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Secrets PG-13
FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 26327, member since Fri Aug 03, 2001
On Tue May 03, 2011 09:07 PM

Hello. I've had quite a few questions about female-to -male surgery, but I was too shy to ask anyone. So right now, please don't judge me because there's no way you can do that without knowing the full story, and I can't tell the full story without boring everybody...

I'm a short and thin woman with a feminine face, a feminine voice, and a straight sexuality. I wear light makeup and dresses. I like men (although I like thin men with little body hair). But I just can't stand the fact that I have a bit of a chest and hips that look wide compared to my waist.

I'm out of college in a few weeks, and I've saved enough money for FTM chest reconstruction surgery. However, I just have some more questions. Please don't tell me to see a psychiatrist or tell me that curves are beautiful. I'm way past that.

So, here's a list:

1) The post-surgery pictures I've seen show plump people with huge scars. When do the scars go away? Is there any way I can get a chest like this?
27.media.tumblr.com . . .

2) Do female-to-male transgenders have wide hips? Is there a surgery to decrease hip size?

3) I am really, really thin. If I don't get any surgery from the waist down, can I deliver a healthy baby? Can I try a C-section?

4) If my ovaries are removed, will my estrogen level drop so low that my bones suffer? Will I grow thicker body hair and develop a deeper voice?

5)Is there any way I can lower estrogen levels after childbirth (assuming I only want to be pregnant once) and somehow get narrow hips that don't sway?

Thank you so much for not judging me. Please offer what insight you have; I would greatly appreciate it!

40 Replies to FTM Surgery

re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6041, member since Tue Dec 20, 2005
On Tue May 03, 2011 09:37 PM
My intention is not to judge you in any way, so I hope I don't come across that way. But I'm a little confused...I started reading your post assuming, because you're talking about FTM surgery, that you're transgender yourself. But then I got sort of mixed up, because I read your description of yourself, and then you said you can't stand your chest and hips--is that why you want the surgery? Because you mentioned the possibility of wanting to be pregnant once, and you only mentioned having issues with your chest and hips (as opposed to having issues with being female, in general).

Again, I'm not asking in order to discredit you or anything like that; I'm just not entirely clear as to whether you want surgery because you identify as transgender (i.e., feel as if you're in the wrong body and you want to be male instead), or because you can't stand certain feminine aspects of your current body. I hope I don't sound like I'm judging you, because I don't mean to come across that way--it's just that those problems have two different solutions, and FTM surgery might not be the right one for you, depending on which issue you're dealing with. Could you clarify?
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Trout Comments: 892, member since Mon Nov 08, 2010
On Tue May 03, 2011 10:03 PM
First and foremost, you should be getting this information from someone who has experience with FTM surgeries. I am kind of surprised because it seems like you aren't very familiar with the process. You should really do as much research as you can before you decide to seriously get started on the process to FTM.

Have you looked into hormone replacement therapy? I was under the impression that you have to take hormones for a while before undergoing the actual surgery. This transformation wouldn't just happen overnight and there is lots of planning that goes into any surgery, especially one that is so life altering. I'll tell you what I know about your questions as a nurse who has experience with a lot of post-operative patients.

1) The post-surgery pictures I've seen show plump people with huge scars. When do the scars go away? Is there any way I can get a chest like this?
Being plump and having scars aren't correlated. If you remove any amount of tissue from your body, such as a breast reduction surgery, there are going to be scars. Scars can last for your whole life, especially if it's a radical surgery, which this is. There are ways to make scars less noticeable, like Bio Oil, but there will be scars. Have you ever had stitches or do you have a scar from some other time in your life? You can probably judge what your scars would look like based on that. As for your chest looking exactly like that photo, they would probably have to do nipple reduction surgery, which is just more possibilities for scarring.

