Choosing the right facial feminization surgeon is one of the most important decisions a transgender woman can make during the course of her transition. Not only do we hope to completely blend into society, we also hope to have a face that we can proudly and happily live with for the rest of our lives.
These days there are so many options for FFS. Surgeons from all over the world are now offering feminization procedures, each with their own approach and methods.
I spent over a year consulting with different surgeons including some of the bigger name maxillofacial doctors that offer aggressive and invasive jaw / forehead surgeries. I’ve heard mixed success and horror stories from many of them, and have seen dozens of examples of their work.
In the end I chose Dr. Toby Mayer at the Beverly Hills Institute because Dr. Mayer is more than a surgeon, he is an artist. In my first consultation with Dr. Mayer he spoke about Leonardo Da Vinci and the facial proportions that we traditionally see as beautiful. His aesthetic approach and 40 years of experience made me feel comfortable that I was in good hands.
Some people (myself included) are usually a little surprised that Dr. Mayer does not touch the jawline, however after seeing so many examples of botched jaw surgeries and how it can negatively affect the proportions of the upper/lower face, I came to understand his reasoning.
Here are the specific procedures that I had done back in November of 2016:
Hairline Advancement With Tissue Expander
After years of testosterone destroying my hair, my receding hairline became one of my major insecurities in regards to passing. I wore terrible wigs and wished I could just have long natural feminine hair. When I first met with Dr. Mayer, he demonstrated that the lack of elasticity in my scalp would only allow him to bring my hairline forward a tiny bit. He also suggested that using a “tissue expander” would help to stretch it out enough to bring it forward into a more feminine spot.
In August of last year he placed the expander under my scalp with a quick local anesthetic operation. Over the next 3 months, Francis (his awesome nurse) filled my expander twice a week until I had almost a coke can worth of saline in my head. I had to wear a beanie for the last month of expander fills but it wasn’t too bad.
In the end it was SO worth it. Dr. Mayer is an absolute magician with hairline procedures. I am beyond elated with the results of my scalp advancement. Dr. Mayer also hid the scar back in my hairline, allowing the hair to grow through it. I am only 5 months into recovery and I don’t even notice it anymore.
Orbital Bony Contouring With Forehead Lift
For me this was one of the most feminizing procedures of the operation. Using the same incision as the scalp advancement, Dr. Mayer contoured the brow bones and area around the eyes creating a more feminine shape. He also lifted my forehead which opened up my eyes and placed my eyebrows in a more feminine location on my face. Very happy with the results.
When I was 16 I had a really large “Roman Nose” which resulted in an unsightly bump. I was fortunate enough to receive a rhinoplasty, however over the past 14 years of my nose growing, it started to sag which just made my already terrible side profile even worse. Dr. Mayer was able to correct this while feminizing the shape of my nose. He made it pretty cute without going over the top and looking plastic.
Sub-Nasal Lip Lift With Fat Augmentation
Before FFS the area between my top of my lip and my nose was around 19mm in length. Using the same incision as the rhinoplasty, Dr. Mayer lifted my upper lip to a more feminine 13mm and also transferred fat from my stomach to fill them out naturally (And permanently).
Chin Augmentation With Implant
My side profile was one of the things I hated most about my face. My receding hairline, long dropping nose, weak chin, and large adam’s apple made for a really bad combination. Dr. Mayer decided that it would be best to place a “pre-jowl” implant to balance out my face while also giving my chin a rounder and more feminine appearance from the front. This procedure was seriously a game changer for me. I went from hating my profile to being proud of it being one of my better features. I receive compliments all the time and could not be happier with the outcome.
Thyroid Cartilage Shave
I had a pretty large adam’s apple which hindered me from passing. Dr. Mayer completely smoothed it out and now it’s gone!
Overall I am so happy that I went with Dr. Mayer. The people over at Beverly Hills Institute are wonderful and I beyond happy with the results. They seriously changed my life and I will be eternally grateful. Thank you Dr. Mayer! (And Francis, Sharon, and the rest of the awesome people at BHI!)