With my top surgery right around the corner I’m thinking back on this whole process of how I got here, and how when I was first looking into surgery I had no idea where to even begin. Trust me, I don’t know everything, but I know a thing or two about making lists (ask my former therapist) and utilizing social media to find information; which is exactly how I narrowed down who I wanted to perform my top surgery.
There are hundreds of surgeons across the country who perform trans related surgeries, and even more plastic surgeons who are more than capable of performing Double Mastectomies and Keyhole procedures beautifully even if they’ve never done so on a transgender patient before. I had a running list in my phone for years, it included the names of surgeons, their location, the surgery they practiced as well as the cost of surgery, if they took insurance, and even screenshots of their results. I would suggest starting a list like this of your own if you’re not already certain of who you might go to, because it may help you decide later on down the road if you have to weigh the pros and cons of a few different surgeons against one another.
I have (with the help of my sister) created a graphic of 22 surgeons that were a part of my own research when finding a surgeon and are at least *fairly well-known* within the FTM/transmasc community for their top surgery skills:
This graphic does not even begin to include every surgeon there is in the U.S., and it doesn’t specify what type of surgery they perform (as in D.I. vs. Keyhole/Peri.), but many of these individuals perform both or specialize in one or the other so be sure to look into that when considering a surgeon as well. Also note, this graphic also doesn’t include price or whether these surgeons take insurance, but you can find a lot of that information on their personal websites or by calling their offices, get to googling!
Once you’ve looked around a bit and found a few surgeons you think you might consider for top surgery, I would recommend doing what I did to find examples of their top surgery results — turn to social media! That may seem silly or less official than going to the Surgeon’s websites themselves (which you should absolutely also do), but many surgeons take pictures for their galleries immediately after surgery and it’s less indicative of what that chest will end up healing like. I definitely recommend searching through places like instagram and tumblr using the tags #topsurgery or specifically #doubleincision or #periareolar and then when you have certain surgeons in mind you can search them as well #drraphael, #garramone etc. and you will find COUNTLESS pictures of people who have posted their own comparisons of their results, along with updates, and many people will often include their experience within these posts — how they felt about the surgeon, the process, the cost, their pain levels throughout, how long it took them to recover, and so on. I often would message people who had results that looked like I hope my chest will look post-op *fingers crossed* and would ask them about their experience, if they used insurance, why they picked their particular surgeon, etc. and was always so thrilled to find that most people are pretty open to helping you out. Using social media is just an easy way to reach out to other community members and search through more photos and posts than what you’re likely to find on professional websites, or even places like topsurgery.net or transbucket which aren’t always up to date.
Finding a surgeon to shoot for is the first step for many considering top surgery so this may help point you in the right direction. There will be many more steps (for most) before they can schedule a surgery date, afford surgery, and actually get to go through with their procedure, but the first step is often the hardest, especially if you don’t know where to start looking. Best of luck!
(I have a recent YouTube video that goes into depth about this as well you can find it here).