Facial Feminization

Facial feminization surgery is a series of procedures tailored for each individual transgender woman to feminize facial features. Facial feminization may include open or endoscopic brow lift, lowering of the hairline, rhinoplasty, mandible angle reduction, reduction of the supraorbital rim (brow bone), orthognathic surgery and setback of the frontal sinus.


Frequently Asked Questions


Who is a good candidate for facial feminization surgery?


The UW Health team follows the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care. Letters of readiness from mental health providers are not necessary for facial feminization surgery. Gender expansive patients and patients with gender dysphoria are candidates for facial feminization surgery.


Facial feminization surgery has been associated with functional gains in transwomen who desire reconstructive surgery.


What should I do in the time leading up to my facial feminization surgery?


Your doctor will give you instructions before your facial feminization surgery, including guidelines on eating, drinking and taking or avoiding certain medications and vitamins. Avoid smoking or tobacco use four to six weeks before surgery and aspirin 14 days before and after your procedure.


Hormonal therapy (estrogens) must be stopped three weeks prior to surgery to prevent blood clots. Hormonal therapy will be restarted one to two weeks after surgery.


What should I expect following a facial feminization procedure?


Immediately following facial feminization surgery, you may experience temporary soreness, swelling, bruising, sickness upon waking from anesthesia and changes in sensation. You may have small surgical drains in place for several days. Swelling will persist for several months after surgery. The anticipated recovery is dependent on the specific operations performed for an individual patient.