2) Do female-to-male transgenders have wide hips? Is there a surgery to decrease hip size?
I don't know a whole lot about FTM surgeries, but I think it all depends on how your body looks before and if you are on hormone replacement therapy. Since you are a female, your hips are wider because of your bone structure. There's no way to make your hip bones smaller. Another reason your hips are wider is because of your female hormones. They cause more fat to be deposited in your hips. I'm not sure if taking male hormones will make the fat redistribute away from your hips, but it would give you more girth in your shoulders and that might make your hips look smaller. Basically, no, there's no surgery (besides maybe liposuction) that would make your hips look smaller. But you say you are already thin, so no credible surgeon would do liposuction on a person that doesn't need it.

3) I am really, really thin. If I don't get any surgery from the waist down, can I deliver a healthy baby? Can I try a C-section?
This question concerns me. Do you want to do hormone replacement? If so, you should not be considering having a baby in the future. Yes, a FTM had a baby and got a lot of attention for it, but pumping a female body full of testosterone and taking away its breasts, and THEN growing a baby in it is just not a good idea. In regards to you being really, really thin, it all depends on your pelvic structure as to whether or not you can have a baby, and that's not something anyone on the internet can tell you. Lots of really thin women are able to deliver healthy babies. It really doesn't matter what body size you are, it depends on your pelvic outlet.

4) If my ovaries are removed, will my estrogen level drop so low that my bones suffer? Will I grow thicker body hair and develop a deeper voice?
You don't get body hair and a deep voice from having ovaries removed. You would go on hormone treatment and start taking testosterone. It really concerns me that you don't already know this. If you are so certain that you want to go through with this, you should have at least already known about hormone replacement therapy. Your ovaries would only be removed if you have a hysterectomy, and obviously if you have a hysterectomy you wouldn't be able to have a baby.

5)Is there any way I can lower estrogen levels after childbirth (assuming I only want to be pregnant once) and somehow get narrow hips that don't sway?
Again, it's hormone replacement therapy. You would take testosterone.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By moara Comments: 951, member since Thu Jun 24, 2004
On Wed May 04, 2011 01:44 AM
We don't have to tell you to see a psychiatrist, because no credible doctor would give you FTM or hormone therapy without one. They need to know that you're of sound mind and body to cover themselves legally.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 17049, member since Thu Jun 06, 2002
On Wed May 04, 2011 02:45 AM
^ Spot on. You will have to see a mental health professional whether you like it or not, OP, so you need to be prepared for that as part of your planning and research. They will probably want to explore in detail the fact that you don't want to look like a woman yet want to undertake the most womanly task on earth. Hips and breasts are there to facilitate healthy pregnancy so the fact that you want to have a baby but want to get rid of the things that allow you to do so, will be of interest to your doctors. It might be worth you giving serious thought to that part of your dilemma before you book an appointment, because it WILL come up, you WILL be made to discuss it, and it WILL affect the doctor's decision.

On the hip thing...female hips are wider because the pelvis is wider. It's not just about women carrying extra fat there - it's the actual skeletal structure itself. Orthopaedic surgery is BRUTAL (I work in an orthopaedic hospital). Even if such surgery exists to alter the entire structure of the pelvis (I sincerely doubt it does), then it will take a ridiculous amount of time to recover from. You can't put your pelvis in a plaster cast - if you break your pelvis accidentally, you are screwed back together and you lie still until it's fixed. That's just one break, not just the multiple breaks and reconstructions that would be required to actually narrow the hips. Also, you learned to walk with the pelvis you already have. It changed gradually over time so you adapted to it. If you change it overnight you will have to learn to walk again.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By oz_helenmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11196, member since Sat Aug 10, 2002
On Wed May 04, 2011 03:49 AM
I have two friends who are FTM transgender. Both identify as male and did so long before even starting Testosterone therapy, though I knew both before they openly began identifying as male. They had to be diagnosed by a psychologist/psychiatrist as having Gender Identity Disorder and a referral from same before starting the therapy. One is pre-chest op and one is post-chest op. The process is very long and drawn out and like it or not, you will need to have a psychiatric evaluation before any doctor will conduct any FTM transitional therapies or surgeries.

There is so much information out there on the net about FTM transitions. I'm not sure why you're asking here because there's very few (if any) people on this site who have experienced this directly and can talk about their experiences. You are better off researching elsewhere. Go look up T-mates or google FTM transition. It's a much better resource than DDN.

