Facial Harmonization

What is facial harmonization?

Facial harmonization involves the use of surgical techniques to modify facial features so they appear more traditionally feminine or masculine. It is sometimes used as part of a person’s transition to align more with their gender identity. To be eligible, you must at least 18 years of age and have reached full facial maturity.

What is facial feminization?

Facial feminization surgery (also known as FFS) is offered to transgender women to address facial features that are masculine. It can include reduction of a prominent brow, feminizing the hairline, feminizing rhinoplasty, upper lip lift, cheek augmentation, procedures to round the jaw line, narrow, and refine the chin and to reduce prominent trachea (Adam’s apple).

To be ready for facial feminization, you need to have completed facial growth. This can be determined by a radiograph (x-ray) of your wrist. Prior to surgery, we will obtain a facial CT scan to evaluate your skeletal structures.

You should discuss your specific objectives with your surgeon. Procedures for the forehead, cheeks, nose, jawline, and trachea are tailored to your facial anatomy and goals. These may be done at once or in stages, depending on the type of procedure.

What happens after facial feminization surgery?

Facial feminization procedures can take from four to eight hours and you may need to stay in the hospital for a day. It takes several weeks for swelling to improve. Because the healing process can take time, you shouldn’t engage in strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for the first six weeks after facial feminization.

What is facial masculinization?

This type of surgery is offered to transgender men to create a more masculine appearance. It often includes augmentation of the jawline with mandibular implants.

To be ready for facial masculinization, you need to have completed facial growth. Prior to surgery, we will obtain a facial CT scan to evaluate the skeletal structures and plan for custom implants to augment your jawline. You should discuss your specific objectives and goals with your surgeon.

What happens after facial masculinization surgery?

Facial masculinization procedures can take from two to four hours. You may need to stay in the hospital for a day. It takes several weeks for swelling to improve. Because the healing process can take time, you shouldn’t engage in strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for the first six weeks after facial feminization.

How we approach facial harmonization

At Boston Children’s Hospital, we offer facial harmonization to transgender and gender-diverse patients over 18 in the Center for Gender Surgery. Our skilled plastic surgeons are experienced in performing both facial feminization and facial masculine procedures.