Facial Feminization Surgery: An Introduction

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Welcome to Informing Consent’s first entry in our video blog on medical and legal gender transition.  This week, we’re taking our first look at a complicated procedure for trans women and transfeminine folks: facial feminization surgery, or FFS for short.

FFS does not refer to a single procedure, but rather a collection of procedures, ranging from hairline advancement to rhinoplasty (nose job) to Adam’s apple shaving and more.  Usually, a doctor will perform multiple procedures in one surgery.  As a result, FFS can mean a lot of time in the operating room: up to 12 hours, in some cases.

In this week’s video, Dr. Thomas Satterwhite gives us an overview of FFS, and discusses how a patient and doctor decide which procedures to include in the surgery.  “I certainly have some patients come in and say, ‘I want everything done,'” explains Dr. Satterwhite.  “And I have other patients who are more concerned with certain aspects of their face.  I recall one patient who said, ‘You can do whatever you want, but don’t touch my nose, because my nose is a part of me, it’s part of my family, it’s part of my heritage.’  It’s what’s important to you and what your particular goals and wishes are that are of utmost importance.”

Check out the video to learn more, and keep an eye out for many more FFS videos in the near future.

Note: our videos are captioned in English. To access the captions, hit the CC button on the bottom right of the video.