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How to Plan Your FTM or FTN Top Surgery

For most transmen seeking female-to-male (FTM) top surgery and essentially all those individuals seeking female-to-nonbinary (FTN) top surgery, deciding to undergo these gender affirming procedures are among the most positive, fulfilling and important decisions they will ever make. It also goes without saying that they also must be appropriately prepared for them. In the majority of situations, transmen and gender non-binary individuals are already mentally and emotionally ready to see their bodies match their gender identities.

Below, we will discuss some practical tips to help you better prepare for your FTM or FTN top surgery

Find an Experienced, Compassionate Plastic Surgeon

When choosing a plastic surgeon for your top surgery, you should consider your surgeon’s experience and results performing the procedure, their understanding of your needs, their board certification, and, ideally, their specialization in breast surgery as a whole.

Dr. Steven Turkeltaub is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgeries that include FTM and FTN top surgery and (MTF) top surgery. Additionally, Dr. Turkeltaub is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), following the guidelines specified by the organization to best aid transgender and gender-diverse patients.

Choosing the right plastic surgeon is crucial. It is not enough to find someone who will perform your surgery; you should choose a surgeon who will take the time to discuss your unique goals and perform the procedure with the skill and care you deserve. 

Follow Your Plastic Surgeon’s Instructions, Guidelines and Recommendations

You have selected the plastic surgeon who will be performing your gender affirming top surgery.


You’ve checked that immensely important box, but that is only part of the surgically related equation. 

The other part is your responsibility in relation to your own care—before and after surgery. 

Even the most well executed surgical procedure can be significantly compromised by factors outside of your plastic surgeon’s control—and that relates to YOU. 

Your plastic surgeon will provide you with instructions, guidelines, recommendations, etc. to help facilitate you obtaining a desirable outcome. However, if you disregard one or more of these for any reason—willfully, carelessly or accidentally—you can compromise your top surgery results and that may be permanent. 

This importantly also relates to issues such as avoiding certain medications and blood thinners (like aspirin, Motrin and Aleve), not smoking cigarettes or marijuana and not vaping. 

So, to minimize your risks for issues that can lead to less than desirable results, plan to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions, guidelines and recommendations. 

Try to Plan the Surgery Around Your Schedule

This might seem obvious, but many patients underestimate the time needed for their recovery and for many reasons. Furthermore, this is affected by your particular life situations, activities and priorities, so each person’s recuperation and limitations will be different. Some factors to consider in this equation include work and whether your job is a physical or sedentary one, if you are attending school, caring for dependents, or participating in sports and other physical activities.

During your consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub (or other plastic surgeon) you can and should ask any questions that may impact the tinting of your top surgery. For example, you may be able to return to a desk type job in a week or two but if your job is physically demanding such as with construction work, roofing or warehouse related, you may need to find an eight week period of time that you can take off. If you are attending school, you may have to wait until a long semester break or during the summer to pursue surgery.  

Think about what works for you and how you can make this process easier for yourself. 

Secure a Support Network 

Immediately after surgery, you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least the first 24 to 48 hours to ensure you are safe, comfortable and have some help. This can be a significant other, spouse, friend, family member, or even a roommate. They can help you with small, daily tasks for the first few days as well as keep you company. 

They can also make sure that you are following instructions and guidelines.

Explore Financing Options

Whether your surgery is approved by your insurance company, not a covered benefit or you have no insurance and will need to pay all costs, you will have financial responsibilities of some sort. If the expenses facing you will be in excess of what you can presently pay, you can seek other ways of paying for your top surgery. One of these options is financing, which Dr. Turkeltaub offers through a few different outside companies. His staff can assist you and answer any questions that you may have — including about your application. 

Interested in Learning More About FTM or FTN Top Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ?

Dr. Steven Turkeltaub is a board-certified plastic surgeon highly experienced in breast surgeries, including FTM and FTN top surgery. If you have any questions or are ready to schedule a confidential consultation, please call us today at (480) 451-3000 or fill out our online contact form

We look forward to helping you on your transition journey.