Facial Feminization Surgery in San Diego, CA

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Facial feminization surgery (FFS) with Dr. Champaneria in San Diego focuses on surgically revising the features of the face from masculine to feminine. Many transgender patients find that having this procedure is an important part of their transition. Certain male features, such as the prominent brow, Adam’s apple, wide jaw, can be quite hard-lined and masculine. With an experienced plastic surgeon, there are surgical procedures with facial feminization surgery that can soften these features.

Surgical Technique

There are a variety of surgical procedures that you may be interested in when inquiring about facial feminization surgery. You may only desire to change one aspect of your appearance or require a combination of procedures to achieve the appearance you want to present as a woman or more gender neutral.

Tracheal Shave/ Adam's Apple Reduction

This procedure carefully removes thyroid cartilage from the neck to reduce or eliminate the Adam’s apple.


While a facelift and neck lift are typically used to help reverse the signs of facial aging, they can be an important part of FFS. As the face ages, masculine features can become more visible. Therefore, reducing signs of aging and excess skin of the face and neck can help to create a more feminine appearance of the face. Facelift and neck lift can be an important overall part of FFS. Dr. Champaneria carefully assess the face to determine if facelift and neck lift procedures may provide additional feminization.

Brow Lift

A brow lift raises and/or reshapes the eyebrows so they are higher on the face and have a clear arched shape.

Cheek Augmentation

The female face is known to have defined and high cheeks, with the widest part of the female face occurring at the cheeks. By performing cheek augmentation with fat grafting or implants to the cheek bones, the face can be significantly feminized. A beautiful, curved contour of the face is created that is natural and carries a beautiful feminine appearance.

Chin Recontouring

The chin itself is also typically square in shape in the male face. Tapering the bone and adjusting the tissues that make up the chin create a feminized, refined, and elegant appearing chin. A chin implant may be required to produce these changes.

Forehead Recontouring

The male-type forehead has characteristic excess bone above the eyebrows, primarily in the lower forehead and above the eyes. Removing the “extra” bone and moving the forehead bone into a more female appearing position creates a drastic change that is essential for facial feminization of the upper part of the face.

Hairline Advancement

The male hairline can have peaks at the temples and may be recessed. Using scalp advancement, the hairline is moved forward and the peaks are removed. Incisions are created in the scalp to accomplish this. This creates a rounded hairline that is more typical of a female hair line.

Jaw Contouring

The female appearing jaw is typically more pointed and tapered than the male appearing jaw. The male jaw bone has extra bone that creates these differences. This extra bone can be removed to taper, thin, and feminize the lower face.

Lip Augmentation/Lip Lift

To adjust the size and proportion of the upper and lower lips to appear more feminine, the upper lip is reduced and moved higher, which provides a fuller upper lip and ‘pout.’ Injectable fillers and fat transfer can also be used to augment the upper and lower lips.

During/After Surgery

Facial feminization surgery is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility or hospital. Duration of surgery typically depends on the type of procedures performed, but range from 2 hours to 8 hours. Patients can remain in the hospital overnight but sometimes they are sent home after surgery and advised to limit movement for up to 2 days. There will be some bruising and swelling that may be present on other areas of the face. Patients will be able to go back to a normal routine within a week. Strenuous activities must be avoided as it may affect healing. It is quite normal to feel as though the face is out of symmetry, but within 3-6 months, patients will see the optimized results, and look and feel more feminine with a rejuvenated outcome.

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Facial Feminization FAQs

Can I do my FFS in different stages?

While we recommend that facial gender confirmation be completed in a single stage, the procedure can be broken up into phases—typically an “upper face” and ‘”lower face” surgery. Each phase would include surgical procedures that are closely related to each other to ensure a harmonious balance to the face. Also, a single, comprehensive facial gender confirmation surgical procedure can also be performed, and can save on downtime and of course, expense.

Facelift same time as FFS?

Typically one must wait 6 months after your surgical procedure before pursuing a facelift or any other facial rejuvenation procedure. This is because feminine facial features are generally more petite than male features, so the facial gender confirmation surgery may leave some individuals with excess laxity of the skin. Depending on your age and skin condition, this excess laxity may resolve on its own, or it may need a facelift in order to remove it.

Visible Scarring?

Dr. Champaneria will utilize techniques to minimize scarring and hide them appropriately on the face. The doctor will make sure that the incisions are carefully placed to minimize the effects of scarring.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.