing Chest Incisions
For patients interested in having a binary male appearing chest, there are some modifications to the shapes of incisions that could achieve this listed below:
Curved incision example
Straight incision example
Diagonal incision example
Less Binary (or Non-Binary) Appearing Chest Incisions
Below are a few incisions requests we’ve received from patients who are interested in having more non-binary appearing incisions.
It’s important to note that the fish mouth procedure results in an incision across the very center of the chest horizontally. This could be a very popular non-binary procedure choice as most people don’t view the post-surgical results as a chest that was developed through an estrogenic or androgenic pubertal development period.
Fish Mouth incision example
Areola excision top surgery results in two horizontal scars about three times the length of the previous areola in the center of the chest. This procedure is ideal for patients who would also qualify for keyhole or periareolar incisions who do not want their nipples or areolas in their final surgery result and who are interested in a less binary post-surgical result.
Areola Excision example
Binary Male Appearing
A typical masculine chest has a fairly uniform requirement for contour. There should be a uniform thickness of tissue throughout the entire chest area, matching the surrounding regions which are beyond the area of surgery. Meaning:
Degrees of fullness, mildly full, examples
Degrees of fullness, moderately full, examples
In cases where a patient has a particular wish regarding the exact amount of chest tissue to be left over, I highly advise them to bring in photos of bodies that have the amount of chest tissue that they would be hoping to have at the conclusion of surgery. This helps to avoid any misunderstandings regarding what the procedures can offer and what the limitations of each procedure type are for a given body type are.
Depending on the level of customization you are interested in to achieve a result that feels/appears most non-binary to you, here’s additional content on non-binary nipple and areola options.
To learn more about Dr. Mosser’s approach to non-binary surgery, check out the video below of his talk at the Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference in 2019. This video covers how Dr. Mosser helping gender-expansive people achieve their gender-affirming surgery goals.