Introduction to Facial Feminisation Surgery
My name is Jenny Bowman and I work in association with Facial Team, who specialise in Facial Feminisation Surgery (FFS). Shelley has kindly invited me to guest write an introduction to this highly specialised surgery and of its positive benefits to women in the trans community.
For many transwomen such as myself, then our inherited masculine facial features can present a visible reminder of a life we wish to leave behind and a barrier to our acceptance as the women we are.
Our faces are composed of gender defining characteristics which make male and female faces identifiable at a glance. We make an instant and instinctive evaluation based upon these characteristics as to the gender of the person, from which other instinctive responses then follow.
Typically these characteristics in the male are, – forehead, shape of the nose, distance from the top lip to nose, shape of the chin and jaw. Symmetry, proportion and a healthy refreshed appearance also enter into our instinctive evaluation. To live as women, it helps us greatly if we can blend and integrate socially. To more readily achieve this, then these masculine facial characteristics need to be remodelled to more closely follow natal female facial characteristics.
FFS is a set of surgical procedures which are designed to remodel the bony structure of the skull, from masculine to feminine proportions. A typical example of the combination of these procedures would be, – Forehead recontouring to remove the masculine brow ridge. Rhinoplasty to feminise our nose. Lip lift and jaw surgery (genioplasty) to remove the squareness in contour, from chin to ear. Examples of these procedures can be found here.
My own FFS which was undertaken 2009 consisted of the procedures mentioned above. Each face though is different and the consultation process and preoperative assessment are vital, in the selection of procedures appropriate to each of us. The aim is to achieve a harmonious and non-manufactured outcome from surgery, with features subtly remodelled from masculine to feminine. This is usually performed in one surgical intervention, which is generally between 5 to 6 hours in duration.
FFS is growing to become a fundamental element in our transition, but may not provide all of the solutions that we seek. It is therefore of the greatest importance, that we are afforded clear indications, as to the expectations from surgery. This begins with the consultation process, from which a mutually agreed proposal for our surgery is designed.
You can find many examples of the procedures and patients before and after photographs on my website http://www.thehiddenwoman.com
I would be pleased to do my best to answer any questions you may have, please do email me personally firstname.lastname@example.org