To be honest, your description sounds much more like Body Dysmorphic Disorder than Gender Identity Disorder. I don't think you really understand what is going on here and therefore, psychiatric assessment is paramount.

Helen
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 2805, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Wed May 04, 2011 08:09 AM
You are in for a very long haul. Here is a video entitled "FTM chest surgery healing year"

www.youtube.com . . .

And I would imagine that there would be a learning curve. It takes time to become skilled in running a strange and complex machine.

But if you still want it, here is a guide for FTMs:
transhealth.vch.ca . . .
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By seacaptain Comments: 2111, member since Mon Sep 19, 2005
On Wed May 04, 2011 10:33 AM
I agree with Helen - it sounds like you don't want to become a man, you just want to change parts of your body. I'm going to agree with everyone else and say that no doctor will (should) do these procedures without you having seen a psychiatrist.

If you want to have a child, it might make sense to begin the body changing process after the child is born. This would minimize risk and complications on all fronts.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 26327, member since Fri Aug 03, 2001
On Wed May 04, 2011 11:35 AM
I'm also quite confused about the fact that you are asking about having children... you want to become a man, but want to maintain some womanhood too... I don't get it.

I think that quite honestly you need to see a team of doctors... I know for sure that to have any sex change surgery you need to see a psych to make sure that all is good, because it's a permanent surgery.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 26327, member since Fri Aug 03, 2001
On Wed May 04, 2011 11:35 AM
You might look into body building, assuming you are comfortable identifying as female and merely want to change your body its actually your best (non-surgical) bet. You can build up your shoulders and obliques to create a more male shape (wider shoulders, less defined waist), lowering your body fat through building muscle will reduce the size of your breasts, and it won't effect your ability to have a baby in the future. It might take a couple years to get the full effect, but its absolutely possible. Check out some before & after pictures on bodybuilding.com in the ladies section. Less wiggle in your hips probably has more to do with the way you walk than the actual size of your hips btw, so perhaps consider working on that.

Lowered voice & thicker body hair will require testosterone however, and for that you'll need to work with doctors of various types and it will absolutely effect your ability to have children. Think very very very carefully and do some serious research before heading down that path.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6041, member since Tue Dec 20, 2005
On Wed May 04, 2011 12:23 PM
Edited by CienPorCientoPAZ (147923) on 2011-05-04 13:20:35
anonymous wrote:

I'm also quite confused about the fact that you are asking about having children... you want to become a man, but want to maintain some womanhood too... I don't get it.

There are people who identify as genderqueer--not a man or a woman, but somewhere in between on the continuum. So it's possible for someone to want to be a man but maintain some aspects of womanhood as well. I think the real issue here, though, is that it seems like the OP is seeking FTM surgery not because she wants to be a man, but because she doesn't like certain feminine parts of her body. Basically, the desired procedure isn't the right solution for the OP's problem.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 26327, member since Fri Aug 03, 2001
On Wed May 04, 2011 08:20 PM
It's also hard when you don't know the full story.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6041, member since Tue Dec 20, 2005
On Wed May 04, 2011 08:36 PM
^And that's why I said "it seems like" and asked the OP to clarify her situation.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Cadbury_Eatermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7526, member since Sat Jan 04, 2003
On Thu May 05, 2011 01:17 AM
OP, from what you've posted it sounds like you have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. All your mentions of being very thin are concerning. Either way it sounds like you are confused about the whole wanting FTM surgery, so you should see a psychiatrist and you will need to anyway to get the surgery.

It seems your main issue is you don't like having wider hips and a chest...I don't think FTM is the most viable option.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 26327, member since Fri Aug 03, 2001
On Thu May 05, 2011 01:43 PM
Are you anorexic?

I know that a lot of anorexics are highly phobic of their hips and breasts etc.

FTM surgery is to turn a woman into a man.

