Facial masculinization surgery (FMS) refers to a collection of aesthetic surgeries aimed at making various facial features appear more masculine. This typically means making the eight (8) facial bony points more prominent. These include the brows, cheeks, nose, chin and jaw angles. Like facial feminization surgery (FFS), these surgeries are often associated with transgender patients. But FMS is more frequently sought out by cis-men seeking stronger and more defined facial features. It is the experience from these more commonly done facial masculinization surgeries that translates to the female to male transgender patient.
While FFS surgery has many reductive procedures to achieve its effects, facial masculinization is the converse…many of the needed procedures involve some form of bone augmentation to create the facial angularity and definition that is perceived as being more masculine. While there are numerous FMS procedures available, and most patients do not choose or need to to undergo all of them, it’s extremely common to undergo more than one procedure in a surgery to get the best transformative (or enhancing) effect.
The preoperative FMS process allows the doctor and patient to get on the same page in terms of goals and treatment options. Considering that many of the procedures performed as part of facial reshaping surgery create potentially irreversible changes, it is essential that patients are aware and have input into the flavor of facial change that these procedures create. As such, preoperative computer imaging helps better set the facial reshaping goals and manage patient expectation. No patient should undergo FMS without some sort of predictive tool aiding the decision process. Although computer imaging is an essential component of the preoperative process, it’s merely representative of an approximation of the facial changes that may occur. Its best benefit is in creating a visual means of communication in what is otherwise a very individual and somewhat abstract concept. (what looks good one my face?)
Facial Masculinization Surgery Procedures
Facial masculinization procedures are broken down into four categories based on the associated zones of treatment: skull/forehead, midface, lower jaw and neck. Despite the number of facial procedures performed or the facial zones treated, FMS is almost always done in an outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia. Surgery time may be as little as one hour or it may take considerably longer for more complete cases with multiple procedures. For the longer surgery procedures it may be necessary to stay overnight for the immediate recovery.
Dr. Barry Eppley