The Surgeon Minute

Gender Surgery: The New Normal?

Gender Surgery: The New Normal?

The transgender topic is nothing new, yet former Olympian and ex-husband to Kris Kardashian is thrusting the subject into the spotlight. Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, is drawing mixed reviews. St. Louis board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Pat McGuire is not surprised at the criticism.


by Pat McGuire, MD
and Beverly Brooks
The Plastic Surgery Channel

McGuire performs surgery on those who have chosen to change their gender from male to female; and female to male. “When the Bruce Jenner issue came to surface, it brought light to a very misunderstood form of gender identity.”

Preparing for Gender Change

A lot goes into a surgical gender change and much of the preparation, including hormone treatments are done at least a year before the individual looks to a plastic surgeon for help. The regimen typically takes about a year, and McGuire says most people are well informed, have done their research and are then ready for surgery.

“Many know at a young age that they want to consider changing their gender,” says McGuire. “Others are often accompanied by a family member who knew before the individual did.  I’m really impressed with the support system I’m seeing from friends and family prior the patients’ surgery.”

Bigger Breasts Are Better

During the consultation, many times the man who wants to make the switch to a woman has grand ideas about the chest!  “A lot of transsexuals say they want to show off for a change, and want a large rounded, high profile implant.”

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Deciding on the type of implant is one of the most important considerations for someone contemplating transgender breast augmentation. Another factor to be considered is the shape of the implant. Typically, the implant will either be round or teardrop-shaped, with the round shape being the more popular of the two. Round implants are preferred, because they give a round, proportioned appearance to the breasts.

Fat Removal for a Leaner Look

In situations where the woman is becoming a man, often times liposuction along with hormone treatments is used for a leaner more masculine appearance.

Best Candidates

Gaining approval for chest reconstruction or breast augmentation is not as straightforward for transgender individuals. Because both of these procedures are permanent, a reputable plastic surgeon such as Dr. Pat McGuire, who is board certified with the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), will determine a candidate’s eligibility based on a variety of factors.

  • Are they physically and psychologically healthy?
  • Does the patient have a letter of recommendation from mental health professional?
  • Does he/she possess realistic goals and expectations?

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Patient Satisfaction

“Really the most grateful patients I’ve treated are transgender patients; they are so excited someone is listening to their needs and want to understand them.  They really appreciate someone taking time with them.”

“I recently received an email from a patient who said it’s so liberating not having to bind his chest, now he’s wearing clothes and living the life he wants to live, and that’s gratifying,” says McGuire.

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