A doctor won't perform it without you having a diagnosis of gender identity disorder.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3519, member since Fri Oct 10, 2008
On Thu May 05, 2011 11:24 PM
Surgeons can do only so much. A tall, large man will become a tall, large woman. A short, thin woman will become a short, thin man. Past that, the trans-gendered individual will have to make do with the body they've got just like the rest of us.

It sounds like you are looking more for cosmetic surgery than trans-gender surgery. If I have understood correctly, you want to stay female but want to have an overall sleek androgynous look. This may be something you just can't create with surgery or hormone treatment. Breast augmentation or reduction can be effective and give someone an ego boost if they truly have way more or way less than the usual range. However I doubt you could get yourself to look like the beautiful person in the photo you posted unless your underlying bone and muscle structure just happened to look exactly like that already.

You say you'll be out of college, soon, which means you will have the time to experiment with various styles and personas. I'd say take some time to find out all the things you can do on your own and then, if you still want to, consult with a doctor about the advisability of permanent physical alterations.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 26327, member since Fri Aug 03, 2001
On Fri May 06, 2011 05:51 AM
We would love to hear back from the OP on this.
Meanwhile, T and B wrote:
take some time to find out all the things you can do on your own and then, if you still want to, consult with a doctor about the advisability of permanent physical alterations.

I second this.

And some day we may be able to explore these options, without surgery, and return to the way we were. Already out-of-body experiences are possible (in fact it can be done without drugs). The following work is fiction today, but maybe some day we will be able to switch bodies directly.
www.dance.net . . .
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 2805, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Fri May 06, 2011 05:52 AM
Oops, forgot to uncheck the box.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By DefyingGravityPremium member Comments: 5232, member since Sun Jan 19, 2003
On Fri May 06, 2011 08:23 AM
While reading the post, I got the impression that the OP is NOT transgender. From what I understand, she is just a small-framed feminine straight woman who thinks her breasts and hips are too big for the rest of her body.

Which means you:
a) Want a breast reduction
b) Want to somehow make your hips smaller

A breast reduction is a plastic surgery procedure. Women get them all the time. I don't think it would be a problem to ask the surgeon to go down to an A cup. Whether they'll do a bilateral mastectomy while keeping the integrity of the nipple AND be able to get it with minimal scarring is a while 'nuther question. But an A cup wouldn't be that difficult.

As for the hips - Not much you can do about that one. Sorry. ESPECIALLY since you just want to do it for aesthetic reasons. I have quite a few FTM friends, and the reason their hips look smaller is because the hormones they take make their waist wider so their chest/waist/hips are essentially one straight line now. Nothing changed in the bones of their hips. No one would be willing to fracture your bones and put them back together for a smaller frame. That would be simply insane for aesthetic purposed.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
Original Poster Comments: 26327, member since Fri Aug 03, 2001
On Sun May 08, 2011 03:58 PM
First of all, thanks so much for all the helpful replies! I am really grateful.

So, I'll tell a bit about myself: I always felt like two people. I wore plain, not feminine dresses, had my hair in two braids, and played with the boys so often that they said I was as good as one of them. However, in front of my parents' friends, I was considered the ideal girl. When I reached twelve, my mother told me to grow up and stop playing basketball. She also made me wear girls' pants, which I hated.
At school I behaved like a girl, and between ages thirteen and fifteen I was depressed. At sixteen, I stopped wearing pants and shorts and switched to really plain dresses again. I wore dresses even in winter. I started acting like myself. Boys my age got crushes on me, and younger ones said they forgot I was a girl.
Upon entering college, I started to bind my A-cup breasts. I looked like a preteen girl. For a surgery, my mother told me to wear pants for safety. I didn't have a single pair, and I couldn't bring myself to get female ones, so I got a pair of boys' pants. They were a size 14 slim. Since I couldn't pair those with a blouse, I got a boys' shirt and sweater. On the way to surgery, I put my hair up in a hat, and my mother got rather upset because I looked so much like a boy. Even with my feminine features, she thought I looked like the boy from Let Me In, a film that really disturbed her.

