Introduction to Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS)
It is important that we feel comfortable in our bodies so we can live our best lives. For many transgenders, gender dysphoria is an obstruction to this goal. Achieving aesthetic facial features that align with what are traditional hallmarks of femininity can bridge this disconnect. Noteably, cisgender women may also experience similar sentiments of desiring a more feminine appearance. Creating feminine features allows for a beautiful outward expression that is harmonious with how one feels internally.
What is Facial Feminization Surgery?
The biological construction of female faces tend to have lower hairlines, higher eyebrows, softer nasal aesthetics, fuller cheeks and lips, and more narrow jaws, in comparison to males’. Many of the contour and highlight points of the female versus male face oppose each other. However, everyone has a unique set of features that need to be properly evaluated. Then, the patients’ desired alterations require high attention to detail in surgical planning. Dr. Jay Calvert will be attentive to your wishes and construct a surgical plan which provides gratifying results.
Facial feminization surgery entails a comprehensive array of procedures to transform facial features and introduce softer characteristics. Your facial feminization surgery plan may include one or multiple of these procedures:
An isolated rhinoplasty can have a drastic impact on facial feminization. A feminine nose is often characterized by a profile dorsum which has a gentle curvature. Typically, masculine noses have straight line dorsums or have humps. Additionally, another defining feature of female versus male noses is the degree of tip rotation. This is how upturned the nose is. Overall, the width, length, and projection of the nose in relation to the face are also key features.
Dr. Jay Calvert’s approach to rhinoplasty is from an architectural perspective. He has pioneered a number of rhinoplasty techniques that utilize autologous cartilages. This means using materials harvested from the patient, to mitigate post-op infection and complications. His expertise in structural rhinoplasty creates aesthetically pleasing and lasting results. A rhinoplasty with Dr. Jay Calvert will provide major improvement to your confidence and self image. Having performed over 5,000 rhinoplasties, he has become a connoisseur at delivering elegant results that will enhance your feminine beauty. Furthermore, not only will you achieve your desired aesthetic that aligns with your internal femininity, but also any functional deficits will be corrected with your rhinoplasty. During your facial feminization rhinoplasty consult, Dr. Jay Calvert will spend ample time to understand your aesthetic wishes and evaluate anatomical deformities.
Facial Rejuvenation + Facelift
A facelift is a powerful procedure performed in combination with any other facial feminization procedures to refresh and rejuvenate the face. A facelift is an effective tool to combat indications of aging such as under eye hollowness, cheek descent, deep nasolabial folds, and jowls. As the face ages, a boxy appearance of the lower face emerges. In the process of restoring youth, a feminine heart shape is restored in women. For male to female transgender patients, a facelift can accentuate the shape of the face following other structural re-contouring procedures.
There are multiple components to a facial rejuvenation and facelift. Dr. Jay Calvert will analyze whether any one of these surgeries can be performed alone, or if a combination of these will fare more harmonious results.
Lower face and neck
An obvious indicator of aging is jowls, which compromises the contour of the jaw and creates a box shaped face. Age and gravity also diminishes the tautness of the lower face skin and soft tissue, contributing to this problem.
Dr. Jay Calvert does not believe in the extensive advertising and emphasis placed on the name of facelift techniques. Simply, a deep plane facelift, which entails dissecting the skin and superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) as a composite flap, has been providing aesthetically pleasing results for Dr. Jay Calvert’s patients. This technique targets the problematic underlying structures, rather than only adjusting the superficial layers. This allows for powerful contouring of the facial framework without looking overly operated. Therefore, this is an asset to enhancing natural feminine features and/or those created by other facial feminization procedures. Plus, the incision sites Dr. Jay Calvert makes are inconspicuous, hidden behind the tragus, behind the ear, and in the hairline.
The area below the chin (submental region) and neck are also typically worked on during a face lift (neck lift). Patients oftentimes will request a neck lift due to unsightly platysmal bands and loose skin. The final result entails a tightened and smooth appearance. Commonly, adjunctive liposuction of the submental region is incorporated to further narrow the contour.
When age and gravity takes effect, the cheeks will descend and cause under eye hollowness, heaviness of the lower cheek, and prominent nasolabial folds. Therefore, a midface lift is performed to restore volume to the upper cheeks and to erase sagginess of the lower eyelids.
Notably, if the lower eyelids are particularly profound, a lower blepharoplasty will be performed in conjunction. During this procedure, he releases the orbicularis retaining ligament to allow the herniated fat that causes the under eye hollowness and bulging, to spill over and camouflage the lid-cheek junction.
Typically, Dr. Jay Calvert will also pair a midface lift with an endoscopic brow lift. This allows for complete harmony of the upper face by also elevating the brows.
As a part of facial feminization, it is important to have vigor of the cheek volume and brow positioning above the supraorbital rim. These features can be successfully achieved with a midface lift and adjuvant blepharoplasty and brow lift.
Facial feminization can be achieved by augmentation of the cheeks, lips, temporal fossa, forehead, and chin. Augmentation can be performed to simply add volume and/or to improve contour and definition. The feminine characteristic that can be achieved are:
- More full and round cheeks
- Increased lip volume, definition, and pink show
- Volume in the temporal fossa. A fuller versus sunken appearance is consistent with females
- Fuller forehead with more blunt supraorbital rims
- Tapered chin with proper highlight points
Augmentation is typically performed with synthetic implants. Nowadays, there is a wide array of options to meet your specific needs. Alternatively, fat grafting is a viable and fruitful option for introducing volume to the face. Dr. Jay Calvert will work with you to tailor a surgical plan that is appropriate to your aesthetic desires and unique anatomy
Tracheal shave (chondrolaryngoplasty)
The Adam’s apple (laryngeal prominence) is a distinct male feature. A tracheal shave is a straightforward procedure, in which the cartilage prominence is removed without traumatizing any other structures.
The forehead is an obvious gender marker. Males have prominent bossa, which is a protrusion of the supraorbital rim. Reduction and contouring provides powerful feminization transformation.
Jaw contouring & chin contouring (genioplasty)
A feminine jaw has a gentle curve from the ear to the chin. Whereas, the male jaw has a sharp mandibular angle and square shape. The respective shape of females’ chins taper to a single, narrow point. On the other hand, males tend to have wider, square shaped chins. During a facial feminization jaw contouring surgery and genioplasty, the feminine contour is traced and shaving is performed accordingly.
Who is a Good Candidate for Facial Feminization Surgery
Facial feminization surgery is an option for anyone (cisgender, transgender, or non binary) who wishes to minimize masculine features and enhance/obtain a more feminine appearance. Facial feminization surgery can include anywhere from one facial procedure, to modifying every feature. Your plan is highly customizable, and Dr. Jay Calvert will listen and to help you transform into the best version of yourself. His tremendous experience and expertise in these procedures inform him of the limitations of each procedure and the combination of procedures that can be performed at once. So, while he strives to ensure you become the best you, he also is careful to prevent complications and postoperative distress. A good candidate for having facial feminization surgery should be certain of her feminine transformation, be willing to consider the surgeon’s opinion of the best course of treatment, and have realistic expectations of the results.
Read this guide to learn more about facial feminization surgery and if you are a good candidate.