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Top Tips for Gender-Affirming MTF Top Surgery

Top Tips for Gender-Affirming MTF Top Surgery

By Beverly Fischer on June 17, 2020

Gender Affirmation Back to Blog


It’s finally time: You’ve thought about it, dreamed about it, and at last made the decision to have MTF top surgery as a trans woman. It’s so exciting to plan for the body you’ve wanted for so long — but hang on! Before you get your breast implants, make sure you’ve set the stage for a successful recovery and beautiful results from your breast enhancement.

Some Early Steps for Preparation

  • Get your house in order– literally. You’ll need plenty of comfortable rest in your first week, and you won’t be able to move your arms very high or lift anything heavy. Do any big cleaning before your surgery, and make sure that anything you’ll need is in very easy reach. Make sure you have enough supplies like bandages and gauze.
  • Ask lots of questions. Do you feel confident that you understand every step of your recovery? Now is the time to ask your doctor and the office staff about absolutely anything that is even a little unclear.
  • Take your time. You will need to have about a week off of work for your initial recovery, and you may need as many as three weeks if your job requires lifting or other physical activity. Err on the side of more time.
  • Arrange your care and support. You’ll be tired and groggy for a little while after your surgery, and it may be difficult to clean your incisions by yourself. It’s a good idea to make sure someone can stay with you for at least a couple of days post-surgery, and to have friends check in on you and cheer you on.
  • Book your room. If you’re coming to your breast augmentation surgery from a distance, you might want to book a hotel room overnight or even for a couple of days rather than travel a long distance– especially by car. We’ve got suggested accommodations if you’re having your surgery with us.

Commit to Your Health– Long-Term

Anything you can do right now, throughout your recovery, and post-recovery to live healthfully is only going to help you. If you smoke, quitting well before your surgery is ideal. Smoking slows the healing process and impedes blood flow, which will make discoloration or scarring worse.

It’s also a good idea to switch to a low-sodium diet before surgery and during your recovery, to help prevent fluid retention. Eating a lot of protein is an important building block in the healing process. You should make sure to incorporate plenty of high-protein foods and nutrients into your diet during your recovery period. Protein will help your body regenerate tissue and muscle and synthesize collagen which is necessary for your incision to heal. Be sure to get plenty of sleep, sufficient water, and eat lots of fresh, unprocessed foods if you can to support your health– and who knows, maybe it’ll become an easier habit to maintain throughout your life!

Right After Your Breast Implant Surgery

You’ll most likely have your top surgery on an outpatient basis, which means you’ll go home (or to your hotel) not long after your breast augmentation procedure. You might be a little woozy from anesthesia, and you won’t want to move your arms very much, so make sure you bring soft, comfortable clothes including a button up shirt that you can put on without lifting your arms.

Have someone drive you back, and bring a very soft small pillow to tuck under your seat belt at chest level so that it doesn’t create too much pressure or irritation. You might have a prescription for painkillers in case you need them, so make sure you’ve arranged for someone to pick them up for you. Plan to get comfortable as soon as you get home, and rest as much as you can.

The First Week of Recovery from Breast Augmentation Top Surgery

Within the first couple of days, you may experience some swelling, redness, and pain around your incisions. Take painkillers if you need them, get a lot of rest, and drink plenty of fluids.

Lucky for you the ACPS doesn’t send you home with drains or frequent bandage changes to worry about. Your incisions will be protected by brown steri-strips that are able to get wet and  allow you to shower. It’s suggested you shower the day after your surgery. After your shower, be sure to pat dry your steri-strips or you can use a blow dryer on the cool setting to dry them faster (you may need some help with this step!). The steri-strips will need to remain in place until your two-week check-in visit where your sutures will be removed. You will be wearing a surgical bra for the two weeks following your surgery – so you don’t need to worry about getting a compression garment! It is suggested to purchase an additional surgical bra so that you have time to wash them in between showers. It’s absolutely crucial to follow every post-operative guideline your doctor gives you to the letter, especially for the first few days when your incisions are at their freshest state.

After Your First Week of Recovery from Top Surgery

You’ll probably be able to start getting back to normal life after your first week but on a limited basis. For example, you won’t want to do any serious working out for about six weeks (check with your doctor before you start exercising again). You can probably do light exercise sooner than that.

Avoid underwire bras while you’re recovering. After that six to eight week period, your body will be healed enough to wear regular clothing again and you’ll be able to measure correctly for new bras and clothing to fit your new silhouette.


Contact us for a consultation, or call us at 410-308-4700 to ask us about BioTE, or our other gender affirmation services beyond top surgery.

There’s a lot of planning and preparation you’ll need to do when you prepare for your breast implant top surgery as a trans woman, but it will all be absolutely worthwhile when you soar through your recovery with flying colors!

Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery | (410) 308-4700 | Website | More posts

Dr. Beverly A. Fischer is passionate about her role as a leading female plastic and cosmetic surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland and beyond. She believes that plastic surgery makes a positive, life-changing difference, whether you’re renewing your body, face, and skin or embarking on an entire gender transition.

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