What is Facial Gender Confirmation Surgery?

 Skull comparison lateral. Image credit: Chris Gralapp
Skull comparison lateral. Image credit: Chris Gralapp

The Skeletal Facial Structures of Men and Women are Inherently Different.

There are fundamental structural and aesthetic differences between the facial skeleton in females and males. Typically, men’s faces are taller, more angular or “chiselled” with higher foreheads and hairlines. Women’s faces tend to be rounder overall, shorter in height, with higher cheekbones, and less angular around the chin and jaw area — amongst many other subtle, and not-so subtle differences.

The Ideal Candidate for Facial Gender Confirmation Surgery

Facial gender confirmation surgery is sought out by adults (above the age of 18) who are, either:

The Aims of Facial Gender Confirmation

Trans individuals often feel “out of sync” because how they appear to the world is not how they feel on the inside. This creates a kind of relative dissonance in their daily lives in relationships, their work and careers, how they feel about their own bodies and feeling of self-worth and inner wellbeing. Essentially, facial gender confirmation surgery aims to align the person “inside” with who we are on the “outside”.

How is Facial Gender Confirmation Surgery Performed?

When an individual is seeking to undertake facial gender confirmation there are several categories of procedures that may be recommended depending on existing facial structures and aesthetic goals. These procedures fall under the categories of either:

  1. Plastic surgery (soft tissues)
  2. Craniofacial surgery (the underlying facial skeleton)
  3. Jaw surgery (orthognathic)

Typically, facial gender confirmation surgery is performed under general anaesthetic as a long-format surgical operative session during which several procedures are performed either simultaneously or sequentially.

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