My boyfriend, who is younger, saw me in male dress and took me to the park on a boys' night out. I pretended to be his younger brother. His friends thought it was funny, and I really liked acting like a boy without having people stare at me because I don't look like one. But my mother doesn't like it at all. She wanted a beautiful young lady with breasts. She said no man would marry me.

I never liked excessively feminine clothing, just plain dresses, skirts, and blouses that fit well. For makeup, I only wear lipstain and eyebrow color.

When I was younger, I studied without wearing a shirt. Now I can't go topless even when alone because my breasts bother me, and I would like to be able to study topless again, as weird as that may sound. I have always been naturally thin (it runs in the family; my parents have stick figures). My boyfriend and I have been dating since he was in middle school, and we both lost our virginity a few weeks ago. He wants a small family. I suggested adoption because I am afraid of birth, but he says we both have good genes, and he wants to pass them on. I want a child, and if I end up marrying my boyfriend, I need some feminine organs.
The reason I didn't mention breast reduction was because it seems to be for women with excessively large breasts who want smaller, but normal-looking breasts. Since mine are A-cups, I'm not sure what the surgeons would say. As for mastectomies...I want to keep the nipples.
Even if I end up giving birth, I would have to stop someday. That's why I thought about having ovaries removed. I don't like having periods because they interfere with my extremely active job. When I graduate, I'll only be working more.

I hope that clarifies some things.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 26327, member since Fri Aug 03, 2001
On Sun May 08, 2011 07:15 PM
I think that you have a long journey ahead of you... I know that it's going to involve seeing mental health professionals as well as plastic surgeons.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 14987, member since Thu Feb 14, 2002
On Sun May 08, 2011 09:07 PM
Print that last post out. Look up a therapist, walk into the office, and hand them the piece of paper.

I recognize the OP and we've told you this before. The answer isn't going to be any different now...

I don't your attitude of "oh, it's totally okay to want to get my A-cup breasts removed!" It's not. You need to realize that there is a problem so you can get help and so you can feel okay in your own skin.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By Anonymousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
Original Poster Comments: 26327, member since Fri Aug 03, 2001
On Sun May 08, 2011 09:21 PM
Heart, I'm not asking for anyone to change my mind. And if you think you know who I am, you're wrong because I don't recall receiving any comment from you in the past.

My decision regarding what to do with my body does not concern you in any way. If you don't like it, I couldn't care less.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By TuniePremium member Comments: 1901, member since Mon Aug 08, 2005
On Sun May 08, 2011 09:39 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but having your ovaries removed will not stop you from having your period. Women who have tubal ligations still get their period. A full hysterectomy WILL stop your period (well, duh). But no doctor in their right mind will do that to a perfectly healthy woman. Hell, they won't even do it for my friend, who is in AGONY, every single period she gets, and sometimes in between, because of ovarian cysts, bad enough to send her to the hospital. And she KNOWS she does NOT want kids. At all. Birth control does not treat this problem effectively for her. They still JUST WON'T DO IT.

However there are other ways of dealing with your period. If it's simply the blood that bothers you and "interferes with your extremely active job", get some tampons or menstrual cups. There are two different kinds of menstrual cups: disposable and reusable. Pick whichever you are comfortable with. Women do all kinds of activities on their periods. That is why these products were invented.

If you have uncomfortable symptoms due to your period (cramps, nausea, fatigue, etc.), birth control pills usually knock those out pretty effectively. Speak to your doctor if this is what bothers you.

These are much simpler, safer, cheaper methods of dealing with your period. Good luck.
re: FTM Surgery en>fr fr>en
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member Comments: 7286, member since Sun Apr 18, 2004
On Sun May 08, 2011 09:42 PM
My decision regarding what to do with my body does not concern you in any way.


Other than coming online and talking to us about it? We've had people come on here wanting support for their self-injury or eating disorders or spying on their boyfriend, and we recommend that they talk to someone as well. Don't think it's like you're getting special treatment or something.


It seems like you should:

1) Talk to a professional about your body issues: they may agree with what you want to happen but they may have other options for you to look at.

2) Do more research to figure out what is really happening in the procedures you want, from a more authoritative source than DDN.
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