Post-op Top Surgery Appearance

When pursuing chest reconstruction top surgery, formerly known as FTM top surgery, it is common to wonder about your post-op top surgery appearance. In this article, we describe the factors that affect your final outcome and what your chest may look like after breast reduction and chest reconstruction top surgery. We discuss how maintaining an exercise routine prior to surgery can help enhance your final outcome as well as how having changes in weight may affect your post top surgery chest appearance. Ultimately, having an in depth discussion with your surgeon about your goals and expectations can help you achieve satisfactory and realistic results.

It is not possible to determine exactly what your chest will look like post-surgery, but most patients are extremely satisfied with their chest after surgery. Ultimately, the final appearance of your chest will depend on a variety of factors such as your body type and level of skin elasticity (tightness), as well as the techniques used during surgery.

It can be helpful to learn about realistic expectations when considering chest reconstruction top surgery. Your chest probably won’t be “perfect,” but you can anticipate results that will match your body type. During your consultation, your surgeon will work with you to form realistic post-surgical expectations.

Additionally, you will have the opportunity to view our gallery of patient before and after photos to help set expectations. Not all people have identical chests. You should keep this in mind when viewing before and after photos. Looking at patients with a similar body type to your own will help you form realistic expectations.

Breast Reduction vs. Chest Reconstruction

Your final chest appearance will be highly dependent on the surgical technique that you and your surgeon choose during your consultation. Some patients choose breast reduction, which reduces the size of the breasts. If you choose this route, your chest will appear much flatter in clothing, but you will still retain some shape and overhang in the chest. Chest reconstruction completely removes all chest tissue material and results in a flatter, more conventionally “masculine”-appearing chest.

Ultimately, the best procedure for you will depend on your body type, goals, and preferences. Some patients first choose breast reduction and choose chest reconstruction later. While this surgical route is entirely possible, it is important to note that it may lead to more severe scarring.

Enhancing Outcomes with Weight Training

Our surgeons recommend weight training both before and after surgery if you desire a more muscular appearance. Following surgery there will be less fat on the surface of the muscle and it will be much easier to see well-developed muscle definition.

In the months leading up to your surgery, you can work on maintaining an exercise routine that focuses on chest exercises. 

Following surgery, you will need to take at least four weeks to recover. During this recovery period, you should avoid heavy lifting and rigorous cardiovascular exercise. Once at least a month has passed, you can gradually resume your normal exercise routine, but it will continue to be restricted for an additional eight weeks until you’ve reached a full recovery.

People who lift weights who have undergone a double incision chest reconstruction top surgery should avoid heavy chest workouts for even longer, up to three months, to avoid stretching the incision scars. Your surgeon  will be able to provide you with a more personalized timeline during your consultation.

Effects of Weight Gain

Chest reconstruction top surgery will give you permanent results. However, significant fluctuations in your weight may impact the appearance of your chest. In most cases, you would need to gain a great deal of weight for the chest contour to change substantially.

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