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Chest Contouring for Gender Affirmation

Removal of the breasts to achieve a masculine chest contour is an important component of the physical transition from the female to the male gender. The goals of this surgery are to masculinize the appearance of the chest, to remove the need to wear constricting garments such as binders, and to enhance comfort and improve self-esteem.

What to expect: Mastectomy for Chest Contouring

The scars that result depend on the amount of skin and breast tissue that must be removed. Typically, transverse (horizontal) scars that lie roughly along the bottom of the pectoralis muscle are left, along with scars around the nipple. The nipple-areola complex may be repositioned either by keeping it attached (pedicled), or, more commonly, as a free graft.

The surgery is usually performed as an outpatient, meaning you will go home the same day as your surgery and recover at home. Some people may require an overnight stay for observation. Dr. Shore will see you the next day in her office, and after that at one and two weeks, six weeks and then again three months after your surgery. You are typically given pain medication to take for the first week after surgery. Activity afterwards will be restricted, and gradually increased as you heal from surgery. Patients will need to wear a vest-like garment for three weeks after surgery, to provide mild compression and reduce swelling. Most people have drains in the surgical sites, which are removed at one to two weeks after surgery. Most people can return to work within two weeks after surgery.

Is Mastectomy for Chest Contouring covered by insurance?

This procedure is often covered by insurance companies. In May 2014, Medicare approved the coverage of chest contouring procedures to gender affirmation, provided certain criteria are met, and many private insurance companies also approved such procedures for coverage. Prior to scheduling surgery, we will request pre-authorization from your insurance company, to determine whether they will cover the cost of the procedure, as per your individual health insurance contract terms.