Feminizing/Demasculinizing Procedures

Our team of highly trained surgeons provides a comprehensive set of options of feminizing/demasculinizing procedures to help alter your body’s physical appearance to reflect your gender identity. Feminizing/demasculinizing surgical procedures include various options, such as "top" surgery, “bottom" surgery, and facial or body contouring procedures. Some of the gender-affirming surgical services offered at UI Health are: breast augmentation, orchiectomy, vaginoplasty, facial feminization, body contouring, pitch altering surgical therapy, thyroid chondroplasty, and fertility preservation.

If you have any questions or concerns about these procedures, our team of experts is here to help you. In addition to proving safe high-quality care and surgical expertise, we are committed to being your healthcare partners throughout your transition and to helping you achieve the desired results you want.

Complete List of Procedures:

  • Breast Augmentation — Breast Augmentation is an enhancement of the breast tissue with either silicone or saline implants or fat grafting. It is recommended that patients take their Estrogen hormone therapy for 1–2 years prior to surgery to maximize breast growth before surgically augmenting the breast. This helps to ensure proper placement of the implant underneath the breast tissue and allows the surgeon to adjust sizing for a symmetrical augmentation. During your initial surgical consultation, your surgeon will discuss surgical options and discuss your goals for breast size. This is usually an outpatient surgery, and you will go home the same day.
  • Orchiectomy – An orchiectomy is the removal of the testicles, with the intent to stop the production of testosterone in the body. The testicles not only make testosterone, but they are also the factory and storage for sperm, so removing them prevents future harvest of sperm. If you are considering Fertility preservation, sperm may be harvested either prior to, or during the surgery. However, the surgeon must know that this is your intention in advance, prior to booking the surgery. This is an irreversible procedure. Orchiectomy can be performed as a solo procedure, or in combination with vaginoplasty or penectomy. If performed as a solo procedure, this is typically outpatient surgery, and you will go home the same day.
  • Vaginoplasty – A vaginoplasty is the creation of a vaginal canal as well as the external feminine genitalia of labia minora, labia majora, and clitoris. The procedure often utilizes your existing genital anatomy to create the structures listed above, commonly referred to as "penile inversion vaginoplasty.” Alternative options include using a portion of your colon or peritoneum to create the vaginal canal. This is a surgery that requires an inpatient hospital stay for approximately one week.
  • Facial Feminization – Various surgical procedures can be performed to demasculinize or feminize facial contours and features in accordance with the patient's goals. At your consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss areas of interest and potential surgeries which may be done in combination or as separate procedures. Examples of such procedures include, but are not limited to, Rhinoplasty, Brow Lift, Frontal Sinus or Orbital Contouring, Jaw Contouring, Genioplasty, Face Lift, and Hairline Advancement.
  • Body Contouring – Though bodies come in all shapes and sizes, there are some curves typically ascribed as feminine curves such as wider hips, rounder buttocks, smaller waist, or “hourglass” shape. Likewise, an “A-frame” shape or less curvature in the hips and thighs is generally perceived as more masculine. Though hormones affect where fat is distributed on the body, body contouring may help you achieve the body shape that feels natural to you. You and your surgeon will discuss your personal goals as well as areas of your body that increase your dysphoria. This is usually an outpatient surgery, and you will go home the same day.
  • Pitch Altering Surgical Therapy – The goal of this surgery is to raise vocal pitch for a more feminine or less masculine voice. The Wendler glottoplasty shortens the vocal cords (folds) so they can vibrate at a higher frequency. Since the pitch of the voice is determined by the frequency of vibrations, higher frequencies will give you a higher voice. The procedure is done through a scope, which means that there is no visible scar. We join the front part of the vocal cords together with stitches and when this heals, it makes the part of the vocal cords that vibrate shorter. This is done under general anesthesia (fully asleep with a breathing tube), but it can usually be done as an outpatient surgery. It may take 6-8 months for your voice to feel “natural,” during which time you will continue voice therapy.
  • Thyroid Chondroplasty – The thyroid cartilage, known commonly as the Adam's Apple, can be surgically reduced for a more feminine or less masculine curvature of the neck. This procedure may be performed in combination with other procedures. If performed as a solo procedure, patients typically stay overnight in the hospital for observation and go home the next day.
  • Fertility Preservation – Prior to removal of the testicles or ovaries, you and your surgeon will discuss whether you would like to preserve sperm or eggs for potential biological reproduction. Should you wish to consider that option, your surgeon will refer you to our fertility preservation specialist for further discussion.