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By Pichet Rodchareon
When speaking of sex change procedure, people only think about the change in the reproductive parts and perhaps the breasts which are the most distinctive feminine features. However, it is undeniable that the face is the most noticed part of a person. Therefore, for natural looking results, it is advised people who have undergone sex change operation consider facial feminization surgery as well because it helps them integrate socially as women.
The aim of facial feminization surgery is to eliminate or reduce many of the cross-gender-related deformities of the facial bones caused by late-pubertal testosterone masculinization in male-to-female transsexuals. The procedure involves various bony and soft tissue procedures and sometimes includes facial hair removal. The surgeon will focus on how to adjust the dimensional parameters of each face towards the normal female range, based on certain physical anthropological measurements.
According to anthropological researches, survival requirements over evolutionary time have adapted human males’ faces for protection in hunting and fighting, providing them with protruding brow ridges and heavy jaws/chins. However, human females’ faces have evolved (as have children’s faces) for better hiding/fleeing by having better unobstructed peripheral vision (with the eyes more forward in the facial structure, and with no brow ridge). These differences in secondary sex characteristics are caused by the different sex hormones present in the bodies of boys and girls after puberty.
The surgical procedures most frequently performed during facial feminization surgery include hairline correction, forehead recontouring, brow lift, rhinoplasty, cheek implants, chin and jaw recontouring, Adam’s apple reduction and lip filling. Other procedures might be suggested by the surgeon, depending on each person’s natural looks.
There are only a small number of surgeons globally who specialize in facial feminization surgery. Like any other cosmetic surgeries, patients should be confident that they are placing their image in the trustworthy and reliable hand. There are, of course, limitations to what a surgery can do. It is not a magical process that can 100 per cent transform a man’s face into a woman’s natural face. It is best to speak to the surgeon beforehand to make sure the results are what the patient is looking for as the features will stay with the patient permanently.
About the Author: Dr Pichet Rodchareon is the owner of
Bangkok Plastic Surgery Clinic
, center of
sex change surgery
based in Bangkok, Thailand.